Motion Control & Drives

Drive-based solutions enhance machine efficiency and safety

July 2022 Motion Control & Drives

BMG’s NORD predictive maintenance solutions offer fast, efficient and comprehensive evaluation of analog and digital data to enhance the operational efficiency and safety of machines. The intelligent PLC in NORD drive technology forms the basis for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.

“BMG specialists use predictive maintenance as a methodical continuation of condition maintenance, with the prime objective of proactively maintaining machinery and equipment, and detecting operational changes. Our NORD status-oriented maintenance system replaces traditional time-based maintenance to enhance the performance of the gear unit, electric motor and frequency inverter, for increased efficiency of the entire plant as well as reduced downtime,” explains Deon Crous, national product specialist for BMG’s NORD Drive Systems, Electromechanical Drives division.

“Digitalisation in drive technology boosts the added value our customers derive from drive data. This is especially so in drive systems in demanding production environments, where industrial gear unit installations are usually used in critical applications and their failure could cause severe damage. For example, in mining, wastewater, intralogistics and the food industry, as well as in general heavy-duty applications.

BMG’s NORD drives for condition monitoring are based on intelligent algorithms and software in an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) environment, where networked drive units collect condition data in the inverter’s integrated PLC and pre-process it, together with data of connected sensors and actuators.

“An important advantage of this system is that it offers our customers dependable data analysis, rather than merely data reading. Results of pre-processing or complete data can be optionally transmitted to an edge device, from which the data of all subsystems is managed and evaluated. This information is then available as pre-selected and edited smart data for further use and clear visualisation,” he explained.

A common application example is the sensorless determination of the optimum oil change time based on the oil temperature, which is the key factor for oil ageing in gear units. This information is used in conjunction with gear unit parameters and specific operational parameters to precisely calculate the appropriate oil change time, without the need for a physical temperature sensor.

BMG’s electromechanical specialists are able to extend and adjust NORD drive equipment for the specific automation task, including drive monitoring, drive control and process control. The team is also able to advise customers about the correct PLC software architecture for every application.

In smaller production plants, NORD scalability allows users to gain initial experience prior to reorganising the plant. There are three configuration levels available: at the first level, the drive unit PLC only performs drive monitoring; drive parameters are pre-processed in the PLC and communicated to the higher-level control system that is responsible for drive and process control. At the medium level, the PLC integrates the drive control and also runs drive-related functions. At the higher configuration level, the inverter PLC completely replaces the higher-level control system.

NORD drive systems – developed by Getriebebau Nord and assembled locally by BMG – comprise optimum drive configurations to ensure the high performance of mechanical speed control for specific applications in almost every industry. Local assembly at BMG World in Johannesburg enables prompt delivery of drive systems and the quick availability of spare parts.

For more information contact Deon Crous, BMG, +27 21 493 3250,,


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