Machine Condition Monitoring for a Distribution Center

The Challenge
A distribution center used a conveyor belt systems to transport a wide variety of products to appropriate locations. When all went well, products were delivered, stored and shipped back out with a minimum of trouble. But a breakdown in any of the motors running the conveyor belts could interfere with operations and cause unacceptable shipping delays. The distribution center decided to use remote monitoring and decision analytics to predict where and when, preventative maintenance could keep small problems from ballooning into major disruptions.

The Solution
One of B+B’s value-added resellers solved the problem with B+B’s Wzzard Sensor Platform and decision analytics. They placed current, vibration and temperature sensors on each of the motors and connected the sensors to Wzzard Intelligent Edge Nodes. The Intelligent Edge Nodes used SmartMesh IP mesh networking to report sensor data to the Spectre Network Gateway, which can connect to analytics applications via wired or cellular networks. The entire system was wireless, so there was no need to clutter the distribution center with a lot of new cabling.

The analytics application monitored the incoming data and compared it to previous reports. Increases in motor temperature, vibration or current use are all indications that a motor’s condition is deteriorating, and the analytics application was therefore able to call for maintenance long before any of the motors failed completely.

Smart IoT - Technology for Machine Condition Monitoring