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Amazon Enters the Predictive Maintenance Space

The Monitron system from Amazon includes wireless sensors and gateways to monitor equipment vibration and temperature data, transfer the data to AWS for analysis, and alert users.

AWS Monitron sensors mounted on conveyor belt motors. Source: AWS
AWS Monitron sensors mounted on conveyor belt motors. Source: AWS

One of the hurdles preventing some manufacturers from adopting predictive maintenance procedures is the cost of associated hardware and software technologies. But those costs have been coming down rapidly over the past few years and is leading to an explosion of new product offerings in this space, including from Amazon.

A couple of months ago we reported on how Amazon is expanding its offerings into the industrial space beyond its cloud data storage and analysis products. In that article we referenced Amazon’s new supply chain software technology. Now the company is introducing its Monitron predictive maintenance and machine learning (ML) products.

   Learn more about AWS Supply Chain.

According to Amazon, Monitron is an end-to-end system of wireless sensors and gateways to monitor equipment condition. Monitron’s wireless sensors attach to equipment with adhesive and are reportedly purpose-built to capture vibration and temperature data. The Amazon Monitron system also includes Wi-Fi and Ethernet gateways to transfer the sensor data to AWS.

AWS Monitron gateway (top) and sensor. Source: AWSAWS Monitron gateway (top) and sensor. Source: AWSThe sensors and gateways are pre-configured to work with the Amazon Monitron service. Up to 20 Amazon Monitron sensors can be connected at a time with one Amazon Monitron gateway. The number of sensors connectable per gateway will depend on the distance between the gateway and the sensor.

The sensors measure 2.08x1.69x0.98 inches, weigh 54 grams, and have an IP69 rating (protection against objects, dust, and liquids entering the device enclosure). The Wi-Fi gateways measure 3.6x3.1x1.5inches, weigh 95 grams, and have an IP65 rating (protection against water entry into the device enclosure). The Ethernet gateways measure 5.5x4.2x1.6 inches, weigh 230 grams, and carry an IP65 rating.

Near-field communication (NFC) technology in the Monitron system simplifies the setup process using the Monitron app on a mobile device.

Amazon says Monitron automatically detects abnormal machine operating states by analyzing vibration and temperature signals using the ISO 20816 standard for vibration along with ML-enabled models. Key applications include monitoring use of fans, bearings, compressors, motors, gearboxes, and pumps.

Push notifications are sent to users when the service detects abnormal vibration or temperature patterns. These patterns can be reviewed and tracked within the app. User feedback on alerts, such as failure mode, failure cause, and action taken can be entered into the Monitron system, which learns from that feedback as well as the real-time data it collects to continually improve over time using its ML technology.

AWS Monitron analytics reporting accessible via computer or mobile device. Source: AWSAWS Monitron analytics reporting accessible via computer or mobile device. Source: AWSThe Monitron system can be purchased on or through your Amazon Business account to buy in bulk through a purchase order.

Four current purchase options are:

  • Amazon Monitron Starter Kit, which includes five Amazon Monitron sensors and one Amazon Monitron gateway for $715.00
  • Five-pack of Amazon Monitron sensors for $575
  • One Amazon Monitron Wi-Fi gateway for $140
  • One Amazon Monitron Ethernet gateway (Ethernet) for $180

 The company notes that the typical life of an Amazon Monitron sensor battery is five years.

Users include Amazon, Fender, GE, and Koch

Andrew Jassy, president and CEO, Amazon, recently visited one of Amazon’s sortation centers in Colorado, which uses the Amazon Monitron system to detect potential issues with the center’s machinery before they happen.  “Since a typical fulfillment center has dozens of miles of conveyors being driven by hundreds of motors and belts, keeping them running is super important to delivering reliably for customers,” said Jassy. “The orange sensors continuously collect temperature and vibration measurements and send these metrics to the AWS cloud to be analyzed in real time using machine learning modeling that can predict when a part might stop working.” Jassy noted that the Monitron system recently alerted the team that one of the center’s induction belts used for sorting and moving packages might fail soon. This advanced notice allowed the sort center team to plan a time to look at the belt and perform predictive maintenance “saving hours of downtime and ensuring customer deliveries were made on time,” he added. “Amazon Monitron has reduced unplanned downtime by 70% at Amazon sites.”

Other users of Amazon’s Monitron system to monitor equipment assets include Fender, GE Gas Power, and Koch Ag and Energy Solutions.

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