Process monitoring for predictive maintenance
in the age of Industrie 4.0

Processes visualized in three dimensions and gaplessly documented

One of the greatest challenges in the serial production of precision components is monitoring the process and thus ensuring the quality of the components. For that reason, the Fraunhofer IPT has developed a method that intuitively monitors the manufacturing process, visualizes process signals as a three-dimensional digital twin and gaplessly documents production.

Predictive maintenance with the help of structure-borne sound

Unlike typical process monitoring systems that utilize structure-borne sound, the Fraunhofer IPT’s 3D process monitoring can represent a wide spectrum of influence factors and process sizes. The system can thus detect how worn-out a tool is and when it must be exchanged. The result: a robustly running process and maximum utilization of the tool. In order to obtain the correct data, very small and highly resilient sensors are placed as close to the process as possible, i.e., on a tool holder. That way, external interference or noise signals can be minimized and measuring sensitivity can be increased.

Different production processes have already been characterized in research projects. Structure-borne sound signals from lathe and grinding processes deliver valuable information about the condition of the process and enable gapless documentation of the production of the work piece.

The digital twin of quality control

In addition to structure-borne sound signals, analog signals like power or acceleration can be acquired simultaneously with the position data and are represented three-dimensionally. Predictive process monitoring tailored to individual needs is possible thanks to a digital twin created during production. Furthermore, work pieces can be checked for their quality without removing them from the production machine, making repair work much easier.

The vBox as a retrofit for 3D process monitoring

All signals and measurement values are fed into closed networks from the vBox in real time. The compact system developed by the Fraunhofer IPT can synchronize positional data and digital inputs and outputs with sensor data, ensuring a careful, independent response by the system. These components and the relatively simple measurement construction make 3D process management into an upgradeable retrofit concept for existing machine parks – an easy way to take advantage of Industrie 4.0 with enormous potential for networked, adaptive production.

Your advantages

  • Complete high-precision recording of all measurement data for gapless documentation of all process steps
  • Location-triggered 3D visualization of process signals during or after the production process
  • Better monitoring through the detection of process-related patterns based on relevant parameters
  • Upgradeable retrofit concept for existing machines

Applications for 3D process monitoring

Predictive maintenance using structure-borne sound

Detection of tool wear and immediate reactio

Inline quality control

Checking work pieces while they are still in the machine and immediate detection of any need for improvement

Efficiency in the ramp-up phase

3D process monitoring as a means to process design