Smart wireless vibration monitoring for long-term reliability and productivity

Sensors have been extensively used for predictive maintenance of assets in the mining industry. Bestech supplies a wireless sensor system from BeanAir to simplify installation and lower maintenance costs. 

Pumps and machinery generate subtle vibration during normal operations. When an excessive level of vibration is detected, it is usually an early sign of faults and potential failures. 

The importance of a reliable condition monitoring system is now realised throughout the mining landscape. To support this, Bestech supplies the BeanAir wireless sensor system that can be integrated into Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

“We supply sensors, instrumentation and data acquisition systems to support the high demand of testing in the mining industry,” Bestech product specialist Jeremy Bryceson tells Australian Mining.

Some mining-related applications, such as asset predictive maintenance and monitoring, require the installation of sensors that can reliably operate in harsh and high-risk environment.  

Bestech has supplied precision sensors and measurement technology, as well as data acquisition systems since 2002. It has offices across Australia’s east coast and another near completion in Perth.

The company established a partnership with German-based sensor company, BeanAir, in 2011. Through this collaboration, Bestech is authorised to supply BeanAir wireless sensor systems and data acquisition in Oceania.   

“The BeanAir’s wireless sensor series consists of three components: sensors, a communication gateway and monitoring software,” Bryceson says. 

“The BeanAir Smart Sensor series measures physical parameters such as vibration, shock, angle, tilt and temperature. The measured data are wirelessly transmitted to the BeanDevice communication gateway. The users can monitor the data in real-time through the supervision software.”

Wireless sensors have started to gain interest compared with conventional sensor technology. 

The cost of the wireless sensors can be slightly higher than the wired-alternatives, however, it significantly eases the installation work and reduces labour costs. Overall, they reduce the initial capital investment and ongoing operating costs.  

“Using wireless sensors reduces the complexity of the installation as it doesn’t require complex wiring and cabling design. The sensors can be simply installed at the intended measurement point and the users can monitor the data in real-time in the control room,” Bryceson says. 

“Wireless sensor systems also simplify the process of data acquisition. One BeanDevice communication gateway can handle multiple BeanAir Smart Sensors as long as they are within 500 metres of the wireless line of sight.” 

Having a remote monitoring system is a valuable asset for an asset maintenance tea, as it offers the capability to pre-emptively diagnose equipment failure. Furthermore, the BeanAir wireless sensors are readily available for IoT integration, providing huge potential for long-lasting and long-term monitoring. 

The BeanAir wireless sensors have built-in data logging capability to store up to one million data points. They also feature a smart shock detection system for ultra-low power consumption and lossless data transmission technology for reliable data transfer. 

“When designing a long-term monitoring system, it is crucial to ensure that the sensors can operate reliably. There is no guarantee that a power supply will be available on site, especially in the mining environment,” Bryceson says. 

“The ultralow power consumption of BeanAir Smart Sensors allows them to operate reliably for the long term. The sensors can also be charged with flexible power supply options such as solar energy, without relying on power point.

“As the sensor is also equipped with the smart shock detection system, it will stay asleep most of the time to save on power consumption and only activates when the vibration level reaches a certain threshold.

“It will record the necessary data which the site personnel can utilise to understand the current health of the monitored infrastructure. Once the vibration level drops below the threshold, the sensor will return to the sleep mode.”

Bestech provides a comprehensive suite of training for its customers to get the best out of its products.

Bryceson says this is in response to a constantly evolving industry, in need of upgrading and upskilling. 

“As we grow and develop with the local industry, we continually expand our product portfolio to support its measurement challenges and requirements,” Bryceson says. 

“By learning from industry experts, we understand that there are also challenges in training the employees, not just the expansion of technology.”

Bestech’s technical training system covers topics such as hydraulics systems or excavator simulation to support the training needs in the mining industry. 

The training systems are designed with superior safety features, allowing students to safely practice their knowledge on the system without hazards. 

“We provide full local technical support of any products that we supply. We will be assisting to ensure that the products are correctly installed to get the correct measurement,” Bryceson says.  

This story also features in the July issue of Australian Mining.

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