Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - 13

With uniform data, developers and
integrators can focus on useful,
productive manufacturing applications
rather than translation, which will be key to
successful sensor data fusion going forward.
- Dean Bartles
Tech Briefs: The use of " smart " sensors
is becoming more prevalent as the
IIoT and Industry 4.0 are more commonplace
in manufacturing. How are
smart sensors being used to improve
manufacturing?
Dean Bartles: A great example of how
smart sensors are being used to improve
manufacturing is a program my company
has with the DOD to establish a prototype
additive manufacturing supply
chain. There is a huge desire to adopt
metal additive manufactured parts in the
aerospace and defense markets.
Advantages include complexity of
design, speed in production, lightweighting,
etc. However, the variability
currently found in metal additively produced
parts from machine to machine
and even part to part is still a major
impediment to adoption. Using sensors
and an IoT edge device, we are collecting
real-time process data during the printing
process such as laser energy, scanning
speed, hatch spacing, chamber
humidity, etc. and then providing this
data to the customer along with the parts
produced. The customer is then able to
interrogate the data file to ensure all
parameters were maintained within a
specified range throughout the build
process, thus providing a higher level of
confidence in the integrity of the parts.
Jeffrey Case: Smart sensors are being
deployed in manufacturing facilities
across all industries to collect critical
information that, with the correct analysis,
can create solutions that reduce or
eliminate unplanned downtime (part
replacement costs, manpower, and lost
opportunity costs); increase safety by
substituting permanently mounted sensors
for measurements requiring human
intervention; and improve productivity
through precise feedback control and
the monitoring of variations in the proTech
Briefs, February 2022
Cov
duction process, ensuring manufacturing
stability.
Brad Walters: Driving greater efficiency
is a top benefit of integrating a platform
of smart sensors into manufacturing
environments. Smart sensors create
smarter factories where you can monitor,
control, and improve virtually every
aspect of operations with real-time datadriven
insights; predict equipment
maintenance and quickly trigger protocols
before malfunction or failure; automate
data logging for streamlined trend
analysis, record-keeping, and regulatory
compliance; and be alerted of environmental
and
equipment
problems.
Sensors
that connect people, machines,
equipment, and inventory to the
empowering capabilities of the IIoT
enable manufacturers to produce with
greater transparency, efficiency, and
overall quality.
Aric Prost: The considerable decrease
in the cost of sensors and transmitters
coupled with improvements in wireless
technology have made it feasible for
OEMs, machine builders, and operations
teams to install sensors and collect
data previously inaccessible. This is the
industrial edge where data is being generated,
and the ability to measure more
process variables more accurately grants
better insight and achieves the promise
of IIoT and Industry 4.0. The opportunity
is a leap forward in monitor and control
to drive desired outcomes such as
higher quality products, less downtime,
or yield improvement.
Tech Briefs: Sensor data fusion provides
the ability to combine different
sensor technologies in one application.
What are the challenges manufacturers
face in managing - and effectively
using - the increased volume of data
collected?
www.techbriefs.com
ToC
Dean Bartles: The proliferation of
sensors in manufacturing is critical to
take full advantage of the efficiency that
Industry 4.0 promises. However, as sensor
technology becomes ubiquitous in
manufacturing shops everywhere, the
ability to make optimal use of the data
that is generated can be severely handicapped
unless the data from the various
sensors can be harmonized in a common
language format. Standards will be
the key to make such harmonization
possible. One such standard that has
already become widely adopted is
MTConnect. With uniform data, developers
and integrators can focus on useful,
productive manufacturing applications
rather than translation, which will
be key to successful sensor data fusion
going forward.
Jeffrey Case: Challenges for sensor
fusion include synchronizing the different
sensor types and sensor systems,
especially when there is time dependency,
and ensuring compatible communication
networks. In addition, edge computing
is becoming more and more critical
at the sensor level to minimize the
amount of data collected and analyzed,
affecting both processing power and
data storage requirements.
Brad Walters: Sensor data fusion is a
key benefit of the IIoT because decisions
made from multiple data points are
higher-value decisions. But it can be a
challenge when manufacturers source
different sensor systems from various
vendors and aggregate all the data themselves.
You can effectively manage data
Both preventive
maintenance
and process
automation
applications
are driving
unprecedented
demand in industrial
manufacturing.
- Jeffrey Case
13
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Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022

Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - 1
Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - 1
Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - 2
Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - 3
Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - 4
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Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - Cov3
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Tech Briefs Magazine - February 2022 - MD-Cov1
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