Case study
ELIN Motoren GmbH
By Konrad Schweiger, Regional Sales, Dewesoft GmbH, Austria

The Austrian company ELIN Motoren GmbH has fully integrated a mandatory vibration measurement of each produced machine – motor or generator – as part of the final inspection procedure. When searching for a suitable DAQ system, the requirements were to keep it portable, measure vibration and electrical power with just one system (raw data), and that the delivery of the data during the test should flow flawlessly to the KS Tornado testbed. Dewesoft provided the right solution.

KS tornado testbed control desk

A few years ago, ELIN Motoren decided as part of their digitization strategy, to obtain a vibration profile of each motor and generator at the time of delivery. The goal was to verify product quality and to have reference data for evidence in case trouble appears at a later stage at the customer.

elin motoren logo

ELIN Motoren, headquartered in Austria, is a high-tech company manufacturing rotating electrical machines - motors and generators - that are used worldwide. The company has 125 years of experience, a total of 1000 employees and an annual turnover of 120 million euros. Since the end of 2019, ELIN Motoren is 70% owned by the global technology company Voith Group.

The company focuses on electric machines, motors in the low- and medium- but also in the high-voltage range. It develops and produces customized solutions for industrial applications in the markets of:

  • Wind,
  • Mining, 
  • Plastics,
  • Power plants, 
  • Marine, and
  • Oil and gas. 

Its generators are particularly used for wind energy and decentralized energy generation.

Test setup at the in-house test field of ELIN Motoren
Figure 1. Test setup at the in-house test field of ELIN Motoren.

Watch the ELIN introduction video:

The testbeds at Elin Motoren are supplied by KS Engineers, a leading provider of test benches for the automotive and engine industries. The KS product line includes test and simulation systems for the development and testing of batteries and fuel cells. KS also provides solutions for the coordination of drive systems in the field of electromobility.

KS Engineers or Kristl, Seibt & Co. GmbH is an owner-managed company with headquarters in Graz working in the fields of automotive testing, industrial automation, and technical building equipment. KS Engineers supplies knowledge in the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, control engineering, electronics, and IT.

The testbeds are run by the automation software named Tornado. This software package with a graphic interface provides measurement, control, and report functions for test benches. It is optimized for engine and chassis dynamometer test stands, powertrain test benches, and vehicle component test rigs.

Test Bench – Data Acquisition (DAQ) Integration

The KS testbed software Tornado controls the device under test (DUT), e.g., starts an engine runup or coast down, sets the RPM, etc. The DUT sends back information, such as temperatures or operational status.

The requirement from ELIN Motoren was during measurement to continuously get the vibration data from Dewesoft hardware and software into the Tornado software. This communication is handled via TCP/IP by a Dewesoft plugin, the Testbed module.

The Dewesoft testbed module is an interface between DewesoftX data acquisition software and testbed control systems. It uses the Request/Response working principle and can be pre-set and used independently of DewesoftX. In this way, it is controlled only by the master system requesting certain data from the TestBed module, which gives the response back to the master system. 

In the case of ELIN Motoren, the Tornado software requests the measured orbit and order analysis data in real-time from the Dewesoft channels during measurement. Simply, through the AK protocol, which offers a very compact command set.

The plugin supports four specific so-called master-slave protocols: 

  • AK Protocol,
  • Puma Open,
  • D2T, and 
  • Tornado. 

For all of these protocols, the RS232 or TCP/IP connection is possible.

It can be used with the Combustion Engine Analyzer (CEA) module where engine cycles are used for storing and calculation conditions. Alternatively, it can also be used in time mode where any channel or value can be sent from DewesoftX, and measurement time is used for triggering and calculation interval.

Measuring housing and bearing vibrations in the in-house test field
Figure 2. Measuring housing and bearing vibrations in the in-house test field.

The Solution

DAQ Hardware and DAQ Products

  • Two SIRIUS R2DB data acquisition systems
  • SIRIUSi-CUSTOM DualCoreADC signal conditioner slice with 8 analog channels: 1xACC+, 5xACC, 2xSTG - for Noise, Vibration, and Harshness testing (NVH)
  • SIRIUSi-HS high-speed signal conditioning slice with 8 analog inputs: 2x STG, 3xHV, 3xLV - for power
  • SIRIUSi-HS-4xHV-4xLV high-speed data acquisition system for power measurements
  • SIRIUS-CUSTOM data acquisition system
  • KRYPTONi-8xRTD for RTD temperature measurement
  • DSI-ACC adapters for direct IEPE sensor connection
  • DS-TACHO2
  • DS-SHUNT-05

DAQ Software

  • DewesoftX data acquisition software
  • Dewesoft Dynamic Signal Analysis (DSA) software option: FFT Analyzer, Order Tracking, Modal Test, Human vibration, Shock Response Spectrum, Sound Level, Torsional Vibration, and Rotor Balancing
  • Dewesoft Power option
  • Dewesoft Testbed plugin

The Dewesoft data acquisition system delivers vibration analysis results to the Tornado software
Figure 3. The Dewesoft data acquisition system delivers vibration analysis results to the Tornado software.

Measurement Modules

The measurement instruments and data loggers are portable. The same DAQ devices can be used for the testbed but also for on-site service and installation. That’s why the ELIN Motoren decided for a mix of SIRIUS R2DB as an all-in-one data acquisition and single SIRIUS modules for easy expansion to a higher channel count.

Dewesoft SIRIUS R1DB and R2DB all-in-one portable data acquisition systems

Dewesoft SIRIUS R1DB and R2DB all-in-one portable data acquisition systems

The decision to purchase Dewesoft was also made because there are no further software license costs, updates are free forever, and the data files are accessible to anyone without a license. Electrical power and vibration data are measured with the same system, raw data are stored, and can be recalculated. 

Measurement setup - an R2DB with SIRIUS modules is remotely accessed from the control center
Figure 4. Measurement setup - an R2DB with SIRIUS modules is remotely accessed from the control center.

Dewesoft DSI Adapters

With DSI-adapters they can adjust to any measurement requirements of today. DSI adapters are TEDS IEEE 1451.4 equipped sensor adapters that turn any of our universal analog input amplifiers with DSUB9 connectors into direct IEPE, charge, thermocouple, shunt, voltage, LVDT, or RTD input.

Different DSi adapters

Different DSi adapters

IEEE 1451.4 is a set of smart transducer interface standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), while TEDS indicates that they include a Transducer Electronic Data Sheet.

Eddy Current Sensors

Eddy current sensors are used for measuring shaft displacement - orbit, shaft centerline, and shaft orbit plot. Eddy current sensors are designed for non-contact displacement, distance, position, oscillation, and vibrations measurements. Their robust sensor design is suitable for industrial measuring, particularly suitable when high precision is required in harsh environments with pressure, dirt, or extreme temperatures.

At ELIN the engineers are especially interested in particular parameters like:

  • S_0 peak-peak
  • S_90 peak-peak, and 
  • Smax. 

The eddy current sensors are already integrated with the D.U.T.  They must be precisely mounted since they need to have a very high sensitivity - 7.87 V/mm - to be able to measure displacements in the micrometer (um) range. Furthermore, they require a special supply of -19V, however, the SIRIUS-STG module can supply a programmable sensor supply in this range.

Orbit Analysis with Dewesoft Orbit Analyzer

The Dewesoft Orbit Analysis module is tailored for turbomachinery applications and designed for precise rotor movement measurements and advanced analysis.

It is an analysis tool for rotor movements examination and assessment of any movement restrictions causing vibration, as well as a diagnostic tool enabling the detection and prevention of many types of potential faults and machinery downtime.

Example of an Orbit analysis measurement display
Figure 5. Example of an Orbit analysis measurement display.

IEPE Accelerometers

Integrated Electronic Piezo-Electric (IEPE) accelerometers have become the most commonly used accelerometer type. IEPE accelerometers are basically accelerometers with a built-in charge or voltage amplifier. Because of this, IEPE accelerometers require no special cabling and are very easy to integrate with a system.

IEPE accelerometers require a constant DC power source, however, many data acquisition systems include this. The microelectronic circuit inside a voltage mode IEPE accelerometer limits its ability to tolerate hostile environments when compared to charge mode accelerometers. Still, these accelerometers often have a temperature range of at least -40° to +125°C which is enough for most applications.

ELIN Motoren uses voltage mode IEPE accelerometers for measuring housing and bearing vibration for Dewesoft Order Tracking Analysis within the optional Dewesoft software module. They can define an overall vibration profile, a Campbell plot, and also use the data to check for abnormalities, e.g., detecting if any harmonics are dominant over the RPM range.

  Example of an order analysis measurement display
Figure 6. Example of an order analysis measurement display.

Conclusion

Dewesoft offers a solution to extend KS Tornado test beds already in operation. They can easily be complemented with a range of Dewesoft application solutions, such as:

  • High Precision Power Measurement
  • Combustion engine analysis (CEA)
  • Any other DewesoftX software option/plugin like OPC UA, Modbus, …

Any such combination offers great benefits for all existing Kristl Seibt users, for example, when it comes to engine development. No matter if it is conventional combustion, electric, or hybrid since all modules can be combined within DewesoftX software.

The users benefit from software updates with no annual license costs, high-quality hardware with great flexibility, and a strong local support team.