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Wireless Vibration Sensor Detects a Bearing Issue and Prevents a Catastrophic Failure

Client Problem / Background

Our Client has had past failures with their Conveyor pulley’s that have historically failed unexpectedly.

The Client installed LTE/LoRa wireless vibration sensors on a mining conveyor across their bearing pulleys. Installation of the sensors took less than five (5) mins each. The wireless vibration monitoring system was collecting, processing and displaying sensor data on the dashboard within 30 mins.


  • The client’s condition monitoring team received an automated email alert from one of the wireless sensors installed on an NDE bearing of a particular pulley reporting a significant increase in vibration RMS acceleration.

  • The analytics reported the issue was ‘Unbalance’ related.

  • Temperature data from the dashboard's analytics also showed a correlating rapid increase in temperature from the device’s surface temperature sensor capabilities corroborating a notable issue was forming.

  • Vibration data collected manually by the Client with a CSI handheld, after receiving the system's alert, confirmed a sudden increase in unbalance vibration of the particular pulley.

  • Validation of the issue was also checked with slow-motion and heat sensing videos which revealed some significant material build up on the inside of the belt pulley.

  • The equipment had been offline for a general shutdown and the sudden increase and change in conveyor operation was detected immediately by the Miniotec sensor mounted on the bearing as the equipment was restarted.

Causal analysis undertaken after the alert was issued established the sudden increase in ‘unbalance’ vibration was likely due to hosing activities that washed material into a heap at the bottom of the pulley rim while the equipment was shutdown, effectively adding a significant weight off-centre.


  • Quickest deployment possible to all industrial equipment of any comparable integrated triaxial accelerometer sensor on the market to monitor vibration – true “plug and play” (<5-10 mins). Each sensor device contains multiple sensors.

  • Anomaly detection, Fault characterization, Automatic Notifications and Real-time monitoring. Each wireless sensor can monitor a broad frequency range and sample rate and because of the sensor's low power consumption, the wireless system possesses a robust battery life.

  • No gateways or associated infrastructure (i.e. installing cables, power) required for data collection in this challenging outdoor environment.

  • No connection into the Client’s IT network. The wireless vibration sensor uses a LTE wireless protocol to transmit data (high bandwidth) to the analytics hosted on a cloud platform. The solution also offers intelligent data communication via an API (accessed via HTTPS, MQTT protocol and FTP over TCP connections).

Miniotec provides the world’s only 6-in-1 sensor (integrated triaxial wireless accelerometer, wireless temperature sensor (measures surface temperature), magnetic flux, RPM (speed) extraction, acoustic (inaudible range) and humidity) with fully automated anomaly detection, failure mode classification and remaining useful life determination (RUL) using sophisticated machine learning and signal processing algorithms.

Business Case

  • Currently technicians / engineers inspect these pulleys manually on a 32-day PMI rotation. If it was not for the autonomous ‘24/7-365’ nature of the high data quality collected and analysed, the ‘unbalance’ issue may not have been detected before the issue escalated as the regular monthly inspection was not due for approximately another 27 days.

If the issue was not detected by the IIoT sensor and action taken, the potential operational loss (production and repair) that could have resulted by a failure to the Bearing offered a Return on Investment of 20X (Client figures).

  • The ROI has already been recovered. The issue was detected within 30 days of sensor installation.

  • The wireless IIOT sensors prevented a catastrophic failure and performed as designed and intended, saving the Client a considerable amount of time and money from equipment replacement and loss of production revenue.

Talk to us about how Miniotec can support your operations and provide a step change to your asset management approach.

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