Condition monitoring of planetary gearbox by hardware implementation of artificial neural networks

Dariusz Dabrowski

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The hazards of planetary gearboxes' failures are the most crucial in the machinery which directly influence human safety like aircrafts. But also in an industry their damages can cause the large economic losses. Planetary gearboxes are used in wind turbines which operate in non-stationary conditions and are exposed to extreme events. Also bucket-wheel excavators are equipped with high-power gearboxes that are exposed to shocks. Continuous monitoring of their condition is crucial in view of early failures, and to ensure safety of exploitation. Artificial neural networks allow for a quick and effective association of the symptoms with the condition of the machine. Extensive research shows that neural networks can be successfully used to recognize gearboxes' failures; they allow for detection of new failures which were not known at the time of training and can be applied for identification of failures in variable-speed applications. In a majority of the studies conducted so far neural networks were implemented in the software, but for dedicated engineering applications the hardware implementation is being used increasingly, due to high efficiency, flexibility and resistant to harsh environmental conditions. In this paper, a hardware implementation of an artificial neural network designed for condition monitoring of a planetary gearbox is presented. The implementation was done on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). It is characterized by much higher efficiency and stability than the software one. To assess condition of a gearbox working in non-stationary conditions and for chosen failure modes, a signal pre-processing algorithm based on filtration and estimation of statistics from the vibration signal was used. Additionally, the rewards-punishments training process was improved for a selected neural network, which is based on a Learning Vector Quantization (LVQ) algorithm. Presented classifier can be used as an independent diagnostic system or can be combined with traditional data acquisition systems using FPGAs. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-308
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Neural networks
  • LVQ
  • Condition monitoring
  • Planetary gear
  • FPGA
  • Signal processing
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Application programs
  • Data acquisition
  • Efficiency
  • Field programmable gate arrays (FPGA)
  • Gears
  • Hardware
  • Losses
  • Machinery
  • Reconfigurable hardware
  • Safety engineering
  • Wind turbines
  • Data acquisition system
  • Engineering applications
  • Environmental conditions
  • Hardware implementations
  • Learning vector quantization algorithms
  • Non-stationary condition
  • Planetary Gears
  • Pre-processing algorithms

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