A sensor is a device that provides feedback on a physical process in a measurable way.
Smart sensors are technology platforms such as storage, diagnostics, microprocessors, and connectivity tools. Those that transform old-fashioned feedback signals into accurate digital insights.
These smart sensors provide timely and valuable data supporting power and analytical insights. The data in time leads to improvements in cost, performance, or customer experience.
Smart sensors help with quality monitoring. They can convert workhorse machines into smart, automated, devices that can perform alone.
Smart sensors … are microprocessor driven and include features such as communication capability and onboard diagnostics that provide information to a monitoring system and/or operator to increase operational efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.Tom Griffiths, Product Manager at Honeywell Industrial
Functions of Smart Sensors
Track, Control, and Improve Operations
Factory managers need to apply a more detailed approach. Companies have to learn to make business decisions based on data. Smart sensors help in this matter by connecting various operating systems. They enable different machines to make intelligent decisions.
It creates seamless connectivity through different working systems, allowing manufacturers to:
- Track system and its performance
- Accumulate generated data.
- Compare, assess, and analyze data sets.0
The reliable data allows factory managers to establish professional decisions about their operations.
Detect Equipment Failure
Manufacturers sometimes cut operation and maintenance budgets to stay competitive and profitable.
Advanced sensors enable manufacturers to decrease unnecessary maintenance and premature replacement of parts. Timely detection of operational discrepancies leads to reduced downtime.
Effective monitoring of production machines decreases costs associated with machinery malfunction.
Many manufacturers generate reports to prove their compliance. These reports can be historical data, records, and logs. And these can be time-consuming to gather. We may need to pull them from fractured systems, and they may even be inaccurate.
But with the right tools such as Wireless Tunnel™ Sensors (WTS) that act as data loggers. These sensors will continue to log data internally. And synchronize all collected data to the WTG once they are within range.
Installing smart sensors in manufacturing warehouse systems can improve efficiency and accuracy. Sensors also track all temperature, humidity, airflow, water leak, and other environmental factors.
Receive Alerts of Process Discrepancies and Quality Standards
Smart sensors not only reduce the burden of regulatory compliance. They’re also instruments to improve production processes. They can identify system discrepancies. What could harm production output or product quality? And then, provide a real-time alert of such issues.
These sensors collect information about machines, facilities, equipment, vehicles, etc.
They are a way to track their behavior or condition. And the collected information is then used to determine the condition of the asset.
AKCP In-Line Power Meters (ILPM) is one example of a tool that monitors the condition of an individual appliance. It works by receiving an alert if electrical power exceeds what is pre-defined. And it reacts by shutting down especially when there is a detected mishap.
Manufacturers can be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to resolving issues. They can also foster competitive advantages. Also, enhance services, increase availability and improve customer satisfaction.
Prevents Workplace Accidents
Smart sensors are types of machinery that keep a thorough check on all machines working. This constant monitoring and supervising help increase safety and security in the workplace. In some instances, the workers were not aware of the state of their machines. And they keep working without stopping for maintenance. The machines used to break down, and at times these events led to major mishaps. But with smart sensors, there is data flowing, and tracking all the time. These notify the operators and workers about the condition of machines. Whether it needs maintenance, if it’s overheating, or is running out of oil. This allows people to take all the mandatory actions to prevent serious damage.
Speed up the Flow of Information and Increase Responsiveness
Smart sensors allow manufacturers to adopt agile methodologies. This makes real-time changes to processes that can increase production output. The data generated by sensors can increase transparency. Then provide visual representations of peaks and flows throughout the factory.
By having sight over customer demands, manufacturers can be more responsive. They can conveniently scale their businesses. Which, at the same time, ensures productivity that always leads to profitability.
Sensors Enable IoT
Smart sensors help improve IoT applications for manufacturing. They streamline connectivity and analytics. Smart sensing technology has already transformed the way manufacturers install IoT. Smart sensors are at the heart of industrial IoT. They identify objects, track them, and generate data about their environmental conditions. Which is critical throughout the supply chain and manufacturing.
The IoT connects remote assets. It also enables a flow of data between the asset and the centralized management systems. These interlinked assets can emerge with new and existing processes. Which provide details on the location, condition, functionality, etc.
Companies have to develop new applications to make good use of all the big data. That only intelligent sensors can generate.
The major advantage of installing intelligent machines is that it increases productivity levels. Factories face serious losses when their machinery face malfunction. Because this hampers the work cycle. Such issues leave the organization behind their schedules and targets.
These sensors provide the operators with information about the machine’s condition. The sensors can predict that the maintenance is due and will start the fixation. As a result, the company can maintain higher productivity levels and uptime.
Benefits of Smart Sensors for Manufacturers
The key advantages of sensors include efficient sensitivity during data capture and real-time analysis. Real-time feedback, and data analytics services ensure that processes are active.
The constant evolution of sensing technology has resulted in today’s intelligent sensors. Unlike conventional analog sensors with no active components, smart sensors contain electrical circuits. It allows them to take measurements and output values as digital data. These sensors feature embedded microprocessor units. And have some sensing devices mounted on a signal converter.
Intelligent sensors can carry out many intelligent functions. Such as the ability to self-test, self-validate, self-adapt, and self-identify.
They understand process requirements. They manage a wide range of conditions to detect conditions to support real-time decision-making.
By shifting to smarter sensors, companies can increase productivity. Starting from energy efficiency up to reduction a big chunk of operational costs.
With continuous monitoring, process leaders can identify areas of high energy consumption. They can take appropriate measures to limit energy wastage.
This approach will help companies achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). This is set out by the United Nations. Such as “Affordable Clean Energy”,
“Responsible Consumption and Production” and “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure”.
To sum up:
- it accelerates processes and makes them more accurate
- it collects process and asset data in real-time
- it monitors processes and assets with accuracy, reliability, and transparency
- it increases efficiency and reduces operational cost
- it lowers energy wastage
- it enables IoT
Insights in Selecting Smart Sensors
Integrating smart sensor technology into your software enables collecting accurate data. Also, detect issues and control an environment and assets in real-time.
This works by selecting the right building sensors. This helps deliver the best end-to-end solutions. Having pictured in mind what needs to improve workability helps your business prosper.
Going Wired or Wireless? Which is Better?
Many businesses want to know whether they should go for a wired or a wireless system.
Below are factors to consider in selecting smart building sensors:
- Faster installation. Wireless sensors may be your only viable option. Wherein hard cable wiring is difficult or impractical. It will not consume a lot of time to install and move. A wireless sensor system doesn’t need any drilling, wiring, or updating cable plans. This means it will have lower installation costs. Occupying minimal structural disruption while keeping the system up and running.
- Cost-effective. Using wireless sensors results in lower capital expenditure. Lesser costs needed for supporting infrastructures such as cables, and the operational costs for installation.
- Maintenance. In wired systems, the devices will need power maintenance. However, Wireless Sensor systems use either battery or self-powering technology. Self-powered wireless devices gather the energy they need to function. Minimal changes in movement, temperature, or vibration are all that powered each device to make them maintenance-free.
Connecting devices with smart wireless sensors provides managers insights into the supply chain which will definitely drive efficiency. This includes reducing operational costs and introducing new revenue opportunities. These are possible goals with the use of smart sensors.
Its system and function will benefit and contribute to companies’ productivity, efficient serviceability. Smart sensors enable companies to keep producing in more transparent, efficient ways.
AKCP is the worlds leader in environmental monitoring solutions. The Wireless Tunnel™ radio sensor technology gives superior range and excellent penetration within buildings and through obstructions.