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Wireless tech boosts automated machine monitoring

Home Engineering Automation & Control Wireless tech boosts automated machine monitoring

SKF has teamed up with connectivity experts LumenRadio to create a new wireless monitoring system, measuring vibration and temperature. The “SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 System” combines SKF’s knowledge in machine health monitoring with LumenRadio’s patented network technology.

According to SKF, when fitted to rotating equipment its Enlight Collect IMx-1 system can economically automate vibration data collection. Predictive maintenance programs can be expanded with data captured more often, which increases defect detection rates and helps avoid costly unplanned machine shutdowns.

With LumenRadio, SKF can employ their MiraOS operating system, which provides several benefits with wireless communication. A ‘mesh network’ protocol enables sensors to exchange data, navigating around obstacles, such as pipework and liquid storage tanks, instead of trying to punch through them.

LumenRadio’s patented cognitive co-existence technique scans the radio spectrum and switches frequencies to avoid ‘busy’ channels and overcome interference. All this means increased radio reliability and less retransmissions – significantly reducing the power consumption of the battery in a small device, according to Chris G. James, Product Manager at SKF.

“Low power consumption was one of the main reasons SKF chose to work with LumenRadio. The technology not only provides high precision time stamping of data, it also minimizes energy usage by knowing exactly when to switch the radio on and off. This means the sensor can work on a single battery for many years, in tough wireless environments such as paper mills.”

James added that the self-forming sensor network requires no existing infrastructure like Wi-Fi and can be deployed on a sufficient scale to cover the monitoring points of today’s “walk-arounds”. Precise timestamping of vibration data enables wider analysis capabilities.

Christian Sahlin, Business Area Manager Industry at LumenRadio said: “It is a privilege to be a part of the SKF journey – shaping the future of automated machine monitoring and rotating equipment performance. Bringing the wireless expertise from LumenRadio together with the hundreds of years of experience within rotating equipment from SKF creates a strong foundation for the next industrial phase.”

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