Industry leading automation solution provider Omron Automation Americas recently launched a new heater condition monitor. Mainly, it supports predictive maintenance by preventing heater failure. It allows engineers and maintenance managers monitor heater condition and reduce unplanned downtime in automotive, food and commodity, semiconductor, and electronic industries.
Heaters fail through a variety of methods like contamination, thermal fatigue/heat cycling and improper power input and wattage for application. When heater deterioration goes unnoticed, it can lead to excess product waste and costly machine downtime.
Alert Users Ahead of Deterioration
Omron’s K7TM Heater Condition Monitor can alert users of the early stages of deterioration when there is still plenty of time to get a replacement. Measuring resistance values while a heater is active makes this feature possible. On the contrary, the heater must be turned off in manual inspections. Also, resistance values are calculated by measuring the voltage at both ends of the heater in addition to its current.
K7TM, the latest in Omron’s predictive maintenance product line, works with any resistance-type heater. Among these heaters include sheathed, cartridge, band, cast, silicon carbide, and ceramic heaters. It is equipped with a local alarm bar, transistor output, and two RS-485 communication ports. Each unit monitors two heaters and can be easily retrofitted onto existing equipment.
Manual inspections often do not detect likely failures, particularly because they require the heater to be turned off for safety reasons. This makes data collection less accurate and less likely to reveal a change in condition during trend analysis.
Accurately Measures Resistance Values
Heater resistance value trends can’t be determined using the basic voltage/current calculation. The temperature controller and heater characteristics influence this calculation. Specifically, K7TM accurately measures resistance values by filtering these influences out of this calculation.
Also, K7TM can also monitor the deterioration trends in heater resistance by comparison with historical resistance values when used in the same environment. Depending on heater type, the resistance value may vary greatly depending on temperature. K7TM constantly monitors the heater resistance value at the same timing as heater temperature to accurately reflect heater deterioration trends.
Omron’s predictive maintenance solutions is an umbrella that includes K7TM and other condition monitoring devices. The strategy underlying these is using real-time data to identify component failures early, thereby reducing unplanned downtime and avoiding costly repairs.
Industrial professionals can learn more about the K7TM, including its Push-In Plus termination, clear LCD panel, and easy-to-retrofit design.