Maintworld Magazine 4/2023

- maintenance & asset management

- maintenance & asset management


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4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld.com<br />

maintenance & asset management<br />

Maintaining the Future:<br />

Industry 5.0<br />

Triumphs Over<br />

Industry 4.0’s<br />

Challenges<br />

Preventative<br />

Maintenance in<br />

Construction<br />

p 26<br />

The Impact of<br />

Corrosion on Heavy<br />

Equipment<br />

p 30<br />

Best Practices<br />

for Storing<br />

Electric Motors<br />

p 44


I<br />

had the opportunity to visit Iceland a<br />

few weeks ago as part of the EFNMS<br />

General Assembly meeting. The<br />

Icelandic Maintenance Association<br />

hosted our visit, during which we also<br />

had the chance to explore hydro- and geothermal<br />

power plants. It was fascinating<br />

to learn that 75% of Iceland's electrical<br />

energy is generated through hydro power,<br />

while 25% is produced using geothermal<br />

energy. Additionally, geothermal energy<br />

plays an important role in heating both<br />

urban areas and remote houses, making<br />

Iceland a prime example of sustainable<br />

energy utilization.<br />

In Europe, we have been struggling with energy challenges, particularly<br />

concerning gas delivery, which has prompted a renewed focus on innovation<br />

and investments in alternative energy sources. Energy issues affect us all, and<br />

some political analysts argue that energy is a central factor behind many of<br />

the global crises we are witnessing today.<br />

Regarding energy field maintenance, one of the presenters in Iceland<br />

informed us that in the event of a sudden hot lava eruption, they have only a<br />

few hours to evacuate the site. The next step would be a total new investment<br />

of the site – I guess.<br />

In the energy industry, effective asset management is crucial, as the initial<br />

investment is often substantial<br />

compared to the expected lifetime<br />

costs when machinery operates<br />

smoothly during the operational<br />

phase. From an investor's perspective,<br />

it is prudent to meticulously<br />

evaluate and calculate the<br />

types of devices and solutions<br />

needed to ensure optimal equipment<br />

operation throughout its<br />

operational lifespan to optimize the return on invested capital.<br />

Wind power is already a known area with enough competence and understanding<br />

of the maintenance needs. New areas of energy such as large-scale<br />

solar power, hydrogen and small nuclear power plants will most probably<br />

create new needs for maintenance competencies. Nevertheless, the demand<br />

for environmentally friendly and domestically controllable energy sources is<br />

increasing, placing significant pressure on the development of such technologies.<br />

In this edition of <strong>Maintworld</strong> magazine, you'll find an article from the German<br />

certification organization, TÜV SÜD, which provides insights into the<br />

maintenance of photovoltaic systems, commonly known as solar power. TÜV<br />

SÜD estimates that there are approximately 2.6 million photovoltaic systems<br />

generating solar power on rooftops and sites in Germany. Additionally,<br />

Associate Professor Mirka Kans from Chalmers University of Technology<br />

in Sweden emphasizes the significance of maintenance in a circular economy<br />

environment in her article.<br />

Furthermore, in this magazine you can learn what steps should be taken to<br />

simplify the transition in organisations toward robot-assisted work environments.<br />

While automation is often essential for improving productivity and<br />

cost-effectiveness, it may not always be met with enthusiasm by employees.<br />

In this magazine, we share strategies to introduce new technology in a way<br />

that positively impacts your workforce.<br />

Jaakko Tennilä<br />

Editor-in-Chief, <strong>Maintworld</strong> magazine<br />

In the energy<br />

industry, effective asset<br />

management is crucial,<br />

as the initial investment<br />

is often substantial.<br />

40<br />

Maintenance<br />

plays a<br />

huge role in achieving a<br />

high level of circularity.<br />

4 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>

IN THIS ISSUE 4/<strong>2023</strong><br />

26<br />

In<br />

the construction industry,<br />

preventative maintenance<br />

stands out as a pivotal practice,<br />

underpinning the operational<br />

longevity and efficiency of<br />

critical machinery.<br />

24<br />

Casing<br />

distortion is not only<br />

one of the biggest problems<br />

for rotating machinery but is<br />

also a very common one.<br />

4 Editorial<br />

6 News<br />

12<br />

16<br />

18<br />

Maintaining the Future: Industry 5.0<br />

triumphs over Industry 4.0’s challenges<br />

Bearing Lubrication 4.0: Autonomous and<br />

smart lubrication assisted by ultrasound<br />

Make gas detection a pillar of<br />

your ESG strategy<br />

22<br />

24<br />

26<br />

Mastering Ultrasound Monitoring with<br />

the CONMONSense Sensor Range<br />

Understanding casing distortion<br />

From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs:<br />

The transformative impact of<br />

preventative maintenance in<br />

construction<br />

30<br />

The impact of corrosion on heavy<br />

equipment<br />

34<br />

38<br />

40<br />

44<br />

48<br />

What biocatalysis has to offer for<br />

green industries and city planning?<br />

Simplifying the transition to a<br />

robot-assisted work environment<br />

Maintenance – A crucial factor for<br />

achieving circularity<br />

Best practices for storing electric motors<br />

Photovoltaic systems in the limelight<br />

Issued by Promaint (Finnish Maintenance Society), Messuaukio 1, 00520 Helsinki, Finland, tel. +358 29 007 4570. Editor-in-chief Jaakko<br />

Tennilä, Promaint. Publisher Avone Oy, avone.fi, executive producer Vaula Aunola, editor@maintworld.com, producer Nina Garlo-Melkas.<br />

Advertisements Kai Portman, Sales Director, tel. +358 358 44 763 2573, kai@maintworld.com. Layout Avone. Subscriptions and Change of<br />

Address: toimisto@kunnossapito.fi. Printed by Savion Kirjapaino Oy Frequency 4 issues per year, ISSN L 1798-7024, ISSN 1798-7024 (print),<br />

ISSN 1799-8670 (online).<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 5

In Short<br />

Wind Turbine Services Market in Europe<br />

to increase by USD 2.88 billion from<br />

<strong>2023</strong> to 2028; ABB Ltd., Acciona SA, B9<br />

Energy Ltd. and more among key companies.<br />

Source: Technavio<br />

ABB and Imperial College extend carbon<br />

capture collaboration to support future<br />

workforce and energy transition<br />

ABB AND IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON signed a 10-year<br />

contract to continue their carbon capture technology partnership.<br />

Following the agreement, ABB – a technology leader in<br />

electrification and automation – aims to prepare current students<br />

for future industrial processes, showcasing how advanced<br />

technology can optimize plant performance and enhance safety<br />

in real-life applications.<br />

The collaboration with Imperial College grants the university<br />

access to cutting-edge control and instrumentation technology.<br />

– Extending the partnership with Imperial College allows us to<br />

offer students practical training to prepare them for a career in<br />

industry, said Simon Wynne, Head of Energy Industries, ABB UK &<br />

Ireland.<br />

The plant, which is spread over four floors, uses ABB Ability<br />

System 800xA® for distributed process control and over 250<br />

instruments, measuring temperature, pressure, carbon dioxide<br />

and flow. System 800xA automatically controls and coordinates<br />

all aspects of the plant process, which is then visualized on displays<br />

in the ABB Control Room where students can monitor and<br />

intervene if necessary.<br />

ABB’s Ability Verification for measurement devices and new<br />

Ability SmartMaster verification and condition monitoring platform<br />

are also being used to equip students with the skills needed to optimize<br />

instrument performance through predictive maintenance.<br />

– When we started the partnership with ABB, the aim was to<br />

encourage more people to go into and stay in chemical engineering,<br />

said Dr Colin Hale, Senior Teaching Fellow at Imperial College<br />

London.<br />

– One of the ways to do this was to set up this carbon capture<br />

plant so we could enthuse students to follow through on the<br />

environmental topics they have learnt previously. ABB shares<br />

this collective vision.<br />

– During my time in the carbon capture pilot plant, I have<br />

actively participated in the operation of the process, gaining a<br />

deeper understanding of the development and application of the<br />

technology, said Yiheng Shao, fourth year undergraduate student<br />

at Imperial College London.<br />

According to a report by S&P Global, carbon capture and storage<br />

(CCS) can help decarbonize industry, reduce emissions and reach<br />

net zero, while the Global CCS Institute said in 2022 there was a<br />

44 percent increase in the number of CCS facilities around the world<br />

compared with the previous year.<br />

Earlier this year, the UK Government outlined its Powering<br />

Up Britain policy. This series of net-zero pledges, including £20<br />

billion of funding to unlock private investment and jobs in CCS,<br />

aims to deliver an energy system with cleaner, more affordable<br />

energy sources.<br />

Metal Forging Market<br />

to grow by USD 33.29<br />

billion from <strong>2023</strong> to<br />

2028 – Technavio<br />

HIGH DEMAND for advanced materials and alloys is a key factor driving<br />

market growth. Advanced alloys, which are being developed and used<br />

to fuel the evolution of performance materials with increased strength,<br />

durability, and corrosion resistance, are also becoming increasingly<br />

in demand. In addition, components with exceptionally high strength,<br />

longevity, and resistance to extreme conditions must be used in industries<br />

such as aircraft, automobiles, or energy.<br />

6 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>

6.39%<br />

The<br />

wind turbine gearbox market size is estimated<br />

to grow at a CAGR of 6.39% between<br />

2022 and 2027. The market size is forecast to<br />

increase by USD 4,232.96 million.<br />

Smart buildings market<br />

size is estimated to<br />

increase by USD 46.12<br />

billion from 2022 to 2027<br />

THE SMART BUILDINGS market's growth momentum will progress<br />

at a CAGR of 9.73% during the forecast period. An emerging trend in<br />

the smart buildings market is the growing concept of BIoT. BIoT is the<br />

new vision of making the building intelligent to take insights from<br />

the information and react automatically.<br />

Smart building is the integration of all standalone automated systems<br />

with additional support features such as cloud integration. The<br />

cloud infrastructure connects the sensors and actuators to exchange<br />

information among themselves and improve the working conditions.<br />

In addition, BIoT enables the integration of handheld devices such<br />

as mobile phones and tablets with building control to manage the<br />

process remotely. Moreover, the analytical reports help managers to<br />

optimize energy efficiency and the working environment further.<br />

Vendors are also making continuous efforts to integrate smart<br />

buildings with cyber security and connected buildings technology.<br />

Thus, the rising adoption of BIoT in smart building solutions will<br />

drive the growth of the market in focus during the forecast period.<br />

Source: Technavio<br />

EU unveils plans to<br />

boost energy sector<br />

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION has unveiled plans aimed at bolstering<br />

the European Union's wind energy sector while addressing various<br />

challenges, including permitting delays, workforce shortages, and<br />

limited access to raw materials. The initiative is primarily designed<br />

to shield the EU's wind industry from unfair global competition and<br />

safeguard its energy security.<br />

The action plan also aims to enhance cybersecurity in the wind energy<br />

sector. Wind farms' growth in Europe presents security risks, and<br />

the plan suggests redesigning auctions that allow countries to procure<br />

clean power, with a focus on assessing cybersecurity risks. The EU aims<br />

to increase wind capacity from 204 GW in 2022 to more than 500 GW<br />

by 2030 to meet its renewable energy targets. This will involve speeding<br />

up permitting processes, expanding the workforce, and improving<br />

access to finance.<br />

The EU's wind industry expansion is driven by the revised Renewable<br />

Energy Directive, which sets a target of 42.5% for wind, solar,<br />

and biomass in the EU's energy mix by 2030, requiring a significant<br />

increase in wind capacity. Source: Research and Markets<br />

Recycled Plastics Market<br />

to grow by 18.37 million<br />

tons from 2022 to 2027 –<br />

Technavio<br />

THE RECYCLED PLASTICS market size is<br />

estimated to grow by USD 18.37 million<br />

tons from 2022 to 2027, according to<br />

Technavio. The market is estimated<br />

to rise at a CAGR of 4.75%. The use of<br />

recycled plastics in the industries such as<br />

automotive, textile, and construction drives<br />

the growth of the regional market.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 7

In Short<br />

The Medical Device Contract Manufacturing<br />

Market to grow at a CAGR of 11.19% from<br />

2021 to 2026|The impact of Industry<br />

4.0 on the medical device industry drives<br />

market growth. Source: Technavio<br />




and Healthy Work<br />

in the Digital Age" is the<br />

title of the new edition<br />

of EU-OSHA's Healthy<br />

‘Safe<br />

Workplaces Campaign,<br />

which commenced in October. The<br />

campaign's objectives are to increase<br />

awareness, encourage collaboration,<br />

and establish a future where occupational<br />

safety and health continue to be<br />

a top priority alongside technological<br />

advancement.<br />

With 93% of workers in large companies<br />

and 85% in micro companies using<br />

digital devices, this campaign addresses<br />

the evolving dynamics of work, emphasising<br />

the imperative of ensuring safety<br />

and health in a human-centred digital<br />

transformation.<br />

As Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud<br />

computing, and collaborative robots<br />

become integral to work processes, the<br />

very nature of work is transforming.<br />

The campaign recognises the potential<br />

for improved occupational safety<br />

and health (OSH) while confronting<br />

emerging risks in this rapidly evolving<br />

environment, EU-OSHA says in a statement.<br />

– The world of work has seen a huge<br />

transformation in recent years, with the<br />

rise of digital technologies, algorithmic<br />

management and remote working. It<br />

is essential to strike the right balance:<br />

as we reap the benefits of the digital<br />

age, we must also make sure we don’t<br />

compromise on the human-cantered<br />

approach, Nicolas Schmit, European<br />

Commissioner for Jobs and Social<br />

Rights, declared.<br />

The campaign will explore five priority<br />

areas over the next two years: digital<br />

platform work, automation of tasks,<br />

remote and hybrid work, worker management<br />

through Artificial Intelligence<br />

and smart digital systems.<br />

– This campaign will help drive a<br />

digital transformation of the world of<br />

work that is fair and leaves no one behind,<br />

spreading knowledge about digital<br />

solutions that represent opportunities<br />

for companies and workers, Joaquín<br />

Pérez Rey, interim secretary of State<br />

for Employment and Social Economy<br />

of Spain and representing the Spanish<br />

Presidency of the EU Council, added.<br />

This edition seeks to enhance awareness<br />

of the impact of digital transformation<br />

on OSH and encourage a safe and<br />

productive use of digital technologies<br />

across diverse sectors and workplaces.<br />

It also aims to foster collaboration<br />

among stakeholders, providing resources<br />

and promoting proactive risk assessment<br />

for a secure and efficient digital<br />

transformation of work.<br />

– As Europe’s digital transformation<br />

steams ahead, its impact on businesses<br />

and workers is far from being fully<br />

understood. There’s an urgent need to<br />

grasp the opportunities and identify<br />

the risks of digitalisation to maximise<br />

the benefits of these new technologies<br />

for safe, healthy and productive workplaces,<br />

William Cockburn Salazar,<br />

Executive Director of the European<br />

Agency for Safety and Health at Work<br />

(EU-OSHA), said.<br />

8 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>

Google Cloud<br />

Cybersecurity<br />

Forecast for<br />

2024 now<br />

published<br />

GIS<br />

Next<br />

Generation<br />

EAM<br />

PdM<br />

Mobile<br />

AIP<br />

BI<br />

PPM<br />

WHAT WILL CYBERSECURITY look like in 2024? Google<br />

Cloud Global Cybersecurity Forecast found that generative<br />

AI can help attackers and defenders and urged security<br />

personnel to look out for nation-state backed attacks and<br />

more.<br />

— While new technologies will aid security teams, they<br />

can also expand the cyber-attack surface, a recently published<br />

Google Cloud Cybersecurity Forecast 2024 report<br />

predicts. In 2024, the rapidly evolving world of gen AI will<br />

provide attackers with new ways to conduct convincing<br />

phishing campaigns and information operations at scale.<br />

However, defenders will use the same technologies to<br />

strengthen detection, response, and attribution of adversaries.<br />

According to the report, in 2024, continued activity by<br />

The Big Four—China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran—can be<br />

expected as they conduct espionage, cybercrime, information<br />

operations, and other campaigns to achieve their individual<br />

goals. With many organisations becoming better at<br />

security, many of these attacks will involve techniques to<br />

evade detection, including use of zero-day vulnerabilities<br />

and the targeting of edge devices, the report reveals.<br />

– Everyone should be prepared for global activity<br />

around the myriad major events held throughout 2024,<br />

including the U.S., European Parliament, and other elections,<br />

as well as the Summer Olympics in Paris, the report warns.<br />

– Additionally, as major global conflicts continue into<br />

next year, be prepared for an uptick in disruptive hacktivism,<br />

it adds.<br />

BIM<br />

AI<br />

APM<br />

Many companies use their Enterprise Asset Management<br />

(EAM) system mainly as an electronic card index or a<br />

digital work order system, unaware of the possibilities it<br />

has for Asset Management. EAM Systems like Maximo,<br />

IFS Ultimo, HxGN EAM and SAP EAM have evolved<br />

tremendously. They now offer functionalities for Asset<br />

Investment Planning, Project Portfolio Management,<br />

Asset Performance Management, Business Intelligence<br />

and Predictive Maintenance. Major steps have also been<br />

taken in the field of Mobile, GIS and BIM integration.<br />

Are you ready for Next Generation EAM?<br />

Our VDM XL experts can assist you with further<br />

professionalisation and automation of your Maintenance<br />

& Asset Management organisation.<br />


In Short<br />

Lithium-ion battery demand soars, projected<br />

to reach 4.7 TWh by 2030 boosted<br />

by a shift toward green energy and electric<br />

mobility. Research and Markets<br />

Finnish cleantech company<br />

SpinDrive raises €3.8M to cut<br />

industrial energy waste and pollution<br />

with magnetic levitation bearings<br />

Finnish cleantech company<br />

SpinDrive has secured €3.8<br />

million in Series A funding<br />

led by Rhapsody Venture<br />

Partners, with participation<br />

from existing investors Innovestor and<br />

Born2Grow. The funds will support<br />

global expansion and the development<br />

of new Active Magnetic Bearings.<br />

SpinDrive aims to enhance global<br />

industrial machinery efficiency by providing<br />

affordable, frictionless magnetic<br />

levitation bearings as an alternative to<br />

traditional, high-maintenance options.<br />

SpinDrive's technology offers smaller,<br />

more energy-efficient bearings with<br />

up to 20 years of maintenance-free<br />

operation, reducing downtime and<br />

costs. Additionally, the lubricant-free<br />

operation helps eliminate pollution,<br />

contributing to cutting 500Mt of CO2<br />

annually by 2050. The company has<br />

raised a total of €8 million to date and<br />

has a global presence with offices in<br />

Finland and Germany.<br />

Meanwhile, traditional ball bearings<br />

in industrial high-speed applications<br />

have a 12-18 month maintenance cycle,<br />

requiring bearing replacement. Spin-<br />

Drive's bearings also provide condition<br />

monitoring and predictive maintenance<br />

of the whole machine, removing<br />

the need to install external sensors to<br />

monitor system health and reducing<br />

overall equipment maintenance costs<br />

by over 80%, the company says in a<br />

statement.<br />

– We have seen increasing international<br />

demand for more energy<br />

efficiency and cleaner solutions in<br />

industrial production, and we are excited<br />

to build SpinDrive to meet those<br />

customer needs with our active magnetic<br />

bearing systems and controllers.<br />

With its specialization in industrial<br />

Traditional ball<br />

bearings in industrial<br />

high-speed applications<br />

have a 12-18 month<br />

maintenance cycle.<br />

technologies and global reach into industrial<br />

companies, Rhapsody Venture<br />

Partners is an ideal partner for us, and<br />

we're thrilled to be working with them,<br />

says Nikita Uzhegov, COO and Cofounder<br />

of SpinDrive.<br />

– Climate change is the biggest<br />

challenge of our time, but we often<br />

get stuck thinking about technologies<br />

like carbon capture when it comes to<br />

CO2 emissions. Industrial production<br />

is a massive part of the world's energy<br />

consumption and climate emissions,<br />

so we must create energy-efficient<br />

and clean components to turn this<br />

tide. By improving the energy efficiency<br />

in existing and new machinery,<br />

we tackle the problem in a massive<br />

area and provide a significant impact,<br />

adds Janne Heikkinen, CEO and Cofounder<br />

of SpinDrive.<br />

10 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>

CONMONSense<br />

Standalone, Permanent Mount, Ultrasound Sensors<br />

Enhance your remote condition monitoring<br />

capabilities with the CONMONSense range.<br />

Ultrasound sensors designed for easy integration<br />

into a variety of acquisition systems to suit<br />

your specific application needs.<br />

The CONMONSense range includes standalone sensors<br />

with both 4-20mA and 0-10V standard output.<br />

Contact<br />

Airborne open<br />

Airborne enclosed<br />

Ultrasound Soluons



Maintaining the Future:<br />

Industry 5.0 Triumphs Over<br />

Industry 4.0’s Challenges<br />


The concept of Industry 4.0, while initially<br />

promising, encountered various<br />

challenges and limitations that ultimately<br />

led to its partial failure. Despite<br />

its emphasis on automation, data<br />

exchange, and manufacturing technologies,<br />

it often overlooked the human<br />

element, neglecting the crucial role of<br />

workers in the production process. Concerns<br />

also arose about its environmental<br />

sustainability and societal impact, highlighting<br />

the need for a more holistic approach<br />

to industrial development.<br />

The emerging concept of Industry<br />

5.0 represents a significant departure<br />

from traditional industrial models, emphasizing<br />

a holistic approach to production<br />

that prioritizes human-centricity,<br />

sustainability, and resilience. While<br />

the exact implications and disruptions<br />

of Industry 5.0 remain uncertain, recognition<br />

of its potential to bridge the<br />

gap between the physical and virtual<br />

worlds is growing. In this context, Industry<br />

5.0 embodies a broader purpose<br />

that extends beyond profit generation.<br />

It underscores the need for industrial<br />

practices to align with societal and environmental<br />

considerations, emphasizing<br />

responsible innovation that benefits all<br />

stakeholders, including investors, workers,<br />

consumers, and the environment.<br />

A key facet of Industry 5.0 is its<br />

human-centric approach, which places<br />

human needs and interests at the<br />

forefront of the production process.<br />

This approach leverages technology<br />

to accommodate the requirements<br />

of workers, ensuring their well-being<br />

and fundamental rights are upheld.<br />

Sustainability is another critical tenet,<br />

necessitating the implementation of circular<br />

processes and resource-efficient<br />

technologies to reduce waste and environmental<br />

impact. Resilience also plays<br />

a vital role in Industry 5.0, advocating<br />

for the development of robust industrial<br />

systems that can withstand disruptions<br />

and support critical infrastructure, particularly<br />

in times of crisis. The concept<br />

promotes the establishment of adaptable<br />

production capacities and flexible<br />

business processes, fostering a resilient<br />

and crisis-ready industrial landscape.<br />

Ultimately, Industry 5.0 is defined by<br />

its commitment to societal goals, prior-<br />

12 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


itizing the well-being of industry workers<br />

and ensuring environmentally sustainable<br />

production practices that align with<br />

the planet's natural boundaries. The transition<br />

to Industry 5.0 promises a wealth of<br />

benefits not only for companies but also<br />

for workers. Benefits span the spectrum<br />

from enhanced talent attraction and<br />

retention to improved energy efficiency<br />

and heightened overall resilience.<br />

There are some possible dangers<br />

inherent to the shift. Industry needs to<br />

ensure sustained competitiveness and<br />

relevance by adapting to evolving global<br />

markets and societal shifts. While there<br />

might be a short-term risk of temporarily<br />

losing competitiveness to those not<br />

yet embracing Industry 5.0, strategic<br />

timing and coordinated investments can<br />

help mitigate this potential setback. The<br />

most significant peril is the failure to engage<br />

with the broader societal transition<br />

towards sustainability, human-centricity,<br />

and resilience, risking competitiveness<br />

in the long run.<br />


Industry 5.0 represents a paradigm shift<br />

that addresses the concerns and challenges<br />

associated with the concept of the<br />

‘dark factory’, one where humans are<br />

not needed. By prioritizing the humancentric<br />

approach, Industry 5.0 integrates<br />

advanced technologies to enhance the<br />

capabilities and well-being of workers,<br />

thereby dispelling the notion of a dark,<br />

automated workplace devoid of human<br />

presence. This shift towards Industry 5.0<br />

represents a profound transformation<br />

in perspective, with a notable shift from<br />

a technology-driven to a human-centric<br />

approach. This necessitates the incorporation<br />

of societal constraints, ensuring<br />

no one is left behind. Consequently, the<br />

industrial sector must establish a secure<br />

and empowering work environment, respect<br />

human rights, and develop specific<br />

skill sets for workers.<br />

Withing the framework of Industry<br />

5.0, the industry worker assumes a significantly<br />

elevated position, viewed not<br />

as an expense but as an investment in<br />

the company's growth. This reorientation<br />

necessitates a commitment to<br />

the advancement of employee skills,<br />

capabilities, and well-being, signalling a<br />

departure from the traditional practice<br />

of balancing worker costs with financial<br />

revenues. Moreover, it underscores the<br />

critical role of technology in serving the<br />

diverse needs of industry workers, empowering<br />

them and fostering an inclusive<br />

work environment. Addressing workplace<br />

safety and inclusivity, Industry 5.0<br />

leverages advancements in robotics and<br />

AI to mitigate physical risks and streamline<br />

complex tasks, thereby reducing<br />

workplace accidents. Technologies like<br />

AI, virtual and augmented reality, and<br />

wearables also contribute to safeguarding<br />

workers' mental health, emphasizing<br />

the importance of maintaining a balance<br />

between work and well-being.<br />

A key area where Industry 5.0 yields<br />

significant benefits is in attracting and<br />

retaining skilled talent. Given the challenges<br />

of filling positions that demand<br />

digital and multi-disciplinary skills, the<br />

focus on accommodating the preferences<br />

and values of the millennial workforce<br />

is crucial. Research has found the millennial<br />

generation is more inclined towards<br />

socially responsible and environmentally<br />

conscious companies, prioritizing<br />

workplace environments that align with<br />

their values and offer a sense of purpose.<br />

Companies need to adapt their practices,<br />

fostering a culture of social responsibility<br />

and sustainability to remain competitive<br />

in the hiring market.<br />


The 5.0 concept involves leveraging<br />

innovative green technologies, driven<br />

not only by environmental concerns<br />

but also by the potential for enhanced<br />

corporate image and cost savings on<br />

energy and materials. While industrial<br />

production often demands more energy<br />

and contributes to increased carbon<br />

emissions, innovations and smarter<br />

production planning can reverse this<br />

trend. Despite notable improvements in<br />

From Steam to Smart: Tracing the Evolution from Industry 1.0 to 5.0 and the Synergy<br />

of Human Expertise with Intelligent Machines.<br />

Maintenance 5.0, within the context of Industry 5.0, is characterized by three pillars:<br />

sustainability, human-centricity, and resilience. These pillars redefine maintenance<br />

practices to integrate environmental responsibility, empower human expertise through<br />

advanced technologies, and ensure adaptability in the face of disruptions.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 13


energy efficiency across various sectors,<br />

the pace of progress in energy-intensive<br />

industries has recently slowed, necessitating<br />

more targeted research and innovation<br />

efforts in this domain.<br />


Industry 5.0 champions increased resilience<br />

in the face of disruptive changes,<br />

both geopolitical and environmental.<br />

By fostering adaptive strategies at various<br />

levels of value chains and industrial<br />

systems, industry players can manage<br />

vulnerabilities and minimize the<br />

impacts of unforeseen circumstances.<br />

Leveraging digital technologies, such as<br />

real-time risk monitoring and cybersecurity<br />

measures, can bolster industry<br />

resilience, ensuring smooth operations<br />

even in the face of technical disruptions<br />

and cyber threats. The emphasis on resilience<br />

is growing, particularly in light<br />

of the disruptions caused by the pandemic<br />

and the intensifying frequency<br />

of extreme weather events attributed to<br />

climate change.<br />


The shift from Maintenance 4.0 to<br />

Maintenance 5.0 mirrors the broader<br />

transition occurring in the industrial<br />

landscape. Maintenance 4.0 focuses on<br />

the integration of digital technologies,<br />

such as the Internet of Things (IoT),<br />

data analytics, and predictive maintenance,<br />

to optimize industrial maintenance<br />

processes. It emphasizes the use<br />

of advanced data-driven techniques<br />

and automation to enhance equipment<br />

reliability and reduce downtime. Maintenance<br />

5.0 takes this a step farther by<br />

incorporating a more human-centric<br />

approach, aligning with the principles<br />

of Industry 5.0. Maintenance 5.0 also<br />

prioritizes sustainability and resilience<br />

in maintenance operations. This shift is<br />

critical in the face of the dual challenges<br />

posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and<br />

the escalating impact of climate change.<br />

As Maintenance 5.0 increasingly aligns<br />

with sustainable and resilient principles,<br />

it will become a cornerstone for ensuring<br />

the long-term viability and adaptability<br />

of industrial processes, mitigating<br />

the adverse impacts of global crises<br />

on operational efficiency and overall<br />

productivity.<br />


Maintenance 5.0 goes beyond the<br />

traditional focus on machines and processes<br />

to prioritize the well-being and<br />

involvement of maintenance workers.<br />

This approach acknowledges the critical<br />

role of human expertise in maintaining<br />

industrial systems and promotes the<br />

integration of workers into the digitalized<br />

maintenance ecosystem. It aims to<br />

empower workers through the use of<br />

innovative technologies, offering them<br />

opportunities for skill development,<br />

greater autonomy, and involvement in<br />

the decision-making process. It also ensures<br />

a safe and inclusive work environment,<br />

utilizing technologies to mitigate<br />

workplace risks and prioritize workers'<br />

physical and mental well-being.<br />


Maintenance 5.0, as an evolution of the<br />

maintenance paradigm, emphasizes the<br />

integration of sustainability principles<br />

within its framework. It recognizes that<br />

maintenance practices play a vital role<br />

in achieving sustainable development<br />

goals, aligning with the broader efforts<br />

to minimize environmental impact,<br />

conserve resources, and promote social<br />

well-being. The concept of sustainability<br />

within Maintenance 5.0 underscores<br />

the adoption of sustainable practices,<br />

such as resource-efficient maintenance<br />

processes and circular economy principles,<br />

to optimize resource utilization<br />

and minimize environmental impact. By<br />

implementing predictive and preventive<br />

maintenance strategies, industries can<br />

reduce unnecessary waste and conserve<br />

energy, thereby contributing to the<br />

global efforts towards sustainable development.<br />

The sustainability dimension of<br />

Maintenance 5.0 encompasses the following<br />

key aspects:<br />

• Environmental impact reduction:<br />

Maintenance 5.0 emphasizes the adoption<br />

of eco-friendly practices to reduce<br />

the environmental footprint of industrial<br />

processes. This includes the efficient<br />

use of resources, waste reduction,<br />

and the implementation of sustainable<br />

technologies that contribute to a circular<br />

economy.<br />

• Energy efficiency: Sustainable maintenance<br />

practices focus on optimizing<br />

energy consumption and minimizing<br />

the carbon footprint of industrial<br />

operations. This involves the use of<br />

energy-efficient technologies, the adoption<br />

of renewable energy sources, and<br />

the implementation of energy manage-<br />

14 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


ment systems to reduce overall energy<br />

consumption.<br />

• Lifecycle management: Maintenance<br />

5.0 promotes the concept of lifecycle<br />

management, which involves considering<br />

the entire lifecycle of assets and<br />

equipment. This approach integrates<br />

sustainable practices throughout the<br />

asset lifecycle, from design and production<br />

to operation, maintenance, and<br />

eventual decommissioning or recycling.<br />

• Circular economy integration:<br />

Maintenance 5.0 actively supports the<br />

integration of circular economy principles<br />

within industrial maintenance<br />

processes. This involves extending the<br />

life of assets through effective maintenance,<br />

refurbishment, and reuse, as well<br />

as promoting the recycling and repurposing<br />

of materials and components to<br />

minimize waste and resource depletion.<br />

By incorporating these sustainability dimensions,<br />

Maintenance 5.0 not only enhances<br />

operational efficiency and asset<br />

performance but also contributes to the<br />

overall sustainability goals of organizations,<br />

aligning with global efforts to promote<br />

environmentally responsible and<br />

socially conscious industrial practices.<br />


There is a clear need for resilient maintenance<br />

strategies that can swiftly adapt<br />

to changing circumstances and address<br />

disruptions in the industrial landscape,<br />

thus ensuring the continuous and reliable<br />

operation of critical infrastructure,<br />

even during unforeseen crises. Simply<br />

stated, resilience in Maintenance 5.0 refers<br />

to the ability of industrial organizations<br />

to anticipate, adapt to, and recover<br />

from various disruptions and challenges<br />

that may arise within their operational<br />

environment. It emphasizes the implementation<br />

of proactive strategies and<br />

advanced technologies to ensure the<br />

continuous and efficient functioning<br />

of critical assets, even in the face of unexpected<br />

events or adverse conditions.<br />

Resilience is crucial to maintain operational<br />

stability, minimize downtime, and<br />

sustain productivity, thereby enabling<br />

organizations to remain competitive<br />

and sustainable in the long run.<br />

Some key aspects related to resilience<br />

in Maintenance 5.0 are the following:<br />

• Predictive and preventive maintenance:<br />

By integrating predictive<br />

maintenance techniques, such as condition<br />

monitoring, data analytics, and<br />

real-time asset performance tracking,<br />

organizations can proactively identify<br />

potential equipment failures or<br />

operational inefficiencies before they<br />

escalate into significant disruptions.<br />

Implementing preventive maintenance<br />

protocols based on predictive insights<br />

allows companies to address issues<br />

early, minimizing the risk of costly<br />

downtime and ensuring the uninterrupted<br />

operation of critical assets.<br />

• Risk management and contingency<br />

planning: Effective risk management<br />

is a fundamental component of resilient<br />

maintenance practices. Organizations<br />

need to identify potential vulnerabilities<br />

within their operational processes<br />

and develop comprehensive contingency<br />

plans to mitigate the impact of<br />

unforeseen events, such as natural<br />

disasters, supply chain disruptions, or<br />

technological failures. By establishing<br />

robust risk assessment frameworks<br />

and implementing adaptive strategies,<br />

companies can enhance their ability to<br />

respond to and recover from various<br />

operational challenges while maintaining<br />

overall system resilience.<br />

Maintenance 5.0<br />

emphasizes the adoption<br />

of eco-friendly<br />

practices to reduce<br />

the environmental<br />

footprint of industrial<br />

processes.<br />

• Data-driven decision-making: By<br />

leveraging advanced data analytics and<br />

intelligent automation, Maintenance 5.0<br />

enables organizations to make informed<br />

and data-driven decisions regarding<br />

asset management and maintenance<br />

strategies. By harnessing the power of<br />

Big Data and AI-driven insights, companies<br />

can optimize maintenance schedules,<br />

streamline repair processes, and<br />

prioritize resource allocation, thereby<br />

enhancing the overall resilience of their<br />

maintenance operations. Data-driven<br />

decision-making empowers organizations<br />

to respond swiftly to changing<br />

operational conditions and proactively<br />

address emerging maintenance needs.<br />

• Adaptive and flexible maintenance<br />

processes: Resilience in Maintenance<br />

5.0 emphasizes the development of<br />

adaptive and flexible maintenance processes<br />

that can accommodate evolving<br />

operational requirements and changing<br />

environmental conditions. By fostering a<br />

culture of continuous improvement and<br />

agility, organizations can optimize their<br />

maintenance strategies in response to<br />

dynamic market demands, technological<br />

advancements, and regulatory changes.<br />

Implementing agile maintenance methodologies<br />

enables companies to swiftly<br />

adapt to new challenges and opportunities,<br />

ensuring the efficient and sustainable<br />

operation of their assets.<br />

• Technology integration for<br />

enhanced resilience: Leveraging<br />

advanced technologies, such as IoT<br />

devices, digital twins, and cloud-based<br />

monitoring systems, enables organizations<br />

to build resilient maintenance<br />

frameworks that facilitate real-time<br />

asset tracking, remote diagnostics, and<br />

predictive maintenance scheduling.<br />

Integrating smart sensors and interconnected<br />

systems within industrial<br />

facilities enhances the overall visibility<br />

and control of critical assets, enabling<br />

organizations to proactively identify<br />

potential issues and swiftly address<br />

them, thereby minimizing the risk of<br />

operational disruptions and ensuring<br />

continuous asset reliability.<br />

By incorporating these key aspects,<br />

organizations can strengthen their resilience<br />

in Maintenance 5.0, fostering a robust<br />

operational framework capable of<br />

withstanding challenges and uncertainties<br />

while ensuring the sustainable and<br />

efficient functioning of critical assets.<br />


Overall, the shift from Maintenance 4.0<br />

to Maintenance 5.0 represents a transformational<br />

journey from data-driven<br />

and automated maintenance practices<br />

to a more holistic approach that<br />

integrates the well-being of workers,<br />

sustainability, and resilience into the<br />

core of maintenance operations. By embracing<br />

Maintenance 5.0, industries can<br />

ensure the optimal performance of their<br />

equipment and the empowerment and<br />

safety of their maintenance workforce,<br />

while contributing to a more sustainable<br />

and adaptable industrial ecosystem. In<br />

essence, the comprehensive adoption of<br />

Industry 5.0 principles in Maintenance<br />

5.0 can pave the way for a sustainable<br />

and adaptive industrial landscape, not<br />

only providing economic benefits but also<br />

promoting environmental consciousness<br />

and societal well-being.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 15


Text: PETER BOON, Product Specialist, UE Systems Images: UE SYSTEMS<br />

Bearing Lubrication 4.0:<br />

Autonomous and Smart lubrication<br />

assisted by ultrasound<br />

It is estimated that 60-80% of bearing failures are related to lubrication. Bearing failures very<br />

often lead to unplanned downtime, which often has a significant impact on production and related<br />

equipment. This downtime is maby times very costly. Although the costs vary according to the<br />

severity of the incident and the industry in question, they do add up to production costs.<br />

Example of a lubrication monitoring dashboard - UE Insights Platform<br />

from UESystems.<br />

The most frequent cause of bearing<br />

failure is directly linked to lubrication,<br />

so this is a real probme. Its impact on<br />

the reliability of industrial equipment is<br />

well established! The facts show that, for<br />

many years, the lubrication of bearings<br />

has been treated more randomly than in<br />

a methodical and controlled way.<br />

Many technicians have resorted<br />

to 'preventive' lubrication based on<br />

time: lubricating at a fixed period<br />

of time without any physical measurement<br />

of the bearing in order to<br />

determine whether or not lubricating<br />

is required! Every X months, a grease<br />

gun appears in front of the bearing<br />

to be lubricated and the bearings are<br />

lubricated in this way.<br />

Manual lubrication, based solely on<br />

the manufacturer's lubrication interval<br />

data, gives rise to at least the following<br />

two risks:<br />

• The risk of under-lubrication<br />

increases the mechanical constraints<br />

of rotation and can be the cause of<br />

failures leading to equipment breakdowns<br />

and stoppages, as well as<br />

costly corrective maintenance.<br />

• The risk of over-lubrication, which<br />

has been identified by a large number<br />

of studies as the main cause of<br />

premature bearing failure.<br />

Principle of Ultrasound<br />

technology applied in<br />

lubrication :<br />

Ultrasonic technology uses specially<br />

designed sensors to detect and monitor the<br />

level of friction in bearings.<br />

In the case of lubrication, the ultrasonic<br />

level detected by a sensor in contact<br />

with the bearing is directly linked to the<br />

friction level of the bearings. From this<br />

point onwards, the maintenance engineer<br />

responsible for lubricating bearings has<br />

two choices:<br />

• Manual lubrication, using a simple<br />

hand-held tool to listen to the bearings<br />

during the lubrication operation;<br />

16 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


• The installation of an autonomous,<br />

ultrasonic-assisted lubrication<br />

system to carry out this operation<br />

safely, efficiently and without human<br />

intervention.<br />

Lubrication 4.0: autonomous,<br />

ultrasound-assisted lubrication<br />

A fully autonomous lubrication system<br />

completely replaces human intervention<br />

for lubrication operations. It is an intelligent<br />

lubrication and monitoring system,<br />

reducing bearing failures caused by poor<br />

lubrication practices by 80%.<br />

How does it work?<br />

Using ultrasound, this system measures<br />

bearing friction levels in real<br />

time. It enables lubrication problems<br />

and requirements to be detected at an<br />

early stage, well before the bearings<br />

are damaged.<br />

By using bearing friction as a guide,<br />

the system enables bearings that<br />

require lubrication to be precisely lubricated<br />

with the right amount of lubricant,<br />

avoiding over- and under-lubrication.<br />

As the friction level is measured<br />

continuously and in real time, even<br />

during lubrication, the system will stop<br />

lubricating on its own as soon as the<br />

friction level has dropped to its reference<br />

value.<br />

This totally autonomous system<br />

means that only the bearings that need<br />

lubrication will be lubricated, when<br />

they need it and with the right amount<br />

of lubricant.<br />

Ultrasonic technology for intelligent<br />

lubrication offers a number of<br />

advantages:<br />

• Know precisely when to lubricate<br />

• Know precisely how much lubricant<br />

to apply<br />

• Always use the right type of lubricant<br />

• Eliminate the risk of lubricant contamination<br />

• Reduce lubricating time and resources<br />

Example of bearing lubrication using a<br />

manual hand-held tool.<br />

Example of autonomous lubricators<br />

controlled by ultrasound<br />

Example of remote autonomous single<br />

point lubricators controlled by ultrasound<br />

A fully autonomous<br />

lubrication system completely<br />

replaces human<br />

intervention for lubrication<br />

operations.<br />

• Reduce lubricating time<br />

• Reduce lubricating resources<br />

• Reduce lubricant consumption<br />

• Reduce failure rates<br />

Finally, it should be noted that such a solution<br />

will provide software-based, permanent,<br />

real-time monitoring of lubrication<br />

practices. For example, for the OnTrak, we<br />

have the UE Insights: a Cloud platform for<br />

storing and monitoring remote data. This<br />

fully customisable platform stores all data<br />

relating to the condition and lubrication of<br />

bearings. It can be used to create monitoring<br />

dashboards and set alarm levels. Users<br />

can choose to use pre-configured dashboards<br />

and widgets, or create their own<br />

indicators. This is a web-based platform<br />

that requires no software installation and<br />

can be consulted from any type of device<br />

connected to the internet: desktop PC, laptop,<br />

tablet, smartphone, etc.<br />

Conclusion<br />

From a time-based periodic lubrication<br />

perspective, it is assumed that bearings<br />

need to be lubricated at regular, fixed time<br />

intervals. The question then becomes: how<br />

can these time intervals be established?<br />

This is often a combination of manufacturer's<br />

data, valid for general cases, or for<br />

bearings mounted on manufacturer's test<br />

benches, and approximations based on<br />

empirical experience of the same type of<br />

equipment.<br />

By using ultrasonic technology, lubrication<br />

technicians will be able to know which<br />

bearings to lubricate, when to lubricate them<br />

and how much lubricant to use.<br />

These three pieces of information,<br />

especially if delivered in real time and for<br />

each bearing to be lubricated, will make it<br />

possible to considerably improve lubrication<br />

practices, reduce lubrication times<br />

and the ammount of lubricant consumed,<br />

as well as drastically reducing bearing<br />

breakdown rates.<br />

The benefits of an Ultrasound<br />

Assisted Lubrication 4.0<br />

solution<br />

• Easy to install and use<br />

• Multiple connection capabilities:<br />

Ethernet, Wi-Fi, 4G,5G<br />

• Compatibility with existing systems<br />

and software<br />

• Identify lubricating needs early on<br />

• Lubricate as required<br />

• Drastically improve bearing life<br />

• Avoid over- and under-lubricating<br />

A condition-based lubrication approach will keep bearing friction at minimum levels.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 17

HSE<br />

Make gas detection<br />

a pillar of your<br />

ESG strategy<br />

Robust environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies have become integral to day-to-day<br />

operations. Functioning as more than just a risk management exercise, ESG is not something<br />

that modern companies can afford to neglect. From investors using ESG strategies to evaluate<br />

potential investments to assuring the public that they are acting responsibly, companies that<br />

prioritise their ESG goals demonstrate that they care about their people and the planet and<br />

may also enjoy greater profits, as data shows that those with long-established ESG policies<br />

have outperformed their competitors. [1]<br />

Text: MARK NAPLES, General Manager, Umicore Coating Services Images: STOCKPHOTO<br />

18 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>

HSE<br />

Understandably given the<br />

current international<br />

focus on sustainability,<br />

the environmental part of<br />

ESG policies can at times<br />

feel like it has received the lion's share<br />

of attention. With more sustainable<br />

business operations increasingly under<br />

the spotlight, controlling greenhouse<br />

gases and other harmful emissions<br />

represents an eye-catching way for<br />

companies to show that they are making<br />

a difference, and a wide range of<br />

technologies have been developed to<br />

help achieve these goals.<br />

But it is important to remember that<br />

environmentalism is just one pillar of<br />

any effective ESG strategy. While requirements<br />

like workplace safety may<br />

not get the same attention in the media,<br />

they are just as important for demonstrating<br />

ESG credentials. Any company<br />

operating today needs measures in<br />

place for protecting their employees –<br />

and this starts with achieving a healthy<br />

working environment.<br />


Air pollution is one of those issues<br />

where it can be difficult to see the consequences<br />

until it is too late. Air quality<br />

is one of the leading causes of death<br />

worldwide and is linked to conditions<br />

like lung cancer and dementia. In the<br />

UK alone, up to 36,000 deaths are attributed<br />

to long-term exposure to air<br />

pollution each year. [2]<br />

From industrial gases to harmful<br />

particles like black carbon, ammonia,<br />

nitrates, and sulphates, the list of pollutants<br />

that workers may be exposed to<br />

through accidental leaks is extensive.<br />

When such a leak occurs, the ensuing<br />

threat to wellbeing requires immediate<br />

action to prevent catastrophe.<br />

Not only can leaks cause death or<br />

other long-term health conditions,<br />

businesses that are seen to be complacent<br />

in this area risk regulatory penalties<br />

and reputational damage. What's<br />

more, they may end up losing ground<br />

in a competitive market. Investors frequently<br />

use ESG compliance to evaluate<br />

potential investments, and companies<br />

that are seen as uncaring about the<br />

environment or employee health and<br />

wellbeing could become a PR disaster,<br />

and so represent a risky investment.<br />

However, addressing this problem<br />

can be easier said than done. Gas leaks<br />

are by nature accidental, and many of<br />

ESG. Three small<br />

letters that have major<br />

implications for any<br />

business.<br />

these substances are colourless and<br />

odourless, rendering them impossible<br />

to detect without specialist equipment.<br />

Taking pollutants out of the air<br />

therefore requires companies to start<br />

improving their data.<br />

Information is the key to identifying<br />

and addressing problems before they<br />

become a serious threat to employee<br />

health and wellbeing. Early detection<br />

can enable companies to address leaks<br />

before the threat becomes severe,<br />

informing preventative maintenance<br />

strategies, safeguarding employee<br />

health, and protecting a business's<br />

reputation. Actively monitoring for<br />

dangerous gases should therefore be<br />

the first step towards mitigating the risk<br />

that is posed.<br />

Collecting this information requires<br />

companies to have access to intelligent<br />

sensing technology. Without these systems<br />

in place, businesses lack the data<br />

they need to inform their ESG policies,<br />

preventing them from effectively protecting<br />

their people.<br />

The case here is clear: in today's<br />

workplace, gas detection systems are no<br />

longer just 'nice to have'. This technology<br />

is essential for protecting employee<br />

health and should form a core part of<br />

any worthwhile ESG strategy.<br />



Thankfully, modern sensor technology<br />

means industry professionals have access<br />

to a broader range of gas detection<br />

systems than ever. These technologies,<br />

once limited to specialist applications,<br />

are becoming increasingly affordable<br />

and accessible, and are bringing connected<br />

gas detection to a wide range of<br />

sectors.<br />

This range of choices means that<br />

when selecting a gas detector, organisations<br />

must consider what is right for<br />

their business. Fixed detectors may<br />

be more appropriate in environments<br />

where the threat from gas is serious and<br />

ongoing. In more fast-paced industries,<br />

personal or handheld devices may be<br />

more appropriate, enabling staff to<br />

identify dangerous gas concentrations<br />

during spot checks. However, these<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 19

HSE<br />

The focus<br />

on ESG compliance<br />

is not going away<br />

any time soon.<br />

must be balanced against the fact that<br />

they rely on individuals using them correctly<br />

at the required time, risking introducing<br />

human error into the process.<br />

Another avenue for gas detection<br />

is presented by laser absorption spectroscopy.<br />

Offering high sensitivity, reliability,<br />

and fast response times, laserbased<br />

sensing is becoming increasingly<br />

popular for gas detection and analysis<br />

applications.<br />

This popularity is due to the unique<br />

properties of infrared (IR) light for gas<br />

detection applications. IR wavelengths<br />

are particularly well suited for gas detection<br />

and analysis due to how they<br />

interact with gas samples. Different<br />

gases have different absorption profiles,<br />

meaning that they absorb wavelengths<br />

of light in varying amounts.<br />

This information can be used to create<br />

a unique chemical fingerprint<br />

enabling gases to be identified. Many<br />

gases are particularly absorbent to IR<br />

wavelengths, making it easy to create<br />

detection devices that can identify gas<br />

with a sensitivity that extends to parts<br />

per billion.<br />

In laser absorption spectroscopy,<br />

an IR laser beam is passed through gas<br />

samples before reaching a sensor that<br />

converts the light into electrical signals.<br />

Monitoring the changes between the<br />

laser beam and the light that reaches the<br />

sensor can help to demonstrate the presence<br />

of a particular gas. These systems<br />

are also capable of continually monitoring<br />

for combustible gases and vapours<br />

within the lower explosive limit and provide<br />

alarm indications where necessary.<br />

Investing in systems like these can<br />

provide the pillar that a solid ESG<br />

strategy is built around. By enabling<br />

companies to quickly and accurately<br />

determine where leaks are occurring,<br />

preventative action can be taken that<br />

reduces the risk to staff and the environment<br />

alike.<br />


The focus on ESG compliance is not<br />

going away any time soon. To remain<br />

competitive, companies must actively<br />

demonstrate their commitment to<br />

wellbeing and the environment, by taking<br />

action to reduce their impact on<br />

the planet and protecting their people.<br />

These ESG programmes must be authentic<br />

and achievable, reflecting companies'<br />

own market positions, and be<br />

supported with a workplace culture that<br />

ensures safety is treated as a priority.<br />

Training and education are essential<br />

in ensuring workers can identify<br />

potential hazards and begin the process<br />

of addressing them. Staff must be<br />

coached and supported by a management<br />

team that genuinely cares about<br />

safety and is committed to ensuring<br />

gas detection data is collected and<br />

acted upon. Crucially, these cultures<br />

must be supported by state-of-the-art<br />

gas detection systems that make data<br />

accessible and enable appropriate precautionary<br />

actions. With a combined<br />

approach to air quality such as this, it<br />

is easier than ever to get on the path to<br />

delivering excellence in ESG.<br />

20 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


Text: GAUTHIER GHISLAIN, Marketing and Communication Assistant, SDT Ultrasound Solutions<br />


Mastering Ultrasound Monitoring with<br />

the CONMONSense Sensor Range:<br />

A Breakthrough in Asset Reliability<br />

For industrial maintenance and condition monitoring practitioners, precision and<br />

reliability are paramount. The SDT CONMONSense range of sensors is a game-changing<br />

solution, opening up a new era of ultrasound monitoring. With advanced technology and<br />

unparalleled features, these sensors provide a consistent, robust, and cost-effective means<br />

of tracking the health of your critical assets.<br />



The CONMONSense sensors are<br />

part of the SDT Ultrasound Solutions<br />

product family, introducing a set of<br />

heterodyned ultrasound sensors with a<br />

unique capability to detect vibroacoustic<br />

phenomena in the air or through<br />

solid mediums. What sets these sensors<br />

apart is their ability to provide direct<br />

audible signals, eliminating the need<br />

for specialized SDT handheld devices<br />

with higher sampling rates. This simplifies<br />

the monitoring process, making<br />

it more efficient and readily implementable<br />

in your organization.<br />

Embedded with analog electronics,<br />

the CONMONSense sensors perform<br />

the heterodyne process within the sensor<br />

itself. This design not only ensures<br />

compatibility with existing acquisition systems<br />

(with standard outputs) but also finetunes<br />

the sensor's response, making it easier<br />

to connect and integrate into your monitoring<br />

infrastructure.<br />

With a typical band-pass frequency range<br />

between 250 Hz to 4kHz, these sensors convert<br />

ultrasound signals into audible form,<br />

optimizing them for the human ear. The<br />

standardized analog outputs are easily interfaced<br />

with a wide range of acquisition systems,<br />

including the SDT VIGILANT, offering<br />

users the flexibility to choose between AC<br />

(signal) and DC (RMS only) modes, tailored<br />

to their specific applications.<br />



The CONMONSense sensors come in contact<br />

and airborne designs, each addressing<br />

specific measurement needs. Their robust<br />

build ensures they can be installed in the<br />

most challenging environments, boosting<br />

22 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


reliability while reducing downtime and<br />

maintenance costs. The contact sensors<br />

are ideal for continuous monitoring<br />

of critical assets like bearings, valves,<br />

steam traps, and hydraulic systems.<br />

In contrast, the airborne sensors,<br />

with varying IP ratings (IP65 and IP40),<br />

are tailored to accommodate the constraints<br />

of your specific environment,<br />

including inspecting electrical systems.<br />

In other words, they can be employed<br />

for monitoring assets suffering from abnormal<br />

friction, impact, and turbulence,<br />

which are telltale signs of distress or<br />

product quality issues. Whether you're<br />

monitoring the health of valves, steam<br />

traps, hydraulic systems, or even deploying<br />

ultrasound-driven lubrication, these<br />

sensors are your go-to solution.<br />

But the real beauty of CONMON-<br />

Sense sensors is their ability to be permanently<br />

installed on your most critical<br />

assets. For example, you can use CON-<br />

MONSense Airborne sensors to monitor<br />

potential partial discharge in electrical<br />

cabinets, adding a layer of safety and<br />

security to your operations.<br />



While the CONMONSense sensors<br />

share similarities with the SDT handheld<br />

device-compatible sensors, they<br />

stand out in terms of their signal measurement<br />

capabilities. The embedded<br />

electronics in the CONMONSense range<br />

enable advanced compatibility but have<br />

certain limitations when measuring<br />

weak signals. In cases where you need to<br />

acquire faint signals, sensors dedicated<br />

to SDT handheld instruments might be<br />

preferable, as they offer more capabilities<br />

in measuring weak signals.<br />



Analog sensors are pivotal in industrial<br />

applications, as they capture and transmit<br />

information in the form of electrical<br />

signals. The CONMONSense sensors<br />

offer a range of popular analog outputs,<br />

including 4-20 mA, 0-10 V, and IEPE.<br />

These outputs are compatible with acquisition<br />

systems equipped with voltage<br />

and/or current channels, making them<br />

highly versatile and cost-effective.<br />

In industrial applications, electrical<br />

noise can be a significant concern. The<br />

4-20 mA output standard, embraced<br />

by the CONMONSense sensors, excels<br />

in such scenarios. Its high immunity to<br />

electrical noise ensures accurate and<br />

consistent readings over long distances,<br />

even in harsh industrial environments<br />

where other signal types may falter.<br />



CONMONSense sensors are designed<br />

to provide both dynamic (AC) and<br />

static (DC) output modes. The dynamic<br />

mode delivers a continuous signal<br />

that oscillates around a bias voltage<br />

(in the case of voltage output) or bias<br />

current (in the case of current output).<br />

This signal, sampled at a minimum<br />

rate of 10 kHz, can be further postprocessed<br />

and analyzed to extract<br />

valuable information about the health<br />

of the asset being monitored. Spectral<br />

transformation techniques such as<br />

FFT or envelope FFT can highlight the<br />

most prominent frequencies and their<br />

amplitudes in a signal. On the other<br />

hand, statistical indicators like RMS<br />

(Root Mean Square), Peak Value, and<br />

Crest Factor are employed for tracking<br />

trends and triggering alarms.<br />

In the static mode (DC output),<br />

CONMONSense sensors provide RMS<br />

values representing ultrasound energy<br />

in the band-pass frequency. While this<br />

mode doesn't offer the same level of<br />

detailed information as the dynamic<br />

mode, it is valuable for tracking changes<br />

and trends over an extended period,<br />

making it an excellent tool for proactive<br />

maintenance.<br />


The choice between dynamic and<br />

static modes largely depends on your<br />

acquisition system's specifications and<br />

capabilities. A minimum sampling rate<br />

of 10 kHz is essential to avoid aliasing<br />

phenomenon and loss of information in<br />

the dynamic mode.<br />



They are numerous:<br />

• Ultrasound Measurement Simplified:<br />

Experience the easiest way to measure<br />

ultrasound signals, converted into<br />

audible form, and compatible with<br />

conventional acquisition systems.<br />

• Enhanced Efficiency: Real-time and<br />

accurate data provided by CON-<br />

MONSense sensors allow businesses<br />

to optimize processes, reduce waste,<br />

and enhance productivity.<br />

• Cost Savings: With affordability and<br />

extended compatibility, these sensors<br />

help organizations reduce operational<br />

costs and increase profitability.<br />

• Data-Driven Decision Making: These<br />

sensors provide valuable insights for<br />

informed decision-making and proactive<br />

maintenance strategies.<br />

• Scalability: With a complete range of<br />

options, CONMONSense sensors can<br />

easily integrate into existing systems,<br />

enabling scalable deployment across<br />

different industries and applications.<br />

• Simplified Implementation: Userfriendly<br />

interfaces and comprehensive<br />

documentation make installation<br />

and configuration a breeze, giving a<br />

"sixth sense" to your installations.<br />

In conclusion, SDT CONMONSense<br />

sensors are a technological marvel in the<br />

world of condition monitoring. Their advanced<br />

features, versatile design, and easy<br />

integration with existing systems make<br />

them a vital asset for organizations aiming<br />

to improve asset performance, reduce<br />

maintenance costs, and enhance reliability.<br />

The precision and consistency offered<br />

by these sensors empower you to take<br />

control of your assets' health and ensure<br />

the continued success of your operations.<br />

Download the CONMONSense Brochure<br />

by scanning the QR code below.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 23


Understanding<br />

casing distortion<br />

One of the most critical issues<br />

affecting rotating machines is<br />

casing distortion. This article<br />

delves into what casing distortion<br />

means, how it impacts machine<br />

performance, and why it is<br />

essential to address it in order to<br />

achieve reliable operation.<br />

Text: ROMAN MEGELA, Senior Reliability Engineer, Easy-Laser AB<br />

Images: EASY-LASER AB<br />

Casing distortion is not only one<br />

of the biggest problems for rotating<br />

machinery, but is also a very<br />

common one. But what does it<br />

actually mean? To explain it, we<br />

can use the famous analogy of a rocking table<br />

in the restaurant. This is a situation everybody<br />

can relate to. Due to an uneven floor or<br />

bad construction of the table, there is space<br />

24 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


When it comes<br />

to rotating equipment,<br />

precision is a necessity.<br />

under one leg which makes the whole table<br />

rock from one side to another. It is a problem<br />

that is easy to solve, just use a few napkins<br />

and the table will stay still.<br />

The same happens when placing rotating<br />

machinery on a foundation that is not flat.<br />

Most rotating equipment is designed to be<br />

installed on a flat surface. At the manufacturer<br />

site, all machine feet are milled to be<br />

in a perfectly flat plane. When placing the<br />

equipment on a non-flat foundation or uneven<br />

sole plates, it will reproduce that rocking<br />

situation we just mentioned. That is what we<br />

call “soft foot”.<br />

operate under designed loads. When casing<br />

distortion occurs, the shafts are put under<br />

strain and their positions change. That will<br />

affect the bearings by changing their designed<br />

load, and the rolling elements inside the<br />

bearing will move from designated race way.<br />

This is something that will seriously affect<br />

lubrication. The rolling elements of the bearing<br />

will push away the lubrication since there<br />

will be no space for it. Heat will build up and<br />

produce more thermal expansion of internal<br />

components, which will gradually reduce<br />

their gap until, inevitably, failure occurs.<br />

(Changing the designed loads in the bearings<br />

will reduce bearing life by as much as 50%.)<br />

Ensuring proper installation can make the<br />

difference between smooth operation and<br />

unexpected failure. As we have seen, all it<br />

takes is a minor gap to throw your machinery<br />

off balance. When it comes to rotating equipment,<br />

precision is a necessity.<br />


Rotating equipment consists of many parts:<br />

rotors, shafts, bearings, mechanical seals,<br />

impellers in compression chambers, just<br />

to mention a few. And these all have very<br />

small internal clearances. If a machine is<br />

bolted down on an uneven surface, the forces<br />

applied on the machine feet will change the<br />

casing geometry. As a result, these clearances<br />

will quickly change.<br />

To fix a soft foot condition, is necessary<br />

to compensate everything above 0.05 mm.<br />

That is not much, if you consider the fact<br />

that the thickness of a human hair is between<br />

0.06 mm to 0.08 mm! This is how little it<br />

takes to convert our new or newly overhauled<br />

machine into a victim of casing distortion.<br />


Another possible cause for casing distortion<br />

is pipe strain. Pipe strain can occur when the<br />

pipes are wrongly fabricated, and the connection<br />

flanges are not aligned. It can also<br />

be that the pipe supports are too high or too<br />

low, which creates large gaps between the<br />

connections. A common solution for this is to<br />

force them together, which will result in what<br />

we call nozzle load. This too will put a lot of<br />

stress on the machine casing. (The OEM will<br />

specify the allowed nozzle load on the equipment.)<br />


So what kinds of problems can you run into if<br />

casing distortion occurs? Previously we mentioned<br />

the internal parts of rotating machinery,<br />

such as shafts. How do they get affected?<br />

Well, shafts have mounted bearings to<br />

carry the rotating motion, and these bearings<br />

Forces occur at the machine<br />

inlet and discharge flanges.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 25


Text: CHARLIE GREEN, Senior Research Analyst at Comparesoft Images: STOCKPHOTO<br />

From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs:<br />




The construction industry is the backbone of infrastructural development, and the machinery and<br />

equipment used in this sector play a pivotal role in ensuring projects are completed efficiently<br />

and on time. However, one of the most significant pain points in the construction industry is the<br />

frequent breakdown and inefficiency of equipment. These breakdowns not only lead to project<br />

delays but also escalate costs. Enter preventative maintenance – a proactive approach that<br />

addresses these challenges head-on, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of machinery.<br />




In the intricate tapestry of the construction<br />

industry, preventative maintenance<br />

stands out as a pivotal practice,<br />

underpinning the operational longevity<br />

and efficiency of critical machinery. It<br />

encompasses a systematic regimen of<br />

inspection, detection, rectification, and<br />

proactive measures to stave off potential<br />

equipment failures before they burgeon<br />

into tangible issues. This methodology<br />

transcends the rudimentary act<br />

of merely repairing a malfunctioning<br />

machine; it delves into a rigorous, routine-based<br />

examination and servicing<br />

paradigm, ensuring machinery remains<br />

in pristine working condition, thereby<br />

preventing unforeseen breakdowns.<br />

Take, for example, a towering crane,<br />

an indispensable asset in a construction<br />

site's arsenal. Rather than adopting a<br />

reactive stance and awaiting an inevitable<br />

malfunction, preventative maintenance<br />

adopts a proactive approach.<br />

This involves meticulous scrutiny of its<br />

The construction<br />

industry is the backbone<br />

of infrastructural<br />

development.<br />

26 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


these benefits<br />

is the consistent<br />

operational<br />

efficiency that<br />

well-maintained<br />

equipment guarantees.<br />

The Construction<br />

Industry<br />

Institute<br />

underscores this,<br />

highlighting that<br />

machinery under<br />

a rigorous preventative maintenance<br />

regimen retains a vast majority of its<br />

operational prowess throughout its lifecycle.<br />

This directly translates to projects<br />

adhering to their timelines, fortifying a<br />

company's reputation for reliability and<br />

punctuality.<br />

Additionally, the stability offered<br />

by equipment longevity, courtesy of<br />

preventative maintenance, means that<br />

operators gain in-depth familiarity<br />

with their machinery. This continuity<br />

ensures that operators master their<br />

equipment, leading to optimized perintricate<br />

components, including cables,<br />

pulleys, and hydraulic systems.<br />

Activities such as lubrication, calibration<br />

of loose parts, replacement of<br />

components exhibiting wear and tear,<br />

and periodic software updates (if the<br />

machinery is digitally integrated) are<br />

integral to this regimen. According to<br />

a study by the Construction Equipment<br />

Management Program, regular<br />

preventative maintenance can enhance<br />

equipment life by up to 60%. Such a<br />

methodical and sophisticated approach<br />

not only ensures that the crane operates<br />

at its zenith of capacity but also significantly<br />

diminishes the probability of<br />

unanticipated operational downtimes,<br />

which can have cascading repercussions<br />

on project timelines and costs.<br />

lays associated with equipment replacement.<br />

Research from the Construction<br />

Industry Institute underscores this,<br />

suggesting that machinery under a preventative<br />

maintenance umbrella can see<br />

its operational life extended by 20-40%.<br />

This elongation represents not just a<br />

delay in replacement costs but also<br />

ensures that the equipment operates<br />

at peak efficiency, leading to reduced<br />

operational costs.<br />

In summation, the financial wisdom<br />

of preventative maintenance in the<br />

construction sector is evident. While<br />

there's an upfront cost, the long-term<br />

savings, both direct and indirect, make<br />

it an indispensable strategy for firms<br />

aiming for fiscal prudence and project<br />

success.<br />




1<br />

Significant Cost Savings<br />

in Many Areas of The<br />

Business<br />

In the intricate world of construction,<br />

where financial margins are<br />

often razor-thin, the role of preventative<br />

maintenance stands out as a beacon of<br />

fiscal responsibility. At first glance, the<br />

outlay for regular equipment upkeep<br />

might appear as an added expenditure.<br />

However, delving<br />

deeper into the<br />

financial matrix<br />

reveals a different<br />

narrative.<br />

Unplanned<br />

equipment breakdowns,<br />

often<br />

resulting from<br />

neglect, can lead to<br />

exorbitant repair<br />

costs. According<br />

to the National<br />

Research Council, the financial implications<br />

of such reactive maintenance<br />

can be up to nine times more than a<br />

well-planned preventative approach.<br />

Beyond the direct repair expenses, the<br />

ripple effects of these breakdowns, such<br />

as project delays and potential contractual<br />

penalties, further strain project<br />

budgets.<br />

Moreover, the longevity of machinery<br />

is intrinsically tied to its maintenance<br />

regimen. By investing in preventative<br />

care, construction firms can<br />

significantly defer the hefty capital out-<br />

Preventative<br />

maintenance stands out<br />

as a pivotal practice,<br />

underpinning the<br />

operational longevity<br />

and efficiency of critical<br />

machinery.<br />

2<br />

The Role of Preventative<br />

Maintenance in Ensuring<br />

Equipment Longevity<br />

in Construction<br />

In the construction realm, equipment<br />

longevity is not just a financial asset<br />

but a cornerstone for seamless operations<br />

and sustained business growth.<br />

At the heart of this longevity lies preventative<br />

maintenance—a proactive<br />

approach that ensures machinery not<br />

only endures but operates at its zenith,<br />

bringing manifold strategic benefits to<br />

construction entities.<br />

Central to<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 27


formance and minimizing errors—a<br />

crucial edge in an industry where precision<br />

is non-negotiable.<br />

Lastly, preventative maintenance<br />

not only ensures the equipment's operational<br />

longevity but also preserves<br />

its intrinsic value. When the juncture<br />

arises to upgrade or divest, equipment<br />

that has been consistently maintained<br />

through preventative measures commands<br />

a premium in the secondary<br />

market, testifying to the enduring<br />

value of preventative care in the construction<br />

sector.<br />

3<br />

Enhanced Safety as<br />

a Result of Well-Maintained<br />

Assets<br />

In the construction sector, where the<br />

interplay of machinery and manpower<br />

is constant, safety remains paramount.<br />

Preventative maintenance emerges as a<br />

critical strategy to address the inherent<br />

Equipment<br />

longevity is not just<br />

a financial asset but<br />

a cornerstone for<br />

seamless operations<br />

and sustained<br />

business growth.<br />

risks, ensuring that equipment functions<br />

optimally and safely, thereby safeguarding<br />

the workforce.<br />

The Occupational Safety and Health<br />

Administration (OSHA) has highlighted<br />

equipment-related incidents as a significant<br />

contributor to on-site injuries.<br />

However, the proactive approach of<br />

preventative maintenance can mitigate<br />

these risks. A study by the National<br />

Safety Council underscores this, revealing<br />

that up to 70% of machinery-related<br />

accidents could be averted through<br />

timely inspections and consistent<br />

maintenance. This proactive approach<br />

ensures that potential equipment malfunctions<br />

are identified and rectified<br />

before they escalate into safety hazards.<br />

Moreover, the Bureau of Labour<br />

Statistics notes that the construction<br />

domain experiences a higher rate of<br />

fatal work injuries than many other sectors.<br />

Equipment malfunctions, unfortunately,<br />

play a pivotal role in these<br />

statistics. By integrating preventative<br />

maintenance into their operational<br />

protocols, construction firms can substantially<br />

diminish these incidents. This<br />

not only protects the workforce but also<br />

reinforces the company's commitment<br />

to safety.<br />

By proactively ensuring the health<br />

and efficiency of equipment, construction<br />

companies can create a safer envi-<br />

28 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


ronment for their employees, reduce<br />

potential liabilities, and deliver projects<br />

that stand as testaments to both quality<br />

and safety.<br />

4<br />

Environmental Benefits<br />

The construction industry,<br />

with its heavy reliance on<br />

machinery and equipment,<br />

has a significant environmental footprint.<br />

However, preventative maintenance<br />

emerges as a potent tool in mitigating<br />

these environmental impacts,<br />

offering benefits that extend beyond<br />

mere operational efficiency.<br />

• Reduced Fuel Consumption:<br />

Machinery that undergoes regular<br />

preventative maintenance operates<br />

at its peak efficiency. According to<br />

the U.S. Department of Energy, wellmaintained<br />

equipment can reduce<br />

fuel consumption by up to 10-15%.<br />

This not only translates to cost savings<br />

but also means fewer fossil fuels<br />

are burned, leading to a reduction in<br />

greenhouse gas emissions.<br />

• Decreased Emissions: Emissions<br />

from construction equipment,<br />

particularly older models, can be<br />

a significant source of air pollution.<br />

The Environmental Protection<br />

Agency (EPA) notes that preventative<br />

maintenance, including timely<br />

oil changes, filter replacements, and<br />

engine tune-ups, can reduce emissions<br />

by up to 40%. This plays a<br />

crucial role in improving air quality,<br />

especially in urban areas where construction<br />

activities are frequent.<br />

• Waste Reduction: Preventative<br />

maintenance also means fewer parts<br />

replacements and less waste. A<br />

study by the Construction Industry<br />

Research Board found that regular<br />

equipment checks can reduce waste<br />

from worn-out parts by up to 50%.<br />

This not only conserves resources<br />

but also reduces the burden on landfills.<br />

• Resource Conservation: Efficient<br />

machinery requires fewer resources,<br />

from lubricants to replacement<br />

parts. The International Journal of<br />

Construction Management highlights<br />

that preventative maintenance<br />

can lead to a 20% reduction in the<br />

use of ancillary materials, further<br />

diminishing the industry's environmental<br />

impact.<br />

• Noise Pollution: Well-maintained<br />

equipment tends to operate more<br />

quietly, reducing noise pollution—a<br />

significant concern in urban construction<br />

sites. The World Health<br />

Organization has identified noise<br />

pollution as a major environmental<br />

health risk, and by ensuring equipment<br />

operates smoothly through<br />

preventative maintenance, construction<br />

companies can contribute to<br />

quieter, more liveable urban environments.<br />




While preventative maintenance offers<br />

numerous benefits, it should not be<br />

viewed in isolation. Instead, it should<br />

be a part of a comprehensive maintenance<br />

strategy that also includes<br />

corrective maintenance (fixing things<br />

when they break down) and predictive<br />

maintenance (using data analytics to<br />

predict when a machine might break<br />

down). By integrating preventative<br />

maintenance into a broader strategy,<br />

construction companies can ensure that<br />

their equipment is always in the best<br />

possible condition, leading to efficient<br />

operations and successful project completions.<br />


The integration of preventative maintenance<br />

into a holistic maintenance strategy,<br />

encompassing both corrective and<br />

predictive maintenance, is emblematic<br />

of a forward-thinking, responsible, and<br />

sustainable approach to construction.<br />

Such a comprehensive strategy not only<br />

ensures the optimal performance of<br />

equipment but also safeguards the wellbeing<br />

of workers, the environment, and<br />

the broader community.<br />

In the ever evolving and competitive<br />

arena of construction, companies that<br />

prioritize and invest in preventative<br />

maintenance position themselves at the<br />

forefront, setting industry standards<br />

and paving the way for a safer, more<br />

efficient, and environmentally conscious<br />

future. In essence, preventative maintenance<br />

is not merely an operational<br />

choice but a defining pillar for construction<br />

entities aspiring for excellence, sustainability,<br />

and enduring success.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 29


Text: ALGHAITHAN, ABDULLAH K, Saudi Aramco Mobility and Logistics Services Department<br />


The Impact of Corrosion<br />

on Heavy Equipment<br />

It is self-evident that cranes<br />

and heavy equipment<br />

are indispensable in<br />

various industries such<br />

as construction, mining,<br />

rigging, and notably in<br />

hydrocarbon sectors.<br />

Consequently, property<br />

owners and contractors are<br />

required to adhere to high<br />

standards of maintenance,<br />

in accordance with OSHA<br />

guidelines, to ensure a safe<br />

working environment for all<br />

employees.<br />

Leading maintenance operations<br />

on a financial scale<br />

poses a potential challenge for<br />

any maintenance organization<br />

managing their assets,<br />

which could be valued at millions, if not<br />

billions, of dollars. Corrosion, defined<br />

as the gradual deterioration of metal<br />

components due to environmental factors<br />

like high temperature, humidity,<br />

and chemical exposure, presents a significant<br />

challenge to cranes and heavy<br />

industrial equipment. This corrosion<br />

severely compromises the functionality<br />

of cranes and heavy industrial equipment,<br />

resulting in substantial economic<br />

losses, environmental pollution, and<br />

Data preprocessing<br />

Failure<br />

Prediction<br />

Industrial<br />

Sensors<br />

Data<br />

De-noising<br />

Training<br />

Anomaly<br />

Detection<br />

Acquisition<br />

Examples of Economic Loss by Corrosion.<br />

Dimensionality<br />

Reduction<br />

(optional)<br />

Remaining<br />

Useful Life<br />

30 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


Corrosion control aims<br />

at ensuring the efficient<br />

operation and upkeep of<br />

physical assets.<br />

even loss of life. A comprehensive corrosion<br />

control policy is crucial to attain<br />

and sustain the requisite levels of quality,<br />

safety, and reliability within the<br />

maintenance organization.<br />

Effects of corrosion on Cranes<br />

and Heavy Equipment:<br />

The neglect of corrosion control measures<br />

in industrial settings has led to tragic<br />

outcomes, including loss of life, injuries,<br />

significant economic losses, and severe<br />

environmental damage. Corrosion has<br />

been linked to numerous injuries and fatalities.<br />

For instance, on March 15, 2009, a<br />

50-ton hydraulic crane accident at a construction<br />

site in New York City resulted<br />

in the death of seven individuals. The hydraulic<br />

crane, while hoisting a heavy load,<br />

suddenly collapsed.<br />

Investigations revealed that the<br />

crane's right lifting cylinder had been<br />

inadequately maintained, and corrosion<br />

had weakened the lifting cylinders. Various<br />

national studies conducted in several<br />

countries over the past fifty years<br />

have consistently estimated the costs<br />

of corrosion to be around 3% to 4% of<br />

each nation's Gross Domestic Product<br />

(GDP). Considering a global GDP figure<br />

of 3.4% (as of 2013), the estimated<br />

worldwide cost of corrosion is a staggering<br />

US$2.5 trillion. Another study, conducted<br />

from 1949 to 1994, summarized<br />

the economic losses resulting from corrosion<br />

in the subsequent table.<br />

Maintenance Solutions for<br />

Corrosion Control:<br />

Maintenance solutions aimed at controlling<br />

corrosion are a crucial aspect of<br />

industrial operations, ensuring the longevity,<br />

safety, reliability, and efficiency<br />

of heavy equipment and infrastructure.<br />

By adopting effective corrosion<br />

control practices, it is estimated that<br />

significant savings, ranging from 15%<br />

to 35% of corrosion-related expenses,<br />

could be realized. This translates to<br />

annual global savings of approximately<br />

US$375 to $875 billion. These solutions<br />

encompass a variety of strategies, from<br />

protective coatings to predictive maintenance,<br />

all aimed at mitigating the<br />

destructive effects of corrosion. Implementing<br />

effective maintenance solutions<br />

not only protects valuable assets<br />

but also minimizes economic losses,<br />

environmental impacts, and potential<br />

safety hazards. Below are the best industry<br />

practices for maintenance solutions<br />

against corrosion.<br />


International standards are instrumental<br />

in guiding corrosion control<br />

and maintenance solutions for heavy<br />

industrial equipment, providing a<br />

universally recognized framework<br />

that emphasizes consistency, quality,<br />

and safety in practice. Below are<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 31


Corrosion specific Management system elements<br />

Policy<br />

Strategy<br />

Objectives<br />

Enablers, controls<br />

and measures<br />

Plans<br />

Procedures and working practices<br />

• Organizations<br />

• Contractors<br />

• Resources<br />

• Communications<br />

• Risk management<br />

• Management of change<br />

Corrosion Management System Pyramid.<br />

• Training & competency<br />

• Incident investigation<br />

• Documentation<br />

• Assurance<br />

• Management review<br />

• Continuous improvement<br />

• Based on corrosion type, life cyde, return<br />

on investment (ROI), asset criticality,<br />

regulations, and mitigation options<br />

• Implementation approach<br />

• Verification / inspection<br />

• Mitigation procedures<br />

some of the standards pertinent to<br />

corrosion control for cranes and industrial<br />

equipment:<br />

1. **ISO 12944**: This standard<br />

outlines guidelines for protective<br />

coatings, covering aspects such as<br />

types of coatings, application methodologies,<br />

and inspection criteria.<br />

By adhering to these standards, a<br />

standardized approach to combating<br />

corrosion across various industrial<br />

settings, including those involving<br />

cranes and industrial equipment, is<br />

ensured.<br />

2. **ISO 8502**: This standard<br />

addresses the preparation of steel<br />

substrates before the application<br />

of paints and related products. It<br />

includes tests for assessing surface<br />

cleanliness and evaluating dust on<br />

steel surfaces prepared for painting.<br />

This standard is applicable to cranes<br />

and heavy equipment constructed<br />

with steel structures.<br />

Advanced Maintenance<br />

Methods and Technologies<br />

Beyond adherence to international<br />

standards, numerous advanced methods<br />

and innovative approaches exist<br />

for maintenance solutions in corrosion<br />

control. When integrated into<br />

corrosion control practices, these<br />

advanced methods and technologies<br />

enhance corrosion mitigation.<br />

Predictive maintenance, facilitated<br />

by condition-based monitoring,<br />

32 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


leverages the power of artificial intelligence<br />

(AI) and predictive analytics<br />

to forecast corrosion rates and refine<br />

maintenance schedules. Through the<br />

seamless integration of a multitude<br />

of sensors and cutting-edge technologies,<br />

condition-based monitoring<br />

programs continuously assess the<br />

health of equipment, collect and process<br />

data, and accurately detect any<br />

anomalies. Advanced cathodic protection<br />

systems, such as Impressed<br />

Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP),<br />

offer more precise control over corrosion<br />

inhibition. This proactive<br />

strategy not only minimizes downtime<br />

but also optimizes maintenance<br />

efforts, ensuring that resources are<br />

deployed precisely when needed to<br />

combat corrosion effectively.<br />

Furthermore, a Corrosion Management<br />

System (CMS) should be<br />

incorporated into the corporate management<br />

system. Effective integra-<br />

tion of corrosion management within<br />

an organization entails more than<br />

just technology; it necessitates the<br />

incorporation of corrosion decisions<br />

and practices within the organization’s<br />

management system. This<br />

integration extends from specific<br />

corrosion procedures to overarching<br />

organizational policies and strategies,<br />

encompassing all levels of the<br />

management system.<br />

To maximize the benefits of corrosion<br />

management, it's crucial to articulate<br />

traditional corrosion practices<br />

within the language and context of<br />

organizational policies, ensuring commitment<br />

to the corrosion management<br />

system across all organizational levels.<br />

This approach aids in managing corrosion<br />

processes throughout all stages<br />

of asset integrity management, as depicted<br />

in the subsequent figure.<br />

Providing methods and solutions<br />

on how to measure and improve the<br />

quality of maintenance is a key consideration<br />

for any maintenance organization.<br />

While corrosion control presents<br />

significant challenges and risks, proper<br />

maintenance processes and procedures<br />

can mitigate the detrimental effects.<br />

Corrosion control aims at ensuring<br />

the efficient operation and upkeep<br />

of physical assets, be it a maintenance<br />

facility, a commercial building, or a<br />

fleet of vehicles. By adhering to maintenance<br />

guidelines and referencing<br />

international standards, any maintenance<br />

organization can enhance the<br />

safety, reliability, and longevity of their<br />

cranes and heavy equipment.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 33


Fig 1. Our modern life is increasingly characterized by a more or<br />

less organised effort of human societies to achieve balance with the<br />

global ecosystem and provide reasonable living standards for all.<br />

With the means and tools of biocatalysis, these goals are achievable<br />

without a zero-sum game.<br />

34 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


What biocatalysis<br />

has to offer for<br />

green industries<br />

and city planning?<br />

In our world, anything nearly perfect tends to be stamped as fantasy.<br />

Does this kind of statement imply the character of human endeavour,<br />

its very essence? On the contrary, nature represents purity and clarity.<br />



• Elias Hakalehto, PhD, Adjunct<br />

Professor in the Universities of<br />

Helsinki and Eastern Finland,<br />

Microbiologist and Biotechnologist,<br />

CEO of Finnoflag Oy, Vice President<br />

of the International Society of<br />

Environmental Indicators.<br />

• Tarmo Humppi, PhD, Principal<br />

Scientist, Chemist, Retired from the<br />

Finnish Defence Research Agency.<br />

All of us have been staring at<br />

the starry night. The organisation<br />

of the macrocosm can<br />

equally well be seen in the<br />

microscopic world. There,<br />

the microorganisms make the wheels of<br />

the microcosmic universe turn around.<br />

Together with plants and animals, they<br />

comprise the constituents of the biosphere.<br />

Why, then, do human industries get contented<br />

with anything less? Microbes and<br />

their enzymes could make the wheels turn<br />

around in future industries.<br />

Recently, it has become increasingly<br />

evident that heavy and fast industrialization<br />

not only elevated our standard of living but<br />

has also led us to the brink of abysmal ecocatastrophes.<br />

Fortunately, we have the vast<br />

resources of molecular universes in our use<br />

to avoid their aftermath or repair the damages.<br />

Sadly, we have wasted those resources<br />

for a long time.<br />

"There is plenty of room at the bottom".<br />

The saying of physicist Richard<br />

Feynman in 1959 gives us many leads.<br />

It has actualized in the IT revolution of<br />

our times. This has enabled giant steps<br />

in industrial control and maintenance<br />

of machinery, steering and adjustments<br />

of processes, flow of information, and,<br />

last but not least, ecological efficiency.<br />

We have eventually come closer to<br />

the ways of functioning of biological<br />

entities, ecosystems, and the cells and<br />

Fig 2. Food production around and in the cities can happen in a cleaned-up environment of biocatalytically furnished soil, water and air.<br />

Bioprocesses are developed for the removal of recalcitrant substances, pollutants and eutrophication. The past burdens can be converted<br />

into novel products by biocatalysis.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 35


Fig 3. Biohydrogen is an example of the immense metabolic capabilities of micro-organisms, which could be utilized, besides energy<br />

production, for the future traffic solutions, as well as for the manufacturing of complementary bulk or commodity chemicals for the<br />

petrochemical and other industries as well as for precious specialty chemicals, not forgetting the organic fertilizers. The latter are<br />

increasingly available and effective facilitators of food and feed production, horticulture, hydroponics and forestry.<br />

microbes in particular. The miniaturisation<br />

of technical solutions has brought<br />

us nearer the scale of microbes, molecules,<br />

atoms and their structures, which,<br />

indeed, have a lot of space for variation<br />

and production.<br />


Biocatalysis in Nature could be described<br />

as allowing low reaction energies<br />

in the microscale. This is the secret<br />

of all the incredible effectiveness of<br />

organismal life around us. This built-in<br />

energy network of living cells and their<br />

enzymes facilitates our lives and that<br />

of plants, animals and microorganisms.<br />

Why could we not exploit it in our industries<br />

more intensively than so far?<br />

The low-energy route could decisively<br />

help us avoid the often predicted loss<br />

of natural resources. It could also lower<br />

the emissions of manufacturing, agriculture,<br />

energy production and all sectors<br />

of our economy (Fig. 1).<br />

Moreover, as integrated with human<br />

or AI intelligence, this nature-born enormous<br />

efficiency could ultimately boost<br />

future endeavours for investigating, innovating<br />

and developing novel disruptive<br />

technologies for our use. This technology<br />

platform is by far more sustainable than<br />

any other imaginable solution. Using<br />

it effectively, we could also harness the<br />

biological multitudes and reactions for<br />

cleaning up our polluted and intoxicated<br />

planet Earth.<br />




In natural ecosystems, energy flows, and<br />

materials circulate. This could also be<br />

achievable in the industrial ecosystems. Ten<br />

years ago, we, Member of the Swedish Royal<br />

Academy of Engineering and Chairman of<br />

the Scandinavian Simulation and Modelling<br />

Society, Professor Erik Dahlquist,<br />

and Professor Semida Silveira, the current<br />

Professor in Practise in the Systems<br />

Engineering Program at Cornell University,<br />

Ithaca, New York, and one of the authors of<br />

this article, microbiologist Elias Hakalehto,<br />

published a calculation that the annual<br />

biomass increase could provide twice the<br />

energies needed globally. Also, the various<br />

petrochemical goods could be produced in<br />

complementary biorefineries based on organic<br />

sources. A citation of our chapter<br />

"Concluding remarks and perspectives on<br />

the future of energy systems using biomass"<br />

in the book edited by E. Dahlquist, "Biomass<br />

as Energy Source. Resources, Systems and<br />

Applications", published in 2013 by CRC<br />

Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton:<br />

"In the chapter on global biomass resources,<br />

we have seen that biomass can<br />

fulfil most of the energy resources as well<br />

as for replacement of fossil fuels for the<br />

production of plastics and similar. What<br />

we still have to do is to use all materials<br />

and resources in an efficient system, where<br />

the same fibres, for instance, are used<br />

many times for different purposes before<br />

they eventually are combusted, instead of<br />

combusting stem wood directly. What is<br />

considered waste should instead be seen as<br />

a valuable resource."<br />

This valuable principle and method for<br />

global survival have been applied in practical<br />

experiments of the ABOWE European<br />

Union Baltic Sea Region biorefinery project,<br />

ending in 2014. In the "Zero Waste from Zero<br />

Fiber '' project in Tampere, funded by the<br />

Finnish Government in 2018-19, the ecosystem<br />

engineering of massive past industrial<br />

lake bottom sediments into valuable chemicals,<br />

energy gases and organic fertilisers was<br />

accomplished in an economically feasible<br />

way. These projects are referred to in the<br />

<strong>Maintworld</strong> magazine 3/<strong>2023</strong> and before, as<br />

well as in the recent lectures at the European<br />

Geosciences Union (EGU) general assembly<br />

in 2022 and <strong>2023</strong>. Indeed, we could see the<br />

shoots of true ecodevelopment emerging and<br />

potentially growing into "sheaves in the field<br />

of progress", as the statement made a century<br />

ago by the first Finnish president,<br />

K.J. Ståhlberg, could be modified.<br />

We need today the political will as it was<br />

summed up in our 2013 book chapter (see<br />

above): "Only facts are not enough. Good examples<br />

are also significant, and these have<br />

to be presented in a convincing way. Then<br />

both regulatory frameworks and interest<br />

from investors could be achieved. Thereby<br />

system development can take place." - Furthermore,<br />

a citation from the same source:<br />

"In fact, it could be much better to treat<br />

and recycle the wastes in a sustainable way<br />

36 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


including the microbiological and biotechnological<br />

solutions, than by just discharging<br />

the organic loads into the water and maritime<br />

ecosystems, or to the atmosphere."<br />

This principle could be equally applicable<br />

in the "cradle of Finnish industries" in Tampere,<br />

as well as globally in any place where<br />

forest or other biomass industries will be<br />

developed into true circulation economics<br />

(see above).<br />


In 1874, French writer Jules Verne predicted<br />

in his book "Mysterious Island" the<br />

future we aim for and head toward. This<br />

old reasoning and imagination of one of the<br />

most eminent early science fiction authors<br />

illustrates the roots of an essential and potential<br />

avenue for future development: biohydrogen.<br />

Its implementation could now<br />

lead to sustainable planning of cities, their<br />

food production and traffic, and societies in<br />

general too. See Fig. 2.<br />

Quotations of the "Mysterious Island"<br />

(1874) by Jules Verne:<br />

• "...I believe that water will one day be<br />

employed as fuel, that hydrogen and<br />

oxygen which constitute it, used singly<br />

or together, will furnish an inexhaustible<br />

source of heat and light of an<br />

intensity of which coal is not capable."<br />

• "Some day the coalrooms of steamers<br />

and the tenders of locomotives will,<br />

instead of coal, be stored with these<br />

condensed gases, which will burn in<br />

the furnaces with enormous calorific<br />

power..."<br />

• "...there will be no want of either light<br />

or heat as long as the productions of<br />

the vegetable, mineral or animal kingdoms<br />

do not fail us. I believe, then,<br />

that when the deposits of coal are<br />

exhausted, we shall heat and warm<br />

ourselves with water. Water will be<br />

the coal of the future."<br />

In the previous <strong>Maintworld</strong> article (in volume<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong>), Elias Hakalehto took up the<br />

potential of biologically produced hydrogen,<br />

or biohydrogen, in solving global and local<br />

energy needs. It could be made using anaerobic<br />

bacteria or other microbes to split the<br />

water in renewable energy sources into Hydrogen<br />

and Oxygen (Fig. 3). These microbes<br />

could be photosynthetic ones, such as algae<br />

or cyanobacteria, or the fermentative anaerobic<br />

bacteria using their enzymes to split<br />

the water molecule. Then, the various steps<br />

for utilising the bio-catalytically liberated<br />

energies could also include their capture,<br />

purification, storage and use in the fuel cells<br />

or elsewhere. Such motors could power future<br />

flying vehicles, for instance.<br />

Biohydrogen could be converted and<br />

reacted into other gaseous fuels, such as<br />

methanol or ammonia. Besides in the aviation<br />

industries, they could be applied for<br />

maritime, industrial fuels, etc. Hydrogen<br />

gas can be coupled with biogas methane,<br />

thus forming hythane. If Carbon dioxide is<br />

simultaneously emitted in this reaction, it<br />

could be separated from biohydrogen and<br />

used for greenhouses, where it is a precious<br />

raw material for plant growth.<br />



In 1904, one of the founders of the industrial<br />

fermentation, Chaim Weizmann,<br />

became a lecturer at the University of<br />

Manchester. His method for the microbiological<br />

production of acetone was piloted<br />

in London in 1915. He used Clostridium<br />

acetobutylicum (the Weizmann organism)<br />

to produce acetone, butanol, ethanol<br />

and hydrogen gas (Fig. 4). Later on, in<br />

1939, in Helsinki, a Dutch microbiologist,<br />

A.J. Kluyver took for the first time up the<br />

potential of microorganisms to assimilate<br />

Carbon dioxide. - What an opportunity<br />

for climate-friendly bio-based production<br />

and sequestration of carbon-containing<br />

molecules, substances, polymers, etc.! -<br />

We have also proven that the generation<br />

of Carbon dioxide significantly boosts the<br />

onset of microbiological or bioprocess<br />

reactions (Hakalehto and Hänninen 2012,<br />

Gaseous CO2 signal initiate growth of<br />

butyric acid producing Clostridium butyricum<br />

both in pure culture and in mixed<br />

cultures with Lactobacillus brevis, in the<br />

Canadian Journal of Microbiology). The<br />

same phenomenon was also documented<br />

for the Weizmann bacterium (Hakalehto<br />

2015, Enhanced microbial process in the<br />

sustainable fuel production. In: Jinyue,<br />

Y (ed.), Handbook of clean energy systems,<br />

by JR Wiley & Sons).<br />

Fig 4. A simplified scheme of the central metabolism of Clostridium acetobutylicum<br />

bacterium. Acetone, butanol and ethanol are the liquid end-products of the solvetogenic<br />

reactions. Hydrogen gas is generated as a function of ferredoxin enzymes. The starting<br />

molecule of the cascade is glucose, which usually results from the hydrolysis of organic,<br />

plant-derived macromolecules such as cellulose or starch. The by-product Carbon dioxide<br />

is readily usable in greenhouses or algal ponds.<br />



The former term designates in microbial<br />

biotechnology the production of valuable<br />

chemicals or gases by biological organisms,<br />

whereas downstreaming means the collection,<br />

purification and concentration of<br />

these biorefinery products into applicable<br />

forms. This is a well-studied field nowadays,<br />

but more research and development is always<br />

needed to boost the applications. And,<br />

as Professor Malcolm D. Lilly often stated<br />

during his most excellent bioengineering<br />

lectures in 1984-5 at the University College<br />

London: "Downstream processing is a losing<br />

game", meaning that it is impossible to<br />

reach perfection or complete recovery of<br />

the produced bio-based (or other) products<br />

in the industries. On the contrary, there are<br />

some losses at every step of that effort. But<br />

as developers, both scientific and societal,<br />

we should ensure that we could end up as<br />

victorious as possible.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 37


Text and images: MOBILE INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS<br />

Simplifying the transition to a<br />

robot-assisted work environment<br />

The rapid advance of automation and robotics means that some work tasks can now be done by<br />

machines and robots – from production to material handling processes. Even though automation<br />

is often necessary for enterprises to increase productivity and keep costs down, these advances<br />

are not always welcome by employees.<br />

38 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


There is no denying that<br />

the word automation can<br />

evoke images of robots<br />

taking over jobs, and breed<br />

apprehension in employees.<br />

But automation can be a great<br />

tool for businesses, freeing employees<br />

from dirty, dull and dangerous<br />

tasks while boosting team effectiveness<br />

and creativity. The challenge for<br />

employers is often to communicate<br />

the benefits of automation and show<br />

people how it can change the future<br />

of work for the better.<br />

Here we share some ideas on how<br />

to introduce new technology with<br />

positive impact on your workforce.<br />

1<br />

Communicate your<br />

automation plans in<br />

good time.<br />

It is very important that you communicate<br />

what is going to happen to your employees.<br />

If you do not explain the process,<br />

this can create feelings of uncertainty<br />

amongst staff members. If you describe<br />

the process and leave room for questions,<br />

employees are less likely to feel threatened<br />

or fearful about the change but<br />

instead engaged and interested<br />

2<br />

Involve your employees<br />

in the process.<br />

Making your employees<br />

part of the process is the best way to<br />

smoothening your upcoming path to<br />

automation. It is important that you<br />

listen to the workforce’s concerns and<br />

reluctance, so you can explain and<br />

correct misguided information. It is<br />

also crucial that you give them space<br />

to give ideas and make proposals. They<br />

are the people working daily with<br />

both current and future systems at<br />

the facility and therefore, they are the<br />

ones who can best identify points of<br />

interest within the space which could<br />

benefit from additional help and relief<br />

through automation. Information<br />

gathered from employees is an excellent<br />

resource for deploying the robots<br />

most effectively.<br />

3<br />

Make the process enjoyable<br />

for your employees.<br />

MiR AMRs take the most<br />

repetitive and heavy tasks, allowing<br />

your employees to focus on high-value<br />

activities. Help them to see that the<br />

robots are a tool for them to perform<br />

even better in their jobs. Rather than<br />

thinking that robots are being installed<br />

to take over their jobs, employees<br />

can see automation processes as<br />

something to work alongside.<br />

Let your employees know that the future<br />

of work is not robots that are here<br />

to replace them, but rather that they<br />

will help and work alongside people, increasing<br />

efficiency but also safety. E.g.,<br />

MiR AMRs take over manual tasks that<br />

are usually met with high absences due<br />

to work injuries. Show your employees<br />

that the robots will help them have better<br />

health and better job results.<br />

DENSO, a leading mobility supplier,<br />

deployed six MiR250 robots in its<br />

800,000-square foot powertrain component<br />

production facility in Athens,<br />

Tennessee. A pilot program between<br />

its warehouse and production areas<br />

delivered results within six months,<br />

freeing six workers from pushing carts<br />

and allowing them to move to valueadded<br />

roles.<br />

After installing six MiR 250 robots,<br />

Travis Olinger, logistics and automation<br />

engineer in DENSO’s Total<br />

Industrial Engineering (TIE) group,<br />

explains: “Overall employee morale has<br />

improved, with employees recognizing<br />

DENSO as an innovative company that<br />

wants to make employees’ jobs easier<br />

and that the company cares about the<br />

ergonomic aspect of the job.”<br />

4<br />

Train your employees to<br />

work with the robot.<br />

Nobody likes something<br />

they do not understand, and automation<br />

does not work on its own. Training<br />

your employees with the robot<br />

will help them to understand the<br />

robots and processes better. It will<br />

also give them new and valuable skills<br />

in their career. MiR AMRs are easy to<br />

program and learn, and we also offer<br />

our free online learning platform MiR<br />

Academy, which can help your staff<br />

ease into working with robots and the<br />

new workflows surrounding them.<br />

MiR Academy has learning programs<br />

for all levels.<br />

“The MiR interface is really user<br />

friendly, the way of building mission is<br />

very easy made through building blocks<br />

instead of code lines. Thus, it is understandable<br />

enough even for people without<br />

previous programming experience,”<br />

Benjamin Paillusson, PC&L Improvement<br />

Leader in Faurecia Clean Mobility<br />

Písek, Forvia.<br />

5<br />

Make your employees familiar<br />

with the robot.<br />

There are different ways<br />

of making your employees perceive<br />

robots as part of the staff instead of a<br />

threat. Autonomous mobile robots are<br />

collaborative and therefore it is easy<br />

to “personalize” the robots for higher<br />

engagement of the employees. For example,<br />

asking your employees to name<br />

the robots is an excellent way to add<br />

fun and familiarity into the upcoming<br />

changes. Creating events around the<br />

robot, where the employees feel part of<br />

the integration process, can help them<br />

feel part of the change and be more proactive<br />

towards automation.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 39



a crucial factor<br />

for achieving circularity<br />

40 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


Let us start with defining circular economy,<br />

or circularity as it is also commonly<br />

referred as. Circular economy is<br />

all about reducing waste and prolonging<br />

the lifespan of products, components,<br />

and materials. It is contrasted to the linear<br />

economy where raw materials are processed into<br />

products that are consumed and then disposed.<br />

Instead of a linear lifecycle, the products, components,<br />

and materials are given one or more<br />

life cycles when they reach the end of life. The<br />

ecosystem perspective is prominent; circular<br />

economy is not achieved by a single company – it<br />

is a joint effort seen in the entire value chain and<br />

on societal level. Moreover, circular economy is<br />

a way to achieve sustainable development, i.e.,<br />

a development that meets the needs of today<br />

without compromising the possibility to meet<br />

the needs of future generations. Therefore, we<br />

must apply a now-centred perspective as well<br />

as a future-centred perspective on circularity.<br />

All these perspectives are distinguishable in the<br />

definition of circular economy given by Krichherr<br />

et al. (2017, p. 229) 1 :<br />

Maintenance plays<br />

a huge role in achieving high<br />

level of circularity.<br />

Circular economy is a buzz word today, but what does<br />

circular economy mean and how is the term connected<br />

with maintenance? In the following, we will try to shed<br />

some light on the concept and explain how maintenance<br />

acts as a facilitator for achieving circular strategies.<br />

Text: MIRKA KANS, Associate professor (docent), Chalmers University of Technology<br />

Images: STOCKPHOTO<br />

“…an economic system that replaces the ‘end-oflife’<br />

concept with reducing, alternatively reusing,<br />

recycling and recovering materials in production/distribution<br />

and consumption processes. It<br />

operates at the micro level (products, companies,<br />

consumers), meso level (eco-industrial parks) and<br />

macro level (city, region, nation and beyond), with<br />

the aim to accomplish sustainable development,<br />

thus simultaneously creating environmental quality,<br />

economic prosperity and social equity, to the<br />

benefit of current and future generations”.<br />

How to assess the “circularity” of e.g., a company<br />

or a nation? For businesses, the Science<br />

Based Target Initiative (SBTi) allows for formulating<br />

environmental targets that comply with<br />

the Paris agreement of not exceeding a global<br />

warming of 1.5°C. Thousands of businesses have<br />

started using science-based targets aiming at<br />

net zero emissions by 2050. SBTi reports that<br />

the global emissions increased by over 3% from<br />

energy and industry between 2015 and 2019, but<br />

also that the emissions in the SBTi companies<br />

decreased by 25% in the same period. Circularity<br />

is an important aspect for achieving the sustainability<br />

development goals, or Agenda 2030,<br />

agreed upon by the United Nations in 2015 2 . The<br />

level of goal fulfilment spans from 39% to 87%,<br />

with Finland, Sweden, and Denmark being<br />

the top three countries 3 . If we measure global<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 41


circularity in terms of virgin material<br />

use, the trend is rather discouraging.<br />

According to the recently<br />

launched Circularity Gap Report 4<br />

the world is 7.5% circular, which<br />

could be compared with 9.1% in 2018<br />

and 8.6% in 2020.<br />

Very disappointing reading, you<br />

may think. On the upside, there is<br />

an immense potential in applying<br />

circularity on all levels to reach the<br />

set targets. Several circular strategies<br />

exist that could be applied to reduce<br />

virgin material use and prolong the<br />

lifespan of products, components,<br />

and materials. The 10R model 5 is<br />

commonly used to describe circular<br />

strategies from less circular to highly<br />

circular (see Figure 1). On the bottom<br />

(R9 and R8), we find strategies to recover<br />

some value from material, such<br />

as using biomaterial waste as fuel in<br />

heating plants or making toilet paper<br />

out of scrapped books. The next five<br />

strategies (R7-R3) aim to prolong the<br />

lifespan of a product. Repurposing and<br />

remanufacturing are strategies for<br />

giving the product or its components<br />

a new life cycle either by restoring<br />

or altering the functionality while<br />

refurbish, repair, and reuse are strategies<br />

aiming at prolonging the existent<br />

life cycle and functionality of the<br />

product. An old school bus could for<br />

instance be sold on the second-hand<br />

market, undergo maintenance, or be<br />

repurposed as a mobile home. The<br />

final three strategies (R2-R0) aim to<br />

reduce the resources in production<br />

and consumption. Reduced resources<br />

in the production may address energy<br />

consumption or material by increasing<br />

the availability and quality rate or<br />

reducing performance losses. Reducing<br />

resources in consumption may<br />

be achieved by offering a product as a<br />

service or by offering performance instead<br />

of a product. The latter could for<br />

instance be in form of renting or leasing<br />

a car instead of buying and owning<br />

one as a consumer, or by arranging<br />

the transportation need in other ways<br />

such as train or bus services.<br />

Maintenance plays a huge role in<br />

achieving high level of circularity.<br />

Let us start by looking at the rethink<br />

and reduce strategies. Rethinking<br />

strategies rely on companies acting<br />

as service providers rather than<br />

producers and sellers of products.<br />

The ownership of the product that<br />

creates the customer value is kept<br />

by the provider, who benefits in an<br />

asset management strategy for these<br />

Figure 1. Circular strategies and the role of maintenance as a facilitator<br />

42 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


products. The longer the lifespan of<br />

the asset providing value, the higher<br />

life cycle profit might be achieved.<br />

From a production perspective, it is<br />

well known that efficient asset management<br />

in the form of preventive<br />

maintenance strategies has significant<br />

impact on the production processes<br />

in terms of higher availability,<br />

dependability, and quality output.<br />

For the strategy reuse, maintenance<br />

plays an indirect role. The<br />

main idea is to resell the product<br />

on the second-hand market. For<br />

products in bad shape, maintenance<br />

in the form of cleaning, repair, or<br />

The longer the<br />

lifespan of the asset<br />

providing value, the<br />

higherlife cycle profit<br />

might be achieved.<br />

the similar is necessary. This could<br />

be conducted by the second-hand<br />

dealer or by a specialised contractor<br />

offering maintenance services. If<br />

maintenance is not done before the<br />

sales, the new owner might need to<br />

buy maintenance services instead.<br />

Maintenance is a direct activity<br />

in repair and refurbish. For fulfilling<br />

these circular strategies, maintenance<br />

services are offered to the<br />

owner of the product. Maintenance<br />

is, from this perspective, a business<br />

model rather than an operations<br />

strategy. In this context, refurbishing<br />

is the same thing as doing<br />

maintenance in the end-of-life of<br />

the product. We can assume that the<br />

product has a partial or complete<br />

functional failure, and that corrective<br />

and preventive maintenance is<br />

needed. The maintenance need is,<br />

thus, higher for this product than for<br />

a product in need of repair.<br />

Lastly, we have the remanufacturing<br />

and repurposing strategies.<br />

Cleaning and repair, i.e., common<br />

maintenance activities, are necessary<br />

sub-activities in the remanufacturing<br />

or repurposing process. Remanufacturing<br />

is defined as ”returning<br />

a used product to at least its original<br />

performance with a warranty<br />

that is equivalent or better than that<br />

of the newly manufactured product”<br />

6 . If we scrutinize the definition<br />

of remanufacturing, it is obvious<br />

that maintenance plays a larger role,<br />

as remanufacturing aims at regaining<br />

the function of a product to at<br />

least its original performance. Based<br />

on this reasoning, remanufacturing<br />

could be viewed as a maintenance<br />

activity on the industrial scale.<br />

In conclusion, we see that maintenance<br />

is a crucial factor for achieving<br />

circular strategies both within the<br />

company and throughout the full life<br />

span of the product. Maintenance<br />

allows for reduction of virgin raw<br />

material by making the products and<br />

production more efficient. It prolongs<br />

the lifespan of products and<br />

components by appropriate services<br />

for individual users and businesses,<br />

and by centralized and industrialized<br />

maintenance of products at the<br />

end-of-life.<br />


[1] Kirchherr, J., Reike, D., & Hekkert, M. (2017). Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. Resources, conservation and<br />

recycling, 127, 221-232.<br />

[2] https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/<strong>2023</strong>/<br />

[3] https://dashboards.sdgindex.org/rankings<br />

[4] https://www.circularity-gap.world/<br />

[5] http://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/publicaties/pbl-2016-circular-economy-measuring-innovation-in-product-chains-2544.pdf<br />

[6] British Standard Institute, 2009. BS 8887-2:2009 Design for manufacture, assembly, disassembly, and end-of-life processing (MADE) Terms and definitions.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 43


Best practices for storing<br />


Storing an electric motor for more than a few weeks involves several steps to ensure it will<br />

operate properly when needed. For practical reasons, these are governed by the motor’s size and<br />

how long it will be out of service. Factors like the temperature, humidity and ambient vibration in<br />

the storage area also influence the choice of storage methods–some of which may be impractical<br />

for smaller machines or need to be reversed before the motor goes into service. With these things<br />

in mind, here are some common recommendations for storing motors.<br />

Text: CHUCK YUNG, senior technical support specialist at EASA, Inc., St. Louis, MO USA<br />

Images: EASA, STOCKPHOTO<br />

Good, readily available<br />

records are essential for<br />

any motor storage program.<br />

One method is to<br />

attach a form like that in<br />

Figure 1 to each motor to document the<br />

storage dates, maintenance procedures<br />

completed, and the results of all tests<br />

performed during the storage period.<br />

For motors in long-term storage, a good<br />

practice is to replace the form annually<br />

(or at other designated intervals). Store<br />

electronic copies of the previous forms for<br />

future reference, or simply keep them in<br />

an envelope attached to the motor.<br />

Figure 1: Motor storage tag.<br />


Short-term storage. Motors that<br />

will be in storage for just a few weeks<br />

primarily require protection from the<br />

weather (see “Indoor storage” and<br />

“Outdoor storage” below) and ambient<br />

vibration (more on this later).<br />

Long-term storage. Motors slated<br />

for several weeks to several years<br />

in storage and all above-NEMA size<br />

machines require additional preparations<br />

to protect their machined surfaces,<br />

bearings and windings.<br />

Indoor storage. If possible, store<br />

motors indoors in a clean, dry area.<br />

Place horizontal machines in a horizontal<br />

position and vertical motors in<br />

a stable vertical position.<br />

Unless the storage area is climate<br />

controlled, prevent condensation<br />

from forming inside the motor by<br />

energizing the space heaters (if supplied)<br />

to keep the windings 5-10°C


(10-20°F) above the ambient temperature.<br />

(For other ways to prevent condensation,<br />

see “Special care for windings”<br />

below.)<br />

Outdoor storage. Don’t! Seriously,<br />

if a motor is too large to store indoors, it<br />

is likely to be a very expensive machine.<br />

It’s worth the cost to construct an enclosed<br />

storage facility. When outdoor<br />

storage is absolutely necessary, protect<br />

the motor with a waterproof cover (e.g.,<br />

a tarp), allowing a breathing space at<br />

the bottom. Wrapping it tightly in plastic<br />

and placing it outdoors will cause<br />

condensation to form inside the motor<br />

due to the temperature extremes and<br />

humidity.<br />

Outdoor storage also requires preventive<br />

measures to keep out rodents,<br />

snakes, birds or other small animals<br />

that can damage the winding insulation.<br />

If insects are prevalent, keep them from<br />

blocking ventilation and drain openings<br />

by loosely wrapping the motor and covering<br />

all openings.<br />

Shafts and machined surfaces<br />

Apply a viscous rust/corrosion inhibitor<br />

(e.g., LPS2, Techtyl 502C or RustVeto)<br />

to exposed machined surfaces and<br />

sleeve bearings, allowing it to remain<br />

intact throughout the storage period. In<br />

humid and rainy/snowy environments,<br />

have the service center paint as much of<br />

the motor’s interior surface as practical,<br />

and coat the windings with a topical<br />

fungicide in tropical environments.<br />

(Note: Disassemble the machine and inspect<br />

the sleeve bearings before placing<br />

it into service.)<br />


Grease-lubricated motors. For longterm<br />

storage, completely fill the bearing<br />

cavities with compatible grease to prevent<br />

rust and corrosion staining that<br />

can occur if moisture collects between<br />

the balls and races.<br />

Oil-lubricated motors. Do not ship<br />

or move these motors with oil in the<br />

reservoir. After placing the motor in<br />

storage, fill the reservoir with enough<br />

oil to cover the bearings but without<br />

overflowing the stand tube or labyrinth<br />

seal. Fill sleeve bearing machines to just<br />

below the labyrinth seal and vertical<br />

motors to the “max fill” line.<br />

The oil should contain a rust and corrosion<br />

inhibitor and be moisture free.<br />

Check it every three months by drawing<br />

a sample from the drain. Since water<br />

Figure 2: False brinelling.<br />

weighs more than oil, any moisture will<br />

be evident.<br />

Ambient vibration. This can damage<br />

motors, even when they are not<br />

rotating. Proximity to rail lines, busy<br />

roads, and/or production floors can all<br />

contribute to the ambient vibration.<br />

Even low-magnitude vibration, over<br />

time, can damage bearings while they<br />

are stationary–e.g., false brinelling (see<br />

Figure 2). Solutions vary. For example,<br />

one mill that had ambient vibration<br />

from nearby machinery stored its motors<br />

on scrapped conveyor belting.<br />

False brinelling damages the bearing<br />

race at uniform intervals matching the<br />

spacing of the rolling elements. Although<br />

the damage initially may appear<br />

slight or even invisible to the naked eye,<br />

it often progresses rapidly once the motor<br />

is in service.<br />

Shaft rotation. Turning the motor’s<br />

shaft at least monthly during long-term<br />

storage redistributes lubricant on machined<br />

surfaces to inhibit corrosion.<br />

Motors with ball or roller bearings also<br />

benefit from monthly rotation, since<br />

the rolling elements stop in different<br />

positions each time. Larger, 2-pole machines<br />

require more frequent attention<br />

than smaller (NEMA-frame) machines.<br />

Motors with spring-loaded spherical<br />

bearings are more difficult to turn, but<br />

they still require manual rotation to<br />

coat the bearings with oil. With sliding<br />

plate (i.e., Kingsbury) bearings, lift the<br />

shaft before rotating it–from below<br />

with a short jack and a bearing ball<br />

centered on the shaft, or from above<br />

with an overhead crane and eyebolts. To<br />

avoid bearing damage, be careful not to<br />

lift the shaft more than a few mils.<br />

Machines with heavy rotors and<br />

long frames in ratings of about 2000<br />

hp (1500 kW) and larger sometimes<br />

require more frequent (weekly) rotation<br />

to prevent shaft bowing caused<br />

by the weight of the rotor. As an extreme<br />

example, power plants often<br />

keep large turbine generators rotating<br />

slowly all the time to prevent sag.<br />

While it is uncommon, removing and<br />

vertically suspending the rotors of<br />

very large critical machines also can<br />

prevent sagging.<br />



Methods for preventing condensation.<br />

Motor windings must stay clean<br />

and dry to keep the insulation from<br />

degrading. Unless the storage area is<br />

climate controlled, condensation can<br />

form in the motor if the temperature of<br />

the winding dips below the dew point.<br />

As mentioned earlier, the usual way<br />

of avoiding this is to keep the winding<br />

5-10°C (10-20°F) above ambient temperature.<br />

If the motor has space heaters,<br />

energize them while it is in storage; if<br />

not, add them. Another option is to use<br />

the windings as a resistance heater by<br />

supplying low-voltage DC current (approximately<br />

8-12% of rated amperage).<br />

An energy-saving alternative is to lower<br />

the dewpoint of the storage room with a<br />

dehumidifier.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 45


Figure 3: Insulation<br />

resistance (IR) tests<br />

can be performed with<br />

a megohmmeter or<br />

motor analyzer.<br />

Insulation resistance (IR) tests. Measure and<br />

record the IR of the winding(s) before storing a motor<br />

even a few weeks, and again just before putting it<br />

in service (see Figure 3). Correct all IR readings to a<br />

standard temperature and address any decrease in IR<br />

before installing the motor. If a motor will be in storage<br />

for a long time, take IR readings annually.<br />

Polarization index (PI) and dielectric absorption<br />

ratio (DAR) tests. For form coil windings,<br />

conduct a PI test in addition to the IR test. The PI<br />

test variables skew results for windings with lots of<br />

exposed conductor surface area, so use the DA ratio<br />

test for random windings and DC armatures (see<br />

Tables 1 and 2).<br />

Table 1: Dielectric absorption ratio recommendation<br />

Table 2: Dielectric absorption ratio (DAR) assessment<br />

Type of winding<br />

Minimum insulation resistance<br />

60:30 seconds Condition<br />

Form-wound coils (PI)<br />

P1=<br />

10-minute IR (to ground)<br />

1-minute IR<br />

≥ 2.0<br />

< 1.1 Poor<br />

1.1 to 1.24 Questionable<br />

1.25 to 1.3 Fair<br />

Random-wound coils (DA)<br />

DA=<br />

1-minute IR<br />

30-seconds IR<br />

> 1.25<br />

1.4 to 1.6 Good<br />

> 1.6 Excellent<br />

46 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


If the windings need to be cleaned and dried, measure the<br />

IR again. If it is greater than 5000 megohms, disregard the PI<br />

(see IEEE 43); otherwise, recalculate the PI.<br />


DC machines, wound-rotor motors and some synchronous<br />

machines have carbon brushes. For long-term storage, lift the<br />

brushes away from the commutator/slip rings to prevent a<br />

chemical reaction (sometimes called “photographing”) that<br />

can discolor the underlying commutator or slip ring. When<br />

practical, store the springs in the relaxed state to prevent a<br />

gradual loss of spring pressure.<br />

Putting the motor into service<br />

To ensure proper operation when removing a motor from<br />

storage and putting it into service, perform the following:<br />

• Use compressed air to clean the outside of the motor, and<br />

visually inspect it.<br />

• Assess the condition of the insulation system by measuring<br />

the IR with a megohmmeter.<br />

• Oil-lubricated motors:<br />

• Drain the oil before moving the motor to the<br />

installation site.<br />

• If there is water in the oil, check for and replace any<br />

rusty bearings.<br />

• If sleeve bearings received a protective coating,<br />

disassemble the machine and clean the bearings with<br />

an appropriate solvent before putting the motor into<br />

service.<br />

• Fill the oil reservoir to the correct running level after<br />

installing the motor.<br />

• Grease-lubricated motors:<br />

• Moisture in the grease usually indicates rust-damaged<br />

bearings that need replacement.<br />

• After several years in storage, the grease probably will<br />

be hard and the drainpipe will be plugged; usually it is<br />

best to disassemble the motor, remove the old grease<br />

and repack with fresh, compatible lubricant.<br />

• Run the motor 10-20 minutes without the drain plug to<br />

purge excess grease.<br />

• Vibration and alignment:<br />

• If the storage area has ambient vibration, inspect and<br />

replace damaged bearings before installing the motor.<br />

• After installing and aligning the motor, document the<br />

uncoupled baseline vibration levels; check the levels<br />

again after a week or two of service.<br />

• For motors with rolling element bearings, check for<br />

bearing fault frequencies in the vibration spectra.<br />

• On large machines that are susceptible to shaft sag,<br />

monitor the vibration levels during startup to avoid<br />

catastrophic damage.<br />

High-cost machines obviously justify more precautions than<br />

inexpensive, readily available motors. What is not always apparent<br />

is that some “smaller” motors are equally important to<br />

production and can have enormous consequences if they fail.<br />


Attach a card to each motor and record the IR,<br />

temperature and date of each test.<br />


Rotating the shaft keyway position in 150-degree<br />

increments every month makes it easy to spot a<br />

neglected motor. If you visualize a clock face, each<br />

increment represents 5 hours: For example, if the<br />

keyway position for September is 12:00, October<br />

will be 5:00, November will be 10:00, and so on.<br />

This puts the rolling elements in a different position<br />

each time and avoids rocking the rotor back and<br />

forth between just two positions (see Figure 1).<br />


Never move a motor with oil in the reservoir. If oil<br />

sloshes over the stand tube, it could contaminate<br />

the windings or even initiate capillary action that<br />

can siphon oil from the chamber. Before putting<br />

the motor into service, always drain the oil and<br />

replace it with compatible lubricant. (Drain it. Move<br />

it. Refill it.)<br />


IEEE Std. 43-2013: Recommended Practice for Testing Insulation Resistance of Electric Machinery. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.<br />

New York, NY, 2013.<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 47


Photovoltaic systems<br />

in the limelight<br />

Germany has around 2.6 million photovoltaic (PV) systems producing solar power on rooftops<br />

and sites. Demand for qualified installation companies in the country is high, resulting in<br />

time pressure during PV system installation. When it comes to ensuring the long-term safety<br />

and efficiency of PV systems, due diligence is a top priority. This applies in particular to<br />

commissioning of new PV systems and performance of modernisation measures.<br />

Text: MBA, B. ENG. STEFAN VEIT, Head of Product and Quality Management Electrical Engineering, Team Lead Electrical/<br />

Building Technology, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH<br />

Images: TÜV SÜD<br />

Owning a PV system is<br />

becoming increasingly<br />

popular, with benefits<br />

including greater independence<br />

from the<br />

energy market, energy savings and climate<br />

protection. Large-scale producers,<br />

such as businesses, trades, and agricultural<br />

enterprises with a power output<br />

of 30 kWp or more, benefit particularly<br />

from good returns that make up for the<br />

high costs of installation.<br />

The German government is seeking<br />

to significantly speed up the expansion<br />

of solar power. Its PV Strategy aims at<br />

raising the proportion of PV in Germany’s<br />

power mix to over 30 per cent<br />

by 2035. 1 To reach this goal, PV systems<br />

must make full use of their maximum<br />

efficiency. However, this is not always<br />

the case at present. According to estimates<br />

by the German Insurance Association<br />

(GDV), around 400,000 of the 2<br />

million PV systems in Germany in 2020<br />

had been installed incorrectly, revealing<br />

not only technical defects, but also economic<br />

deficits.<br />

48 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>


Possible causes alongside production<br />

faults or damage in transit also include<br />

errors in installation and planning. In<br />

addition, age-related wear, accumulation<br />

of dirt on the panels or weatherrelated<br />

damage can also result in<br />

impaired efficiency. When PV modules<br />

are connected in a string, one defective<br />

cell is all it takes to cause a significant<br />

reduction in output.<br />

Faults may reduce the system’s<br />

efficiency, the service life and, in a<br />

worst-case scenario, even cause a fire.<br />

Many of these defects can be easily<br />

remedied by, say, replacing defective<br />

modules or cleaning panel surfaces.<br />

Steps to prevent shading of the solar<br />

modules by roof structures should<br />

already be taken in the planning<br />

stage. During PV system operation,<br />

vegetation may have to be cut back<br />

regularly.<br />



Early identification of deficiencies may<br />

eliminate high secondary costs, and<br />

even generate additional yield. Along<br />

with economic advantages, testing<br />

and inspection also serve to identify<br />

safety-relevant defects. For this reason,<br />

law and technical standards require<br />

periodic electrical safety tests of PV<br />

systems to be performed. In particular,<br />

the accident prevention regulation<br />

DGUV V3 and the standards EN 62446<br />

(VDE 0126-23), IEC 62548 and DIN<br />

VDE 0105-100/A1 do apply in Germany.<br />

Depending on the age of the system and<br />

other operating conditions, PV systems<br />

TÜV SÜD<br />

TÜV SÜD is a German certification<br />

and inspection organization.<br />

TÜV SÜD provides a wide range of<br />

testing, inspection, certification,<br />

and consulting services in various<br />

sectors, including automotive,<br />

industrial, energy, healthcare,<br />

and more. Their primary focus is<br />

on ensuring the safety, quality,<br />

and sustainability of products,<br />

processes, and systems.<br />

may have to be tested and inspected<br />

every one to four years.<br />

Experts frequently identify simple<br />

defects by means of visual testing performed<br />

to evaluate a system’s actual<br />

state of repair. Target-performance<br />

comparison can be carried out with the<br />

help of simulation software; it offers<br />

indications of defects that may also impact<br />

on the output of the PV systems.<br />

By applying the voltage-current<br />

characteristic, the software measures<br />

the actual performance of the system<br />

and compares it to the manufacturer’s<br />

specifications. In case of deviations,<br />

imaging processes are introduced to<br />

provide more detailed information.<br />

Defects increase electrical resistance,<br />

and thus build up more heat.<br />

The resulting hotspots are captured<br />

by thermal imaging cameras. Inactive<br />

modules, disconnected substrings and<br />

performance degradation caused by<br />

ageing, i. e. potential-induced degradation<br />

(PID), are further anomalies that<br />

can be identified using this method,<br />

provided an adequate level of current<br />

is produced by solar radiation.<br />



By contrast, inverse thermography, also<br />

known as reverse-current thermography,<br />

is weather- independent. It detects even<br />

the smallest defects at an early stage. In<br />

this “reversed” method, current is fed<br />

into the PV systems and the difference in<br />

temperature is measured when current<br />

4/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 49


flows through the cells. Drones can also<br />

be used to capture images. The only other<br />

method offering even greater detail is<br />

electroluminescence measurement (EL<br />

measurement). This method likewise<br />

involves feeding external current into the<br />

modules. Using special cameras at night,<br />

the experts then record the electromagnetic<br />

radiation at wavelengths of approximately<br />

1,150 nm. EL measurement<br />

thus enables the experts to look inside a<br />

solar cell and identify defective bypass<br />

diodes, failed cells, micro-cracks and<br />

even performance degradation caused by<br />

light and elevated temperature induced<br />

degradation (LETID).<br />


Photovoltaic energy, commonly known as solar energy, is a renewable and<br />

sustainable source of electricity generated by converting sunlight into<br />

electrical power using photovoltaic cells (solar panels). These cells contain<br />

semiconductor materials that absorb photons from the sun and release<br />

electrons, creating a flow of electricity. Solar energy is clean, environmentally<br />

friendly, and increasingly used to power homes, businesses, and more.<br />

It helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.<br />

Owning a PV system<br />

is becoming increasingly<br />

popular, with benefits<br />

including greater<br />

independence from the<br />

energy market, energy<br />

savings and climate<br />

protection.<br />


Modern test methods such as thermography<br />

enable testing and inspection to be<br />

performed during operation or outside<br />

the system’s regular service hours. EL<br />

measurement, for example, is performed<br />

at night. In addition, modern test methods<br />

do not require modules to be dismantled.<br />

The use of drones reduces the need<br />

to set up cranes or lifting platforms.<br />

The longer a defect goes undetected,<br />

the higher the secondary costs it causes.<br />

In this case, planners and installation<br />

and maintenance companies benefit<br />

from the support provided by recognised<br />

testing, inspection, and certification<br />

(TIC) companies like TÜV SÜD.<br />

Drawing on their technical expertise<br />

and using ultramodern technical<br />

equipment, they track down safety- and<br />

efficiency-relevant defects and identify<br />

opportunities for improvement.<br />

Combining safety inspections with efficiency<br />

checks also pays off for smaller<br />

systems, particularly when they are still<br />

within the manufacturer’s or installation<br />

company’s warranty period.<br />


[1] PV Strategy, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action: https://www.bmwk.de/Redaktion/DE/Publikationen/Energie/photovoltaik-stategie-<br />

<strong>2023</strong>.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=4<br />

50 maintworld 4/<strong>2023</strong>

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