In an increasingly mobile world, manufacturers want to keep an eye on their facilities and equipment – no matter how far away they are from their test fixture.

Take American MTS, an equipment repair center based in Monroe, NC. The company needed to detect the vibrations on the bearings of a motor; high vibration readings, after all, provide an early indication of a damaged part.

Given that the company’s technicians often required personal protective equipment to reach the test apparatus, the company sought a remote monitoring option.

Initially, American MTS integrated a small Bluetooth data-logging vibration tester – one with a built-in accelerometer. The device was placed on the motor bearing and could be observed by connecting via Bluetooth on a mobile app.

In a Tech Briefs’ presentation yesterday, Menna Siddiqui, Product Marketing Engineer at the Norton, MA-based data acquisition manufacturer Measurement Computing, explained how the repair shop went a step further and used automated, Internet-enabled data logging to analyze vibration measurements.

An electric motor undergoes repair. (Image Credit: American MTS)

Predictive maintenance technologies like those offered at Measurement Computing compare essential data, such as vibration and temperature, to baseline values. A central monitoring system sets alarms and notifications when a measurement is above a normal threshold.

A steel technician, for example, could theoretically monitor temperatures and receive notifications when the material is cool enough to be handled by sensitive machinery.

In yesterday’s presentation, Siddiqui walked attendees through American MTS’s move from a Bluetooth-connected to a Web-connected monitoring system.

With Internet-enabled devices, she said, users can receive measurements from any device connected to the network.

“Ideally you could VPN into the network and monitor the system offsite in real time,” said Siddiqui during the Wednesday Webinar.

The mentioning of a virtual private network brings to mind security concerns – and the importance of safeguarding company data.

Measurement Computing offers defenses to protect a company’s proprietary information, including admin-only access controls, as well as a primary layer of security that only allows the test data to be accessed by users on the LAN.

What do you think? Have you used Bluetooth or Internet-enabled data logging? What are your biggest challenges? Security? Connectivity? Cost? Share them below, and what you think might be ideal applications for data logging.

Watch the full presentation, Reliable Measurements for Smart Data Logging Systems, to learn more about American MTS’s move to Internet-enabled data logging.