STMicroelectronics Releases Vibration-Sensing System

By RFID Journal

The semiconductor company's new solution is designed to optimize Industry 4.0 applications to enable smart maintenance of factory equipment.


STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor company, has announced that it is providing Industry 4.0 applications with a new vibration-sensing solution intended to enable smart maintenance of factory equipment. ST’s IIS3DWB vibration sensor and supporting STEVAL-STWINKT1 multi-sensor evaluation kit are built to accelerate the development of condition-monitoring systems that boost productivity by inferring equipment maintenance needs, the company reports. Analyzing the sensed vibration data locally or in the cloud helps users create strategies that can maximize uptime, minimize servicing costs and avoid emergency repairs.

The IIS3DWB is a three-axis MEMS accelerometer designed for industrial vibration sensing. The STEVAL-STWINKT1 is intended to simplify prototyping and testing, according to the company, by integrating the IIS3DWB with additional sensors, an ultra-low-power microcontroller and algorithms for vibration processing, a Bluetooth wireless module and a USB connection. Housed in a plastic enclosure with a battery, the kit comes ready to begin application development and provides a reference design. High-speed data-logger and cloud-dashboard utilities are included to help users collect, analyze and visualize 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, ST’s VP of system research and applications, in a prepared statement. “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 supplying the IIS3DWB to Swedish IIoT technology firm SPM Instrument for use in the company’s AIRIUS wireless, battery-powered vibration sensor. “We chose IIS3DWB for its unique combination of features,” said Rikard Svärd, SPM Instrument’s global sales director, in the prepared statement, “including three-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 is available for $9 in a 14-lead plastic land grid array package. The STEVAL-STWINKT1 is available from ST for $99.

The IIS3DWB three-axis ultra-wideband MEMS accelerometer detects vibrations that indicate a machine’s service requirements. The frequency response is tailored to be fully flat and with low noise up to 6kHz, the company reports, 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 boosts the operating lifetime of independently powered sensor nodes.

Features of the IIS3DWB include an accelerometer with wide and flat frequency response over three-axis, which saves external signal conditioning and complexity; digital plug-and-play capability, integrating signal conditioning, analog-to-digital converter, filtering and bandwidth equalization on-chip; am operating temperature range of 40 degrees to 105 degrees Celsius; and a 1.1mA operating current at full performance in all three axes.

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 on-board features let solution integrators bypass labor-intensive sensor integration to focus on their application and accelerate time to market, according to STMicroelectronics, as well as offering software features such as high-speed data logging for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Features of the STEVAL-STWINKT1 include inertial, temperature, pressure and humidity sensors; digital and wideband analog microphones; an Arm Cortex-M4 MCU (STM32L4R9ZI) running at 120MHz with FPU, 2048 kbytes Flash and optimized power management; an on-board footprint for STSAFE-100 Secure Element IC for secure connection and authentication; and wireless BLE4.2 on-board and wired RS485 and USB OTG connectivity.

The system also comes with preprocessing algorithms for vibration analysis; RMS moving average and programmable FFT (overlapping, averaging and windowing); high-speed data logging with real-time storage on SD-CARD and streaming via USB of data from multiple sensors at their maximum resolution; a companion cloud application and dashboard; and an optional Wi-Fi expansion board (STEVAL-STWINWFV1) and STMod+ cellular expansion board from the P-L496G-CELL02 kit.