Motors and drives monitoring

Motors and drives get a new lease on life with retrofitted monitoring

Ageing motors and drives of varying types, speed and torque play a vital role on assembly lines worldwide. The components and complexity of the drive system can range from small fixed-speed DC motors to large variable frequency drive AC induction motors. Furthermore, many of these systems are still within their service lifetime but need updated monitoring capabilities. In contrast, expensive, state-of-the-art motors often have these capabilities built-in. However, most installations are reliant on simpler, lower cost and often older motors. DCO Systems offer an easy to retrofit sensing solution, therefore enabling these pre-existing motors to acquire the same monitoring capabilities and performance metrics.

DCO sensors special in machine monitoring such as industrial fans
DCO offer retrofitted motors and drives monitoring capabilities, giving them a new lease on life
DCO offer retrofitted motors and drives monitoring capabilities, giving them a new lease on life
DCO offer retrofitted motors and drives monitoring capabilities, giving them a new lease on life

This simple monitoring solution entails DCO’s energy harvesting sensors which thrive within the conditions of motors and drives. Harnessing power from vibration, heat or electromagnetism, DCO’s self-powered sensors do not need an installed power source to function. To illustrate, we explain three features of DCO’s monitoring, real-time, predictive and preventative and holistic, that have successfully given ageing motors and drives a new lease on life.

Real-time monitoring flags electrical and mechanical faults

DCO monitors collect data in real time for several different components of the drive motor process. Turning electrical power into mechanical action, motors benefit from a combination of electrical and physical monitoring techniques. Moreover, motor current signature analysis (MCSA), temperature and vibration monitoring can be combined to deliver real-time performance metrics. This also provides instantaneous and short-period performance comparisons to flag predictive and preventative maintenance data. As a result, real-time monitoring provides unequivocal information on these systems and flags inconsistencies to determine electrical and mechanical faults.

Predictive and preventative maintenance increases productivity

Drive motor systems are often seen as the real muscles for generating force to power machines in the manufacturing sector. However, the variations of rotational or linear force, varying electrical frequencies needed to control speed and torque, and the need for precise regulation make motors and drives susceptible to change. Furthermore, wear in the many mechanical and electrical elements of drive systems - such as commutators and bearings – leads to changes over time. If not resolved early enough this can lead to expensive maintenance headaches.

Because DCO monitors constantly collect and aggregate performance data, they build a profile of the equipment behaviour that includes an assessment of what “normal” is for each drive system. Equally important, analysis of difference from those normative values and generation of long run trend data enables the production of predictive and preventative maintenance data. In addition, predictive data permits pre-emptive scheduling of maintenance on a schedule that maximises operational efficiency.

Holistic monitoring uncovers knock-on effect pinpointing true issue

Drive motors are frequently combined with other mechanical components such as gearboxes, pulleys, belts, and drive shafts. In fact, these components can also benefit from use of sensing to monitor their performance. In this case, DCO’s sensors look at the whole system as a collective and gather information in real time and over longer periods of time. Next, DCO’s dashboard analytics uses the data to create a real-world performance profile for each device and system. Consequently, this historical data sheds light on the function of the system over weeks, months or years.

Furthermore, with motors and the equipment driven being intricately connected, problems in one part may show up elsewhere. To illustrate, DCO's monitoring integrates Motor Current Signature Analysis (MCSA), multiple surface temperature probes, and wide bandwidth vibration analysis of the drive systems. As a result, this holistic monitoring offering temperature, vibration and electrical analysis in parallel provides the detail needed to identify root cause and the actual issues.

DCO Systems offer monitoring solutions that can be retrofitted throughout the entire drive system and can enhance or extend data collection. Seeing information in real time and over time provides a more robust data set which is needed for the overall upkeep of this equipment. To get started with DCO’s affordable monitoring tools, go to our contact page or email us at

DCO monitor AC and DC motors

Datasheet: Explore our 'AC motor monitor datasheet' which details three models for different usage scenarios with integrated energy harvesting for long-life, maintenance-free operation. All models include on-board real-time FFT and statistical analysis of the collected motor current(s) data, plus optional motor voltage and vibration data (vibration monitoring and isolated motor voltage sensing are sensing options). READ MORE

DCO helps a steel manufacturer reduce downtime costs

Case study: 'Steel manufacturer reduces downtime costs' highlights how a major steel manufacturer uses DCO Systems’ easy to deploy monitoring technology to extend motor performance monitoring to new locations. By including this legacy equipment in their monitoring efforts, they have been able to reduce downtime. Reducing downtime on critical equipment lowers operational costs and improves plant efficiency. READ MORE

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14 Wilkinson Road
Cirencester GL7 1YZ
United Kingdom

+44 (0)1285 359059

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