Analysis

ADI acquisition expands offerings for Industry 4.0

6th November 2019
Joe Bush

Analog Devices (ADI) has announced the acquisition of Test Motors, a company specialising in predictive maintenance of electric motors and generators. Based in Barcelona, Spain, Test Motors offers products and services that detect faults in electric motors before they cause damage to production cycles and advises on how and when to repair them.

The acquisition expands ADI’s portfolio of condition-based monitoring solutions capable of identifying equipment faults before down-time and catastrophic failure occur.

The acquisition builds on Analog Devices’ 2018 addition of OtoSense, a startup that developed ‘sensing interpretation’ software able to learn and recognise sounds or vibration and identify potential problems in a factory machine or a car’s engine before they become severe.

OtoSense’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform is dedicated to sensing interpretation and enabling the monitoring of any asset, wherever located. ADI plans to combine software from OtoSense with Test Motors’ monitoring capabilities to create solutions that offer an advanced, holistic snapshot of machine health by capturing a wider breadth of potential faults.

“Machine maintenance relies heavily on experienced technicians and engineers able to detect and diagnose issues that can lead to unplanned downtime,” said Kevin Carlin, Vice President Automation and Energy Group, ADI. “There are not enough trained professionals, however, to keep up with the demand as the number of machines to maintain rapidly grows. ADI’s condition-based monitoring applications, driven by the acquisitions of Test Motors and OtoSense, will tackle this expert resource challenge by providing customers with a system able to perform complete and early detection of anomalies to avoid unexpected and costly machine down-time.”

The Test Motors team will join ADI’s Automation and Energy Group and operate as a key technology group. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We are excited to become part of Analog Devices and work with its team of industrial technology experts,” said Emili Valero, Test Motors’ former CEO. “The combining of our technology and expertise will enable us to develop the next generation of condition-based monitoring solutions designed to greatly extend manufacturing equipment life for electrical and non-electrical rotating machines and deliver significant cost savings that benefit both businesses and consumers.”

ADI’s condition-based monitoring solutions

Condition-based monitoring is not about any single technology but instead a system-level solution that requires a combination of technologies and solution considerations. ADI’s technology portfolio enables these solutions with breakthroughs in MEMS (micro electro mechanical systems) sensors, flexible signal conditioning and data conversion technologies, processing and communications solutions with the power portfolio to deliver optimised wireless and wired condition-based monitoring solutions. Combining these technologies into a deployable solution requires domain expertise in the form of asset and application insights, mechanical design and attachment considerations, and the ability to convert the information into diagnostic algorithms.

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