SKF has launched the SKF Wireless Machine Condition Sensor, which uses the WirelessHart communication protocol and provides dynamic vibration and temperature data for condition monitoring and machinery diagnostic applications. The product has ATEX Zone 0 certification, which means that it can also be used in hazardous environments, for example those found in petrochemical, oil and gas, or pharmaceutical plants. The device combines both sensor and router node into one compact and battery-operated unit the size of a typical industrial accelerometer.
The sensors communicate with each other and with a wireless gateway to create a mesh network. This type of network and communication protocol is ideal for monitoring rotating machinery throughout large plants, in hard to reach locations, or in areas where traditional WiFi communications will not work.
“The new SKF Wireless Machine Condition Sensor offers monitoring capabilities that may be impossible with wired systems or handheld devices. This can ultimately lead to reduced condition monitoring costs as well as a safer approach to machine monitoring,” says Jan Hendrik van der Linden, product line manager, SKF.
With the new product, users can benefit from an improved maintenance program, reduced maintenance costs, reduced installation costs, enhanced employee and machine safety, and compatibility with the established SKF @ptitude Analyst software suite.
The sensor operates in a low power consumption mode allowing years of battery life in the field. Communication capabilities include relaying data from one node to another, relaying data back to the gateway, and receiving automated commands from the Wireless Sensor Device Manager software that initiate the measurement and processing circuits to take data and transmit it back over the network. If a node is unable to receive signals directly from the WirelessHART gateway, it will instead send and receive its data through a nearby node that can pass the data to and from the gateway – ultimately creating the mesh network.
Once data is collected, the WirelessHART gateway communicates with the Wireless Sensor Device Manager software. Device Manager then automatically exports the data into SKF @ptitude Analyst, a comprehensive diagnostic and analytic software package, where a plant engineer can analyse the data and determine a course of action.
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