(19)
(11)EP 3 502 030 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
26.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/26

(21)Application number: 17211142.9

(22)Date of filing:  29.12.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B66B 5/00(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 22.12.2017 EP 17210239
22.12.2017 EP 17210313

(71)Applicant: KONE Corporation
00330 Helsinki (FI)

(72)Inventors:
  • MUSTONEN, Matti
    00330 Helsinki (FI)
  • KINNARI, Jouko
    00330 Helsinki (FI)

(74)Representative: K & H Bonapat Patentanwälte Koch · von Behren & Partner mbB 
Donnersbergerstraße 22A
80634 München
80634 München (DE)

  


(54)METHOD FOR DIAGNOSIS AND/OR MAINTENANCE OF A TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM, AND SOFTWARE PROGRAM


(57) The invention relates to a method for diagnosis and/or maintenance of a transportation system, said transportation system having at least one transportation device and a remote monitoring unit being remote from said transportation device, said transportation device having a control board for controlling and/or monitoring a function of said transportation device, and a local control unit for controlling said and/or monitoring said control board, said method comprising:
- detecting raw data connected to said at least one function at said control board and/or said local control unit;
- generating condition information and/or performance information based on said raw data at said control board and/or said local control unit;
- calculating statistics information based on said condition information and/or performance information at said local control unit;
- buffering said condition information and/or performance information and/or statistics information at said local control unit;
- transmitting said condition information and/or performance information and/or statistics information to said remote monitoring unit, at predetermined and/or adaptive time intervals;
- processing said condition information and/or performance information and/or statistics information at said remote monitoring unit, for establishing a service need condition; and
- transmitting said service need condition selectively to the local control unit and/or a mobile service unit.
Another aspect of the invention is a computer program realizing the method.




Description


[0001] The invention relates to a method for diagnosis and/or maintenance of a transportation system, and a software program.

[0002] Elevator control systems may consist of tens of control boards each having one or more processors and many sensors that can produce valuable information for Condition Based Maintenance (CBM). It is neither feasible nor valuable to send all the data processed in the system every 10 ms or the like, but some of the signals are valuable and provide good data for condition diagnosis and prognosis. Even by selecting the signals carefully it is not needed to see all the samples in second scale as typically the needed time for optimized maintenance is days/weeks.

[0003] It is therefore an object of the present invention to minimize data amount (=connectivity price) between the device and the server where fleet analytics is done.

[0004] The object is solved by a method of claim 1 and a computer program product of claim 11. Further developments and advantageous embodiments are defined in the dependent claims.

[0005] The invention starts out from the idea that data amount could be minimized if the data is processed at the device.

[0006] Accordingly, an aspect of the invention is a method for diagnosis and/or maintenance of a transportation system, said transportation system having at least one transportation device and a remote monitoring unit being remote from said transportation device, said transportation device having a control board for controlling and/or monitoring a function of said transportation device, and a local control unit for controlling said and/or monitoring said control board. The method comprises:
  • detecting raw data connected to said at least one function at said control board and/or said local control unit;
  • generating condition information and/or performance information based on said raw data at said control board and/or said local control unit;
  • calculating statistics information based on said condition information and/or performance information at said local control unit;
  • buffering said condition information and/or performance information and/or statistics information at said local control unit;
  • transmitting said condition information and/or performance information and/or statistics information to said remote monitoring unit, at predetermined and/or adaptive time intervals;
  • processing said condition information and/or performance information and/or statistics information at said remote monitoring unit, for establishing a service need condition; and
  • transmitting said service need condition selectively to the local control unit and/or a mobile service unit.


[0007] The method may further comprise
  • managing a database holding data related to said condition information and/or performance information at said local control unit.


[0008] In the aforementioned method, said control board may be implemented as a LON or drive node, and may communicate with the local control unit via LON or drive interfaces. Furthermore, said local control unit may communicates with the remote monitoring unit via SAG interfaces. The aforementioned protocols are widely used in elevator control. However, other protocols such as mobile (wireless) or wired other (PSTN, LAN) network protocols may be employed as needed or usual.

[0009] In the aforementioned method, said the maintenance information may be indicative of a certain kind and/or severity of failure or problem of the frequency converter. Other sources/targets than a frequency convertor are possible.

[0010] In the aforementioned method, said the established maintenance information may be transferred or made accessible to a remote maintenance center or a mobile service unit or the local control unit of the transportation device, depending on a kind and/or severity of failure or problem indicated by the maintenance information.

[0011] In the aforementioned method, motor current and motor voltage of an automatic door motor may be detected as said raw data, and a door friction may be generated as a performance information.

[0012] In the aforementioned method, said performance information may be buffered separately for each door on each floor of said transportation device.

[0013] In the aforementioned method, said statistics information may be calculated and buffered separately for each door on each floor of said transportation device.

[0014] In the aforementioned method, said transportation device may be selected from one of an elevator, an escalator, a moving walkway, a cablecar, a railway locomotive, a railcar, a roller coaster, a conveyor, a crane, a positioning unit, and combined systems of a plurality of single units of the same.

[0015] The method may further comprise generating, by the mobile control unit
for the remote monitoring unit a request to retrieve condition information and / or performance information associated with a specific service need condition from the buffer at the local control unit. Based on the generated request, the mobile control unit may receive from the remote monitoring unit the condition information and / or performance information associated with a specific service need condition. This can mean that when a serviceman has performed a maintenance action related to the service need condition in question he / she may verify that the transportation system is in working order by studying the latest buffered condition information and / or performance information received from the remote monitoring unit. For example, to get a quick understanding that door operator is in wording order after performed maintenance action he / she may study a sequence of latest associated door operator KPIs before leaving elevator site.

[0016] Another aspect of the invention is a software program realizing the method according to any of the preceding claims when executed on a computer. In the aforementioned software program wherein the computer is preferably a distributed computing system part of which being located in a cloud computing system. The software program may be embodied as a computer program product or a data carrier carrying data representing the software program.

[0017] Other aspects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent by the below description of exemplary embodiments alone or in cooperation with the appended drawings.
Fig. 1
is a schematic diagram of a diagnosis/maintenance system or method according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention.
Fig. 2
is a schematic diagram of a diagnosis/maintenance system or method according to another exemplary embodiment of the invention.
Fig. 3
is a schematic diagram of a diagnosis/maintenance system or method according to another exemplary embodiment of the invention.


[0018] Now, exemplary embodiments of the invention will be described in further detail.

[0019] Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram of a diagnosis/maintenance system 100 or method 101 according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention. It will be noted that elements shown in Fig. 1 may be realized as physical instances of the diagnosis/maintenance system 100, or steps of the diagnosis/maintenance method 101, or both.

[0020] The system 100 or method 101 is for diagnosis/maintenance of an elevator 110. There may be only one elevator in the system, but there may also be a multiplicity of elevators 110. For distinguishing elevators 110 from each other, each elevator 110 is designated a unique number, herein exemplified as X1, X2, ..., Xn. In other words, there are n elevators 110 in the system, with n being 1, 2, or more.

[0021] A remote monitoring unit 111 is for monitoring each elevator 110 through diagnosis and prognosis algorithms which will be described later, and is in contact with a service unit 112. Even if only one service unit 112 is shown, more than one service unit 112 may be present. A device link 113 is for communication between the remote monitoring unit 111 and the elevator(s) 110, and a service link 114 is for communication between the remote monitoring unit 111 and the service unit(s) 112.

[0022] Each elevator 110 comprises a local control unit 120, a drive control board 121, and a motor drive 122 controlled by the drive control board 121, for moving an elevator car or cabin (not shown). A control link 123 is for communication between the local control unit 120 and the drive control board 121, and a drive link 124 is for connecting the drive control board 121 with the motor drive 122. The motor drive 122 may e.g. be a frequency converter converting three-phase mains voltage/current into three-phase motor voltage/current of a hoisting motor of the elevator 110, under control of the drive control board 121. Even if only one drive control board 121 and one motor drive 122 are shown, an elevator may have more than one cars, and a car may have one or more hoisting motors. So each car may be assigned one or more motor drives 122, and each motor drive 122 is assigned to one drive control board 121. However, one drive control board 121 may be responsible for one or more motor drives 122 of one or more elevator cars. Individual elevators may have other control boards also. These control boards may be connected to local control unit 12 via a common LON data bus, for example. These control boards may include car control board disposed on elevator car and landing control boards disposed on separate landings.

[0023] In this exemplary embodiment, the service link 114 is based on a mobile communications protocol, the device link 113 is based on SAG, wherein any other wireless or wired communication protocol is possible, the control link 123 is based on LON or device protocol, and the drive link 124 is based on a KDSC, which is a Kone-specific drive protocol to interface with commercial drives. Alternatively, the protocol could be made of or comprise control pulses if IGBT transistors of a motor drive are used. Generally, any protocol, particularly serial communication protocol, is possible. It will be noted that any other useful protocol may be used as needed.

[0024] The drive control board 121 comprises a drive control 130 for executing MCU and DSP algorithms which per se are known in the art, for driving switches of the motor drive 122, a KPI generation 132, a CF generation 133, a KPI sample limitation 134, and an uplink interface 135 of the control link 123.

[0025] There are many signals calculated in the motion control and torque control algorithms located in the drive control 130. The drive control 130 therefore does see and handle many control values as it is controlling the motion of the hoisting machine and these signals can be used to evaluate condition of many system components. Many of these values are calculated either in real-time or after each travel and thus there would be lots of data generated if the values should be transferred to a remote server for analysis and maintenance purposes. A diagnostics framework has been developed to reduce data sent to a server and this framework shall be extended to a drive software as well. This specification describes what data is generated in a box marked with circles I, II, III for condition-based maintenance (CBM) purposes.

[0026] The signals calculated detected or generated in the drive control 130 are passed, as a plurality of raw data 140, to the KPI generation 132 and CF generation 133. The KPI generation 132 has algorithms which generate so-called "Key Performance Indicators" (KPI) 141 from the raw data 140, and the CF generation 133 has algorithms which generate so-called "Condition files" (CF) 143 from the raw data 140. A KPI 141 may have the following structure:

< KPI sample 141 >



[0027] 
  1. 1) timestamp
  2. 2) sample


[0028] A condition file 143 may have the following structure:

<Condition file (CF) 143 >



[0029] 
  • header (timestamp, source)
  • data1, data2
  • 2.123,134.345
  • 2.278,127.780


[0030] It will be noted that numerical values in the condition file 143 above have no particular meaning in the context of the present invention and are purely by example. The condition file 143 is condition information in the sense of the invention, and the KPI sample 141/142 is a performance information in the sense of the invention. Here, both KPIs and CFs can be used as condition and performance signals.

[0031] The condition files 143 are directly passed to the uplink interface 135 to be communicated to the local control unit 120, such as an elevator control unit. The KPIs 141 are passed to the KPI sample limitation 134 to generate a limited or selected KPI sample collection (KPI@lid) 142 of the individual drive control board 121. The selected KPI samples 142 are then passed to the uplink interface 135 to be communicated to the local control unit 120.

[0032] The local control unit 120 has a downlink interface 150 of the control link 123, an uplink interface 151 of the device link 113, a KPI database 152, a CF buffering 153, a KPI sample buffering 154, a KPI daily statistics calculation 155, a KPI daily statistics buffering 156, and a CF generation 157. The local control unit 120 can produce KPIs also ("KPI generation algorithm").

[0033] The downlink interface 150 is for exchanging data with the drive control board 121, via the control link 123. The uplink interface 151 is for exchanging data with the remote monitoring unit 111, via the device link 113.

[0034] The KPI database 152 is for storing individual KPI samples 141 or KPI collections 142. The KPI database 152 may include a data structure including structured data relating to KPI samples and/or statistics, a memory area provided at the local control unit 120 for storing such data structure, and/or a process performing a database management method for managing such data structure.

[0035] The CF buffering 153 is for buffering condition files 143 passed from the drive control board 121 and other condition files 143 generated at the local control unit 120 itself, in a condition file stack 164, and passing the same to the uplink interface 151.

[0036] The KPI sample buffering 154 is for buffering selected KPI samples 142 passed from the drive control board 121 in a KPI sample stack 163, and passing the same to the uplink interface 151.

[0037] The KPI daily statistics calculation 155 is for calculating daily statistics files 160 from the selected KPI samples 142 passed from the drive control board 121, and passing the same to the KPI daily statistics buffering 156. A KPI daily statistics file 160 may have the following structure:

< KPI daily statistics file >



[0038] 
  1. 1) timestamp
  2. 2) minimum
  3. 3) maximum
  4. 4) average
  5. 5) standard deviation
  6. 6) amount of samples


[0039] The KPI daily statistics buffering 156 is for buffering KPI daily statistics files 160 calculated in the KPI daily statistics calculation 155, in a KPI daily statistics stack 161 and passing the same to the uplink interface 151. The KPI daily statistics files 160 are statistics information in the sense of the invention. It will be noted that also CF daily statistics files (not shown) may contribute to statistics information in the sense of the invention.

[0040] The CF generation 157 is for generating further condition files 143 from raw data 140 handled within local control unit 120. The generated condition files 143 are also passed to CF buffering 153 to be processed as described above.

[0041] The remote monitoring unit 111 has a downlink interface 170 of the device link 113, a diagnosis and prognosis 172, and an interface (not shown) of the service link 114. The diagnosis and prognosis 172 receives selected KPI samples 142, condition files 143 and KPI daily statistics files 160 from the downlink interface 170, to be provided at device images 180 which are provided for each single elevator 110 identified by each one's respective unique number X1, X2, ..., Xn. The selected KPI samples 142 are gathered at the KPI daily statistics stack 161 and/or at the KPI sample stack 163. The latest KPI samples 142 can be fetched without being stacked. Each device image 180 includes an events and statistics history 181, a KPI history 182, a KPI statistics history 183, and a raw data history 184. It is seen that also raw data 140 may be passed via the links 123, 113 to the remote monitoring unit 111, even if not shown in the drawing. The diagnosis and prognosis section 172 has diagnosis and prognosis algorithms which apply diagnosis and prognosis processes to each device image's 180 data for generating a service needs report 173 relating to an elevator 110 if the diagnosis and prognosis processes conclude that a service is needed at the respective elevator 110. The service needs report 173 is then passed to the mobile service unit 112 via service link 114. Also, service visits at elevator sites (maintenance modules) may be scheduled and work tasks to be performed during the service visits may be selected at least partly based on diagnosis and prognosis processes.

[0042] The service unit 112 may comprise a service car 190 operated by a serviceman 191, and comprises a communication device 192 such as a cellphone, car phone, smartphone, tablet, or the like. The service link 114 is established between the remote monitoring unit 111 and the communication device 192 of the service unit. If the service needs report 173 is received at the communication device 192, an alert is given so that the serviceman 191 will take notice, read the service needs report 173, and execute the service need at the elevator 110 the service needs report 173 directs to.

[0043] It will be noted that any measured/determined parameters related to drive control of a motor drive 122 of a hoisting motor (not shown) of the elevator 110 may be raw data 140, and a wide variety of parameters may be derived therefrom as key performance indicator (KPI) sample 141/142 or condition file 143. Accordingly, any KPI samples 141/142 and any condition file 143 may be further processed as described above. In other words, daily statistics 160 may be generated, history data 181-184 may be collected to provide an image of each elevator 110 in the system, and diagnosis and prognosis algorithms may be applied, to generate a service need report 173 if a problem is predicted to likely occur soon.

[0044] It will be noted that no additional hardware is needed for these estimations but the condition files 143 and /or KPI samples 141/142 can be determined (estimated) using existing hardware. Already with existing software, several drive signals may be derived which may be useful as raw data 140. The determined value(s) can be delivered to a data center (remote monitoring unit 111) and used in a Condition Based (aka predictive) Maintenance (CBM) to optimize replacement and maintenance intervals so that full lifetime is used and no functional failures shall occur.

[0045] The remote monitoring unit 111 may be included in a cloud computing architecture or other distributed architecture. I.e., at least parts of diagnosis and prognosis 172 may be distributed, e.g., to a data analysis platform and a maintenance unit located at different computers in a cloud. The KPI daily statistics data 160 are sent e.g. on a daily basis to the data analysis platform which in turn generates trend information. Trend information may be generated such that a decreasing or increasing trend can be detected and a maintenance action can be triggered before failure of the elevator or any part of it takes place, which would prevent elevator operation. To this end, trend information may be sent to the maintenance unit for analyzation. If the maintenance unit detects that a maintenance action is needed, it generates either a maintenance instruction and passes it to the local control unit 120 in case maintenance can be executed by useful control signaling to the drive control 130 or others, or generates a service needs report 173 and passes it to service unit 112 as described above. In the present case, the service needs report 173 may contain useful information for the serviceman 191 regarding the location of the elevator 110 (X1, X2, ..., Xn) and the kind and severity of the problem, optionally along with a service proposal or precise service instruction. Additional information on the data basis (related signals) may be made available on the telecommunication device 192, e.g. by providing a direct link to the KPI database 152 or device image 180.

[0046] In this manner, any parameter may be utilized for establishing a maintenance information indicating that a maintenance should be done on the transportation device (elevator) 110.

[0047] Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram of a diagnosis/maintenance system 200 or method 201 according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention. It will further be noted that the diagnosis/maintenance system 200 or method 201 of this exemplary embodiment is a variation of the diagnosis/maintenance system 100 or diagnosis/maintenance method 101 of the previous exemplary embodiment. In the following, only differences or special options of this exemplary embodiment with respect to the previous exemplary embodiment are described in full while other features may be taken from the illustration and above description of the previous exemplary embodiment. In particular, any features shown and described in the context of the previous exemplary embodiment apply to this exemplary embodiment, and features shown and described in the context of this exemplary embodiment may be included in the previous exemplary embodiment. As above, elements shown in Fig. 2 may be realized as physical instances of the diagnosis/maintenance system, or steps of the diagnosis/maintenance method, or both. Contents of the device images 180 are omitted in this figure, for ease of illustration.

[0048] While the previous exemplary embodiment is focused on a drive control board 121 with drive control 130 for controlling a motor drive 122 of a hoisting motor (not shown), the control board 121 of the present exemplary embodiment is more general. I.e., the control board 121 may concern any function of the elevator 110.

[0049] This makes clear that any measured/determined parameters of any controlled function of the elevator 110 may be raw data 140, and a wide variety of parameters may be derived therefrom as key performance indicator (KPI) sample 141/142 or condition file 143. Accordingly, any KPI samples 141/142 and any condition file 143 may be further processed as described above. In other words, daily statistics 160 may be generated, history data 181-184 may be collected to provide an image of each elevator 110 in the system, and diagnosis and prognosis algorithms may be applied, to generate a service need report 173 if a problem is predicted to likely occur soon.

[0050] Furthermore, in this embodiment, the local control unit 120 additionally comprises a KPI generation 258 which is formed like the KPI generation 132 of the control board 121. This makes clear that KPI samples 141/142, just like condition files 143, may be generated at any place within the elevator 110, be it at the local control unit 120 or any of the many control boards 121.

[0051] The KPI attributes in KPI database 152 may have the following form:

<KPI attributes/database>



[0052] 

1st handle

  • > 1st KPI ID + type (KPI/CF)
  • > 1st KPI sample /CF buffer size
  • > 1st KPI daily statistics buffer size
  • > 1st KPI sample limitation
  • > 1st KPI source

2nd handle

  • > 2nd KPI ID + type (KPI/CF)
  • > 2nd KPI sample /CF buffer size
  • > 2nd KPI daily statistics buffer size
  • > 2nd KPI sample limitation
  • > 2nd KPI source
etc...

NULL = next unused handle



[0053] Fig. 3 is a schematic diagram of a diagnosis/maintenance system 300 or method 301 according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention. It will further be noted that the diagnosis/maintenance system 300 or method 301 of this exemplary embodiment is a variation of the diagnosis/maintenance system 200 or diagnosis/maintenance method 201 of the previous exemplary embodiment. In the following, only differences or special options of this exemplary embodiment with respect to the previous exemplary embodiment are described in full while other features may be taken from the illustration and above description of the previous exemplary embodiment. In particular, any features shown and described in the context of the previous exemplary embodiment apply to this exemplary embodiment, and features shown and described in the context of this exemplary embodiment may be included in the previous exemplary embodiment. As above, elements shown in Fig. 3 may be realized as physical instances of the diagnosis/maintenance system, or steps of the diagnosis/maintenance method, or both. Contents of the device images 180 are again omitted in this figure, for ease of illustration.

[0054] While the previous exemplary embodiment is more general, the present exemplary embodiment is focused on a specific example. A car door 326 is operated by the "Door operator" which has an electrical motor 327 that moves the door panels in the car when the elevator 110 lands to a floor 325 and the door 326 is opened. Some (but not all) failure modes of the door 326 lead to an increase in the friction F of the door, as the door 326 is being moved. As the increased friction F can be extracted from the electrical signals (motor current, motor voltage) produced by the drive 322 controlling the motor 327 via door motor link 328, which may be in the form of power cables, as raw data 140, it is possible to calculate a KPI 141 called "friction (F)", e.g., a door friction "F@after door closed", then after KPI sample limitation 134 a KPI sample collection "F@every lid" 142 is provided, and by using the framework, this KPI 141/142 is further processed at the elevator 110 (local control unit 120) and the server (remote monitoring unit 111). Here, if a service need is foreseen, a service needs report 173 may be generated which may e.g. have the content seen in Fig. 3.

[0055] As the server algorithm 172 can utilize the whole fleet (i.e. all the elevators X1, X2, ..., Xn under service that has the framework available) information, more precise prediction models can be developed and elevator specific KPIs 141/142 can be used to generate a service need which prevents call-out or optimizes service needs. As there are typically many doors and floors in an elevator, the KPI 141/142 are buffered for each floor 325 and door 326 in order to localize the fault correctly, as shown in Fig. 3. Likewise, KPI daily statistics are calculated and buffered for each floor 325 and door 326. The KPI database 152 may assume the form as seen in Fig. 3.

[0056] For example, a metro station in India with two landings is taken. There are hundreds or thousands door friction estimate condition KPI samples 141 every day which are processed in the elevator 110 to five figures (minimum, maximum, average, standard deviation and sample count) every 24 hours and sent to the server 111 for fleet/device analytics. The Diagnostics Framework utilizes existing communication network in the elevator 110 and can be thus implemented with the software only. The Diagnostics Framework can be extended in the future by adding new sensor boards to the existing LON network. The Diagnostics Framework, which may be in the form of the elevator's internal communication network, includes also algorithms to collect samples from signals in the drive using a "datalogger", which may be the CF. Similar framework can be built into escalators and automatic doors or any other kind of transportation device.

[0057] Advantageously, condition data can be produced in a control board in the elevator system utilizing existing communication networks, the data is "zipped" to reduce connectivity costs, and the framework can be extended in the future to support coming diagnostics solutions and new sensor boards.

[0058] In summary, the condition diagnostics framework consists of two parts, the elevator and the server side. The elevator side includes:
  • KPI generation algorithms 132, 258 that produce wanted KPI samples 141/142 from raw data 140. These algorithms can be located either on the local control unit/board 120 (258) or on a LON node/drive control board 121 (132) connected to the local control unit 120
  • KPI daily statistics calculation 155
  • KPI buffering 154 to get recent KPI values, not just the daily statistics
  • CF generation 133, 157 either on the local control unit/board 120 (258) or on a LON node/drive control board 121 (132) connected to the local control unit 120, and CF buffering 153 in the local control unit/board 120.
  • KPI database 152 which holds KPI/CF related information


[0059] The server side includes:
  • Diagnosis and prognosis algorithms 172 that generate service needs and reports 173 to the service technician 191


[0060] In addition, the internal communication links in the elevator 110 (LON interface and drive interface) and the communication between the elevator and the server (SAG interface) are needed to get data to the server.

[0061] It will easily be seen that a similar monitoring system may be utilized for analysis of other data also. There are many signals calculated in the motion control and torque control algorithms located in the drive. A frequency converter's software e.g. sees many control values as it is controlling the motion of the hoisting machine and these signals can be used to evaluate a condition of many system components. Many of these values are calculated either in real-time or after each travel and thus there would be lots of data generated if the values should be transferred to the server for analysis purposes. A diagnostics framework has been developed to reduce data sent to a server and this framework is extended to drive software as well. Many data may be generated in KPI generation 132 for condition based maintenance purposes. This is shortly discussed in the following.

< Motor temperature >



[0062] The temperature [°C] of the hoisting motor may be low-pass filtered and handled as a condition KPI. This could be used to estimate the condition of the cooling system of the hoisting motor as the dirt reduces heat transfer capacity.

[0063] Drive software measures the temperature of hoisting motor when the motor is equipped with NTC temperature measurement sensors This value may be transferred to local control unit 120 via control link 123 utilizing diagnostics framework routine for KPI transfer after the drive has switched to non-running state (output power stage not active).

[0064] It is to be considered that a load profile may change over the time and hard to separate cooling system condition from normal variation.

[0065] It is seen from the above that considerable amount of data may be collected from elevators or other transportation systems 110 under maintenance contract, sent to a cloud computing system 111 and analyzed. On the basis of the analysis, need for component replace is forecasted and corresponding maintenance actions 173 are scheduled already before any component failures, which might stop elevator operation. So a more fluent and customer-friendly elevator diagnosis/maintenance user experience is achieved.

[0066] Even if the invention was described above based on elevators, as a matter of example, the invention is applicable to any transportation system using an electric motor for moving a moving part of the transportation system. The moving part may be a cabin of an elevator, a car of a roller coaster, a moving stairway or walkway, a locomotive of a railway, or others.

[0067] It is to be noted that the monitoring interval may be other than daily, i.e., may be shorter such as twice daily, hourly, or less such as even after every run, or may be longer such as twice weekly, weekly, monthly, or more.

[0068] A technical feature or several technical features which has/have been disclosed with respect to a single or several embodiments discussed herein before, e. g. the service car 190 in Fig. 1 may be present also in another embodiment e.g. when maintenance is carried out by using mechanical brake signals as a condition/performance information as shown in Fig. 8 except it is/they are specified not to be present or it is impossible for it/them to be present for technical reasons.

List of reference signs



[0069] 
100
Diagnosis/maintenance system
101
Diagnosis/maintenance method
110
Transportation device (e.g., elevator)
111
Remote monitoring unit (cloud computing system)
112
Service unit
113
Device link
114
Service link
120
Local control unit
121
Drive control board
122
Motor drive (frequency converter)
123
Control link
124
Drive link
130
Drive control (Existing MCU & DSP algorithms)
132
KPI generation
133
CF generation
134
KPI sample limitation
135
Uplink interface
140
Raw data
141
Key performance indicator (KPI)
142
KPI sample
143
Condition file (CF)
150
Downlink interface
151
Uplink interface
152
KPI database
153
CF buffering
154
KPI sample buffering
155
KPI daily statistics calculation
156
KPI daily statistics buffering
157
CF generation
160
KPI daily statistics file
161
KPI daily statistics stack
163
KPI sample stack
164
CF stack
170
Downlink interface
171
Communication link
172
Diagnosis & prognosis
173
Service needs report
180
Device images
181
Events & statistics history
182
KPI history
183
KPI statistics history
184
Raw data history
190
Service car
191
Serviceman
192
Communication device
200
Diagnosis/maintenance system
201
Diagnosis/maintenance method
258
KPI generation algorithm
300
Diagnosis/maintenance system
301
Diagnosis/maintenance method
322
Door drive
324
Door motor drive link
325
Floor
326
Door
327
Door motor
328
Door motor link
339
Downlink interface
F
Door friction
KPI
Key performance indicator
X1, X2, Xn
Elevators (transportation devices)



Claims

1. Method for diagnosis and/or maintenance of a transportation system, said transportation system having at least one transportation device and a remote monitoring unit being remote from said transportation device, said transportation device having a control board for controlling and/or monitoring a function of said transportation device, and a local control unit for controlling said and/or monitoring said control board, said method comprising:

- detecting raw data connected to said at least one function at said control board and/or said local control unit;

- generating condition information and/or performance information based on said raw data at said control board and/or said local control unit;

- calculating statistics information based on said condition information and/or performance information at said local control unit;

- buffering said condition information and/or performance information and/or statistics information at said local control unit;

- transmitting said condition information and/or performance information and/or statistics information to said remote monitoring unit, at predetermined and/or adaptive time intervals;

- processing said condition information and/or performance information and/or statistics information at said remote monitoring unit, for establishing a service need condition; and

- transmitting said service need condition selectively to the local control unit and/or a mobile service unit.


 
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising

- managing a database holding data related to said condition information and/or performance information at said local control unit.


 
3. The method of claim 1 or 2, wherein said control board is connected to a main control board via an internal communication link, wherein the control board is e. g. implemented as a LON or drive node, and communicates with the local control unit via LON or drive interfaces.
 
4. The method of any of the preceding claims, wherein said local control unit communicates with the remote monitoring unit via SAG interfaces or other wireless interfaces, e. g. 3G, 4G, WIFI, or wired interfaces, e. g. LAN, PSTN.
 
5. The method of any of the preceding claims, wherein the maintenance information is indicative of a certain kind and/or severity of failure or problem of the frequency converter or another component of the transportation system.
 
6. The method of any of the preceding claims, wherein the established maintenance information is transferred or made accessible to a remote maintenance center or a mobile service unit or the local control unit of the transportation device, depending on a kind and/or severity of failure or problem indicated by the maintenance information.
 
7. The method of any of the preceding claims, wherein the transportation device is selected from one of an elevator, an escalator, a moving walkway, a cablecar, a railway locomotive, a railcar, a roller coaster, a conveyor, a crane, a positioning unit, and combined systems of a plurality of single units of the same.
 
8. The method of any of the preceding claims, further comprising:

- generating, by the mobile control unit for the remote monitoring unit a request to retrieve condition information and / or performance information associated with a specific service need condition from the buffer at the local control unit

- receiving, by the mobile control unit from the remote monitoring unit the condition information and / or performance information associated with a specific service need condition.


 
9. A software program realizing the method according to any of the preceding claims when executed on a computer.
 
10. The software program of claim 9, wherein the computer is preferably a distributed computing system part of which being located in a cloud computing system.
 




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