Diagnostic sensing devices come in all shapes and sizes, but for certain applications some sensors can be more of a headache than others. This is especially true with mobile equipment, specifically tractors.
Successful agricultural production is heavily reliant on the consistent operation of tractors and other farming machinery. Safety and optimal performance must be guaranteed during operation in order for the owner to get the best return on his investment.
Given the harsh conditions in which farming equipment is used, accurate condition monitoring is critical for effective diagnostic routines and maintenance. Inclement weather, excessive dirt and dust clogging of components, and general wear and tear all contribute to poor performance and can lead to damage of tractors over time.
As the agricultural industry becomes more competitive, farmers, as well as tractor dealers, maintenance crew and mechanics are seeking new ways to cut costs. Employing a reliable condition monitoring strategy can help determine the best time to repair or replace a component. This helps to reduce repair inventory and minimizes unnecessary maintenance routines and downtime.
While wired condition monitoring tools are effective, they can be difficult to use with mobile equipment, which typically must be in motion and operating in order to get accurate readings. Loose wiring can lead to cables getting wrapped or pinched in the moving machinery. Because the sensors must be installed and then removed from machine to machine, workers carry a toolbox full of the needed cables, sensors, and display units, which takes up extra room in a tractor’s small cab.
Small, wireless sensors have proven to be an effective solution that eliminates the need for cabling or excessive wiring around the vehicle. Smaller than wired sensors, a wireless sensor can also be easily installed in tight fitting areas, letting users place them closer to the areas of interest for more accurate readings.
Many wireless sensors are rooted in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which allows for consistent monitoring along with substantially more data offered. Pairing these sensors with mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, lets users analyze the data remotely, even while sitting in the cab to operate the vehicle. Such solutions are ideal for observing trends in operating temperature, as well as the pressure performance of a tractor’s hydraulic system.
Using Parker’s SensoNODE™ sensors and Voice of the Machine™ in tandem allows for remote viewing and tracking of condition data, keeping users out of dangerous situations. SensoNODE Blue and Voice of the Machine Mobile allow workers to:
Click here to learn more about condition monitoring.
Contributed by Marc Williams, IoT project lead for SensoNODE Sensors and Voice of the Machine Software, Parker Hannifin.
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