The National Science Foundation recently helped researchers at University of Missouri-Rolla to establish a Center Site on Intelligent Maintenance Systems as part of the foundation’s Industry/University Collaborative Research Center program.
The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and the University of Cincinnati are also members of the new center, which will focus on enabling products and systems to achieve and sustain near-zero breakdown performance.
“The work will ultimately transform the traditional maintenance practices of ‘fail and fix’ to a ‘predict and prevent’ methodology,” says Dr. Jagannathan Sarangapani, director of this NSF center site and professor of electrical and computer engineering at UMR.
The UMR center site is currently working on five to six projects relevant to monitoring, diagnostics and prognostics. For example, researchers are developing a maintenance method for assessing and predicting performance degradation of a compressor and pump using wireless and web-based tools. The onboard maintenance scheme using a UMR Mote will optimize the compressor and pump’s performance by monitoring the performance of individual elements, such as pressure drops in the high-pressure air distribution network, in the entire system.
UMR faculty working on projects in this center site include Dr. Can Saygin, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering; Dr. Ming Leu, the Keith and Pat Bailey Missouri Distinguished Professor of Integrated Product Manufacturing in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering; Dr. Keith Corzine, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Dr. Maciej Zawodniok, postdoctoral fellow in electrical and computer engineering; and Lakshmanan postdoctoral fellow in engineering management and systems engineering.
The UMR center site is currently supported by Boeing, Caterpillar, Chevron, Festo, Honeywell and 21st Century Systems. More than 30 companies are members of this NSF center through the three universities.