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How can you monitor vibrations from a remote location?

4 min read
Feb 5, 2021 12:00:00 AM

Measuring vibrations used to be a time- and labor-intensive process. You often had to travel long distances to do this and drag along an impressive arsenal of often heavy equipment.

Nowadays, monitoring vibrations in construction and infrastructure is, fortunately, a little easier. With the more compact modern measuring equipment, you can also monitor vibrations from a remote location. Continue reading to find out further how this process works.

How it used to be

In the early days of vibration monitoring, a vibration measurement was still physically demanding and often time-consuming. Your vibration measuring tool kit would consist of a not exactly “light as a feather” vibration measurement system, including separate accelerometers and a draggable Compaq computer. You needed a data logger and geophone to make an exact measurement. In addition to the accelerometers and the computer, you also had to drag around a full-sized generator to ensure a reliable power supply. What a process!

Another disadvantage of the old systems was that the separate additions of the data logger and geophone often made them prone to theft.

And what if you needed to take several measurements in one day, all located in different locations around the (foreign) country? Then there was no other option but to unload the measuring equipment every time, and once the completion of the measurements was done, drag it right back to your van and load all the equipment once again. In the early days of vibration monitoring, you had to cover a lot of mileage, especially since you always had to be physically present at the construction site to take measurements. Driving crisscross through the country in a week or traveling back and forth to the same spot several times was a rule of thumb rather than the exception, especially since you could only plot a limited number of points on a graph with the early meters.

Evolving Technology

Fortunately, technological advancements have certainly not stood still in the world of vibration monitoring. The heavy and technically limited measuring equipment of the past has been replaced over the years by increasingly compact, user-friendly, and advanced measuring and data processing equipment.

The arrival of fully integrated measurement solutions, such as the Omnidots solution, has been another step in the right direction. With an integrated solution, you have a system where the vibration monitor and the platform 'understand' each other perfectly. The most important advantage: you can transmit, process, and analyze measurement data more quickly.

How do you perform remote vibration measurement?

With a solution like Omnidots, receiving vibration measurements from a remote location is a breeze. How does this work? The first step is to place the vibration monitor on-site. For example, the SWARM can easily be attached (you only need one screw) to the structure you want to monitor. Moreover, unlike a geophone, you do not have to hang the SWARM level.

You can then configure the vibration monitor remotely via your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The SWARM then automatically sends measurement data to the Honeycomb web platform. You can customize how often the SWARM refreshes the data. This can vary from receiving data once a day to every hour or even every second.

Want to stop for a short coffee break on the way home? Do you need to travel by public transportation to your next job? Or are you working at home or in the office? These are all opportunities you can take to view your measurement data whenever you get a chance. Using the web platform, you can immediately process the measurement data into graphs or reports. Is the connection between your SWARM and Honeycomb platform temporarily lost? Then the vibration monitor automatically saves all data until the connection is restored.

The advantages of remote vibration monitoring

Remote measuring saves you a lot of time, effort, and fuel. You no longer have to go to the construction site to read out measurement data or retrieve SD cards. Two visits to the measurement site are plenty enough: one to install the vibration meter and a trip to pick up the device at the end of the measurement project.

Saving measurement data is also easier, faster, and safer with a modern remote measurement solution. In the past, you had to take a data logger home, connect the device to your computer and run a (sometimes) tedious update before getting the data from the measuring device. An added complication was that you then often needed a license code that you had to go after again before you could store all the data.

The storage of the data itself was also a challenging task. Storing measurement data locally means you lose it faster, and the risk of data fragmentation increases. With the combination of Omnidots-Honeycomb, you don't have to worry about this; all data is immediately available in your central online measurement environment.

Because advanced vibration monitors like the SWARM contain GPS sensors directly connected to your measurement platform, you always know precisely where your vibration monitors are located. This is useful if you have various projects in different locations around the country or abroad. You always have access to an overview of the project and can simultaneously perform accurate vibration measurements in different places without traveling too much. With Omnidots, all you have to do is log in to the Honeycomb web platform and click on 'Map' in the menu to see exactly where your vibration meters are located.

In addition, the remote measurement with Omnidots is not bound to a maximum distance. With Honeycomb, you can also access your most recent measurement data from another country on any device from the other side of the country or abroad.

Want to know more?

Remote vibration monitoring has numerous advantages. You save on travel time and gasoline costs, and you can immediately get to work with your measurement data, regardless of location. Would you like to know more about remote vibration measurement with Omnidots' all-in-one solution? Feel free to contact us for more information.

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