One area of engineering production that is constantly changing is the automotive industry. Innovations and a constant reliance on Research and Design means that new ideas to optimise production are always coming into use. As soon as one producer finds a new, better method of production, so its competitors are quick to study the innovation and decide if it will work for them.
But far from complicating the process, the good news is that techniques used in condition monitoring are keeping up with updates in production technology and updated accordingly. In the monitoring and repair prediction, it is not surprising that those behind techniques in predicting machine faults have a good idea of how production procedures will progress and establishing monitoring techniques in advance.
In the automotive industry in particular, the overall health of machinery can be compared to that of the finished product, the motor car. The first area to be studied is the history of the machine, to see what faults may have developed in the past, and how they were attended to.
Another aspect that sets automotive production apart from many areas of engineering is the sheer amount of different processes, and the materials that are used and the varied sizes of components. Often, smaller machines are used for the production of larger components, so condition monitoring processes and methods have adapted pro-actively to be able to predict when a piece of machinery is going to need attention.
With modern motor cars having as many as 30,000 components, it is essential for monitoring to keep pace with the innovations in the automotive manufacturing industry. But they have, developing systems to not only repair but to analyse each machine along the production line, keeping the whole plant running smoothly by correctly analysing the smallest details to build the bigger picture.