SEQUANTA Chronicles

Industrial machines & equipment: wireless data acquisition systems to maintain optimal operating conditions!

The sustainability of the industrial activity depends on the well-working of machines that are often linked to each other’s. The breakdown of one of them may block an entire activity and jeopardize current and/or future productions. Solutions exists to collect data that will allow to anticipate breakdowns: only with the best data acquisition systems.

Wireless systems for a better accessibility in harsh environments

In industrial areas, the space configuration often complicates the setting up of systems and most of the time, professionals make cabling their first choice, even if the distance to link machines to each other is large. The safety of maintenance staffs is also not ensured as well: spaces where to deploy the system are narrow and unsafe. Every year, there are a lot of work-related injury during thedeployment or maintenance of these systems. Hopefully technology evolutions enable today to design wireless data acquisition systems, easy to install and able to  cover a large perimeter with not much equipment: sensors, routers and gateways. Indeed, these devices communicate between each other, without physical connection, thanks to robust wireless communications that don’t interfere with other wireless networks in the vicinity. Their installation cost is reduced as they are easier to install and as they don’t require significant human resources interventions.

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A feed of accurate data collected at the heart of the production tool

The sensors are installed directly on the machines and continuously collect data in real-time about their health and usage and. Turning and vibrating machines are usually subject to steady mechanical constraints. By monitoring every vibration or chock that exceed acceptable thresholds and that may generate breakdowns, these sensors provide feedback to the gateways that relay it through the Internet (via wired or cellular networks), to a cloud platform, directly linked to the customer server. Each unusual « event » is indexed and analysed to understand the source of chocks or vibrations, the moment when they occurred and where they are located in the production chain. These systems provide accurate and reliable data feed and are not based on suppositions but on facts. This constant feedback in the heart of the production tool provides an enhanced knowledge and follow-up about the machines health and usage to maintain them in optimum operating conditions.

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Wireless data acquisition systems: from reactive maintenance to proactive maintenance

When the production tool breaks down it is necessary to deploy reactive maintenance actions to fix problems on damaged machines. This action plan requires to enlist a lot of equipment and human resources and may generates significant costs. Moreover, if the source has not been identified, the breakdown may occur again, get worse or even impact other machines. With wireless data acquisition systems that continuously capture data, each incident (big chock, too high vibration, etc..) is analysed to deploy proactive maintenance operations, which means to understand the incident source and to intervene before the breakdown occur by knowing which, when and where resources need to be allocated.

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