Assembly line drives in the automotive industry

This case study describes the online condition monitoring of production-critical assembly line drives in the plant of a major UK car manufacturer.

The assembly line conveyor system transports the cars on platforms through the various stages of assembly. The drives operate in very short time cycles, where they start, then clang to a stop every 6-8 seconds. The very short data acquisition window and mechanical disturbances required some optimization to find the best measurement setup for these drives. The system uses post triggers, a relatively high Fmax, and short measuring times to manage these complicating factors.

The assembly line drives are monitored with the Intellinova Compact online system, measuring vibration and shock pulse levels using HD technology. A proximity switch ensures accurate speed, which is essential for SPM HD measurements.

The motors run at 2300 RPM and the output of the helical bevel gearboxes runs between 6 and 18 RPM.

An unplanned stop caused by an equipment failure on the assembly line drive units would cause a loss of production of 35-45 cars per hour.

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Case Study
Filename/description Language Size Modified
CS_024B_Automotive_assembly_line_drives_UK.pdf English (United Kingdom) 3 MB 2/24/2020
Condition monitoring of assembly line drives in car plant by John Loane.


In the competitive automotive industry, ensuring uninterrupted production is vital. SPM is a trusted partner to top manufacturers, offering essential condition-monitoring solutions for paint shops, air handling units, presses, and test machinery.

Intellinova online systems

With Intellinova, our unique HD condition monitoring technologies can be fully utilized to successfully provide earlier warning of mechanical problems than any other monitoring technology.

HD Technologies

High-definition condition monitoring technologies provide exceptional pre-warning times, maximizing the planning horizon for maintenance and repairs. In turn, this enables fully utilizing asset life, cutting repair costs, and minimizing the consequences of unplanned downtime.