New Developments in Sensor Technology

By Keith Henderson at June 26, 2010 07:33
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Making possible the growth in Condition CM/CBM to improve reliability and maintenance on board ships is the development of computers connecting to compact sensors using, wired or wireless communications. The Silicon Valley-based SRI International, has developed advanced Vibration Imaging Technology (VIT). SRI recently granted Sensors Inc. a global manufacturing and distribution license to develop a diagnostic system using their VIT. The system uses a special camera and patented software enabling a computer to detect and analyze vibrations on the surface of objects in its field of view. No special lighting or physical connection to the object(s) is required. The opportunities for monitoring marine propulsion and auxiliary applications are indeed large. The system is so sensitive that images can be monitored pixel by pixel and any variation is immediately detected. Used to monitor the mechanical health of machinery with rotating parts, abnormal vibrations are immediately recognized by the system and may indicate intervention or shut down is required.
The growth in Condition Monitoring / Condition Based Maintenance (CM/CBM) to improve reliability and maintenance on board ships is well documented. Making this all possible is the development of computers connecting to compact sensors using, wired or wireless communications. Usually the sensor is physically attached to the object and often it is an accelerometer.

For some time now, the Silicon Valley-based SRI International, originally Stanford Research Institute, as one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations, has been developing advanced Vibration Imaging Technology (VIT). SRI recently granted Sensors Inc. a global manufacturing and distribution license to develop a diagnostic system using their VIT.

The system uses a special camera and patented software enabling a computer to detect and analyze vibrations on the surface of objects in its field of view. No special lighting or physical connection to the object(s) is required. Although initial interest is in automotive applications the opportunities for monitoring marine propulsion and auxiliary applications are indeed large.
The system is so sensitive that images can be monitored pixel by pixel and any variation is immediately detected. It can even pick up vibrations so small that would not be registered by an accelerometer. Noise is produced by vibration and long before an abnormal noise is reported the vibrations creating the noise would be detected by the vibration imaging software. Used to monitor the mechanical health of machinery with rotating parts, abnormal vibrations are immediately recognized by the system and may indicate intervention or shut down is required.
As this system becomes more widely available, being able to monitor equipment without wired connections and monitoring a whole area by camera will widen the scope of CM and bring further enhancements to its increasing popularity.

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