Unigel is one of the largest petrochemical companies in Brazil and has increasingly prioritized solid relations with local industries, such as WEG, in order to further advance in terms of technology and innovation.

WEG Motor Scan®: much more efficiency for industrial processes

In order to enhance its results and definitively upgrade its industrial park to Industry 4.0, in 2019 the company implemented, at its Camaçari complex, in Bahia state, at the northeast region of Brazil, 46 WEG Motor Scan sensors® and four Gateways, with more devices already planned to be installed in every unit of the manufacturing plant, totaling 130 sensors.

Focused on monitoring rotating equipment in critical applications, the devices will be installed in several systems driven by electric motors, such as compressors, centrifugal pumps, tower fans, boiler water pumps, extruders and chillers. 

But how does this solution for Industry 4.0 work at Unigel?

The installed solution is formed by the interaction of the sensor, application, router and portal, which monitor the equipment remotely and in real time, modernizing and speeding up operations by means of the Internet of Things (IoT). 

At Unigel, it sends alerts to the control room operator, coordinators and supervisors of the units about the equipment status at the plants – everything without the need for on-site measurement and verification. As for the maintenance, it provides information on the conditions of the monitored equipment, which helps improve the MBTF (mean time between failures). The data collected and sent to the cloud allows making faster and more assertive decisions, enabling the implementation of predictive maintenance, which significantly reduces the unplanned production downtime and ensures a longer motor service life and greater efficiency. 

What are the benefits of Industry 4.0 for the petrochemical industry?

For Unigel, the biggest advantage is that those in charge of the maintenance reliability have a timely diagnosis of the machines, and thus it is possible to set new maintenance strategies for each machine and avoid the plant downtime. In addition, breakages are prevented and the maintenance team intervention time on each machine is reduced, since the sensor not only indicates the location of the problems requiring a solution but also other failures that used to go unnoticed. That was the case within Unigel's Cyanide blowers, where a blower had a 27-day MTBF (mean time between failures), and even when the best maintenance practices were employed, the MTBF would not change. 

The operation of this equipment consists of extracting the air through a cyclone and sending it to a washing tower. After the installation of the WEG Motor Scan®, it was possible to notice in real time that every 4 days the equipment vibrated for about 30 minutes above the critical limit, and that happened at different times during continuous operation (24 hours). Then, the vibration reduced to acceptable levels for the maintenance team, who, when checking the equipment in the workshop, found out that a layer of dust remained on the rotor blades and caused an intermittent vibration for 30 minutes. Once the problem was found, a routine was established to clean the blower when the alert about the vibration was sent. The equipment has been operating for 6 months without any failures.     

After the monitoring, it was possible to establish a routine for cleaning the blowers, making short stops and washing the equipment internally. With such action, we eliminated the breakdowns of this equipment and consequently the unit downtime for at least 60 hours. ” Mário Rodrigues Bonfim, Maintenance Coordinator at Unigel, said.

The company's investment, in addition to increasing its productivity and process efficiency, produced savings estimated between BRL 60 to 120 thousand in the year. 

WEG, recognized for the solutions for a great variety of applications, offers the market various high-performance product combinations for industry 4.0 in order to improve industrial processes all over the country.

WEG Motor Scan® is WEG Digital Solutions. Learn more at www.weg.net/wegmotorscan