With sensors at the epicenter of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things, a number of significant advances have been taking place with sensor technology. From wearable sensors to mounted bearing sensors to plug-and-play safety sensors, developers have been expanding industrial sensor technology by leaps and bounds over the past few years.
Now, Petasense, a supplier of Industrial Internet of Things monitoring technologies, has released the Vibration Mote Model 3 (VM3)—a sensor that combines speed detection with triaxial vibration and temperature sensing to enable continuous monitoring of variable speed assets.
The company developed the sensor to address the difficulties in monitoring variable speed devices that operate intermittently. Petasense says this type of monitoring has historically been difficult to achieve with predictive maintenance systems because these variable devices often operate under different conditions when measurements are taken. The VM3 sensor allows users to trend readings under consistent operating conditions.
Essentially, the VM3 offers event-based measurement, such as taking readings only when the asset is running at a specific speed. By enabling this kind of “smart measurement,” the VM3 can provide more consistent readings and battery life of up to five years, according to Petasense.
Data from the sensor is transmitted over standard Wi-Fi to Petasense’s Asset Reliability & Optimization (ARO) Cloud, where users can see what is happening with their assets and drill down for diagnostics. Petasense’s ARO Cloud system includes plug-and-play wireless sensors and predictive analytics software that allows plants to collect real time insights into asset health.
In addition to Wi-Fi, the VM3 also offers Bluetooth connectivity for direct connection to mobile devices. Petasense said the addition of Bluetooth helps companies get started with wireless sensing without having to first install wireless infrastructure.
The VM3 can store up to 50 high-resolution readings and transmits automatically when wireless connection is re-established, preventing data loss. This onboard storage capability also helps minimizes data loss during connectivity interruptions.
“The new smart measurement feature (of the VM3) is unique in the industry,” said Kuldeep Amarnath, chief technology officer at Petasense. “We are leveraging edge computing to collect sensor readings at the perfect time, taking synchronous measurements and more comprehensive readings based on the condition of the prior reading. It allows you to monitor speed, but also operating state, so you can take readings only when assets are running.”