Welcome to the “Digital Twin” No-Spin Zone. Workshop solutions all non-invasively upgrade today’s equipment today, so you can monitor and be aware of upcoming service issues within critical mission systems.
Workshop makes it super simple and inexpensive to upgrade your existing equipment with easily attached component and electrical sensors that monitor critical systems and assets. With Workshop, you’ll know exactly what’s going on with today’s machines, so you’ll avoid unplanned downtime and dramatically increase productivity and profits.
Workshop’s affordable solutions let you look into the future to predict machine malfunction and failure.
Workshop sensors are placed directly on your machines or components to automatically monitor condition. The sensor data transmits to an easy-to-install gateway and is then sent to cloud servers running powerful analytic software. Results are transmitted from the server to a user-friendly app, where you will view real time machine condition and maintenance advice.
Far beyond the monitoring capabilities and trending packages being touted by new entrants to the field of predictive maintenance and analytics, Workshop products ‘listen’ to key assets and components to detect changing health and operating conditions long before the machine controller issues a warning or alarm condition.
Machine control data typically only shows process data. Workshop actually analyzes the data from vital machine components, such as gearboxes, heaters, pumps and more.
The Workshop prescriptive maintenance solution provides actionable maintenance advice and allows you to schedule maintenance at a convenient time rather than suffer a costly shut down.
Power Analyzer diagnoses everyday electrical problems including costly issues that can result in lengthy downtime such as motor burnout, control and display memory loss, and failing transformers, capacitors and more.
Workshop Power Analyzer uses patented local cloud-based analytics technology to capture, interpret and diagnose the data obtained from electrical components and internal power distribution.
Easy-to-understand dashboard gauges warn users of pending failure of stator windings, motor bearings and heaters as well as all common power line issues such as sag, swell, harmonics, ground faults and imbalances.
The data is presented in a manner that it is easily understood by personnel regardless of any electrical engineering experience. Every manufacturer has electrical issues. These issues can, and will, affect productivity, machine performance and electrical costs.
Workshop Power Analyzer technology is designed to help diagnose everyday electrical issues and present them in a way that can be easily understood by maintenance and management alike, regardless of experience on electrical components and related issues.
All Workshop products work in conjunction with Digital Twin Package that provides a factory dashboard of all connected assets. Through the Tools the user can set up alarms and alarm recipients.
Historic data is available through equipment performance trend lines. And, a streamlined dashboard interface delivers a clear summary of the powerful analytics for all monitored equipment, neatly organised by department and location.
Tool offers easy-to-understand diagnostic and actionable maintenance advice via text or email messages and handheld or desktop dashboards, in advance of machine or component failure. No manual data analysis is required.
The Workshop Vacuum Pump Analyzer monitors operating condition and trend health of pumps and blowers in various industrial applications. The Vacuum Pump Analyzer sensors easily attach to the pump exterior and constantly measure vibration and vacuum, plus ambient temperature and pressure. A plug-in connection reliably powers the sensor, unlike competitive units that rely on batteries for power.
Workshop Vacuum Pump Digital Twin tracks and compares the collected data against a baseline to determine overall pump health. Filter status, oil status, pump utilisation and vacuum or pressure level trends are all constantly monitored. Visualisation of valuable operating metrics is delivered through easy-to-understand mobile and desktop dashboards
The easy-to-install Workshop Component Analyzer constantly tracks the operating condition and trend health of rotating components in industrial machinery. Easy-to-understand icons direct users to view component health trends displaying months of operating history.
Customisable threshold values allow users to identify preferred maintenance conditions, unhealthy operating conditions, or deteriorated component health.
Time-domain data sampling methods enable continuous trend monitoring to spot anomalies and repeatable events that occur under changing process or operating conditions, allowing early detection of developing component health issues, and the operating trends that may be causing them. Traditional Frequency-Domain data and analytics add enhanced diagnosis capabilities for bearing and gearbox faults initially, with other device libraries being added each month.
Visualisation of key operating and analytic results are conveniently delivered 24/7 via web browser or mobile app in easy-to-understand dashboard gauges, and via email/text alerts. No advanced training or expertise is needed.
In the manufacturing world, improving the utilisation of assets and increased productivity are among the most important goals. Reliable assets reduce downtime, improve production quality and get product out the door faster.
The most effective approach is to use a predictive maintenance solution that readily installs to your existing equipment and has a powerful Digital Twin package that will collect data from your monitored equipment in real time, compare the data with established baselines, assess the condition of the equipment and use analytics to effectively manage maintenance activities.
With Workshop you’ll know exactly what’s going on with your machines so that you can avoid unplanned downtime and dramatically increase productivity and profits. Ask us how we can help implement a predictive maintenance program for you today!
“Rough Conditions in Maintenance Shops Place Risk on Potential for Successful Operational Missions”
Pilot on a routine training sortie when the aircraft’s engine caught fire and was forced to jettison fuel tanks and immediately return to base due to an engine issue originally stemming from incorrect practices and the “general disarray” of the base’s maintenance shop several years earlier, according to a Pentagon Report.
The primary cause of the incident was an obsolete part—a turbine frame forward fairing—that was installed on a brack that was not compatible several years early during a service life extension maintenance overhaul.. The part failed during the flight and caused the engine fire. Between the engine damage and the loss of the external tanks, the mishap was estimated to cost just several million. Routine inspections on the aircraft would not have caught the issue with the fairing, according to the report.
Through interviews with maintainers, the investigation board found that “poor enforcement of standard maintenance protocols” inside maintenance shop led to the improper completion of paperwork to ensure parts accountability, a severe disorganisation at the shop, improper handling of parts, and a failure to follow proper procedures for cannibalizing parts from other aircraft.
When a new senior officer arrived, he found the shop in disarray and without organisation. “It was mix and match, with no standardisation of where things went,” the report states. “The shop had their own ‘method of the madness.’
Because things were in such disarray, the shop “received millions dollars” to revamp and get back to standards.
“Given the strict protocols governing how parts are ordered and installed, a preponderance of the evidence shows the poor enforcement of standard maintenance protocols several years back created an environment within the Propulsion Flight that was a substantially contributing factor to the order and installation of the obsolete forward fairing that caused the fire,” the report states.
The investigation into another crash found an uncommanded closure of the aircraft’s main fuel shutoff valve caused the crash. That investigation found that the maintenance squadron did not have a corrosion preventative compound, which was prescribed by a task order for the aircraft and could have helped prevent an uncommanded closure of the valve,
Forecasting aircraft spare parts requirements typically calculate ratio of future flying hours to past flying hours for the aircraft using a specific part and then applying ratio to historical demand for part. We conclude this technique results in bad estimates mostly because 1) correlation of specific parts to specific aircraft types is not accurate, 2) does not base projections on many combinations of aircraft employing part, and 3) does not incorporate influence of lengthy procurement times into future flying-hours estimate
Because things were in such disarray, the shop “received millions dollars” to revamp and get back to standards.
“Given the strict protocols governing how parts are ordered and installed, a preponderance of the evidence shows the poor enforcement of standard maintenance protocols years earlier created an environment within the Propulsion Flight that was a substantially contributing factor to the order and installation of the obsolete forward fairing that caused the fire,” the report states.
Quality control during production is an important aspect of reducing cost caused by misaligned equipment or faulty equipment. When a machine is misaligned, operating incorrectly, or faulty, then parts or products produced by that piece of equipment may have poor fitting, tolerances that do not meet specifications, or incorrect yields for a desired product.
To better illustrate this, a tire production company uses a screw-compressor during their production that has a faulty oil filter that lets oil pass through it. When the oil passes through the filter, it gets carried through the pneumatic pressure pipes and finally begins to accumulate on the controllers and often damages them. The secondary issue is that oil is harmful to rubber and there is an oil limit of two parts per million that is allowed to pass through the filter. Using pressure sensors and the specification for differential pressures that the oil filter is rated for, the oil leak can be prevented by properly maintaining or replacing the filter.
Another example is the machine that begins the first stage of the tires formation. This machine has a long shaft that the tire is produced on. If the shaft has a misalignment, then defective tires are produced. By vibrational and gyroscopic analysis, the misalignment can be discovered, and the maintenance team will be notified so that they are able to quickly fix the issue.
Providing these notifications real-time during production allows operators and maintenance personnel to effectively communicate issues that reduce defective parts and downtime, ultimately reducing cost.
Test New Visual Inspection Procedure for Cold Sprayed Protective Coat/Wear Hydraulic Tubing Extends Aircraft Service Life
We recently completed an extensive effort to help certify a maintenance process that could extend the life of aircraft hydraulic system components. Through participation in a rapid innovation team, we successfully helped develop, test, and validate the cold spray coating process for the life extension of aircraft hydraulic lines. Cold spray is a technique by which metal particles are accelerated onto a surface through high-pressure application.
The force of the impact bonds the metal to the surface without the need for temperatures as high as those typically associated with other deposition processes. This process was identified as a potential solution for replacement aircraft hydraulic lines, which are prone to chafing damage.
Aircraft hydraulic lines are made of titanium, a strong, lightweight metal that can be bent and routed around tight spaces without collapsing upon itself. These qualities make it ideal for aircraft hydraulic systems. However, titanium does have drawbacks. It is very a surface-sensitive material, meaning that any nick or scratch can be detrimental to its overall material properties.
Because of the proximity of the hydraulic lines to landing gear components, chafing is a common occurrence, necessitating frequent inspection and replacement of hydraulic lines. This procedure is a costly and time-consuming endeavor.
To alleviate this problem, the rapid innovation fund team began investigating the use of the cold spray process to apply a protective titanium layer to chafe-prone tubing areas. Behind this effort was notion the sacrificial titanium layer could endure considerable wear while preventing harm to the material beneath.
Certifying the process for implementation on the aircraft hydraulic tubes was a complex and multi-faceted effort included identifying shortfalls in the technology, developing process controls, establishing test plans and acceptance criteria, performing material analysis, and developing inspection techniques.
The final step was approval by a change evaluation team. It was a tough task and one that required a thoughtful approach. “We knew we had to do this the right way, with safety first and make sure the use of this system met our acceptable risk levels and didn’t cause any unintended problems.”
Team began by developing a test plan that would meet all the necessary requirements for the aircraft. They also worked closely with aircraft maintainers and organisations who currently use the cold spray process for other applications.
Because of the platform-specific conditions under which this process would be used, special factors needed to be considered. In many instances, the team needed to start from square one to collect and process new data, perform necessary calculations, and develop new procedures.
At one point the team devised a new test procedure to ensure sufficient cold spray adhesion on the rounded surface of a tube versus the flat panels on which cold spray had been typically used. The team also had to take into consideration material integrity issues that can arise when using the cold spray process on titanium tubes.
“Titanium is very sensitive to temperature changes in the range in which cold spray is applied. Applying high heat to titanium tubes in an oxygen-rich environment causes a brittle crust—called alpha case—to form on the outside. Applying a protective coating to the titanium tubes would require a process that wouldn’t destroy their inherent material integrity.
“We developed a process in which we use helium as a carrier gas that displaces oxygen, so the brittle layer doesn’t have a chance to form on the tube.”
Throughout their investigation, team kept focus on maintainability. Since both the cold spray-applied protective coating and the underlying tubing materials are both titanium, it was very important to determine that field inspectors could discern between the protective layer and the tubing beneath.
To test this, team developed visual test procedures and asked maintainers to inspect worn areas to ensure that they could determine the difference between the protective coating and the underlying titanium of the tube itself.
“It’s a slight difference, but there are different levels of reflectivity. We wanted to make sure the inspectors could determine this.” The team developed an ultrasonic thickness inspection to serve as a backup inspection method once a potential problem area is identified.
After several years of painstaking research, collaboration, analysis, development, testing, validation, and verification, work was presented to change evaluation team, where the process was certified for use on the majority of the aircraft hydraulic system and systems in a number of other aircraft as well, should the use of this process be deemed necessary.
Use of the cold spray coating process will begin soon on all aircraft as a preventive measure that holds great promise in extending the serviceability of the aircraft’s hydraulic tubes.
“By using this process, maintainers can now allow a degree of wear to occur. Now if we see damage due to chafing, as long as it does not affect base material, we can tolerate that damage, which can save significant time and money.
This painstaking effort exemplifies the critical role the team plays in the development, advancement, and safety of aircraft assets. “We’re here to ensure it gets done right.”
1. Implement tech and process from industry to map workflow.
It’s recommended to begin the mapping effort at the very beginning of the maintenance process and the flow of the process from one step to the next. Once the map is done, eliminate as many of these extra maintenance steps as possible.
2. Give machine operators process ownership.
A number of real-time digital condition monitoring and reporting systems now support the positive trend to operator-driven reliability The Total Productive Maintenance approach shifts basic maintenance work and problem notification to machine operators, freeing up maintenance personnel to work on planned maintenance.
So workers have ownership of their machine and the process, maximise equipment effectiveness, increase workforce skills and reduce manufacturing costs through continuous monitoring. For their part, the maintenance team should respond to requests within a pre-determined time window.
3. Schedule your job site planned maintenance program far in advance.
Just as any other operation, it is essential to maximise productivity and meet order deadlines. Annual checks are going to be more comprehensive than a monthly or quarterly check, meaning the machine will be down for longer, so make sure they match up with your production commitments.
4. Use your resource planning system to plan for downtime.
Tie jobs in with the procurement function, and if properly described with consumption amounts and order lead times, maintenance parts will have been ordered in advance and arrive at job site in time for the machine to be serviced. Use your resource planning system to specify the maintenance mechanic who will work on the machine, and to specify the parts and chemicals needed to complete the maintenance activity.
5. Schedule more frequent checks for older equipment.
As equipment ages, parts and components will start to wear out sooner, and the maintenance window narrows. What were annual checks when the equipment was new may move to semi-annual or even monthly. The service parts required will have to be ordered more often. However, the planned downtime will affect production schedules less than a breakdown.
6. Engineer machine improvements for maintainability and operability.
Windows cut into guarding to give easier viewing of gauges will make the daily checks easier to perform and more likely to be completed. Access doors installed on equipment will allow for easier periodic maintenance. Consolidation of lubrication points into a single manifold also contributes to more consistently performed maintenance.
7. Conduct daily operator walk-arounds to pinpoint issues and opportunities for improvement.
Whether it’s a check sheet, whiteboard, or in some cases, a bar-coded activity, the operator’s checks are the essential element of a successful operation.
8. Address operator alerts immediately.
Beyond the operator and the proper performance of the checks, the maintenance organisation must be ready to respond immediately to an abnormality that’s been raised as part of the operator checks. Nothing will take the energy of total productive maintenance efforts faster than operators raising issues that aren’t addressed immediately.
9. Continually review spare part requirements.
Remove any spare parts from stock as equipment and machines are retired.
10 Document and continually re-visit your operation’s maintenance history
Include how critical items have been addressed. Develop and regularly review metrics that correlate equipment up and down time with production volume, quality and delivery. Whether using a computer-based maintenance system, or relying on a card file, or having a white board in the maintenance area, the strategies, opportunities and approaches remain the same.