Gearing Up for Predictive Maintenance

Global Gearmotor manufacturer, WEG explains where geared motor maintenance fits into the IoT realm, as it is estimated that by 2021 around 25 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). Geared motor units are the drive technology heavyweights necessary to handle a large amount of data, power, and torque. They provide requisite motion sequences in machines and systems, helping to ensure smooth operation of production lines.

If the geared motors are faulty, the knock-on consequences can be very costly for businesses, and sometimes failings are not identified over time due to the substantial forces involved, bringing entire systems to a standstill. This is potentially detrimental as other major operational components would also remain inactive until a replacement gearbox has been installed. Wherein, by using a predictive maintenance (PdM) strategy, maintenance staff can gather vital data, to help identify errors in performance. These insights can help people to fix issues months before they lead to potential failures, avoiding downtime, reducing maintenance costs, and alleviating operational risks.

PdM Technique

PdM is a technique that is used to evaluate the operational performance in real-time, relying on condition-monitoring equipment.  It creates a precise tool for collecting and evaluating data by merging the condition-based diagnosis with predictive formulas. This idea is based on anticipating the future of a system, illustrating potential faults that may occur and the maintenance actions that need to be attended to. A data-driven approach uses predictive analytics and algorithms based on real-time data to identify the specific issue, many of which do not show any physical signs of damage.

The company's WEG Motor Scan is arguably a geared motor’s first step into IoT and enables predictive maintenance in a cost-effective way to extend geared motor lifespans. Its combination with its related software - WEG Motor Scan Gateway, allows maintenance staff to see motor performance analytics at a glance, from a phone, computer or human machine interface (HMI). The sensor can be used for both old and new gearboxes including electric motors, giving complete diagnostic data of the motor’s condition, allowing for the monitoring of surface temperature, overall vibration analysis and data on running time, speed, and lubrication intervals, while also calculating any misalignments. The collected data can be transferred via the app or Bluetooth allowing it to be saved on a protected cloud-based platform, where multiple sensor data can be accessed at once. The IoT platform of the software provides an extensive overview for diagnostics and enables configuration of alarms when the set values are surpassed.

Marek Lukaszczyk, European Marketing Manager, WEG, concluded, “Could this way of maintaining gearboxes become the norm? It is estimated that by 2021 around 25 billion devices will be connected to IoT, and we think geared motors should be included in this figure. For maintenance staff ready to take the first steps into the IoT realm, there are four free gearbox technical guides available at, explaining fundamental gearbox buying and maintaining advice.”

Image Source: WEG

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