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Condition based maintenance of agitators using advanced condition monitoring and Internet/wireless technologies (AgitatorCBM)
Start date: Oct 18, 2011, End date: Oct 17, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project aims to develop an online system for condition based maintenance (CBM) of agitators. Agitators are used to mix contents inside vessels, or so called tanks, and have been widely applied in various manufacturing sectors, such as chemical & petrochemical, pharmaceutical, polymer, biotechnology and food & grain processing industries. A typical agitator system consists of a power input unit, a gearbox and an impeller. The failure of the agitator causes the failure of the processing system, which may cost millions of pounds. In current practice, the inspection/maintenance is carried out in fixed schedules, which is costly. With the CBM system to be developed, the maintenance is carried out based on the health condition of the agitation system, rather than fixed schedules. This will not only considerably reduce the maintenance cost, but also greatly enhance the safety of the processing system.The Agitator CBM system includes three modules: data collection, diagnostic & prognostic, and condition based maintenance. Within the data collection module, the embedded sensors collect the signals from the agitator and send the data in a digitised form over the Internet to a centralised diagnostic and prognostic module for data analysis. Based on the experience developed, prognostic and diagnostic decisions are made and sent directly to the CBM plan. The required maintenance is then scheduled in a suitable time to replace any parts or conduct the necessary maintenance.The work to be conducted includes: (1) refinement of the data collection module, (2) Development of the diagnostic and prognostic module, (3) Develop the Internet communication for the agitator CBM, and (4) System integration and testing.
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