The monitoring and predictive maintenance of automation machines plays a fundamental role in the growth of productivity and profits of many manufacturing and production lines. Online diagnostic systems can inform the manager when a machine exceeds certain limits, e.g., in terms of temperature, or vibration levels. In addition, the knowledge of how the machine behaved and was previously used can be useful for predictive maintenance purposes. In line with the novel paradigm of Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, to obtain these data one needs to equip the machines with intelligence components, denoted as tags, which are connected to the Internet. To date, most of the solutions available are based on wired connections, imposing many limitations due to the presence of cables. This originates from a fact that none of the wireless solutions existing today to fulfil the stringent requirements set forth in terms of miniaturization, energy consumption or reliability for such systems.
This CIG will deliver an innovative distributed wireless real-time monitoring and status tracking solution for industrial machines, IMMUNet (Industrial Machine Monitoring Unplugged Network). IMMUNet comprises a number of miniature tags and several gateways for network control tasks and data collection. The tags can be powered with a battery or, alternatively, be equipped with an energy harvester. The dependable connectivity between the tags and the gateways is automatically established and maintained through the ultra-energy-efficient wireless protocol, which operates on top of the LoRa-modulated radio-signals transmitted in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. The use of the LoRa technology, with the proprietary designed communication protocol optimized for monitoring of industrial machines, allow to achieve very long network lifetime, while maintaining reliable connectivity and reasonable costs.
The main expected outcomes of this CIG action include: i) the development of a business plan, identifying the target market for IMMUNet and its commercialization path; ii) the enhancement of IMMUNet’s Technology Readiness Level (TRL) from level 4 to level 6; iii) the identification of missing functionalities and their implementation in firmware (e.g., optimization of radio channel selection, aggregation of data, alarms transmission enablement).
Mobile and Wireless Communications - Radio Access Networks - Wireless Internet of Things - Industrial Internet of Things - Experimentation and Testing