Retrofitting legacy systems with a simple IoT device for thermal anomaly detection can help prevent catastrophic failure and provides significant ROI.
How do you convert older machines, equipment and appliances to smart devices? Owners of physical assets often find they want to monitor systems that were not built for digital integration. The standard digital transformation playbook often involves expensive custom upgrades or machine overhauls. Retrofitting legacy equipment with digital sensors is an affordable way to collect data and report on key conditions.
When building IoT device PoCs or prototypes, it’s best to use a Blues Wireless Notecard System on a Module because it’s the quickest and most affordable way to add connectivity. Did you know with Blues Wireless you can go from unboxing the product to sending arbitrary data over the global cellular network in less than 30 minutes?
Legacy equipment often represents significant capital expenditures, years of planning, and investments in operational systems and training. The investment is made with the knowledge that equipment will last many years and will be depreciated over time. Some equipment may also be closed for modification due to OEM intellectual property agreements or conditions necessary to maintain warranty status.
Modern techniques emerged to facilitate the remote monitoring of analog devices without requiring expensive modifications. By adding external sensors, equipment owners can gain key insights while maintaining budgets and production. IoT analog devices are created with some or all of the following hardware categories:
Nearly any piece of legacy equipment can be retrofitted for the IoT with the following system(s):
Learn how to build an IoT analog device that detects and reports on thermal anomalies for just over $100 using only 3 hardware components.
Anomaly detection is the process of identifying events or observations which are statistically different from the rest of the observations. Monitoring closed systems and alerting for anomalous behavior with IoT devices help businesses with:
Thermal monitoring is a form of anomaly detection and provides a mechanism to detect heat signatures. In industrial or equipment contexts, waste heat should be maintained within a given range. Conditions outside of the relevant range indicate a problem. If there is less heat than expected, perhaps a piece of equipment or machinery has malfunctioned, requiring intervention. If there is more heat than expected, there could be system damage or unsafe conditions. Being able to constantly monitor thermal signatures and compare them to the ideal conditions without modifying the system provides a low-complexity, lower-cost way to gain the insights you need for your business and avoid the risk associated with modifying legacy systems.
Follow this project if you are looking to create an IoT device prototype that can pump thermal data to the cloud and provide monitoring and alerting to anomalous system behavior. The IoT device uses a thermal camera module to observe analog equipment. A custom machine learning model is created to train the device to recognize normal thermal data from the system and pump that data to a cloud service using the Blues Wireless cellular Notecard System on a Module.
The Notecard is the quickest and easiest way to add cellular connectivity to this device, and it comes with 500 MB of cellular connectivity data and 5,000 monthly consumption credits included. You can find the complete project assembly instructions on Hackster and the full source code on GitHub.
Project Time: 3 hours
Lines of Code: 35
Usually, machine learning models generate inferences based on known data. In this case, you’ll be training the model to create an inference about unknown data – the anomalous behavior. Edge Impulse is recommended to streamline the machine learning portion of your build. Their tools help you go from training data to an optimized model in just a few hours.
Using Blues Wireless, you can send your inferencing model results to any cloud app without streaming across bandwidth-hogging, privacy-skirting image data. Blues Wireless provides edge-to-cloud IoT infrastructure, with hardware, firmware, and cloud communication components, and can be embedded into any device:
Blues provides a Python SDK and it can be installed with a single PIP command. Then, to add the Notecard to an existing Python app running an Edge Impulse model, you’ll do the following:
While there are increasing options for purchasing connected equipment or opening systems to embed smart technology, often the best approach is to build a device that can monitor legacy equipment without modifications. This is especially important for systems that are prohibitively expensive or impossible to modify.
The primary purpose of thermal cameras is the measurement of temperature and differential temperature to maintain safe operations. Temperature changes indicate dynamic equipment states while unexpected temperature readings usually indicate a problem requiring intervention. Unlike humans, thermal cameras are available 24/7 and don’t mind staying in the same place monitoring the exact same thing day in and day out.
Two primary results of utilizing thermal cameras include reducing downtime and increasing energy efficiency. Common use cases for industrial thermal monitoring range from electrical, mechanical and HVAC condition monitoring and can expand to include a variety of commercial settings. There are many use cases for this type of device, including:
Blues Wireless makes it easy to make connected devices. In the article above, you’ve seen how little effort it takes to build an initial proof-of-concept device that reports sensor data over the cellular network. In some cases, it’s best to start with one of our proof-of-concept applications, then swap out sensors or cloud apps until you get what you want. In others, it would be best to take a different tact entirely.
We can help. Schedule a consultation with a Blues Wireless Project Expert to discuss your project idea with you and help you find the shortest path to a proof-of-concept device to get your product or device connected to your cloud.Contact Us
By adding a host MCU, you are able to capture any type of information and communicate it to the Notecard using our JSON interface over UART or I2C.If you have questions about acquisition or compatibility, please Contact Us.
The Notecard is compatible with any microcontroller (MCU) from an 8-bit Arduino to 32-bit ESP32 or STM32 and every major Single Board Computer (SBC) platform. Some popular examples include the Adafruit Huzzah32, STM32 Nucleo, Arduino Nano, ESP32-WROOM, among many others. The Notecard communicates over either I2C or UART, so it acts as a peripheral that you can connect to a product’s existing I2C bus or UART connection.
Different models of the Blues Wireless Notecard are available that connect to LTE-M, NB-IoT, and Cat-1 networks globally. When LTE-M, NB-IoT, or Cat-1 aren’t available, the Notecard is also supported by UMTS/HSPA+ and GSM/GPRS/EDGE wireless standards.
Yes! Blues Wireless can support your project whether you need 10 devices or 10,000. We also have relationships with device building firms and contract manufacturers to help bring your vision to life.Please Contact Us.
Global coverage is available in 135 countries, with direct support provided by leading providers and carriers. For a full list, please see our documentation article on Notecard’s supported countries.
Various Notecard models are available that connect to LTE-M, NB-IoT, and Cat-1 networks. In global regions without these capabilities, coverage is also supported by UMTS/HSPA+ and GSM/GPRS/EDGE wireless standards.
No! The Blues Wireless Notecard is a small 30mm x 35mm system on module (SoM) that is able to be embedded in any IoT project on its own via its M.2 edge connector.
However, Blues Wireless provides a variety of Notecarrier host boards for easily adding cellular connectivity to a new or existing IoT solution for prototyping purposes. The Notecarrier also provides antennae for both the GPS and cellular capabilities of the Cellular Notecard (and the cellular antenna is also compatible with the Wi-Fi Notecard).