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Wireless sensor and app simplify analysis of machine problems

23 April, 2015

SKF has developed a machine analysis package that combines a Bluetooth-enabled sensor with a powerful mobile app to allow non-experts to gather vibration and temperature data from machines. The Enlight system, which made its debut at the Hannover Fair, can perform on-the-spot assessments or can send the data to SKF experts for analysis.

There are three key elements: the wireless machine condition sensors that measure the vibration and temperature data; an app that turns a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet into a data collector and analyser; and optional Atex Zone 1-compliant tablets and smartphones, that can be used to collect data in hazardous areas.

If requested, the app can send the collected data to the cloud for analysis by experts in the SKF’s global Remote Diagnostic Centre (RDC) network.

“The app is extremely simple to use, allowing non-vibration experts to collect expert data,” says Christoffer Malm, SKF’s Head of Connectivity Room. “The user is only one button push away from RDC experts, who use their extensive knowledge to provide detailed analysis of a machine’s condition – and provide recommendations to rectify faults.”

The Wireless Machine Condition Detector (WMCD) sensors mount magnetically onto a machine, where they measure vibration and temperature. They send this data via Bluetooth to the Data Collect app for visualisation and analysis. The app compares the vibration levels with ISO standards and presents the user with a simple “traffic light” (red, amber or green) result.

SKF says that its Enlight system will simplify the diagnosis of machine problems

The sensor also measures bearing conditions using patented algorithms that assess the severity of any damage or wear. Again, the results are displayed in traffic light format.

In the event of a warning or alert, a user can request an “on-demand diagnostic” and the collected data will be sent wirelessly to an SKF vibration expert who will analyse the data and email a report on the probable cause of the vibration to the user.

SKF says that the new system offers an easy, low-cost way to perform vibration monitoring that has not been possible using systems such as route-based or dedicated high-end vibration analysers, which need a high level of competence and are expensive for one-off measurements. The company expects the first beneficiaries to be manufacturing plants and repair shops.

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