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Condition monitoring laboratory

The Condition Monitoring (CM) research activity is based within the HVM Group but has specially engineered test facilities within collaborating laboratories across the School of Engineering.

These include:

Mazak vertical centre smart 430A vertical machine centre

The Mazak 430A VMC was acquired to support CM research which is conducted in collaboration with Renishaw. It is a standard VMC that was modified by Mazak to enable direct access to NC controller signals which are not normally available to users. Other than a version of this set-up located within Renishaw, this is a unique facility. The CM research can access and exploit control signals with minimal impact on day-to-day machining operations while also avoiding the need to retrofit equipment or sensors.

1/20th scale horizontal axis tidal turbines

The Cardiff Marine Energy Group (CMERG) have developed three fully instrumented 1/20th scale horizontal axis tidal turbines (HATT) devices. These are used to understand the dynamic loading of HATTs, singularly or in array configurations. They can be deployed to inform developers and help achieve survivability and efficiencies. CM is central to these activities and each device is fitted with an in-house developed thrust and twisting moment transducer for a single blade, as well as a fully instrumented nose cone. The devices represent the latest result of collaboration with research partners that include Bosch and National Instruments.

Integrated HATT CM development rig

This test facility is constructed using two Bosch Rexroth motors with one operating as the rotor and the other one as the generator. The test rig is controlled via two IndraDrive motor drive systems. It can emulate the operation of a HATT and is used to develop and test CM strategies that are much needed to underpin the long-term operation and reliability of HATTs for which device maintenance and the operational costs are of particular concern.

Mechatronics space

The CM research group shares a facility that houses a variety of proof-of-concept scale-model applications. The facility is primarily (~60%) a teaching laboratory for control engineering and is sponsored by and contains National Instruments (NI) equipment. In addition to control and microprocessor laboratories the space is used for teaching activities. Of relevance to the CM group (HATT) these include lectures and demonstrations of computational fluid dynamics software.

The research space (~40%) also hosts one of the year 4 undergraduate mechatronics group projects. This group are designing a locomotive for the IMechE railway challenge and are including monitoring aspects in their design. The CM application equipment includes customised wind tunnels (used at early stages of HATT monitoring evaluations), a robotic gripper test rig, a liquid level control test rig (used to evaluate prognostics and tracking of operational scenarios), a PLC controlled conveyor system and a customised PLC controlled model of a hydraulic press.