A variety of factors are involved in the production of hot asphalt mixes, which makes the process vulnerable to sudden equipment stops. The consequences of such unplanned maintenances to the business are dire, since the cost of having a stopped plant is high. In order to minimise production disruptions, new technologies applied to wear components and electronic monitoring of asphalt plant motors during production bring predictability to maintenance, replacing corrective maintenance with preventive and predictive maintenance.
Marcelo Zubaran, application engineer and product specialist at Ciber Equipamentos Rodoviários, part of the Wirtgen group says, “Obtaining the correct information at the right moment regarding a component wear or a tendency of failure of a motor is a major advantage.” Predictive maintenance can only be implemented with devices continuously monitoring the equipment components, be it mechanical or electronic devices.
Technologies such as constant monitoring of the power consumption of motors during production, known as the fault diagnosis system, also provide information to the operator in real time on the operating conditions of the motors. “If any of the plant’s motors are not operating at their optimum condition, the plant immediately triggers an alarm. The operator may choose to conclude a particular asphalt mix demand and then check the motor conditions or stop the plant. In this way, predictive maintenance technology allows us to perform preventive maintenance,” says Marcelo.
To enable this technology, it is necessary for the motors to be connected to an electrical measuring device and for it to be connected to some data transmission network. In addition, technologies such as Soft Starter, which smooths the start of “big” motors without frequency inverters can measure the electric current. Such devices must have a network interface in order to enable digital communication with the plant’s computer, which will manage the.
Wirtgen SA, Waylon Kukard, Tel: (011) 452-1838