Automating the Edge with Robotics

SKF introduces wireless edge sensors to automate heavy machinery monitoring

Categories Connectivity  |  Edge Computing News  |  Hardware
SKF introduces wireless edge sensors to automate heavy machinery monitoring

Swedish engineering company SKF has manufactured a wireless vibration and temperature sensor that monitors the rotation of heavy industrial machinery to improve performance, the company announced.

Increasing plant performance puts high pressure on industrial machinery, which is why automation is essential to ensure real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance to enhance machine availability and visibility across the network. SKF’s sensors are an example of how IIoT applications are being enabled by edge compute and wireless networking to enable heavy machinery to operate more reliably. SKF, in turn, can offer new digital services that help customers know when and where to fix equipment-before costly unplanned downtime occurs.

The SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 is integrated into the company’s SKF Rotating Equipment Performance (REP) solution to cut unplanned downtime and maintenance costs as production hours are going up.

SKF Enlight Collect
(SKF Enlight Gateway and IMx-1 sensor)

The sensor is equipped with durable batteries and can be integrated with a high number of machines to automatically collect data to manage asset performance, an activity previously conducted by employees with manual portable devices.

“As a result, the new, highly accurate, robust sensors enable data to be collected more frequently – over hours and days, instead of weeks and months – from locations that were previously inaccessible by hand, using fewer technicians,” said Chris James, Product Line Manager at SKF, in a prepared statement.

Data transmission is no longer obstructed by radio obstacles or signal blocks often found in typical industrial environments. Leveraging a low energy “self-forming mesh network,” the sensors can broadcast data to each other “which makes it easier and quicker to deploy than other wireless communications technologies such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth,” James added.

Built to achieve a tough ingress protection rating of IP69K, the sensor works in any environment and temperature changes. It detects early-stage failure to ensure proper corrective action can be taken with limited disruption to achieve improved rotating equipment performance.

SKF’s automated machine monitoring system for reliable rotation is powered by cloud-based IoT solutions and AI-driven analytics. SKF partnered with Swedish company LumenRadio for wireless mesh technology for industrial IoT.

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