Motors and controls manufacturer Zest WEG is expanding its WEG Motor Scan product in South Africa to incorporate Gateway – a game-changing solution that could help farmers further leverage the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
WEG Motor Scan entered South Africa’s market late in 2018, equipping farmers with predictive and preventative maintenance capabilities for their electric motors.
While the agriculture sector is under increasing pressure to reduce operating costs, including the more efficient use of energy and the replacement of older generation electric motors with new generation energy efficiency IE3 motors, remote monitoring of the installed base can help increase efficiencies in farming operations, says Zest WEG rotating machinery sales manager Francois Labuschagne.
Preventative maintenance enables potential problems to be flagged early for maintenance or repairs to be undertaken timeously to avoid unnecessary unplanned downtime.
The WEG Motor Scan solution makes a complete real-time diagnosis of the motor operation through temperature measurement, vibration analysis, operating time, load, lubrication interval and can operate with alert levels to help on predictive maintenance.
It also captures data on the speed of the motor, its stop/start time and efficiency using Bluetooth.
“Being able to constantly monitor electric motors while in operation can boost productivity significantly by minimising downtime.”
Gateway, which is a software and hardware solution launched internationally mid-2019, will extend the performance of the WEG Motor Scan sensor and further optimise the preventive maintenance of electric motors.
Zest WEG has already obtained electronic communications services licence approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, and is starting to deploy the solution locally.
WEG’s Motor Scan has been well received in South Africa, says Labuschagne, noting that where the company has motor contracts in place it plans to start incorporating Gateway to provide customers with a more comprehensive solution.
While Motor Scan stores the data for up to three months and is connected through Bluetooth to manually download information for analytics, the addition of Gateway will enable live information streamlining at all times and enable automatic download and analysis.
A router installed in the area of the motors captures all installed sensors within a range and automatically sends information to a secure cloud using WiFi or Ethernet, allowing the immediate remote monitoring of the electric motor performance.
Operations with multiple motors will be able to monitor all their motors, with the captured data accessed through an application on smartphones or tablets, as it is available on iOS and Android, or from desktops and laptops through an online Web portal.