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  • Pisut Lertsongkram

Fighting Outbreaks with Remote Monitoring Solutions

With coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks, we need to limit traveling to prevent further spreading and let the virus cured. However, we are dealing with continuous plants with machinery operation 24/7, wear and tear occur gradually. Monitoring of machinery condition to prevent severe damage or unplanned downtime is always necessary.

Although this situation limited traveling, there are still some solutions that help us monitor the condition of the machinery efficiently with capable personnel, modern tools, and current communication technology through various available remote access systems.

Setting up a remote monitoring system (RMS) can be done in many ways depending on the level of importance of existing machines and data collection tools or the tools that are being developed specifically for this purpose.

Example of Remote Monitoring Center (source:

(Source: Agen Systems)

With several years experience working in maintenance, monitoring, diagnosing and diagnosing machine problems, we would like to share the following solutions for doing and setting up RMS.

Solution#1 - For Essential Machines:

The most basic method is to have some employees at the factory to collect data, such as measuring with portable data collectors and recording operating parameters and then send to experts who are standby at the remote monitoring center (or anywhere) to verify the information and periodically assess the condition of the machinery and report the results to those involved.

Solution#2 - For Critical Machines with Online Monitoring System installed (both vibration data and operating parameters):

Establishing a secure internet communication system for engineers or experts who are responsible for analyzing data that can be accessed from a remote center (or any other location) and then report the results via email or dashboard. This method has become more prevalent in the past 3-4 years and is becoming more and more popular because of the development of internet 3G, 4G technology along with the advent of methods 3, 4, and 5 as explained. In the next section.

Solution#3 - For factories that do not have enough personnel or machinery that need to closely monitor the condition but have no continuous measurement system:

It is recommended to install a wireless vibration transducer that can retrieve data over the internet. Many transducers are currently inexpensive, easy to install, efficient, and there are many options available. The advantage of this method is that data is obtained without the need for staff to perform on-site measurements, accurate, reliable, and can also be installed on devices that are difficult to access or unsafe. It can also be used to track specific anomalies. With 4G or 5G communication technology and Cloud Server, everyone can freely access via the internet without affecting the security of the factory's confidential information.

Considerations for choosing a wireless vibration transducer system are as follows:

  1. Must be able to measure vibration in all three directions (Tri-axis)

  2. Can provide amplitude, waveform, and spectrum data with band-pass filtered if required

  3. Frequency span not less than 1000 Hz and Spectral Line resolution not less than 3200 Line (e.g. induction motor, etc.).

  4. High-pass and Low-pass filter settings should be available when needed

  5. Small size and easy to install (supper magnet is preferred)

  6. Easy powering (battery power is preferred) or used existing available power source, without complicate power cable wiring.

  7. Long-life battery (more than 2 year is preferred, for once per hour data collection)

  8. Adjustable sampling interval, minimum sampling interval every 1 minute or less

  9. Meet specific hazardous area requirement (Explosion proof or non-Explosion proof).

  10. Would be great if able to measure the temperature of the bearing as well

  11. Minimal price (Not over budget) and affordable

(Source: Agen Systems)

Solution#4 - For critical machines with online monitoring and protection systems with buffered output ports but no data is collected for analysis:

Currently, there are many systems that are online / wireless vibration acquisition system that is easily installed, highly efficient (sampling interval down to every 1 second) and affordable.

For the purchase of these devices, in addition to the features mentioned in the previous section, be sure that the system can display data in the form of Trend plot, Orbit plot, Average shaft center-line plot, Bode plot, Polar plot, Spectrum plot, and Waterfall plot. These plots are very important in the evaluation of turbo machinery.


Solution#5 - For all types of machinery in the near future:

Due to the rapid development of IoT, Big Data Analysis, AI, and Machine Learning, these technologies can be applied in machine condition monitoring as some of you have seen from the agencies' presentations.

However, these new technologies do not have the same level of capability. In most cases it is used to detect hidden faults and help in managing machinery decisions. But it is still not able to accurately identify the root cause and how to solve the problem because it requires complex analysis and business priorities in each situation.

Therefore, the system still needs an expert to help design, test, evaluate, and make decisions before taking corrective actions.

However, in the future, when the system has enough information, together with the experience of the machine learning technology developer, the AI ​​system will be even more efficient until it can replace human experts. At that time, any disease should not be a hindrance to monitoring the condition of the machinery. Nevertheless, these systems still require administrator.


All five remote monitoring solutions above consist of two main parts: data collection and data analysis. Both of these involved personnel require high ownership, be properly trained and have sufficient work experience to ensure quality and quantity of work.

In addition to monitoring machine conditions, in many cases it is necessary to find additional information for in-depth diagnostics with modal tests, operating deflection shape (ODS) analysis, thermal growth analysis, dynamic torque measurement, and finite element analysis (FEA). The result will lead to an effective solution to the vibration of the machine, pipe system, or supporting structure.

With modal test and ODS analysis, in the past two years, I have been using the capability of Motion Amplification Camera (product of RDI Technologies Company) to get accurate information in a short time. This leads to a very quick and satisfactory solution when used to solve the vibrations of large pipe systems or structures.

(Piping stress analysis using FEA)

These remote online machine condition monitoring methods are a common activities that I do together with offline analysis. I also follow additional updates regularly. If you are interested in these guidelines, would like to make suggestions or further questions regarding measurement techniques and equipment selection, you can ask via Inbox SMS, comment, or email us at;

Company Brochure: Link.

More information:

(Source of some photos:

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