How to Choose and Use an Iot Vibration Sensor

What is an IoT Vibration Sensor?

An IoT Vibration Sensor is designed to read vibration data and send it to a Cloud, User Interface, or Local Server(s) for analysis. Vibration sensors are also capable of local processing and then sending process data to a cloud service. This vibration data can be used for daily monitoring, and also to send automatic alerts, and notify for early fault detection. Generally, IoT Sensors are battery powered, but they can be powered with an external power supply as well. These sensors are directly mounted on the machine with industrial strength magnets. IoT Vibration Sensors use MEMS based technology – this allows the sensors to measure all three axis and a variety of bandwidths. Check out our Enterprise line of IoT Vibration Sensors! 

What type of Data does a Vibration Sensor Transmit?

NCD IoT Vibration Sensors detect more than just acceleration. These sensors can also detect acceleration, velocity, displacement, and frequencies. All of these readings fixed together can give the user a collective idea of the health of the machine. For example, on industrial machinery, this will help detect looseness, if a bearing is going bad, an increase in machine temperature, or perhaps if the sensor is just improperly mounted. Having all of these parameters in place will ensure the user has the best knowledge of how their machines are performing.

Is Continuous Monitoring Necessary?

In the past, factories may have had to call a vibration analyst, should something have gone awry. At this point, the analyst will manually inspect and measure vibration on each machine. The biggest drawback of such monitoring, is that there is a long gap between each two measurements. The failure, and when the analyst is able to take said measurements. There is effectively no way to know if something starts to break or malfunction during this gap period. Using the IoT Vibration Sensor, users can perform condition monitoring on a continuous basis. Using the data, users can see trends and use these to make an informed decision as to whether or not the machine needs major repair. By doing this, factories can avoid unnecessary downtime and high repair costs. This is just one of the key advantages of using IoT Vibration Sensors.

How to Choose an IoT Vibration Sensor

Vibration sensing and monitoring is becoming one of the key ways to measure machine health, and what condition your machine is in. There are many factors when looking at vibration analysis, and there are many sensors out there that can measure vibration. The big question – How does the user identify which sensor is best for the machine’s needs?

Sensor Data Integrity

It is very important that the sensor the user has purchased is operating at an optimum level. The rate at which transmissions are received must be reliable and consistent. There are many sensors on the market that may appeal to the eye, but it may not always be a quality product. It is critical that the sensor installed on your machinery is dependable in collecting & sending accurate data. It’s very important that the user does his or her research to ensure a quality purchase.
NCD’s Design and Development team set out to perfect a sensor on the predication of quality and superiority in the market. An industrial radio was used for environments that contained a lot of noise. NCD sensors also contain a mechanism that sends data until that data makes it to its final destination – unlike other sensors that may simply stop responding, should there be a deviation in data collection.

Security

NCD IoT Vibration Sensors also offer premium security when it comes to data transferring. NCD hardware comes with an AES 128 Bit Encryption System for peace of mind. After data is collected from the sensor, the user may then use an IoT Edge Computer for additional data security and transmission. Using the IoT Edge Computer allows the user to further send data to a secure Cloud system of his or her choice, ensuring optimal security.

Edge Gateway Computer

Data Harvesting

In terms of researching which vibration sensor will best suit the users needs, it is again important to research which development teams and companies invest essential time and resources in disclosing exactly what data is being collected and transmitted. NCD displays a wide array of data to be totally transparent with the data the user is receiving. NCD shares data such as temperature, acceleration, velocity, frequencies, and displacement.  At the same time, our sensors also collect raw data, which allows the user to pass on this data to any third party cloud service, user interface, or local server. By collecting and observing this raw data over time, the user is able to notice patterns of behavior or vibration on any one machine. If, or when the readings begin to differ or change in pattern, it’s simple to notice a problem much further in advance, than if there were no sensor attached to the machine.

Adaptability

 It is important to understand the basic mechanics of the machine in which readings are being taken from. For purposes of this article, a motor can be used for reference. Some motors operate at a faster speed than others. Understanding at which speed a motor operates will help the user fine tune a frequency at which the sensor reads data, and transmits data.
NCD has a Product Manual on each of its product pages under the “Resources” tab – this will show a table of the readings at which the user can expect a specific machine to operate upon. For this IoT Vibration Sensor in particular, visit the Product Manual here! Or, under the “Resources” tab, and then under “Essential” choose “Industrial Vibration Sensor V3 Product Manual.” This is where the user can learn how often to set frequencies, so that the optimal reading may come from the sensor, and ultimately the machine.
After hitting “Industrial Vibration Sensor V3 Product Manual”, scroll down to “Sensor Support Map” in section 9. There, is a table of RPMs – this will give the user the best idea of how often to collect data based on a particular machine. 

Output Data Rate, Iot Vibration Sensor

Cloud or Local Computing

 In many cases, an individual using a vibration sensor will do so with a handheld device. This very much limits the frequency at which the user is able to collect data. With a handheld device, the user is looking at weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even bi-yearly data collection depending on the size of the facility and how many machines are running at any given time. While this sounds permissible in theory, the data would only be collected in real-time; meaning, there wouldn’t be any continual samples being collected. Having the means to collect these samples at a preset interval to recognize patterns on your machinery will give the user the best idea of how and when to prevent machinery failure. This in turn can save the user a great deal in time and repair costs should something go wrong with the machinery.
With NCD IoT Vibration Sensors, the user is allowed to pass the collected data onto any preferred cloud service, or any local non-platform on a such as a PC or local server. On the product page, the user can go to the “Purchasing” tab, and look at several options on how to transfer the data from the sensors. NCD provides options to send data to MQTT, AWS (Amazon), Losant, Microsoft Azure, and others. NCD also offers modems to transfer data via USB Wifi Bluetooth, Ethernet, RS485 and RS232. NCD also offers Edge Computer options to transfer data via Cellular Wifi Ethernet.

Iot Sensor to Cloud Diagram

Ease of Installation

When looking at what type of sensor needs to be installed in a facility, large or small, it’s very important to consider ease of installation. NCD IoT Vibration Sensors have a very simple installation method, which makes projects of any size uncomplicated when it comes to installation.
NCD sensors are comprised of a simple, small rectangle box with magnetic mounting hardware included. There is an antenna attached to the box, and a probe that is approximately 6 ft long. Having a probe attached to the box allows the user to access hard-to-reach places while storing the box out of the way. This allows proper collection of data to occur with a good signal. Also, the construct of the device allows the radio inside the sensor to collect the data in a safe place.
The probe itself has a sturdy design to help gather the most accurate data possible. At the end of the probe, there is a stainless steel, ¼ inch male end, and a female ¼ inch end that easily screws in. There is also a magnet option when installing the end of the probe, but ideally the probe will use the screw-in mechanism for extra assurance of security. (Rising temperatures on machinery can affect the way a magnet behaves in a negative manner, so NCD recommends the screw-in option on probes.)
When looking at the end of the probe, it can be seen there is a “X” on the probe, which denounces the “X” axis.

IoT Vibration Sensor, Condition Monitoring, Installation

Wireless Range

NCD uses 900MHz as the frequency for our sensors, and there are a few reasons for this. Firstly, 900MHz is one of the least crowded radio bands (compared to 2.4GHz or 5GHz.) That’s not to say anything other than 900MHz would not work, but it would require extra gateways and there would be a chance of range issues or the possibility of signals dropping. The 900MHz signal is able to penetrate walls, and can travel at a greater distance than that of 2.4GHz or others. Working indoors, the user can expect a 900MHz data signals to travel between 1000-1200 feet. While working outdoors, that frequency can range up to 2 miles. This is also superior to Bluetooth and Wifi signals, that have a much shorter range.

Battery Life

NCD hardware has an extremely long battery life. For example, if the user is having data transmitted from the device every 2 hours, he or she can expect a battery life of approximately 8 years. (As expected, the battery life will shorten with more transmissions and lengthen with fewer transmissions.) NCD does not recommend using any battery over 10 years. 

Battery Life3 Months6 Months1 Year2 Years3 Years5 Years10 Years
300K Sensor136 TPH68 TPH34 TPH17 TPH11 TPH6 TPH3 TPH
400K Sensor180 TPH90 TPH45 TPH22 TPH15 TPH9 TPH4 TPH
500K Sensor228 TPH114 TPH57 TPH28 TPH19 TPH11 TPH5 TPH
600K Sensor272 TPH136 TPH68 TPH34 TPH22 TPH13 TPH6 TPH
*NCD does not recommend using batteries in excess of 10 years

Hidden Cost

NCD takes pride in the fact that the user is not bound by one option to collect and/or store data. The user may utilize any Cloud Service, User Interface, Server or Local PC. This also means no monthly cloud or storage fees from NCD.

Where to use NCD IoT Vibration Sensors

Approximately 90 percent of industrial machinery can benefit from the use of vibration sensors. Using these sensors is one of the most effective ways of utilizing condition monitoring to observe the health of machinery. Here are a few examples:

Motors

Vibration monitoring is one of the key measurements to identify the health of a motor. While all motors vibrate to some degree, NCD vibration sensors also measure changes in acceleration, velocity, and temperature. These types of measurements allow the user to discover looseness, misalignment, unbalance, or wears in a bearing. Identifying healthy vibration in the motor over time will also allow the user to discover a problem and use gathered data for future fail prevention.

NCD IoT Vibration Sensors are also a safe options when it comes to condition monitoring on motors. Our sturdy box design and long probe allow installation nearly anywhere on a motor, allowing the user to gather data at a safe distance from the factory floor.

Disassembled Motor

Pumps

Water Pump

Pumps and condensers of any kind are an important part of the water industry. If a pump on a water tower, for instance, stops working, this could leave thousands of patrons without water (or sanitary water.) If a pump in an any setting starts to fail, there could be a trickle down effect of consequences. Beginning with the to the losses to the company or farmer, and ultimately to the consumer. 


Pumps carry liquid between two different height levels. This mechanism is operated using centrifugal force using rotary motion. NCD IoT Vibration Sensors allow the a user or analyst to monitor the vibration frequency on a pump and decide if the machine is in good health

Compressors

Compressors contribute to many different types of industrial applications. For instance, many factories rely on compressors to operate pneumatic machinery, where as the food industry may rely on a compressor to help operate coolers. Multiple other industries such as oil and gas and agriculture also utilize compressors as an every day asset. 

A compressor is a machine that generates force with rotary motion. Using an IoT Vibration Sensor allows the user or analyst to test if the vibration levels are too great from shafts or bearings in poor health. Having access to this data allows the user to predict an oncoming fail of such machinery and thus save costs on future repairs from failure.

Compressor

Rotating Machines

Engine Shaft, Rotating Machine

Rotating machines such as mixers, grinders and wind turbines all use rolling bearings to operate. Rotating machines all rely on a balanced machine so that it may rotate properly, and evenly. Otherwise, the machine may become unbalanced, causing what could be a large waste of product and/or resources and repair costs. 

Before vibration sensing and condition monitoring were in place, the user of these machines may only have relied on audible noise before he or she realized there was an issue. By this time, the bearing generally needs replaced. With IoT Vibration Sensors, the vibration levels can be read and transmitted before a bearing is completely worn, and a simple lubrication application may solve the issue.

How to Identify Early Faults and Abnormality Detection

in order to detect the faults first we need to learn what could cause the vibration. Here are few key issues that can cause vibration:

Wear

As a ball, bearing, gear or belt becomes worn, these instruments may cause vibration on or in machinery. This comes from simple overuse, or poor installation. A belt lacking lubrication can cause wear, as well as a gear with worn teeth. All of these things can cause vibration and wear to the user’s machinery.

Unbalance

As a ball, bearing, gear or belt becomes worn, these instruments may cause vibration on or in machinery. This comes from simple overuse, or poor installation. A belt lacking lubrication can cause wear, as well as a gear with worn teeth. All of these things can cause vibration and wear to the user’s machinery.

Looseness

Bearings are the number one component that experience looseness in industrial machinery. This looseness may be identified by auditory noise as well as vibration – however, vibration will be the main measurement for needed maintenance on a bearing. By the time a bearing produces noise, it may need replaced. Depending on the severity of the looseness, the bearing may only need lubrication or other maintenance. If the looseness has been ignored for sometime causing wear, it may need replaced.

Misalignment

When two rotating shafts are not parallel to one another, this can cause misalignment. The cause of misalignment can occur with installation of the component, but may also be caused by increasing temperatures between the shafts, instigating further expansion. The resulting vibration will be an indicator of machine health, and a proper vibration sensor can help assist finding the root cause before failure. 

Temperature

Temperature could be one of the Key indicator when it comes to early fault detection. ncd vibration sensor comes with an integrated temperature sensor. 

Finding the Root Cause using Vibration Frequencies

After determining the vibration frequency a particular machine normally runs upon, it can be determined whether or not the machine is in good health depending on its vibration frequency. Below is a list of vibrations frequencies from low to high, that may help determine the root cause of any malfunction a machine may be experiencing. 

IoT Vibration Sensor, Vibration Monitoring, Predictive Maintenance