How drives and motors fit into Industrie 4.0 - October 2017 - Nidec - SA Instrumentation & Control
classic | mobile


SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


How drives and motors fit into Industrie 4.0
October 2017, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Much has been said about Industry 4.0 and how it will revolutionise our working practices. We see examples daily of how connected machines are allowing factory owners to produce more, using less energy, and quicker than they could before.

But how are they doing this and how do drives and motors fit into the equation?

To answer that, it is important to understand that, at its heart, Industrie 4.0 is data. The real value comes from taking this data and aggregating, analysing, sharing and using it to enhance and automate decision making processes on a large scale.

Clearly we can look at sensors and other devices which collect feedback from a process, but crucial to all of this is the subsequent effect this data has on drives, motors and controllers.

Modern variable speed drives can harness vast amounts of information by acting as a hub for data gathering. This allows predictive maintenance and machine optimisation, while also providing data which can be analysed to improve the design of future machines. Drives with integrated intelligence are in a unique position within a control system.

We know, for example, that electric motors consume an estimated 70% of all electricity used in industry. It would clearly be useful, therefore, if we were able to measure accurately the motor’s consumption in real-time using data provided by the drive. That same data can then be used to boost or enhance machine performance as well as increasing throughput.

Of course, in order to communicate effectively, there need to be certain standardised control protocols. Ideally, this would mean one protocol.

This is where standard Ethernet comes in

It offers seamless integration with other equipment to share process data anytime, anywhere. Not only that, using standard Ethernet ensures other machine control protocols like Profinet, Ethernet/IP or Modbus TCP/IP can communicate properly.

Indeed, standard Ethernet is pivotal to collect and share data seamlessly within the whole distributed factory. It makes sense then that drives with integrated Ethernet are the preferred option for Industrie 4.0 applications.

It’s no secret that production systems are becoming more and more heterogeneous. End-users have always used different products from different vendors to meet their needs, making standardised communication vital to ensure efficient operation.

Any smart devices within a factory need to be able to share data with operators and planners via Ethernet, but they also need to keep exchanging data with existing products. Therefore they need to support popular legacy fieldbuses, as well as fieldbuses based on standard Ethernet.

The importance of data visualisation is also crucial. Big Data – i.e. the wealth of information collected from devices within a network –means there is an increased need to visualise information in a user-friendly way.

Smartphones, tablets, even smart TVs are becoming more and more popular in industrial applications as HMI devices. Web-based technologies are vital to ensure the quick accessing of data, therefore smart automation devices with integrated web HMI capability should be preferred for Industrie 4.0 applications.

It is important to note too that different users will have different requirements and will experience different benefits. Take, for example, the automotive component manufacturer. A typical application could be a test rig, monitoring prototype brake pads at the R&D stage. In this example, Industrie 4.0 enabled equipment provides the capability to collect and analyse data for quality and certification testing, endurance, and production methods. This data can then be shared with any department, at any stage of the process, to drive quality improvements.

In more depth, smart devices, like electric drives, collect the data provided by the test rig in real time and share it with other systems. Standard Ethernet allows the data to be saved in company cloud systems where it can be used later by other departments during the product lifecycle. The system’s intuitive HMIs allow any user, from any department, to tailor the types and amount of data which they receive.

Where previously specific data will only have been accessible to the operator directly involved in its collection, now it can be shared anywhere in real time. The possibilities here, and the potential to drive improvements, are immense.

For more information contact Ryan Chetty, Nidec Industrial Automation Southern Africa, +27 (0)11 462 1740,,

Supplied By: Nidec
Tel: +27 11 462 1740
Fax: +27 11 462 1941
Share via email     Share via LinkedIn   Print this page

Further reading:

  • Measuring instrument in good health?
    August 2018, Yokogawa South Africa, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    The built-in doctor knows what’s wrong.
  • Eliminating the modernisation backlog in record time
    August 2018, Phoenix Contact, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    Phoenix Contact provides not only device and connection technology, but also components for control cabinet and field installation as well as consulting and engineering services.
  • Service kits for pressure measurement
    August 2018, WIKA Instruments, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    WIKA’s hydraulic and pneumatic service kits are the ideal tools for testing, adjustment and calibration of mechanical and electronic pressure measuring instruments through comparative measurements or ...
  • Accelerometer for vibration ­monitoring
    August 2018, Instrotech, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    Monitran has introduced its general-purpose monitoring sensors for use with PLCs and other industrial controllers. They provide users with a continuous output of vibration, usually as a 4-20 mA signal. ...
  • Advanced condition monitoring by Omniflex
    August 2018, Omniflex Remote Monitoring Specialists, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    Managing the condition of remote assets is no longer a major undertaking. Equipment like pumps and motors require ongoing maintenance and valuable up-time is compromised by missed preventive maintenance ...
  • How remote monitoring improves machine maintenance
    August 2018, RET Automation Controls, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    The IIoT is transforming the way manufacturers identify problems on the plant floor as the latest wireless solutions address integration challenges. A flashing red light on the plant floor often signals ...
  • Demag’s high capacity winch cranes
    August 2018, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    Demag’s compact high capacity winches can handle loads of up to 500 T. With its outstanding combination of size and lifting capacity, the HCW creates a full range of solutions for power stations, shipyards ...
  • Portable calibrator measures pressure up to 10 000 bar
    August 2018, WIKA Instruments, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    With the CPH7000 portable process calibrator, high-pressure measuring instruments can now also be tested in the field: This multifunction instrument is the first hand-held from WIKA that records measured ...
  • Success through measurement expertise and product innovation
    July 2018, GHM Messtechnik SA, This Week's Editor's Pick, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    Since inception, the GHM Group has constantly sought to add layers of exper-tise and competence through the development and acquisition of brands, which not only offer precision measurement, but also bring a dynamic cross-over of synergies to customers.
  • Effective plant asset management
    Technews Industry Guide: Industrial Internet of Things & Industry 4.0, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Indust. & Drives, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    Siemens offers an ideal solution for the efficient monitoring of intelligent field devices.
  • Fibre optic temperature monitoring of switchgear
    June 2018, Spero Sensors & Instrumentation, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    AP Sensing’s passive fibre optic cable provides accurate temperature measurements along the length of equipment such as a conveyor belt, or inside switchgear. The system enables cost-effective monitoring ...
  • IIoT platform for motor quality analysis
    June 2018, CIS Industrial Services, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    Motors drive industry and provide convenience in everyday life. However, if they are not maintained they can fail, which will interrupt production, affect revenue, energy efficiency and product quality, ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.