Victoria-based Nord Drivesystems is in the process of developing virtual sensor functions for condition monitoring interval.

The purpose of virtual sensors is explained using the oil lifespan as an example.

This is to empower drive technology to schedule maintenance dates solely based on calculations, with no expense for hardware sensors.

The onboard PLC evaluates extensive operational datasets on current, voltage, and speed. From the data available in the inverter, the drive is always able to indirectly infer the current oil temperature.

Taking product-specific characteristics of the lubricant into account, oil aging can be determined, allowing for optimal utilisation of the lubricant.

Nord has validated through testing that the calculated oil temperature curve is nearly congruent with the real, measured temperature curve.

Working up to launch a fully operational solution soon, Nord is currently validating temperature curves under various load conditions.

Predictive maintenance functions are commercially available in all Nord drive electronics units with an onboard PLC.