Conveyor belt monitoring for Consumer Packaged Goods

May 29, 2019

Conveyor Monitoring
Today, less than 5% of all data generated in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry is analyzed for insights. This means that CPG manufacturing companies remain reactive rather than proactive in their approach to operations.

Yet the answers to much sought after questions such as: “How can productivity be increased?, “How might operating costs be reduced?” And “How can the reliability of operations be improved?” are all within their grasp with the deployment of IIoT remote monitoring/condition monitoring.

Yet the answers to much sought after questions such as
“How can productivity be increased?” are within your grasp

IIoT plays an important role in answering these questions because it enables CPG businesses to harness the richness of machine and production data over time, analyze it and gain insights to drive operational improvements.

Condition monitoring of conveyor systems previously too costly to implement

CPG production lines comprise of many small roller conveyor belts and hundreds of motors that drive these belts. Historically the problem for this industry was the cost of implementing condition-based monitoring on these motors was greater than the cost of the motors themselves. So motors were left to run to failure and only once the failure event had occurred would action be taken to replace them. This approach was crude and inefficient, and came with its own set of issues including: disruption, impact on productivity, wastage, and excess inventory.

The end of roller conveyor motors running to failure

With the emergence of IIoT, CPG manufacturers are now able to connect these motors to the Cloud for analysis using simple and very affordable wireless sensors. Condition monitoring of conveyor rollers, belt drives, bearings and other components of CPG machinery is now simpler and far more affordable.

One simple IoT application for condition monitoring conveyors is to measure and monitor the temperature and vibration data from the conveyor motors themselves. Once monitoring has been implemented, trends such as wilder oscillations in vibration metrics and/or increases in temperature over time can be detected.

Visualization of conveyor belt motor data over time yields insights

By utilizing simple visual analytics it is possible for plant operators and managers to get answers to questions such as “Are all motors continuing to operate below a safe threshold in terms of vibration?”, “Are the motors exhibiting any unusual behavior in a sustained manner.” and “Is there a correlation with this in respect to temperature?”

By studying the visual analytics, plant managers can quickly identify which conveyor motors are likely to fail and can schedule a planned shutdown to replace them. This is a very cost-effective and practical use of condition monitoring with IIoT to improve the cost of reliability.

A bigger picture of the complete manufacturing environment

At a higher level, this type of monitoring can also benefit the manufacturing company as a whole. Implementing IIoT condition monitoring solutions across multiple manufacturing facilities enables the comparison of each facility and its performance.

Insights such as why one plant is more efficient than another or how operations might be scaled can be gleaned. IIoT monitoring, the Cloud and analytic technology offers manufacturing and production facilities a much bigger picture in terms of pathways to achieving a higher level of productivity and reliability of their operations.

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