NI as 4.0 Online Monitoring solution for a major steel industry

NI as 4.0 Online Monitoring solution for a major steel industry

When this major player in Steel industry decided to go for an Industry 4.0 Solution, he naturally came to I-care for advices and implementation services.

News Condition Monitoring 4 June 2019

The customer’s need


Scrapping steel plates just out of production lines due to quality problems can rapidly
reduce the profitability not to mention the environmental impact. These losses were the
main reasons to start an industry 4.0 project at that plant : detecting steel plate quality
problems 4 hours in advance based on data analytics.

In continous production line, this is a key parameter to be able to detect a problem upfront
and avoid any production losses.


What is a 4.0 solution ?


Every company has its own definition of what Industry 4.0 means for them. We, at I-care,
believe that the machines/production line is at the heart of the process, even if we want to
let the data talk by themselves. The machine will dictate what data need to be captured
before generating the signal, collecting and statistically analyze them. The final result
comes to a dashboard helping to take the right decisions :



I-care’s approach

In order to reach the customer’s requirements, the idea came to monitor the rolls and the
gearboxes of their steel mill lines, mainly in the oven section. Speed, motor current and vibration
are the 3 parameters defined to be analysed and correlated to detect a roll/metal slippage
leading to plate quality problems.


Knowing that, whatever the solution proposed, it had to meet the following requirements :
• Continuous online monitoring for multi-channels
• Handle multi-technology sensors
• Able to fully interface with the customer’s ERP/software

For these above reasons, I-care advised the customer to work with a National Instruments
hardware and software solution, implemented by I-care engineers.


National Instruments CompactRIO & InsightCMTM as the solution


The project consists of the installation of 12 CompactRIO monitoring systems to measure the
vibration of +160 accelerometers, in parallel with line speed through DCS Modbus communication.
The NI CompactRIO platform meets the customer requirements thanks to its specifications:

  • Real time simultanious online 24 channels hardware with AND/OR logic definition at
    the low hardware level (not on software level).
  • Eliminate useless asset data with intelligent hardware at the edge, configurable data
    collection behaviours, and alarms and notifications.
  • Modularity for a broad range of sensor technologies (vibration, current, voltage, ....)
  • Open software database structure in both directions, with Modbus, OPC UA or OSISOFT PI communication capabilities.

As distributed monitoring solutions, NI monitoring devices are designed to be deployed in the
field. They continuously acquire and process data but save the data only periodically or when an
important asset event occurs. This data is sent back to NI InsightCMTM via standard networking
infrastructure for storage and analysis by reliability engineers.


The NI InsightCMTM software will then process the acquired data, extract features and interface
it with the customer’s own IT solution for a fully integrated Maintenance process.













Another advantage of National Instruments for the continuous online monitoring compared to
other solutions is its decentralized and edge-ready approach, making it easy to install and
saving hundreds of meters of cable.


About NI and NI InsightCM TM   


NI accelerates productivity, innovation, and discovery through an open, software-defined
platform. This approach helps you develop and increase the performance of automated test
and automated measurement systems. Monitoring critical equipment for signs of failure adds
days of production to facilities, but not every asset has an off-the-shelf monitoring solution.
the NI platform can be used to measure any feature from any industrial asset. As technology
evolves, NI introduces new tools to help customers implement superior predictive maintenance
and gain a deeper understanding of condition monitoring data.

NI InsightCMTM is online asset monitoring software for subject matter experts and maintenance
professionals who need full access to waveform data, multiple sensor technology inputs,
connectivity to existing enterprise software packages, and a variety of configuration options
for alarms and data management.


About I-careTM


Founded in 2004, I-care Group is today one of the global leaders in Predictive Maintenance
and Reliability Engineering. With its headquarter in Belgium and a direct presence in more than 15 countries worldwide, I-care Reliability Group has a team of 300+ engineers who can service customers anywhere
in the world. I-care offers a wide range of high added value products, training and services to predict,
advice and accompany its industrial customers in optimised maintenance plans and production
availability at controlled costs by reducing the risk of unplanned shutdowns.


More information

Would you like to know more about how I-care can help you reduce your downtime? Visit our website or contact us +32 (0)65 45 72 14 or by email via