How EPIC helped Enertics validate its new motor health monitoring system.

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Enertics Inc. provides asset performance management solutions for electric motors in a wide range of industry sectors. Enertics partnered with Mohawk College to test and validate its new product that can continuously monitor the health of electric motors.

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Research Area: Energy and Power Innovation Centre, IDEAWORKS
Funder: Ontario Centre of Innovation
Research Team: Patrick McInnis, Quang Nguyen (student), Mariano Arriaga

 

Future Ready Challenge

Electric motors are used in a variety of industrial applications and can be expensive assets to maintain and replace. Unexpected downtime or breakdowns result in lost revenue and, in some cases, catastrophic damage. Although most companies undertake preventive maintenance programs, those programs do not provide appropriate alerts and alarms for any anomalies before they become major faults, meaning that motors can still fail without warning. An automated continuous monitoring system providing online diagnostics and proactive health warnings about motors would bring tremendous value to the industry.

 

R & D Collaboration

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Enertics Inc. designed a product that helps companies implement continuous monitoring and predictive analytics for their electric motors. The device can detect high-resolution mechanical vibration signals from the motors and identify abnormal behaviour that can be linked to potential electrical and mechanical faults. Continuous health monitoring and predictive analytics helps customers to better plan for proactive service of their motors, instead of waiting for failures to happen. This increases process uptime and extends the lives of motors while minimizing maintenance costs from unexpected breakdowns.

Enertics’s product- the LVMM 100 Motor Health Monitor Sensor Gateway- provides advanced parameter monitoring, diagnostics and an alert system. It uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors that can relate to motor performance parameters, feeds data via a secure system to Enertics’s proprietary predictive maintenance algorithms, and conveys the results to a user-friendly dashboard. Enertics partnered with Mohawk College's Energy and Power Innovation Centre (EPIC) to complete third-party testing and validation of its LVMM 100 Motor Health Monitor Sensor Gateway.

 

Innovative Results

The third-party testing and validation were completed using both a simulated testbed and an actual industrial setting. First, the research team prepared a testbed in the lab and exposed the motor to various common mechanical and electrical faults, testing the detection capabilities of the LVMM 100 system’s advanced vibration and temperature sensors. They also installed the Enertics monitoring system on two 25 HP electric motors that are part of the HVAC air handling system at Mohawk’s Fennell campus, to assess the real-time performance of the system.

In the testbed, the system proved successful in monitoring and identifying simulated motor-rotor unbalance, misalignment, electrical unbalance, and early-stage bearing faults. When the team tested the end-to-end functionality using the industrial-sized motors in Mohawk’s HVAC air handling system, they found that the system detected and verified the ambient structural vibrations that may adversely impact performance over the life of the motor. The research team also helped test and improve Enertics’s data acquisition and communication system in an industrial setting.

The third-party validation provided by the research team will help Enertics commercialize this technology in Ontario and beyond. The Mohawk partnership provides the company with a platform to develop a product that will help them grow to $3-5M annual global sales by 2021, and Enertics expects to create 5-7 new support roles in Ontario.