Automated machine monitoring for reliable rotation

The SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 is a smart wireless vibration and temperature sensor allowing enhancement to maintenance programs by harnessing the power of Industry 4.0.

Meeting growing production demands with existing equipment and facilities while keeping costs low and optimising overall equipment effectiveness are key drivers for any mining companies. 

At the core of any modern mine site is an effective stream of automation technologies and services that are often made possible by sensor technology distributed across plant and equipment. 

This sensor technology allows mining equipment to continue operating by acquiring real-time data in a safe, reliable and cost-effective manner.

A tried-and-tested method for collecting this sensor-based machine health data has been routine manual walk-around data collection, but this has its own shortcomings. Also, the frequency of manual walk-around data collection can impact an operation’s ability to detect machinery faults proactively – leading to unplanned downtime and catastrophic failures. 

As COVID-19 led to hard border closures, manual walk-around data collection was challenged, big time. For sure, there has to be a better and cost-effective way of collecting machinery health data. 

SKF’s answer to this is the SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 system – automated machine monitoring for reliable rotation.

The SKF Enlight Collect system consists of an autonomous battery-powered wireless vibration and temperature sensor, a line powered communication and network manager gateway, mobile commissioning app for sensor gateway commissioning and web hosted software for machine health data trending visualisation and analysis.

With the SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 system, machine health data from physical sensors and gateways are channelled to SKF web-hosted software via an MQTT service. 

For SKF digitalisation manager Praveen Salian, the SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 represents the importance of using data analytics at a mine site where bearings in services are monitored by battery powered Enlight Collect sensors which are connected to each other. 

SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1.


Then, through an Enlight Collect gateway, they are connected to the cloud where a globally linked community can detect, diagnose and prognose asset health and turn data into useful information to enhance machinery performance.

“If you look into the market dynamics today, data is becoming a key,” Salian tells Australian Mining. “Customers are looking not only to automate the costly manual walk-around data collection, but also increasing the frequency of data collections for better predictability on asset health. 

“When it comes to critical assets, most mining sites will have a 24/7 monitoring systems deployed on critical assets, while balance of plant covering less critical and semi-critical assets are monitored on a routine basis using manual walk-around data collection method.

“With SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1, data can be collected more often on less critical and semi-critical assets, which means machine faults can be detected much earlier, allowing mining customers to make a better-informed maintenance decision based on data that deliver on their business objectives.

“So, in a nutshell, the key benefits of SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 is replacing costly manual machinery health data collection and widening the monitoring coverage that was not achievable with manual walk-around data collection due to poor accessibility. 

“The SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 is like a plug-and-play system eliminating the need for resource intensive installation and can be commissioned remotely.”

Salian says other benefits of SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 includes data integration and interfacing with third party systems via API (application programming interface), minimising human and technical risks involved in manual data collection process, optimising resources/staff to a high priority tasks rather than data collection along with the flexibility of quick and scalable deployment. 

 “In today’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), data is an asset – it is real valuable information and has become an integral part in diagnostic and prognostic processes,” Salian says. 

“More and more sensors deployed in the mining industrial environment are no longer operating as stand-alone device, but connected via internet to a process or to an external service provider providing new value and insight on critical asset performance eventually helping customers to make better informed maintenance decisions.”

The SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 sensors will allow mining companies to build an automated machine monitoring system powered by cloud based IoT solutions and AI driven analytics in a quick and scalable manner. 

Currently one gateway supports up to 50 sensors. The number of supported sensors per gateway is expected to increase in the future.

Mining customers can get easily started with SKF Enlight Collect IMx-1 on a subscription-based business model and access automated predictive maintenance using their operating budget – the new approach to purchasing reliability and availability.  

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