5 Myths About Wireless Industrial Sensors in an IOT World

 
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Myth #1 – Wireless Sensors are Not Secure

One of the biggest fears of wireless technology is that wireless data transmissions may not be secure. This likely traces to customers hearing about security issues with improperly managed consumer devices such as routers, cell phones, webcams, and other wireless technology. However, properly designed industrial wireless sensor solutions such as our SmartHAWK™ system implement advanced wireless security features that are designed at the hardware level.  This eliminates the need for any specialized knowledge or IT skills by the end user, ensuring that the wireless sensor network is secure and protected from the moment it is deployed. SmartHAWK sensors, for example, communicate on a wireless mesh network that is encrypted end-to-end and leverages message integrity checking and multi-level device authentication. This eliminates security concerns with your wireless data. 

 
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Myth #2 – Manual Equipment Checks are Sufficient

Many operators believe that periodic, manual checks on their equipment is sufficient. This is sometimes done with a handheld monitoring device. But, often times, it simply means ‘making the rounds’ to check on equipment and listen for abnormal sounds that can be indicative of a bad bearing or other potential issue. One problem with a manual approach is that an issue can arise anytime (and often does) without warning. Manual inspections aren’t conducted 24/7 or in real-time like wireless sensors. And your maintenance staff is not always on site when an issue does occur. There are countless examples of a pump that fails at night and/or at a remote location, causing significant damage such as flooding or even a fuel leakage resulting in a catastrophic event.

 
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Myth #3 – IOT is a Futuristic Concept

Wireless sensors are part of the megatrend called “Internet of Things”, or IOT for short. Some view this as a futuristic endeavor – something they’d be more likely see on the Jetsons than in their manufacturing facility. Or, at a minimum, they perceive this as something reserved for very large companies – the “Fortune 100s” of the world. But to think this way would be a mistake. IOT provides real value by connecting devices together wirelessly and transmitting information back so that personnel can take quick and decisive corrective actions if necessary. This technology is not just for large companies. The SMB market can similarly benefit from receiving actionable data in real-time. The technology exists and is being deployed by many companies – both large and small. The future really is here. Companies that neglect this technology face the very real prospect of falling behind.

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Myth #4 – Wireless Sensors are Expensive

As with any technology, there is a cost involved with deploying a new sensor network. But the cost of a wireless network generally is significantly less than the cost of hardwired sensors deployed in a retrofit application. And wireless sensors typically cost just a fraction of the expense associated with rebuilding or replacing industrial motors or pumps, not to mention opportunity costs associated with lengthy equipment downtime. The ROI in preventing extensive damage to mission-critical equipment is often quite attractive with short project payback periods. Furthermore, TDG Technologies supports various purchase models, such as purchasing the equipment outright or subscription models that cover both hardware and related services (including web access and real time alerts).  Most customers are surprised at just how affordable and efficient deploying a wireless sensor network can be.  

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Myth #5 – Wireless Sensors are Difficult to Install

Wireless sensors can be installed on your industrial equipment quite fast - typically in less than an hour. And much of that time is simply waiting for the epoxy to cure on the mount that attaches the sensor to your equipment. TDG Technologies has a video that provides a step-by-step instruction for installing a SmartHAWK™ Vibration & Temperature Sensor. Check out this link to see how easy installation really is. https://www.tdgtechnologies.com/resources/videos/.

 
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If you're interested in learning more about our SmartHAWK™ line of wireless industrial sensors, our products and other information can be found at www.tdgtechnologies.com. Feel free to also contact us directly at (760) 466-9234.

Randy Zanassi