Drives and Controls Magazine
Edge app makes drives smarter and spots anomalies
Published:  01 December, 2020

Siemens has launched its first edge application for drives, claiming that it will make its Sinamics drive systems more intelligent, and will pave the way for new business models. The company has also announced an AI-based module for optimising the maintenance efficiency of motor-based systems.

The Analyze MyDrives Edge application has similar functions to the existing Mindsphere Analyze MyDrives app, but includes intelligent functions based on high-frequency data exchange that allow users to perform complex analyses of data already collected in drives. Machine learning and AI algorithms identify patterns and detect anomalies and their causes, thus revealing when maintenance is needed, thus reducing downtime and the consumption of resources.

Siemens’ Drive System Framework allows users to connect Sinamics drive systems to the industrial edge platform, and can be used to manage them. For example, machine-builders and users can change parameters or perform firmware updates. In future, it should also be possible to configure simulation models – digital twins of drive systems.

Siemens says that connecting drives to the edge will also pave the way for new business models. Machine-builders, for example, will be able to offer user-specific applications and digital services, or to guarantee the availability of their machines.

The new AI (artificial intelligence) module for the Predictive Service Assistance Mindsphere application identifies fault patterns in motors – such as misalignments or defective bearings – at an early stage. It can help to cut downtime and improve spare parts and maintenance processes. The module uses a neural network to solve what was previously implemented using a defined KPI (key performance indicator) limit value. This enables it to detect anomalies before the limit value is reached, and to indicate the type and severity of faults and their development.

As soon as the application spots signs of a problem, it warns the user, indicating when the error should be corrected, and recommending corrective action to avoid downtime. The module is offered as part of the Predictive Service Assessment app and the package also includes a customised configuration service that optimises the Mindsphere application to meet a user’s needs.

Siemens’ Predictive Service Assistance app uses AI to detect anomalies in drive systems

The app is part of Siemens’ Predictive Services for Drive Systems, an extension to its local service contracts. It is said to result in more efficient maintenance of Sinamics and Simotics drive systems, and offers transparency on spare parts and maintenance activities to minimise risks through weak-point analysis.

Siemens says that its Analyze MyDrives Edge app could pave the way for new business models