Pervasive Sensing and You


Wireless technology. Chances are you’ve grown accustomed to hearing this term on a regular basis, especially when discussing smart phones, tablets, and computers. But it doesn’t stop there. Wireless technology has become integral in other fields, too, like pervasive sensing.

Pervasive sensing is the use of self-powered wireless sensors to track processes and notify you of the findings in a timely manner. The technology has grown especially popular in the automation industry, helping you and your team to build tremendous efficiency.

The first widespread use of this type of sensors came in the form of vibration monitors, which tracked the health of rotating equipment. Issues of chipped gear teeth, cavitation of pumps, and blade damage suddenly became easier for companies — especially in the automation industry — to discover. Pervasive sensing has only continued to evolve since then. Sensors are capable of monitoring broad areas for process leaks, flames, flow, and temperature. Steam-trap leaks, an immense burden for many U.S. factories, have been reduced significantly since the important technology came on the map. Simply put, safety and efficiency levels are stronger than ever.

As a fresh technology, pervasive sensing may intimidate you, or even concern you due to its disruptive nature. Sensors require installation. Employees must learn the ins and outs of tracking and reading measurements. Workflows are interrupted. These are all valid concerns, particularly in the automation industry. You should balance them, however, with not only the efficiency and safety benefits, but also the cost benefits.

Installation of the sensors, which doesn’t require drilling or maintenance shutdown, is 10% of the cost of wired set-ups. Installation is also quick and easy, taking minutes, not hours. Both short- and long-term, your costs will be cut. In the automation industry, this is a fact that is hard to ignore.

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