Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT


Case study: wireless condition monitoring with Wavenis technology

11 July 2007 Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

No one can predict the future, but Pedigree Technologies in the US is delivering systems that get pretty close, using technology that is also available locally. The company provides wireless remote monitoring solutions that, with its custom Internet gateway and software, can help industrial companies keep a close eye on their equipment to avoid unexpected breakdowns and downtime.

A day of downtime that can be avoided not only saves money, but also reduces repair costs and the risk of injury accidents. Engineers at Pedigree have combined remote monitoring and predictive maintenance by collecting critical data from in-plant machines and feeding it over the Internet via a secure web interface.

Industry challenge

Given the stakes, Pedigree customers need to be able to monitor plant equipment effortlessly. Telltale signs such as over-heating can indicate the onset of motor problems. Instead of sending people around plants for inspection, customers can increase reaction time and save money by installing automated wireless monitoring systems.

Effective solutions require 2-way communications from end to end. Remote machines must be able to send alerts to the monitoring application automatically in case of problems, and supervisors, who can either be on site or at a remote location, need to be able to query their entire installed base at any time. Also, ambient conditions for wireless networks are far from ideal with sites already loaded with wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and proprietary protocols, not to mention interference from electrical sources, steel and concrete.

Solutions put to the test

After testing the wireless technologies most likely to operate under harsh industrial conditions, Pedigree chose Wavenis solutions from Coronis Systems. Wavenis offers wireless connections over longer distances than other technologies, while offering ultra-low power consumption and flexible network topology. This makes installing battery-powered wireless devices in hard-to-reach places much more viable than would otherwise be possible.

Pedigree solutions integrate the machine monitoring network installed at customer sites and the custom back-end software used for monitoring and analysis. Temperature sensors with Wavenis-powered wireless transceivers are installed on the equipment to be monitored. The software delivers data in a hosted environment or directly to the customer via the Pedigree gateway.

The greatest challenge for industrial networks is covering an entire plant in a cost-effective manner. Not only are Wavenis-powered sensors claimed to cost around 10 times less than other solutions, but Pedigree also found that the point-to-point range offered by Wavenis is far greater than other technologies and thus significantly reduces the number of repeaters or 'hops' across intermediate nodes needed by the most remote devices to reach the gateway.





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