Handy remote monitoring system works anywhere

Sep 06, 2004

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has teamed up with ten other European research bodies and companies from six European countries to create a unique remote monitoring system for machines. The product of a three-year EU project, Minimum Cost, Minimum Size, Maximum Benefit Condition Monitoring System, MINICON, is a system that allows greater automation and facilitates maintenance of machines located far apart from each other.

“We demonstrated the prototype in March from our Machine Diagnostics Centre,” says Aino Helle, Senior Research Scientist at VTT Industrial Systems. “Now it’s ready for development into a product. There’s still a lot to be done to turn it into a functional commercial system, such as ensuring the security of data transfer.

“It’s designed for companies that provide maintenance service for customers,” she says. The technology will allow such firms to boost their international competitiveness.

“The idea was to create a light system that works at a minimum size and cost, so that small and medium-sized enterprises such as e.g. machine shops can also use it. The clients of maintenance companies could also be small local firms, even if the maintenance companies themselves tend to be quite large.”

The designers predict that when the new remote monitoring system is adopted, machines and equipment will malfunction or be knocked out of service less often. Companies that maintain machinery will no longer need to make expensive, often needless, trips to check up on facilities.

Instead, corporations will be able to concentrate on pre-emptive monitoring of machines at a greater distance that show signs of potential upcoming problems.

Thanks to the new electronic surveillance, demanding maintenance jobs can be carried out in a timely fashion with minimal disruption of machine operation. Based on wireless M2M (Machine-to-Machine) technology, the system constantly transmits key figures back to a central base.

The monitoring system works independently from the machines’ own control systems. It can be attached to individual machines, but is particularly well suited to maintaining and troubleshooting large sets of machinery. “It’s best suited for monitoring series of machines that exist in great number, such as machine tools, pumps and valves,” Helle explains.

So could the system be used anywhere on Earth – even remote islands or the Antarctic?

“Well, as long as you have power and can arrange a wireless connection, either via Ethernet, the internet or, for example, the GSM network, then yes,” says Helle.

Explore further: Google building fleet of package-delivering drones

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Predicting and preventing costly breakdowns in machines

Aug 06, 2014

Everything's green in Duisburg. Well, almost. That's because many green dots and only one red one can be seen on a huge display that shows the city's street network. Every dot represents a traffic light. ...

Sensors that improve rail transport safety

Jul 31, 2014

A new kind of human-machine communication is to make it possible to detect damage to rail vehicles before it's too late and service trains only when they need it – all thanks to a cloud-supported, wireless ...

New methods and tools for sustainable manufacturing

Jun 18, 2014

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has led the way in developing new innovative methods and tools. These enable manufacturing industry to develop and implement sustainable business models that consider economic, social ...

Big data keeps complex production running smoothly

Mar 27, 2014

Industrial plants must function effectively. Remedying production downtimes and breakdowns is an expensive and time-consuming business. That is why companies collect data to evaluate how their facilities ...

Recommended for you

Visual search to shop: gimmick or game changing?

11 hours ago

Imagine using your phone to snap a photo of the cool pair of sunglasses your friend is wearing and instantly receiving a slew of information about the shades along with a link to order them.

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

12 hours ago

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

Nigeria launches national identity card scheme

12 hours ago

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday launched a national electronic identity card scheme, which backers said would boost access to financial and government services in Africa's most populous nation.

User comments : 0