Mechatronics Canada

November 26, 2020

In many large medical research facilities, strict temperature control is essential for the storage of biomedical samples and other materials. Air handling units (AHUs) are one system that's responsible for keeping the temperature constant.

In mid-2020, one of Canada's most research-intensive medical facilities noticed that some of the fans inside one of its research buildings were failing unexpectedly. To improve predictive maintenance for the AHU system and eliminate problematic downtime, the hospital turned to Omron for a solution.

The challenge of predicting motor failures

The AHU system’s reliability issues were a result of motor problems that went undetected until the motors failed completely. Although the hospital was having a third-party vendor perform vibration analysis on a regular basis, problems that arose between the testing dates often weren’t caught in time.

The unexpected downtime of the fans made it clear that a continuous monitoring solution was necessary. The solution installed uses K6CM motor condition monitoring devices that provide non-stop, real-time monitoring of essential systems.

How does the K6CM work?

The K6CM observes a motor’s vibration and temperature to detect the early signs of bearing wear and overheating. This indicates the need for repairs or replacement before a failure occurs. Because it provides a threshold value setting, technicians can easily understand the motor’s maintenance timing needs without depending on an engineer.

In this particular case, alarms from the K6CM sensors have been integrated into the building’s automation system to provide 24/7 paging capabilities to facility personnel.

Results of implementing the new technology

Since installing the K6CM, the hospital hasn’t experienced any motor failures in its AHU system. If AHU performance degrades, the hospital can now detect problems before they result in unplanned downtime. The clear visibility into the historical vibration and temperature data on each motor provides a much clearer picture of overall motor health.

Source

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