Predictive maintenance is the most proactive and efficient approach to maintaining equipment and facilities, with the goal of preventing breakdowns and prolonging the lifespan of assets. One of the key technologies driving this shift is wireless sensor technology.
In this article, we will explore the benefits and capabilities of wireless vibration sensors and how they are revolutionising the field of predictive maintenance.
What Are Wireless Vibration Sensors?
Wireless vibration sensors are devices that are installed on equipment to monitor and transmit data about its performance and condition. They are often little, battery-operated gadgets that are simple to install and transfer between various pieces of equipment. They provide real-time monitoring and analysis of equipment performance by transmitting data via wireless communication to a central monitoring system. The best sensors, in terms of communication, use cellular (LTE) and Wi-Fi protocols since they can transmit the large data packets required for true predictive maintenance analytics.
Capabilities Of Wireless Vibration Sensors
Temperature data and vibration are just two of the many variables that wireless vibration sensors can measure within a wireless vibration monitoring system. This makes it possible to analyse equipment performance in detail and identify any potential problems.
The best wireless vibration sensor devices are equipped with sophisticated diagnostic tools, such as the capacity to recognise and identify particular fault conditions. This decreases downtime and increases equipment lifespan by enabling more precise and effective maintenance.
The ability of the wireless vibration sensor provided by Miniotec to connect directly through a cellular connection with the LTE wireless protocol is a significant feature. This sensor can connect directly to the network, much like a mobile phone, in contrast to other sensors that need a gateway to connect to the Cloud. This reduces the need for extra hardware and improves maintainability, reliability and ease of use.
Another unique capability of the wireless vibration sensor offered by Miniotec is the integration of six (6) sensors in one device. Most wireless vibration sensors on the market have one or two sensors, but the Miniotec sensor has six, allowing for a more comprehensive monitoring and analysis of equipment performance. The six sensors include an integrated triaxial accelerometer with a very wide frequency range, equipment surface temperature sensor, humidity, rotational speed, acoustic sound sensor (inaudible range) and magnetic flux. The combination of acoustic and surface temperature is used to separate a real fault event from speed and load variations which is a differentiator of this sensor. This allows for 24/7, 365 monitoring and the ability to detect and diagnose multiple faults in one device, making it more efficient and cost-effective for businesses.
Benefits Of Wireless Vibration Sensors
One of the main benefits of wireless vibration sensors is their ability to provide real-time data effortlessly within a wireless system that uses low power consumption and is therefore able to operate over a considerable battery life. This allows for broader asset wide installation opportunities to support increased detection of potential issues, allowing maintenance teams to address problems before they result in breakdowns anywhere across a plant. Additionally, wireless sensors can be easily installed and moved between different pieces of equipment, making them more versatile and cost-effective than wired sensors. When you consider the costs related to the installation of fixed wired sensors, the time required for installation and the disruption caused during installation, wireless sensors offer significant advantages – now you can collect date within a matter of minutes, not months.
Another benefit of wireless vibration sensors is their ability to transmit data over long distances. This allows for remote monitoring of equipment, reducing the need for on-site inspections and increasing efficiency. Furthermore, wireless sensors can be integrated into existing monitoring and control systems, providing a seamless and comprehensive view of equipment performance.
The Return on Investment (ROI) of Wireless Sensors to Monitor Vibration in Predictive Maintenance Can Be Immense
A predictive maintenance programme that incorporates wireless sensors can significantly improve a company's bottom line. Wireless sensors have a potentially enormous return on investment (ROI), with the potential to save corporations thousands, if not millions of dollars.
One way to calculate the ROI of wireless sensors is to consider the cost savings from reduced downtime. When equipment is regularly monitored and maintained, breakdowns can be prevented and downtime can be reduced. This results in increased productivity and therefore, increased revenue.
Another way to calculate the ROI is to consider the cost savings from prolonging the lifespan of equipment. By regularly monitoring equipment and identifying potential issues, maintenance teams can address problems before they result in breakdowns, prolonging the lifespan of equipment. This can result in significant savings, as the cost of replacement of some equipment can be costly.
A very good article that can be used as a reference is written by Miniotec (https://www.miniotec.com/post/roi-calculations), which provides a comprehensive overview of the ROI calculations for wireless sensors in predictive maintenance. The article includes considerations of the cost savings from reduced downtime and prolonged equipment lifespan associated with implementing a wireless sensor program.
Artificial Intelligence That Can Monitor and Predict Specific Fault Modes Automatically
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used to take predictive maintenance to the next level. With the ability to monitor and predict specific fault modes, AI can improve the efficiency, data quality and accuracy of maintenance efforts. The wireless vibration sensor offered by Miniotec, for example, uses AI algorithms to analyse data from the sensor and detect specific fault modes in various types of equipment.
The AI algorithms used by the sensor are able to recognise patterns and anomalies in the data compared to the physical properties and problem harmonics of the bearings the sensors are monitoring, allowing for the identification of specific fault modes in equipment such as gearboxes, pumps and motors. These algorithms can also be customised to detect specific fault modes in different types of equipment, making the sensor versatile and applicable to a wide range of industries.
One example provided by Miniotec is the detection of bearing failures in gearboxes. The sensor's AI algorithms can analyse vibration data and identify specific patterns that indicate a bearing failure, allowing for early detection and preventative maintenance. Another example is the detection of cavitation in pumps. The sensor's AI algorithms can analyse vibration data and detect specific patterns that indicate cavitation, allowing for early detection and preventative maintenance.
By utilising AI, the wireless vibration sensor offered by Miniotec is able to go beyond just monitoring thresholds as many sensors only offer and provide specific fault mode identification. This leads to more accurate and efficient maintenance, reducing downtime and prolonging the lifespan of equipment.
Case Study: Wireless Vibration Sensor Implementation
One example of the successful implementation of wireless vibration sensors is at a oil and gas facility facility. The facility had experienced frequent breakdowns and unplanned downtime, resulting in lost productivity and increased maintenance costs. By implementing wireless vibration sensors, the facility was able to detect potential issues before they resulted in breakdowns. This reduced downtime by 50% and maintenance costs were reduced by 30% delivering an ROI of 12X within four (4) months. Other case studies can be found at https://www.miniotec.com/case-studies-proof-of-success
Wireless vibration sensors are a game changer in the field of predictive maintenance. They provide real-time data, can be easily installed and moved between different pieces of equipment and have advanced diagnostic capabilities. These benefits and capabilities lead to increased efficiency, reduced downtime and prolonged equipment lifespan. With wireless vibration sensors, businesses can take a proactive approach to maintenance, preventing breakdowns and increasing productivity. Move maintenance technicians away from mundane tasks to more strategic and proactive analysis of data and root cause analysis to support better decision making in parallel to optimising maintenance activities.
We are collectively accelerating into even more exciting times and opportunities with Predictive Maintenance and IIoT sensors. Embrace it. Digital matters.
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