While downtime is most often associated with equipment failures or breakdowns, it actually encompasses any unplanned event that causes a manufacturing or technological process to stop. For example, downtime can be triggered by material issues, a shortage of operators or unscheduled maintenance.
In order to provide better insights on how machines are running, how efficiently they are performing and exactly how to reduce production downtime, a group of researchers from Imperial College London, leaded by Professor Julie McCann in Imperial College London’s Department of Computer Science have developed CogniSense, an IoT device that monitors machine state-of-health accurately for any mechanism exhibiting cyclical motion.
In fact, the effective remote monitoring of rotating equipment such as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems or conveyor belts is valuable to ensure reduced downtime and peak operating efficiency.
As it is reported in the technology offer published by Imperial Innovations on Innoget, the trusted global open innovation, science and technology network, by transmitting a radio signal and detecting the response, a signal corresponding to the motion of the distinct machine components, for instance gears and bearings, can be captured and analyzed, providing a much trustful and efficient way to monitor the state-of-health of the machine.
CogniSense even works through walls and a single device can be used to monitor multiple machines, rather than requiring individual on-board mounting like other existing systems. The system itself is aimed to improve many operational processes and presents benefits other systems in the market lack, as the chance to remote monitoring without mounting on machine, it does not require line of sight, is a low-cost monitoring equipment, a single unit can monitor many machines with any interference and because it can be calibrated for any repetitive mechanical action it presents a wide range of applications like building service management, factory monitoring, process speed optimization or Internet of Things (IoT).
Imperial Innovations is the technology transfer office for Imperial College London under the Touchstone Innovation Group, which includes Venture Capital and incubation facilities.