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BLE Eavesdrops on Machine Health With Augury System

The IoT startup has developed a Bluetooth Low Energy-based solution for sensors that detect the health of HVAC and other equipment, and transmit that data to a server for analysis of the machines' health status.
By Claire Swedberg

Augury's diagnostic software compares the data collected against the previous and expected results, and can detect even slight changes. The software can then forward an alert to technicians via an SMS text messages. In addition, the software provides an online management platform so that users can sign in to the system to view the status of all monitored equipment.

The sensor units come with a low-power vibration sensor that collects data more often than every half hour. If that sensor detects a change, it can wake up the entire unit so that it can perform a measurement and forward that data back to the server via the gateway node.

Augury's Saar Yoskovitz
The software analytics are an important element of the system's value, Yoskovitz says. "Just showing raw data doesn't give the user any insight," he states. Instead, the Augury software will provide specific predictive information, such as the need for a bearing to be replaced within the next two months to maintain optimum efficiency.

What's more, the software can determine whether a device is powered on or off, which can be useful information in the case of power outages, for example. In fact, Yoskovitz says, at least one customer has been able to detect a problem when a machine was powered off during an outage, and then failed to turn back on once the power was restored.

So far, Yoskovitz says, "We're seeing very good results from the diagnostic side." For customers trialing the BLE-based system, he adds, "We have been catching malfunctions as they develop." And that, he notes, saves energy consumption and cost for the facility.

One of the challenges in developing the system was ensuring that the hardware could transmit information around the potential interference from large metal equipment. According to Yoskovitz, the technology typically can operate with about one gateway node for 10 machines that have sensors attached to them.

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