Collaboration Between A*STAR Institute and a Local Company on a Built-in Wireless Sensor to Diagnose ‘Stressed’ Machines Remotely
- A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) and Singapore’s Hoestar PD Technology Pte Ltd are working to deploy wireless piezoelectric sensors that will track vibrations and stresses that affect the ‘health’ of machinery such as motors, pumps and generators.
- The technology increases productivity by saving time, reducing manual checking and offering precision at detecting defects via its automated remote monitoring.
Singapore, Mar 18, 2013 – (ACN Newswire) – Imagine a sensor about the size of a 50-cent coin that can remotely diagnose the ‘health’ of a motor without anyone having to physically inspect the motor. Local small and medium enterprise (SME) Hoestar has licensed IMRE’s piezoelectric sensor technology to automate the monitoring of vibration and physical stresses that impact the efficiency and lifetime of machinery.*
The technology gives users real-time updates on the physical integrity of the machine and acts as an early warning system to alert users about impending machine failures. Data on deteriorating equipment ‘health’ allow factories and businesses to plan for a timely replacement of crucial components before they fail completely, thereby minimising costly delays in production. The system also raises productivity by removing the laborious task of manually checking the equipment and reducing the chances of undetected defects due to human error.
The technology couples Hoestar’s expertise in diagnosing machine health with IMRE’s know-how in piezoelectric and sensor research. Hoestar licensed IMRE’s patented piezoelectric sensor technology for the project. IMRE customised its piezoelectric technology so that the extremely miniature millimeter-sized sensing element could be integrated with wireless technology to enable remote monitoring.
“Our piezoelectric sensors are highly miniaturised or can be formed into coating layer which makes installation easy and allows them to be built into machines to give users a more accurate reading of how the machines are doing,” said Dr Yao Kui, the scientist who heads IMRE’s piezoelectric sensors research. The team from IMRE’s Sensor & Transducer Programme was able to develop a sensor prototype with Hoestar in just over a year. “We are also able to integrate wireless technology on the same device to do away with wire connections so that the sensors remain inconspicuous and can be conveniently applied to the moving parts of a machine.”
“This new system will save companies time, money and labour as the innovative sensor is safer, more accurate and quicker at data collection,” said Mr Leong Weng Hoe, Managing Director for Hoestar, adding that home-grown wireless piezoelectric sensor technology with remote monitoring functions is new to Singapore. “We are very excited about the collaboration and have high expectations that the new technology will lead to new products for Hoestar, which will substantially raise our competitive edge.”
“IMRE’s partnership with Hoestar is a clear example of how a local company can work with an A*STAR research institute to employ technology to increase productivity,” said Prof Andy Hor, IMRE’s Executive Director. “The capabilities we have built in science and engineering research can help Singapore companies compete better globally.”
* “The global machine condition monitoring equipment market is forecast to reach US$ 2.1 billion by 2015″ – Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.; Press Release, 06 Jan 2011.
About Hoestar PD Technology Pte Ltd
Hoestar PD Technology Pte Ltd is a local innovative research based company that specialises in developing new and reliable electrical technologies such as next generation Partial Discharge Testing technology for high voltage equipment, and advanced condition monitoring systems.
About the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
The Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) is a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The Institute has capabilities in materials analysis & characterisation, design & growth, patterning & fabrication, and synthesis & integration. We house a range of state-of-the-art equipment for materials research including development, processing and characterisation. IMRE conducts a wide range of research, which includes novel materials for sensors & Transducers, consumer care, organic solar cells, photovoltaics, printed electronics, catalysis, bio-mimetics, microfluidics, quantum dots, heterostructures, sustainable materials, atom technology, etc. We collaborate actively with other research institutes, universities, public bodies, and a wide spectrum of industrial companies, both globally and locally. For more information about IMRE, please visit www.imre.a-star.edu.sg.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and six consortia & centres, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis as well as their immediate vicinity. A*STAR supports Singapore’s key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, and with other local and international partners. For more information about A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg .
Mr Eugene Low Manager, Corporate Communications for Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) DID +65 6874 8491 Mobile +65 9230 9235 Email email@example.com Dr Yao Kui Senior Scientist III Manager, Sensor & Transducer Programme Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) DID +65 6874 5160 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org>
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