Predictive Maintenance and Optimal Use of Resources

NORD Drivesystems is developing cost-efficient and reliable virtual sensor functions for condition monitoring.

The drive PLC determines the best oil change interval
  • Client

    NORD Drivesystems

  • Services

    Motors, geared motors, inverters and drives

  • Technologies

    Motors & drives

  • Dates



The meaning 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 this 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 utilization 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 expected to be commercially available in all NORD drive electronics units with an onboard PLC from late 2018.

At a Glance: Virtual sensors for predictive maintenance

• Function in frequency inverters with an integrated PLC

• Precise definition of maintenance intervals helps - reduce operating costs - increase plant availability

• Due for launch: late 2018

• Pure software solution without hardware costs for sensors/control units.

Illustration: In applications with steady long-term load profiles, the drive PLC determines the best oil change interval without costly sensors.

NORD Drivesystems develops, produces and sells drive technologies with around 3.400 employees, and is one of the international leaders in the industry. In addition to standard drives, NORD supplies application-specific concepts and solutions, even for special applications, for example with energy-saving drives or explosion-protected systems. NORD produces a wide variety of drive units for torques from 10 to 200,000 Nm, electric motors with powers from 0.12 kW to 1,000 kW as well as the necessary power electronics in the form of frequency inverters and servo controllers. Inverter solutions are available for classical installations in the switch cabinet and for decentralised and fully integrated drive units.

Getriebebau NORD GmbH & Co KG, Germany. Tel: +49 45 32/2 89-0. Email: