At Sensor Expo 2017, a ROHM Semiconductor expert discusses how several sensors including pressure, temperature, flow and level sensors connected through sensor node can help monitor a machine’s health or control a process. In the demo, each sensor node collects the data and uses wireless sub-gigahertz radio called Wi-SUN and transfers the data to a host. The host machine evaluates all the sensor data and uses that data to control the machine including speeding up the flow, stopping the machine or other functions. It monitors what is occurring in the environment and in the machine itself for users can make the right decision.
Providing wider communication range and better diffraction than 2.4GHz, sub-GHz communication is suitable for data logging, device control and other similar applications including smart metering and home and building security. In a factory environment, the wireless data from a variety of sensors can simplify retrofitting an existing machine process with sophisticated diagnostics by avoiding running extensive cables if the sensor node is battery powered or uses energy harvesting. For example, an accelerometer can monitor machine vibration and with the right characterization of faults predict when a small of amount of vibration is present that could be indicative of a pending failure, so timely maintenance or replacement can be performed to avoid a lengthy and untimely line shutdown.
ROHM Semiconductor offers several evaluation kits for sub-GHz radios to simplify evaluation of RF performance and the transmission and receiving processes. For example, the ML7416EVB kit includes source codes of sample programs for on-chip peripherals and provides environmental files to use generic ARM development kit as well as Wi-SUN evaluation software.