Working in partnership with CENSIS, Scottish SME Sensor-Works is developing what is believed to be the world’s first 5G-enabled, self-powered remote condition monitoring sensor, following the global success of its original Bluetooth-based device. The new device will open up a huge new market to Sensor-Works with sales in excess of 10,000 devices per year predicted.
The sensors will be applied to industrial machinery to detect when a fault is likely to occur, by monitoring for vibrational signatures and temperature increases in real time. Vibrations are the most accurate indicator a machine is beginning to fail and the signature can determine what kind of fault is going to occur – for instance, bearing defects or components falling out of alignment.
Sensor-Works worked with CENSIS on the development of its original BluVib device in 2017, which was one of the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled predictive maintenance sensors. Thousands of the systems have been sold across including in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and South Africa.
The use of cellular networks will allow the sensors to send data directly to the cloud, rather than having to use intermediary devices such as phones, laptops, or routers. The new generation of the device could be used in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and water management.
Sensor-Works is partnering with Grupo Álava in Spain to commercialise the sensor and explore distribution opportunities in Europe, once the proof of concept is complete. The electronics, plastic injections, and other main components will be sourced from within the UK, while the product assembly will take place in Livingston, Scotland.