Top 6 IIoT Sensors for Condition-Based Monitoring Capabilities
The shift to condition-based monitoring is in full swing, backed by the prolific accessibility of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Because it relies on active, real-time observation of variables affecting machine performance, condition-based monitoring is the gold standard for maintenance ― and it’s only feasible through the IIoT.
Unlocking the power of condition-based monitoring starts with sensors. Sensors measure specific variables, with thresholds to trigger alerts. These alerts lead to proactive or preventive maintenance, signaling the power of condition-based monitoring.
For factories making the shift to more proactive maintenance, choosing the right sensors is imperative. Depending on the type of machinery you have and the crucial variables of its operation, one or more sensors may form the foundation of your IIoT.
The Top 6 IIoT Sensors for Condition-Based Monitoring
1. Vibration sensor 📈
Vibration leads to all sorts of problems ― everything from misalignment to friction and heat. It’s a major concern of motors, pressurized systems, and centrifugal components. Vibration sensors monitor minuscule changes in vibration, before the severity of the vibration is enough to affect components. Vibration sensors are an effective way to proactively address an unseen (yet severe) problem.
2. Acoustic sensor 🔊
A high-pitched whine or an occasional grumble from a machine is easy to miss. Acoustic sensors not only pick up these sounds and relay them to operators, they also catalog them. Techs can see how frequently these noises occur, manage their maintenance approach, and understand the reason behind the sound.
3. Infrared sensor 👁️
Friction leads to heat, resulting in component failure. It’s an ever-present problem for any piece of mechanical equipment. Infrared sensors detect spikes in heat and even have the ability to isolate specific components. They’re essential for gauging temperature, duration of heat spikes, frequency, and more.
4. Voltage sensor ⚡
For electric motors, generators, and electric tools, a spike or loss of voltage is a serious event. Monitoring problems with voltage improves worker safety and machine reliability. Voltage sensors are on the front lines, instantly relaying critical voltage data to techs to inform decision-makers about maintenance.
5. Ultrasonic sensor 🔬
Every mechanical piece of equipment requires some form of lubrication. The problem is that once administered, it’s nearly impossible to monitor the condition of that lubricant. Ultrasonic sensors measure change in viscosity, enabling precision lubrication. Instead of adhering to a standard schedule and risking lubrication too soon or too late, ultrasonic sensors ensure timely service.
6. Cycle sensor 🔄
Equipment or manufacturing processes occurring on a cycle are subject to condition-based monitoring, just like any single variable. Cycle sensors monitor the continuous repeat of a cycle to ensure the process remains uniform and ongoing. If cycle intervals grow shorter or longer, it’s a sign that maintenance or calibration intervention is necessary.
Sensors pave the way for condition-based monitoring
The IIoT is built on the back of sensor technology. Sensors are the start point for relaying critical data, and the key to unlocking better maintenance solutions. Identifying the variables affecting your equipment and deploying the right sensor is the first and best step in capitalizing on the capabilities of condition-based maintenance.