Lift Motor Monitoring and Real time Failure Prevention Predictive Maintenance of Lift Installations

Vibration Monitoring in Lift Systems

Vibration Monitoring in Lift Systems

The Concept of Vibration Monitoring

To fully understand the pivotal role of vibration monitoring in predictive maintenance, it is important to first comprehend what vibration monitoring entails. Vibration monitoring is the process of collecting and analyzing vibrational data from mechanical systems. In the context of lift systems, this means recording the vibration patterns produced by the lift motor during operation. Vibration monitoring technology uses sensors to detect and record these patterns in real-time, enabling immediate detection of any anomalies.

The Role of Vibration Monitoring in Predictive Maintenance

Vibration monitoring is a cornerstone of predictive maintenance in lift systems due to its ability to provide early indications of potential failures. Each lift system exhibits a specific pattern of vibration during normal operation. Deviations from this standard pattern often suggest problems, including mechanical imbalance, misalignment, excessive wear and tear, or inadequate lubrication. 

As the lift system continues to operate, these issues can worsen over time and may eventually lead to system failure. By detecting these anomalies at an early stage, vibration monitoring allows maintenance crews to address issues before they escalate into larger, more costly problems.

Another aspect of this is safety, as the operation of the lift system is a critical one. Failure won’t simply result in monetary cost, but might lead to injury or loss of human life. Real time monitoring and timely actions are crucial for averting potential disasters. Thus, stringent control is required.

Data Analytics of Vibration measurements

Data gathered from vibration monitoring is of little use without proper analysis. This is where machine learning and advanced analytics come into play. These technologies help in processing and interpreting the vast amount of vibrational data collected, transforming it into meaningful insights that can guide maintenance decisions.

Using machine learning algorithms, predictive models can be built to forecast when and where a failure might occur based on the analyzed vibration data. This predictive capability can prevent sudden system shutdowns, minimize repair costs, and improve overall system reliability. 

In order for this to happen it is crucial to have a good baseline measurement, where the lift system is monitored over a period of time of what is considered to be nominal working conditions. This way data can be gathered over a longer period of time and the machine working algorithm can look for anomalies in order to raise alarms and take action. Needless to say, the sensors utilized need to be industrial grade, high precision and robust ones. A good example of a quality sensor for vibration monitoring of lift installations would be the NCD Industrial IoT Wireless Predictive Maintenance Sensor V3. It is specifically designed for predictive maintenance applications as it can measure temperature, current consumption and vibrations so the AI model can have sufficient data to look at in order to find correlation between the parameters.

Real-world Applications of Vibration Monitoring

Consider a real-world example of a high-rise building with multiple lift systems to bring this discussion to life. Here, vibration monitoring technology can be integrated into each lift system. The technology continuously collects vibrational data from the motors, analyzing it in real-time to detect any abnormalities. It can also monitor the current consumption, which should there be any issue with the motor itself would rise, or be unstable over a period of time. Additionally, a temperature probe could also be hooked up to the housing of the motor, to be used as an early indicator for failure (if the motor has an issue and is operating in sub optimal conditions it will heat up).

When an irregular pattern is detected, the building’s maintenance team receives an alert, informing them of the potential issue. From here, the team can inspect the lift, determine the root cause of the irregular vibration, and perform the necessary maintenance or repairs. This helps to avoid unexpected lift failures that could disrupt the building’s operations and result in costly repairs. This is a little bit different than most predictive maintenance systems as maintenance there can be scheduled in advance. In lifts in particular as there is a high degree of risk (passengers are transported) if there is critical failure, it is likely that maintenance inspections might need to happen right away.

In summary, vibration monitoring plays a crucial role in the predictive maintenance of lift systems. It enables real-time anomaly detection, helping to avoid unexpected system failures and facilitating timely maintenance. When paired with advanced data analytics, vibration monitoring can deliver substantial savings, improve system reliability, and extend the lifespan of lift systems.

Implementing Predictive Maintenance in Lift Systems

Steps to Implement a Predictive Maintenance Strategy

Implementing a predictive maintenance strategy involves a series of steps:

Setting Objectives

The first step is to establish clear objectives for what you want to achieve with predictive maintenance. These could include reducing downtime, improving system reliability, extending equipment lifespan, or reducing maintenance costs. Depending on your requirements you would need different type of sensors that would need to acquire specific data and send it for post-processing. If your requirements are nounclear, you might end up suing the wrong sensor andollecting the wrong data.

Technology Selection

Once objectives are set, the appropriate technologies to enable predictive maintenance need to be identified. This includes selecting the right sensors for data collection, suitable software for data analysis, and deciding on the type of predictive model to be used. In the case of lift systems, vibration sensors and machine learning models are commonly utilized.

Data Collection

Once the necessary technology is installed, data collection begins. Sensors collect data on parameters such as vibration, temperature, and noise levels, which are then transmitted for analysis. It is important that your selected sensor is capable enough so it can collect good data. It is good to have hia high sampling rate and sufficient measurement bandwidth tobtain a sufficiently granular set of data you can later analyze in detail.

Data Analysis

Advanced analytics or machine learning algorithms analyze the collected data, identifying patterns and anomalies that might signify potential equipment failure. Again, if your sensor is good, your data will be. If your data is not on the level no amount of AI analysis will provide you with good insights.

Actionable Insights

The data analysis results in actionable insights, which guide the maintenance team’s decisions. If a potential failure is detected, the maintenance team can intervene before the failure occurs. Furthermore, long term statistics can be gathered that give insights on how to better schedule maintenance and improve overall operation methods.

Continuous Improvement

Predictive maintenance is an iterative process. As more data is collected and analyzed over time, the predictive models become increasingly accurate, allowing for better decision-making and more effective maintenance. Be not afraid to look at your methods, adjust them and observe further. As vibrational analysis is an iterative process, make your management and maintenance strategy an iterative process as well. This way you will reap the greatest benefit.

Overcoming Challenges in Implementation
There are a few challenges that organizations may encounter when implementing predictive maintenance in lift systems, including:
Overcoming Challenges in Implementation

Data Management

Dealing with large volumes of data can be challenging. Organizations need to ensure they have the capacity to store and process this data effectively. This can either be done on site via their own infrastructure or they can use a cloud service, like AWS, Azure, etc. All NCD sensors support integration with AWS IoT Core, Azure IoT Hub, Losant, and can integrate with proprietary platforms via API or using Node-RED.

Technical Expertise

Implementing and managing predictive maintenance requires a certain level of technical expertise. This includes understanding how to install and operate the necessary technology, how to analyze data, and how to interpret the results. It is essential to pick a vendor with good documentation practices. NCD provides detailed content on their device operation, guides and manuals that cover the complete functionality of their sensors and how to provision and manage them in an efficient manner. Check NCD website Learn Section for more information.


Implementing predictive maintenance can require a significant initial investment. However, the potential savings from reduced maintenance costs and improved system reliability can offset this cost in the long term. It is up to the client to run the numbers and check if it is worth it, however there are a number of benefits that certain equipment carries that can help with costs. For example, if sensors have long battery life of up to 10 years, operate in a wireless manner (installation costs are reduces as no cabling is required) and are industrial grade, with good environmental protection, making them last longer, one would have a lot lower long term maintenance bill and would find it easier to balance the cost/effect sheet. All NCD sensors provide the aforementioned benefits, take a look at the NCD store.

The Role of Personnel in Predictive Maintenance

While technology plays a key role in predictive maintenance, the importance of skilled personnel cannot be overlooked. Technicians, data analysts, and decision-makers each have a crucial part to play. Technicians need to understand how to install and maintain the technology. Data analysts need to be able to interpret the data and provide meaningful insights. Decision-makers need to understand the information presented to them and make informed maintenance decisions based on that information.

The aforementioned tasks required a high level of expertise which comes from a significant amount of learning. It is worth emphasizing for a second time that this would be more difficult and time consuming without the proper documentation, in both terms of details and structure. It needs to be rich in content, but also well structure and easy to understand so engineers and managers can quickly gain the necessary knowledge to deal with the cutting edge-tech the predictive maintenance system is. Only than would they see it as a beneficial long-term solution. 

In conclusion, while implementing predictive maintenance in lift systems may seem like a daunting task, it can deliver significant benefits when done correctly. With the right objectives, technology, and personnel, organizations can reduce their maintenance costs, improve system reliability, and ultimately provide a better service.

The Future of Predictive Maintenance in Lift Systems

Predictions and Trends for the Future of Predictive Maintenance in Lift Systems

Predictive maintenance is expected to become more sophisticated and integral to lift system operations as technology evolves. Here are some future trends:
Advanced Machine Learning Models
Advanced Machine Learning Models

As machine learning continues to advance, we can expect more accurate and complex predictive models. These models will not only predict failures but will also suggest the most effective maintenance solutions. The AI boom is already leading manufacturers to develop application specific hardware that has better computing power to power consumption ration, like the new NVIDIA servers. This will allow one to run heavier machine learning algorithms with better energy efficiency and obtain advanced results. Additionally, computing costs will decrease, which will push the boundaries of what is considered the norm in the field of predictive analysis to new levels.

Integration with IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) will play a significant role in predictive maintenance. By connecting all parts of a lift system to the internet, real-time data can be collected, analyzed, and acted upon more effectively. Systems will be completely IoT integrated, there will be zero on sight monitoring in the future. Maintenance staff will only be utilized when the actual repair is required. Machine to Machine (M2M) communication will dominate the system and humans will only be involved at the latest possible stage. This will save time and resources.

Automated Maintenance

In the future, predictive maintenance might trigger automated maintenance processes. If an issue is detected, the system could automatically schedule a maintenance task or even perform simple tasks without human intervention. For example, new components can be ordered based on a predicted failure automatically, without human involvement and a technician be called only to install them. Furthermore, the system itself might make decision on how to optimize the process by deciding more sensors are needed at key points based on the measurement data so far and request a team to go install them.

How Predictive Maintenance Can Drive Innovation in the Lift Systems Industry

Predictive maintenance will likely be a significant driver of innovation in the lift systems industry. The need for improved sensors, better data analytics platforms, and advanced predictive models will spur technological advancements. This constant drive for improvement will lead to more efficient, reliable, and advanced lift systems.

More likely than not the new generation of sensors will be smaller, utilizing more robust wireless protocols like LoRaWAN and Nb-IoT that have better range and are more energy efficient. Additionally, they will have greater computing capacity, paving the way for edge-computing applications in order to offload core workloads. Lasty, but perhaps the most important improvement we would have to see is network capacity. As the need for more data increases so will the number of sensors and network size, which would require new protocol for efficient large-scale network scaling. 

Predictive maintenance could pave the way for entirely new business models in the lift systems industry. For instance, lift manufacturers might offer “maintenance as a service,” where customers pay a subscription fee and the manufacturer takes care of all maintenance using predictive technologies. Their staff not only installs the lift, but the real time monitoring system as well. Making sure it is observed 24/7 and maintaining it without the direct involvement of the client.


As we have explored throughout this article, predictive maintenance represents a significant shift in how we approach maintenance in lift systems. Moving from a reactive or preventative maintenance strategy to a predictive one not only enhances the reliability and operational efficiency of lift systems but also results in significant long-term cost savings.

The technology enabling predictive maintenance, including sensors, advanced analytics, and machine learning, is continuously evolving. Real-time vibration monitoring has emerged as a vital tool in predictive maintenance for lift systems, providing invaluable data to identify and address potential issues before they culminate in system failure. It has become an integral part of a good lift system installation, rather than a luxury.

The transition to predictive maintenance may not be without challenges, but with clear objectives, the right technology, and skilled personnel, these challenges can be effectively managed. Predictive maintenance is not only about preventing system failures but also about data-driven decision-making that enhances the overall performance and lifespan of lift systems. Its main goal is to make the lift system a sustainable one, via cost efficiency and longevity improvements.

Looking to the future, the application of predictive maintenance is set to expand and innovate the lift systems industry. With advancements in machine learning, the Internet of Things, and automation, predictive maintenance could be a game-changer, triggering new business models and driving industry-wide innovation.

Smart Industrial IoT Wireless Vibration Temperature Sensor

Industrial IoT Wireless Predictive Maintenance Sensor V3

Industrial IoT Wireless Vibration Temperature Sensor V3

Industrial IoT Wireless 2 Channel Vibration Temperature Sensor V3