Thesis for the Degree of Master of Science


Year 2003
Pekka Montola

Condition monitoring and remote services of process equipment

The purpose of this thesis was to survey the current condition monitoring state and needs of Outokumpu processes and equipment, and to determine possibilities for remote monitoring services to support condition monitoring. A further aim is to build a prototype remote monitoring system based on the results of this thesis.

Equipment failure causes production losses, risk of injury and other possible failures. Equipment throughout the world also requires extensive travel times on the part of experts who do maintenance. Condition monitoring and remote monitoring help to predict and possibly prevent failures. Travel can be limited by using remote assistance to support local maintenance, or remote software maintenance.

The literature part has a review of the typical features and functions of remote monitoring systems and a study of condition monitoring and maintenance strategies. The last section introduces different software and hardware solutions used in remote monitoring services, and complete services with similar components.

The experimental part consists of interview results with experts in various Outokumpu processes and pieces of equipment. The purpose was to research equipment condition-monitoring aspects and find suitable remote services.

According to survey, the most suitable service for remote monitoring is to send process data reports to suppliers, either automatically or on request, and have analyses done on the reports. One-way data connection is sufficient for this service, for example, GPRS modem and MMS messages. Data from equipment is especially useful when customer guidance is required on demand.

The problems that need to be solved are lack of instrumentation and required measurements in devices and restrictions placed by data security policies in many companies.

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