BehrTech Blog

MYTHINGS Smart Sensor: 10 Powerful IoT Applications

This week, we announced the release of the MYTHINGS Smart Sensor, a demo platform to demonstrate MYTHINGS’s long-range, robust and power-efficient IoT communication. The MYTHINGS Smart Sensor is not just a powerful pilot test tool; with our reference design offering, it is also available for mass production and full-scale IoT deployments.

The MYTHINGS Smart Sensor is a self-contained, battery-powered unit with multi-sensing capabilities including accelerometer, temperature, humidity, pressure and GPS sensors. But, its most intriguing feature is that you can tailor these sensing functions to your specific needs. Depending on your use case, any of the sensing units can be switched off accordingly to drastically reduce power consumption and improve battery life. On top of that, the sensor also provides the option to collect custom payload through an open serial interface, delivering great deployment flexibility.

The Smart Sensor can be either affixed to an existing object or system to collect condition data (e.g. machine vibration and temperature, asset movement etc.) or installed as a stand-alone unit to collect your preferred ambient data. There are numerous scenarios where the sensor will prove to be a valuable part of your IIoT initiative and help you to improve processes and asset utilization, reduce costs and enhance safety. Here are 10 powerful IoT applications that can be enabled by the MYTHINGS Smart Sensor.

1. Indoor Climate Regulation

Thermal and humidity comfort is a major contributor to employee productivity at both commercial and industrial workplaces. The problem is, while temperature and humidity distribution are uneven across a large building, heating and cooling settings are often uniform and do not reflect actual indoor conditions. This could lead to occupancy discomfort and excessive HVAC use and energy waste. With the MYTHINGS Smart Sensor, you can capture real-time room temperature and humidity readings on a micro-zone level to accurately regulate the HVAC system within a large facility. Constant indoor climate monitoring also helps detect bottlenecks like a malfunctioning furnace or air conditioner at distinct building zones.

2. Machine Health Monitoring

Machine vibration can reveal a lot about its current health status and issues such as misalignments or loose parts. Using the accelerometer in the MYTHINGS Smart Sensor, you can constantly monitor vibration patterns of critical equipment to identify potential damage and execute maintenance in good time. Another way you can use the Smart Sensor to ensure machine health is by keeping air moisture in check. High humidity can cause condensation and corrosion in equipment, while overly an arid atmosphere can lead to frictions in electronic components. Monitoring and maintaining the room humidity within the industry-suggested range of 35% and 65% can help keep these problems at bay.

3. Optimization of Production Processes

Environmental conditions have a significant impact on industrial. For example, in auto manufacturing, fluctuating temperatures can cause inconsistent fluid injection or impact the quality of 3D printed components by accelerating the cooling phase. Continuously measuring ambient temperature and humidity on the shop floor helps circumvent unwanted environmental changes that potentially disrupt your production. Combining machine vibration and ambient data with recorded process parameters further unveil hidden inefficiencies that lower production output.

4. Cold Chain Monitoring

Beyond the production stage, many perishable products in industries like pharmaceutical and food and beverage, require a strictly controlled storage condition. By installing the MYTHINGS Smart Sensor in your storage facility, you can ensure the relative temperature and humidity are within the ideal range to avoid property distortion and optimize product lifetime. Continuous observation of the thermal trend also enables you to quickly pinpoint and act on issues such as, a door unintentionally left open or a cooling equipment failure.

5. Off-Road Fleet Management

Management of vehicles distributed over a large industrial premise can be a great challenge. Older fleets often come with limited, if no telematics ability at all. In this context, MYTHINGS Smart Sensors provide you a versatile option to IoT-enable your fleet without a costly overhaul. Simply attach the sensor on your vehicle and collect its vibration/acceleration data for analysis of moving, idling and engine-off time. With this visibility, you can uncover fuel waste sources due to excessive idling, or detect unauthorized vehicle uses outside the operational time. Having information on actual vehicle utilization at hand, you can also make strategic, informed decisions on the fleet size and composition.

6. Temperature Control in Data Centers

At a data center, excessive heat released from servers can shorten their lifetime by overloading inner fans, increasing energy use and even imposing fire risk. Due to the dynamic heat emission, measuring the overall temperature is less of a concern, but more importantly identifying specific hot spots within the server room. Low-power MYTHINGS Smart Sensors enable you to collect granular, rack-by-rack temperature data to create an accurate data center heat map for effective control measures.

7. Asset Tracking

Knowing where your assets allows you to streamline operations and improve productivity. With its GPS function, the MYTHINGS Smart Sensor can collect position data of any distributed asset on your industrial campus. In indoor environments, GPS signals can be unstable. Here, air pressure and accelerometer readings can help determine vertical and horizontal movements to a certain extent. This enables dead reckoning calculations from knowing the last GPS location.

8. Anti-Theft Protection

The accelerometer in the MYTHINGS Smart Sensor can also be a great instrument for anti-theft protection. For example, it can inform you if an important asset that should be stationed is moved. Just install the sensor on your critical asset and get notified when a suspicious movement is detected.

9. Intrusion Detection

Besides theft detection, the Smart Sensor can be part of your IoT-enabled security system to detect intrusion at night, outside operational hours or in areas with restricted access. By affixing the sensor to the outer edge of a door, acceleration of the door can be measured when it opens. Having an emergency workflow set up, an alarm can be then triggered to inform you of the potential intrusion.

10. Electrical Fire Safety

Electrical failures are the leading cause of fire incidents across commercial and industrial facilities. While useful in detecting overheating caused by circuit issues, infrared inspections of electrical panels and cabinets are typically done on an annual basis. This leaves power systems unattended for most of the time. With a Smart Sensor permanently fixed to the electrical enclosure; you can keep an eye on thermal changes in your distributed power system round-the-clock. Elevated temperatures can quickly be diagnosed for counteraction to prevent fire hazards.

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