Broad adoption of vibration monitoring in Industry 4.0

7th April 2020
Alex Lynn

STMicroelectronics has announced that it is powering the next generation of Industry 4.0 applications with a new vibration monitoring sensing solution optimised to enable smart maintenance of factory equipment.

ST’s IIS3DWB vibration sensor and supporting STEVAL-STWINKT1 multi-sensor evaluation kit accelerate development of condition-monitoring systems that boost productivity by inferring equipment maintenance needs. Analysing the sensed vibration data locally or in the cloud helps owners create strategies that maximise uptime, minimise servicing costs, and avoid emergency repairs.

The IIS3DWB is a three-axis MEMS accelerometer optimised for industrial vibration sensing. The STEVAL-STWINKT1 simplifies prototyping and testing by integrating the IIS3DWB with additional sensors, an ultra-low-power microcontroller and algorithms for vibration processing, Bluetooth wireless module, and USB connection. Housed in a plastic enclosure with a battery, the kit is ready to begin application development and presents a convenient reference design. High-speed data-logger and cloud-dashboard utilities are included to help collect, analyse, and visualise the results.

“Machine-condition monitoring is central to industrial digital transformation, bringing the power to enhance manufacturing performance and safety while enabling new services and business models,” said Alessandro Cremonesi, Vice President of System Research and Applications, STMicroelectronics. “Our vibration sensor and IIoT multi-sensor development kit and reference design are the best performing and most affordable solutions in the market today, enabling high-performance and cost-effective plug-and-play industrial sensing.”

ST is already supplying the IIS3DWB to IIoT technology innovator SPM Instrument of Sweden, for use in the Company’s AIRIUS wireless, battery-powered vibration sensor.

Rikard Svärd, Global Sales Director of SPM Instrument commented: “We chose IIS3DWB for its unique combination of features, including 3-axis sensing, wide bandwidth, and low noise in a low-power, digital device, which helped us achieve the performance, design-cycle time and cost targets we set for AIRIUS.”

The IIS3DWB vibration-sensing system-in-package is in production now and available for $9.00 in a 14-lead plastic land grid array (LGA) package. The STEVAL-STWINKT1 is available from ST for $99.00.

ST’s IIS3DWB three-axis ultra-wide-bandwidth MEMS accelerometer detects vibrations that are prime indicators of a machine’s service requirements. The device, which is covered under ST’s ten-year availability assurance for industrial products, is optimised for vibration monitoring. The frequency response is tailored to be fully flat and with low noise up to six kilohertz and then with a sharp cutoff and high attenuation to remove frequency-aliasing concerns and to detect machine-related faults with accuracy and consistency. Low power consumption maximises the operating lifetime of independently powered sensor nodes.

Key features of the IIS3DWB include:

  • Accelerometer with wide and flat frequency response over three-axis saves external signal conditioning and complexity needed by competing sensors.
  • Digital plug-and-play capability, integrating signal conditioning, analog-to-digital converter (ADC), filtering, and bandwidth equalisation on-chip.
  • Low noise: 75µg/√Hz in three-axis mode or 60µg/√Hz in single-axis mode selectable on the fly.
  • -40°C to 105°C operating-temperature range.
  • 1.1mA operating current at full performance in all three axes.

Leveraging ST’s leading position in MEMS technology, the STEVAL-STWINKT1 evaluation kit integrates multiple miniature sensors on-board in addition to the IIS3DWB. There is also a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio for connecting to an edge device or directly to the Internet.

The many on-board features let solution integrators bypass labor-intensive sensor integration to focus on their application and accelerate time to market and offer advanced software features like high-speed data logging for the benefits of new field of exploration like machine learning and AI. The price of the kit is more than 75% less than some alternatives in the market and eliminates a significant cost barrier to Industry 4.0 digital transformation.

Features of the STEVAL-STWINKT1 include:

  • Best-in-class industrial sensors: inertial sensors, temperature, pressure, and humidity sensors, and digital and wide-bandwidth analog microphones.
  • Ultra-low-power Arm Cortex-M4 MCU (STM32L4R9ZI) running at 120MHz with FPU, 2048 kbytes Flash, and optimised power management.
  • On-board footprint forSTSAFE-100secure element IC for secure connection and authentication.
  • Wireless BLE4.2 on-board and wired RS485 and USB OTG connectivity.
  • Preprocessing algorithms for vibration analysis: RMS moving average and programmable FFT (overlapping, averaging, windowing).
  • High-speed data logging with real-time storage on SD-CARD and streaming via USB of data from multiple (22) sensors at their maximum resolution (ODR).
  • Companion cloud application and dashboard.
  • Optional Wi-Fi expansion board (STEVAL-STWINWFV1), and STMod+ cellular expansion board from the P-L496G-CELL02 kit.

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