Two Minute Tips  

Data Quality Over Quantity

David Procter | Systems Development Manager, Sensoteq

The days of measuring vibration data directly at the machine once every couple of months are starting to disappear.  There is still huge value in undertaking this activity, but it’s quickly being replaced a wide range of IIoT sensors (Industrial Internet of Things).

Seemingly, one advantage is gathering data at a vastly improved rate.  Rather than a single reading every quarter, data can now be captured multiple times every hour.  The advantages are obvious: much greater visibility on developing faults and a trail to follow to track existing known issues.

But there are also some disadvantages.  IIoT devices are battery powered, so there is a balance to be achieved on data quantity, quality, and battery life.  Typically, the faster you acquire data, the lower the battery life. If not, then the quality of the data might suffer.

It’s all a balancing act

In the case of condition monitoring, this might be reducing the FMax, lowering the resolution or only sending the spectrum rather than the full-time waveform.  This can sometimes be against the desires of Vibration Analysts, who want the cleanest, highest resolution that appropriate for the application.

Another problem that exists with such large data sets; how do you quickly sift through all these data sets to find what you need to look at? Is too much data inhibiting you from viewing the pertinent data you need to analyze?

Get the data you deserve

If using these IIoT systems, make sure that you select one that provides a good interface to search through data sets.  Data views that trend key features in the vibration information so that you can quickly detect anomalies and go straight to the corresponding data set.  Focus on systems that provide a good frequent snapshot to understand a fast change in trends, but still measures high quality waveforms and spectrums suitable for analysis.

Accuracy is still key

One other factor to assess is the accuracy of the data you are analyzing. Ask yourself these questions; How accurate is the frequency? Is the FMax suitable for your application? Is the amplitude showing the true energy?  Is the data fully processed and ready for me analyze?

There are many tools that aid in of understanding of your machine’s health.  Choose one that works best for your needs, but never underestimate the how important data quality is to achieve an accurate assessment.

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About the Author

David Procter Systems Development Manager, Sensoteq

David Procter is an experienced Systems Engineer with a history of working in the automotive, security and industrial markets. His passion is understanding exactly what the customer needs and developing products that solve real problems and create value for those who use them.