Micro-intelligence condition monitoring pays for itself

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Micro-intelligence condition monitoring pays for itselfGlobal Sense is now promoting its technology, expertise and capabilities in the provision of data sensing and control of electro-mechanical assets. The company says that its asset management systems can convert data into quantifiable savings in operational costs through reduced downtime, maintenance and energy consumption.

Martin Walder, the Managing Director at Global Sense, states: "A transformation is taking place in the way that we can use current wireless technology to capture event-changing data pushed to us very cheaply and in real time. We have pioneered the industrialisation of GPRS for use in virtual networks and in combination with open web databases, to effectively monitor and control assets anywhere in the world. Our non-invasive systems, which are so easy to install, save money, save on maintenance and, crucially, save on energy."

The business has spent the last two years refining its patented technology to ensure the reliability of its 'data push' approach. The results of this work are most evident in a busy international airport, where the business was invited to develop a recovery plan on passenger-sensitive equipment on lifts, escalators and conveyors. Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been saved by preventing catastrophic failures, and proportionate savings have been demonstrated on costs relating to energy, maintenance costs and materials, as well as parts renewals. There has also been significant cost avoidance on unnecessary call-outs and disruption to passenger services.


Global Sense calls its system micro-intelligence because it senses changes in the state of components, such as the bearing in an escalator, and sends this micro data in real time to a database, from where it can be accessed anywhere in the world, and on any platform – including mobile devices - to enable informed decisions to be made. Roy Saunders, the Chairman of Global Sense, comments: "We do not burden our clients with big data in the way that legacy systems do. Our analytics are incredibly precise and allow important decisions to be made on-the-fly, with the surety of reliable information, inexpensively mined and transferred. No one else can do this as reliably and as conveniently."

Exploiting data effectively requires simple and secure visualisation tools, so Global Sense has developed a range of analytical tools (Viewr and Archivr) to compliment the Controlr (see photograph), all of which focus on information; hovering a mouse over a representation of an asset can alert customers to real and potential issues, even down to a lamp failure.

Saunders adds: "The idea of sensors embedded in products obviously leads to offerings such as preventative maintenance, but feedback like this can be used in every corner of a building, a utility like an airport, a shopping centre, a train line, and a manufacturing plant to prevent disruption, to improve productivity, to reduce costs - especially energy - and to improve customer satisfaction."

In one example application, in which an airport escalator was monitored and the Global Sense micro-intelligence used to provide feedback for controlling the escalator (for example, running at a reduced speed at quieter periods, and stopping the machinery when there are no passengers waiting), it was possible to reduce the annual energy consumption of the one escalator by 14MWh, scheduled maintenance periods could be extended, and the operational life of the escalator was extended by four years.

Global Sense has invested in a demonstration suite at its UK Head Office, where clients can witness bespoke and live demonstrations of the capability of the company's systems. Customers can get hands-on experience of the Global Sense products and witness exactly how the technology can enable micro data to be exploited to bring benefits to the bottom line.

Global Sense claims that its system can do this for hundreds and not thousands of pounds, without the need to rely on existing networks or install new IT infrastructure. One of the ways in which costs are held low is that the machine condition monitoring system uses inexpensive sensors - such as thermocouples and current sensors - rather than more sophisticated vibration-sensing accelerometers, as the low-cost sensors can provide adequate data to enable appropriate action to be taken. Furthermore, by reducing the transmitted data to the minimum necessary, ongoing costs for the GPRS service (the data communication technology found in mobile telephones) are said to be minimal. The Global Sense philosophy of micro-intelligence is therefore cost-effective for use on machinery and equipment for which conventional M2M (machine-to-machine) transfer of condition-based data could not be justified. For more information, or to arrange a visit to the demonstration suite, go to

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