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Computerised fault monitoring / logging


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  • Computerised fault monitoring / logging

    G'day from the land down under.
    I'm a part-time tech, part-time customer service, and part-time university student studying electrical engineering.
    Just for background, we run As with a few modifications (ZOT electronic triggering, single rake lift cam).
    To complete my engineering degree, I have to undertake a major project, and am planning to design/implement a computerised fault monitoring & logging system for the pinsetters. I'm just after any comments or suggestions, for or against.

    I know Brunswick have a simple system associated with an electronic time delay module for A2, and there may be others, but I have to do a project, and it may as well be this, and I intend to make it do a bit more than brunswick's single digit error code.

    The scheme would involve monitoring the 24v circuit at all switches/fuses etc, as well as a few additional micros to detect other faults (eg rake down too long, ie 180 or OOR). May also monitor trigger output from zot electronics, and the bowler's trouble button.
    A display unit between each pair would show a status message, rather than just a single digit. It would then trigger the trouble bell.
    Each pair would have a separate device, and all would be linked to a display in the workshop, which would just show a lamp for the machine with the problem.
    The workshop unit would also provide an interface to a computer which would again display fault messages, with space for the mechanic to make notes. All faults and mechanics notes would be logged with time/date, and archived. The program would allow the mechanic to search the history for a particular machine or particular fault type.
    The system would include provision to control aspects of the pinsetter as well - I'm thinking in particular of automating restands by using microswitches and solenoids to monitor/trip the turret, tripfoot, pingate, and 1st/2nd ball selector. (I won't try to implement this on a pinsetter, just provide the electronics for it - not feasible in the time of the project, nor required since I'm electrical engineering, not mechanical).

    The idea is to notify the tech as soon as possible of a fault. Blackouts will be detected almost instantly, OOR and 180s will have to be based on an expected maximum time for the cycle. This will reduce customer frustration at delays (especially when it takes the customer several minutes to realise that the machine really is "stuck").
    Obviously it is not possible to identify all faults, others will not be easy to detect, but anything is a good start in my view.
    Searchable history makes finding repeat faults easier (if another mechanic had the same fault last week and replaced the part that just broke, maybe there is a deeper problem).
    Would also be possible for the system to do meter counts, automatically calculating lineage and fps.

    Comments, suggestions, criticisms, questions?

    Just read BrunsAce's idea fro pm scheduling with meters - that could work through this system too.

    [ February 18, 2001: Message edited by: goodgreaf ]

    [ February 21, 2001: Message edited by: goodgreaf ]

  • #2
    Re: Computerised fault monitoring / logging

    Sounds like some really good ideas. Also glad you liked mine [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img] ..

    There could be a way to detect 180's, but it might be a little difficult. You could do it by somehow detecting when the rake is back (180) and the pin wheel is not rotating.

    You could also detect OOR by detecting rake and deck down, but a disengaged clutch.

    It would appear that you might be able to implement these ideas into your system..(I woulden't know where to begin [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif[/img] )

    Whatever you come up with, keep us posted. Sounds like you may have something here.

    Let's see what others think.. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]

    [ February 18, 2001: Message edited by: BrunsAce ]
    Sometimes it is best to use good advice from many individuals to achieve the ultimate result.


    • #3
      Re: Computerised fault monitoring / logging

      Contact Mr. Louie Chapman, Midland Bowl. Fort Smith Ark. 501-484-5473.
      In the 80s He, I and a comp engineer designed such a system and had it fully operational.
      Would detect a ball failing to return. any blackout, any fail to index, Out of ranges, failure to trigger etc.
      Some of the material will be propriatary, but he may share the commonalities, with you.
      Ross McDonough.


      • #4
        Re: Computerised fault monitoring / logging

        Would'nt have to wonder if the night guys are writing all of thier stops down. Problems would be there on the screen.

        Keep us posted on your progress

        Mike Wilson
        Bowl-Tech Inc..


        • #5
          Re: Computerised fault monitoring / logging

          Definately like the idea, a lot! I too have always wanted to do something similar (although not nearly as deeply involved) and may tackle it... someday [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img]

          Out of range sensor may not be needed, if you use the auto OOR kits. But it would be slick to have a microswitch on ~that~ to automatically log every time it's triggered, just to keep track of 'em, even though it's not a stop.

          180's, couldn't use pinwheel rotation as a guide for that, since it'll stop on normal operation, and I've had spinning balls keeping pins blocked, pinwheel still turns, but no pins fed into it, so a 180 develops. But I think there are quite a few places you could pop a microswitch onto, and have it contacting at the 180 position... Or better yet, magnets up top on the rake shaft, (or optical) to detect actual position of it, that way it'd catch 90s too.

          Gotta be careful, though, you don't want to make it ~too~ thorough... If these machines are smart enough to fix themselves, they won't need ~us~ arount to watch 'em! [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif[/img] So, make it technical enough that you need to have specific knowledge of the system to read the readouts.... (have 'em displayed in Japanese! That'll do it! [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img] (then type in a 4 digit code to get it translated, and don't tell anyone else the code [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img]
          Oldsmagnet -- Sidney MT


          • #6
            Re: Computerised fault monitoring / logging

            Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement.
            Olds, you're right about the auto OOR, we have those, I was thinking of monitoring them for a few reasons - quicker response to deadwood during league play, and also to tell us if we need to treat the pindecks. I'd also like to find a way of checking whether the auto OOR fails, we seem to have a few that don't engage properly, and sweep the pins away.
            Also, I'm not too worried about making the error messages easy to understand. Tech jobs will be safe until customer service staff are willing (and able) to put a moving deck cable back on [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img]
            Mike, my thoughts on logging the faults extend to longer term. We currently use a book to record work, trying to find something that may have happened last year is a nightmare.
            Thanks again. keep 'em coming


            • #7
              Re: Computerised fault monitoring / logging

              Let me get this want somebody to sit in front of a computer screen and wait for it to tell them there is something wrong on a machine???
              Or did I misread the post...because it is very possible that I did... lol [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img]

              TSM & TSM Training Development
              Main Event Entertainment
              480-620-6758 for help or information


              • #8
                Re: Computerised fault monitoring / logging

                I think (could be wrong) that this system would involve a board with lights for each machine. When there is a problem, a light will go on for the corrosponding lane. Also a bell will sound.

                Please correct me if I'm wrong. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]
                Sometimes it is best to use good advice from many individuals to achieve the ultimate result.


                • #9
                  Re: Computerised fault monitoring / logging

                  [QUOTE]Originally posted by goodgreaf:
                  To complete my engineering degree, I have to undertake a major project, and am planning to design/implement a computerised fault monitoring & logging system for the pinsetters. I'm just after any comments or suggestions, for or against.

                  What if you used micro's or transducers to monitor pin flo from the elev. to the turret? you might be able to detect turn pan problems, pin gate problems and turret feed proglems. You could mount a range effect sensor for the pin elev., a micro on the pin gate and a sensor above the indexing lever. Maybe a sensor on the turret 5 pin to indicate its position also. Sensor monitoring Mag clutch too. With that info you could do alot.
                  How about monitoring ball flo from the tracks to the front lift?
                  How about a infra-red sensor mounted under the rakes but high enough so that a ball will not trigger it, but a person crawling under there would set it off and disable the machine power? Kind of like a automatic safety shut off for peaple entering from the front.
                  What about a XYZ 3-D view of the pinsetter on the shop trouble-stop computor screen readout? When your system detects a malfunction the screen highlights the area of the pinspotter along with a description of the problem. It would be cool if you could trigger the hypothetical pin gate solenoids from the shop if the fault check system reported a 180 with a half full turret waiting for pins. Or if you wanted to do a respot from the shop all that you would have to do is click on the lane # and pin #'s and the computor would flush the turret by cycling then the pins would be fed to turret and deck via the pin gate solenoid/indexing lever solenoid/turret location sensor and 5 pin chute solenoid. On a ball return from the shop computor you could perform a ball flush by clicking lane# and "flush ball". The pinsetter would then perform a cycle in case the ball was in front of the cushion via (enter appropriat sensorns/solenoids here), and unlatch the prefferance system.

                  I'm getting tired. I'm going to bed.
                  sorry if the Bruns. descriptions aren't right, it's been years since I worked on them. 82-70 guy now.



                  • #10
                    Re: Computerised fault monitoring / logging

                    The computer is to keep a long term, searchable history, and to as a side benefit, can automatically produce frames per stop reports, broken down by stop type and/or machine. IN the event of a stop, a bell will ring, and a light will indicate the affected machine.
                    Bender, yeah thanks for the suggestions. I have had most of those thoughts as well, I will probably make electrical provision for some sort of ball return sensor, but I don't think I'll implement it - time constraints and scope of project. I had also thought of having the micros and solenoids on the turret and pingate, to do the restands. Again, I'll make provision electrically, but the mechanicals are out of project scope.
                    Last night I thought I could also have a panel at the front desk, with lights to indicate faults, and ability to do a restand from there.
                    There are plenty of possibilities in this, I could probably spend years on it, but this is only a 4-month project for uni, and the procedure is more important than being able to make a pinsetter stand a pin on its head.
                    [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img] And while I will have to build enough of a system to demonstrate my abilities, I am not going to fund a system for the whole centre, and I don't see our head office giving the OK (damn pen-pushers [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/mad.gif[/img] )


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