Wireless sensing networks have the potential to improve in-process control and logistics in many industries but frequently require a critical collaboration to get started. GE Sensing and Dust Networks have pooled their capabilities to simplify applying wireless technology. Using Dust Network’s technology, GE Sensing developed a wireless sensing application for the pharmaceutical industry. The network monitors and validates environments such as freezers and sterilization processes to gather and transmit temperature and moisture conditions for storing and processing medical materials.
High reliability and low power consumption were key factors in GE’s choice of Dust Networks’ Time Synchronized Mesh Protocol (TSMP)-based products. TSMP provides the basis for redundant, fault-tolerant connections between sensors in wireless sensor networking (WSN) systems. The company’s SmartMesh products; self-organizing, multi-hop networks of wireless sensor nodes; allow quick, reliable access to physical world measurements that was previously cost prohibitive. Mesh networking technology avoids lost data by routing data from a node to another logger for subsequent forwarding if the direct path to the base station is blocked. Operating with more than 99.9 percent reliability in harsh RF environments, the battery-operated motes typically function for five or more years.
Using the TSMP technology, GE’s Kaye RF ValProbe system consists of RF wireless loggers, a base station and software. For temperature and relative humidity (RH) measurements, the ValProbe uses 2.4 GHz frequencies and provides temperature to 0.1C accuracy, RH to 2 percent, RH with 4 to 20 mA and 0-10V outputs and contact switch inputs.
In addition to the pharmaceutical industry, other applications include monitoring and validation of critical processes in industries such as biotechnology, automotive, industrial, commercial, petrochemical and power generation.
A wireless network allows monitoring and control of the temperature and relative humidity in all facets of a pharmaceutical application without requiring extensive wiring that has high cost and limits flexibility.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.