Without question, the Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way we look at condition monitoring and diagnostics. Many now consider checking analog gauges and jotting down measurements on a clipboard obsolete.
Industries from manufacturing and automotive to health care and transportation are using advanced condition monitoring solutions to:
Identify issues before they escalate
Decrease maintenance costs
Avoid dangerous situations
Make better, more informed decisions
Improve labor efficiency
All of these benefits have opened the doors to Predictive Maintenance.
Now, it isn’t a question of if you need an advanced condition monitoring solution, but which type? We break down the key differences between Continuous Remote Monitoring and Wireless Route-Based Monitoring to help you answer that question.
If you need a solution for short-term monitoring or diagnostics, then a wireless route-based condition monitoring solution will likely give you the best return on your investment.
The “route” speaks to the asset manager’s maintenance routine, whether it’s walking a plant floor and inspecting each machine, or running diagnostics on a specific piece of equipment. Wireless sensors are installed at key points on your machines to monitor vital conditions (e.g. temperature, pressure, and humidity) and wirelessly transmit that information to a mobile device by using the required software or mobile app.
This type of wireless route-based condition monitoring solution alleviates some of the common issues, including:
Technicians within range can wirelessly retrieve information from sensors installed on the asset. Without the wires and cables required by a traditional monitoring solution, technicians can monitor and record each measurement simultaneously, then move on to the next piece of equipment. This helps cut down the time it takes to complete the route, thus potentially increasing the frequency of those routes.
More daily measurements mean a more robust archive. There is also a better chance of catching the sudden spikes or drops in condition levels that often go unnoticed, leading to decreased asset performance or outright failure.
With one mobile device, such as a smartphone, technicians can easily and quickly monitor the digital readout and automatically record a measurement with the click of a button. Now the grease, dirt, and grime that build upon an analog gauge, making it more difficult to read, are no longer an issue…and neither is the technician’s handwriting.
Maintaining a digital record that can be exported and uploaded to a computer ensures recorded measurements are no longer subject to being lost, misfiled, torn, or stained with the random coffee cup. It’s also easier to analyze digital files to identify trends than it is with hardcopy records.
The biggest benefit is that wireless monitoring solutions don’t require shutting down the piece of equipment to take measurements. Leaving job-critical assets online while running diagnostics means companies can investigate issues without halting production.
These benefits allow workers to:
Easily take accurate measurements from individual machines
Wirelessly diagnose machine issues to reduce downtime and save money
Easily monitor your assets/machines on-site
Export recorded measurements
Avoid potentially unsafe working conditions
Route-based condition monitoring is perfect for companies that need an immediate, short-term diagnostic solution that is more accurate than traditional gauges.
Continuous remote monitoring gives users a broader view of their assets by providing a steady stream of information, so they never miss a beat. Unlike wireless route-based monitoring, which requires a technician to be within the range of a sensor to get the measurement, users can take measurements with a continuous remote monitoring system anywhere they have an internet signal.
While conceptually similar, continuous remote monitoring solutions do have a few differences compared to route-based monitoring solutions:
Long-term vs. short-term monitoring
Route-Based Monitoring begins and ends when the end-user is actively using the system. Continuous Remote Monitoring solutions are designed for long-term monitoring to give users immediate access to the health of their machines. Continuous monitoring solutions are always ‘watching’ machines and systems for any issues that could lead to reduced performance or downtime. That means that at any time of the day, users can access critical information without interrupting production.
Big picture vs. snapshot
While Route-Based Monitoring helps users take measurements and run diagnostics on individual assets, a Continuous Monitoring solution gives users the bigger picture of how things are running. Users can gather trend data from all assets at all locations and analyze that information to find ways to optimize machine performance and keep production running smoothly.
Remote vs. on-site monitoring
By giving users access from anywhere with an internet connection, they can monitor and collect the data of multiple assets from multiple locations simultaneously. Cloud-based remote monitoring lets users access everything from their desktop, so plant managers can analyze trends for all assets right from their office whether they’re on-site or miles away.
Employing a continuous monitoring strategy allows companies to:
Access data anywhere, anytime
Receive alert notifications of potential issues
Visualize data in a way that makes the most sense
Customize alerts, trend charts, and dashboards
View measurement anomalies easily
Support continuous improvement efforts with trend data
Export data for analyzing later
Continuous remote monitoring is perfect for large-scale operations with multiple assets or production/assembly lines.
If you’re considering either wireless route-based or continuous remote monitoring for your business, but you still have questions, our engineers can help you choose the best option for your needs. As a global leader in connected motion and control technologies, Parker has spent years developing solutions and strategies for both types of advanced condition monitoring.
Contact us today for more information on remote condition monitoring solutions.
Contributed by Marc Wililams, IoT project lead, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
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