SUMMARY

From various machines and processes different variables relating to their state, operational environment, production process etc. are continuously measured. Very large amounts of measurement data are thus generated and they should be processed into useful information. Tools and methods developed in the TOLKKU project facilitate turning data masses to information that brings value company-wide from product development, machine operation and maintenance to management decision-making.

RESULT

Main result of the project was TOLKKU-toolbox. TOLKKU is a software toolbox designed for condition monitoring, diagnosis and prognostics of machines and vehicles. The toolbox implements both new methods and prior art and is aimed for practical down-to-earth data analysis work. The target was to improve knowledge of the operation and behaviour of machines and processes throughout the whole life cycle. The toolbox supports different phases of condition based maintenance with tools that extract essential information and automate data processing.

The idea behind the TOLKKU approach is simple. Instead of offering a software tool with fixed features, the companies are provided with blocks that facilitate building O&M tools for varying situations and needs. By combining modules developed in the project a company can build software customized to its needs, such as early detection of faults, optimizing maintenance plans, monitoring the use profiles of a machine fleet, just to name a few. Tolkku provides tools for:

  • Ensuring data quality,
  • Identification and classification of operational states and situations,
  • Fault and deviation detection,
  • Use and load profiling,
  • Identification of causalities,
  • Prognosis and anticipation of service needs,
  • Decision support and automated decision making.

Key steps towards condition based maintenance are

  • Reliability, criticality and cost analysis
  • Select appropriate maintenance tasks
  • Select monitoring methods
  • Define methods for diagnostics, prognostics etc.
  • Determine maintenance actions

MOTIVATION

The importance of measurement data in machine operation and maintenance (O&M) is continuously increasing. Software tools are needed in extraction of relevant information from available measurement data and to support O&M personnel in their decision making.

APPLICATIONS/
IMPACT

"TOLKKU project has created a practical and applicable data analysis toolkit that has already shown some promising results in use", says company participant Heikki Mesiä from Konecranes. "We are very pleased with the way this project, that in fact is research oriented, has been so well focused in the industrial needs. The full potential of TOLKKU Toolbox is now in the hands of its users, but the advantages can be reached through well planned and effective use."

Scenarios for utilizing the TOLKKU toolbox include:

  • For research and development: Acquiring increased understanding of the system’s load and behaviour throughout its whole life cycle (e.g. information on the usage, operating situations, loadings etc.). Gaining quantitative evidence on the feasibility and reliability of different solutions. 
  • For operation of the machines: Providing feedback on the systems’ behaviour (e.g., a “traffic light” that informs the operator about her operation style). Optimizing operation (e.g. anticipation of service needs and avoiding emergency actions). 
  • For service and maintenance: Anticipating the wear and failure of the machine/process parts (e.g. information on the extensive load and possible breakdown of a part). Supporting condition based maintenance, remote condition monitoring, maintenance service etc.

MAIN CONTACT

Mikko Lehtonen, VTT

PROJECT PARTNERS

Bronto Skylift, John Deere Forestry, Konecranes, Metso, VTT, Aalto, TUT,

AUTHORS

Author missing

Mikko Lehtonen

mikko.lehtonen(at)nospamvtt.fi

VTT

Author missing

Jari Halme

jari.halme(at)nospamvtt.fi

VTT

Author missing

Olli Saarela

olli.saarela(at)nospamvtt.fi

VTT