Industry 4.0 solutions for condition-based maintenance at FCA Verrone

23 October 2019

Giuseppe Mottola, WCM Plant Support at FCA Italy S.p.A., introduces the FCA plant in Verrone and points out the numerous awards, including the World Class Manufacturing Gold level, one of the highest international acknowledgments.

The plant also received the renowned international "Lean & Green Management Award" from two German consulting firms that evaluate a group of companies each year on the basis of the so-called "Lean Production" that ensures efficient management of energy and environmental resources, plants and logistics.

ifm is a partner of the FCA plant in the area of condition-based maintenance. The cooperation was formed with the goal of improving the quality of the production process and saving costs for the plant.

For time-based maintenance, which used to be employed by the plant, the machines had to be stopped so that the maintenance technicians could conduct a vibration analysis.

The advantages of condition-based maintenance are avoiding standstills, optimization of time and reduction of failures. This cuts the costs for the benefit of plant efficiency. Condition-based maintenance enables an exchange of components in the machine before a failure takes place. While maintaining the same degree of reliability, it is possible to reduce the cost of preventive maintenance and to make use of the full operational lifetime of the components.

In addition to vibration monitoring on all relevant machine axes, ifm devices monitor flow, temperature and pressure of the coolant in the mentioned production line. The advantage is therefore not only that possible damage can be detected at an early stage, but also maintaining a high quality standard of production. Given the strategic importance of this process regarding the quality of the final product, the line described above was selected.

The LINERECORDER SMARTOBSERVER software from ifm for the storage of data, predictive maintenance and energy monitoring, controls and communicates the behavior of connected machines. Possible warning and alarm messages are sent via email so that an intervention can be planned without delay. Machine Learning enables assessing the state of the machine and, if necessary, taking action before errors occur.

The cooperation between the design engineers from FCA and ifm supported the project throughout all phases – from development on to installation and setup.

Condition-based maintenance is one of the basic elements of Smart Factory, a current concept of big importance, which is to strengthen the cooperation between FCA and ifm.

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