MIMOSA Cuts through the Information Maze


Making sense of masses of machine-condition-related information is a daunting task. The Machinery Information Management Open Systems Alliance (San Diego, Calif.) was formed for this purpose and to promote a broad industry initiative for generating basic equipment performance and operational data.

MIMOSA consists of both suppliers and users of instrumentation and maintenance information management technology. It is a nonprofit corporation of over 50 companies and 200 individuals worldwide--and growing.

MIMOSA advocates open exchange of equipment-condition-related information among condition assessment, process control, and maintenance information systems. It seeks to develop a uniform set of procedures to collect, analyze, and manage data from multiple sources. Kinds of information being addressed include mechanical and operating condition of equipment; projected lifetime; presence, identification, and severity of problems; operating and maintenance recommendations; design specifications; and history.

Information Model
One of MIMOSA's developments is a comprehensive Information Model for exchanging equipment-condition-related information with higher-level management systems. The model contains five major sources and consumers of equipment condition information as follows:

Enterprise Resource Manage--forms a common link among all integrated systems. Tasks include capturing the functional hierarchy of a specific facility or plant, providing identification to track equipment that might change location, and acting as a cross reference that maps equipment assets to their current locations in the process.

Condition Measurements--include vibration, operating parameters (temperature, pressure, flow, etc.), fluid condition, electrical characteristics of motors, and thermographic imaging.

Decision Support---converts data to information via detailed analysis of complex characteristics including narrow band dynamic vibration, oil condition, and operating variables.

Maintenance Management System---contains equipment information including nameplate data, work history, schedule of preventive maintenance tasks, and spare parts status.
Distributed Control Systems--are linked with optimized equipment management functions by a MIMOSA interface, making both data and information available to the DCS. Control system suppliers can elect to display measurements or state of health--either data or information--for best flexibility to meet user wide requirements.

A sixth application, Enterprise Resource Planning, is a future task planned for the Information Model.

Integrate the data
Multiple sources of machinery information need special care in handling and integration. Another major development by MIMOSA participants has been the development of a vendor-independent file exchange format called Common Relational Information Schema (CRIS). CRIS is a relational-method of specifying information and is designed to be vendor-independent. It permits integration of multiple sources of machinery information, supports peer-to-peer databases, allows user-defined lookup entries, and has a standardized timestamp method.

Vendor independence is vital to the success of the project. However, MIMOSA welcomed input from companies to help refine the CRIS format.

CRIS contains two versions: A basic framework (V 1) specifies how various information segments are stored--for example, model/part information, data measurement sources, transducers, ordered lists, and alarms. The method of storing single-valued numeric data, Fast-Fourier Transform data, and time waveforms is also specified. Version 2 incorporates sample test information (from fluid, gas, or solid sampling systems), binary large object information, diagnostic analysis, reliability data, and asset/work management information. CRIS uses peer-to-peer database architecture, meaning that a centralized 'server database' is not needed.

For further information, contact Tom Bond, executive director of MIMOSA, at tbond@mimosa.org .

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