TEST & MEASUREMENT
ADXL001 iMEMS® VIBRATION SENSOR,
Catastrophic plant equipment failure might now be dramatically reduced, thanks to the development of a wide-bandwidth accelerometer that's inexpensive enough to monitor machine vibration around the clock.
Known as the ADXL001 iMEMS® Vibration Sensor, the new device has the ability to provide bandwidth measurement up to the 22-KHz range, thus enabling it to supervise machine health and prevent hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment downtime for factories. Analog Devices Inc., developer of the device, foresees it being used in mills, drills, jigsaws, conveyor belts and a variety of hand power tools.
“If a machine goes down and you don't have the right replacement part, you could be looking at weeks or even months of lost productivity,” says Max Liberman, a product manager for Analog Devices. “With this sensor, you can sense the problem before the machine goes down.”
That's possible because ADI's new MEMS-based sensor is capable of making measurements at higher frequencies than most available accelerometers, Liberman says. The vast majority of commercially available accelerometers today work below 5 KHz and those few capable of measuring higher frequencies have higher price tags — often in the range of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That, in turn, makes it impossible to permanently use the devices on low-cost products, such as hand tools.
“If you have a professional tool that costs $300 or $400, you're not going to slap a $200 reference sensor on it,” Liberman says.
In contrast, ADI's vibration sensor costs $35 in 1K quantities. Using its own in-house MEMS fabrication process, ADI was able to put the accelerometer and associated electronics on the same die, therefore making it possible to get a higher frequency response.
Ultimately, ADI expects the new sensor to see broad use on the factory floor, where it could aid in early detection of bearing failures and other vibration-related maladies for plant equipment. “We've tried to make this so everyone can put it on their mills,” Liberman says.