Industrial Efficiency with Predictive Maintenance Solution

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30 Apr, 2024

Industrial Efficiency with Predictive Maintenance Solution

Explore the transformative impact of predictive maintenance in industrial automation. Discover how Infineon’s advanced predictive maintenance solution enables operational efficiency, reduces downtime, and fosters sustainable industrial growth through innovative edge-to-cloud integration.

In an era where efficiency and sustainability are desirable and essential, industries worldwide face the increasing challenge of maintaining complex machinery and systems. The traditional methods of routine checks or waiting for a system to fail are no longer viable. Enter the realm of predictive maintenance, a proactive solution that is revolutionizing industries from manufacturing plants to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. This innovative approach involves meticulously monitoring equipment performance and health, enabling professionals to predict potential failures and mitigate downtime. But how does this become feasible? The answer lies in harnessing the power of data.

In industrial operations, data moves like a guiding force, streaming from various touchpoints and offering real-time insights that were previously inaccessible or overlooked. This transformation is not just about collecting data but interpreting it in a way that becomes actionable intelligence. Whether it's a sensor detecting an abnormal sound in an industrial drive belt or an unusual temperature spike in an EV charging unit, each data point builds a story. A narrative that could mean the difference between a regular day at the factory and an unscheduled halt in production, affecting timelines, workforce, and finances.

Before diving into data analytics and interpretation, the foundational step of data collection is crucial. This involves condition monitoring as the base for predictive maintenance, entailing two main steps: 1. Reliable data collection from equipment, and 2. Analyzing this data to predict potential failures. This process is vital for enhancing the hardware of legacy machines and providing AI/software-based predictions, addressing the two main challenges of predictive maintenance.

Suggested reading: Predictive maintenance: Using Smart Sensors to get the most out of your assets

The Rising Challenge in Industrial Automation

Industrial automation has revolutionized production lines, manufacturing processes, and quality control, propelling industries to unprecedented efficiency. However, this intricate system is not without its vulnerabilities. One of the most pressing challenges is the maintenance of machinery, particularly the aging components within industrial motors, such as bearings.

An industrial drive is a crucial component of modern industrial automation, serving as the heart of operations in manufacturing lines. It controls the speed, torque, and direction of an electric motor, thus playing a vital role in optimizing the performance of machinery. The key elements surrounding an industrial drive include the motor it controls and its connection to the electric grid, which supplies the necessary power. 

Smart industrial drives elevate this functionality by enabling the monitoring of both motor and grid performance. This capability ensures not only the efficient operation of the machinery but also facilitates the early detection of potential issues, such as wear and tear on bearings, which can lead to increased inertia and operational inefficiencies. These smart drives are integral to implementing predictive maintenance strategies. By continuously monitoring the condition of critical components within industrial drives, smart systems can detect deviations in performance indicators, such as vibration patterns or temperature spikes, showing the early stages of component failure. This proactive approach allows maintenance or component replacement to be scheduled conveniently, preventing unexpected downtime and the associated high costs.

As these critical components deteriorate, they increase inertia, disrupting the seamless operation of belt-driven machinery and leading to inefficiencies, potential safety hazards, and, ultimately, a compromised bottom line.

Various sensors are employed to monitor predictive maintenance in industrial drives: MEMS ultrasonic microphones analyse motor health by detecting non-audible spectrum noises, which are useful in identifying bearing or housing failures. Accelerometers, widely used for vibration analysis, are key in monitoring large rotating machinery like turbines and motors. 

MEMS microphones are also utilized for detecting sound anomalies, providing a novel method for identifying unusual sounds that signify potential issues. This sensor array offers a complete machine health assessment, significantly improving predictive maintenance strategies.

Unlike traditional reactive maintenance strategies, predictive maintenance employs a sophisticated blend of data analytics and reliable, high-quality technology. It's a proactive approach, leveraging the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to monitor equipment conditions continuously. Analyzing this real-time data detects anomalies long before they escalate into catastrophic failures, allowing for timely interventions.

The staggering unplanned downtime costs further underscore the urgency for such predictive maintenance systems. Recent insights reveal that unexpected machinery shutdowns are not just expected but incredibly detrimental,   with up to 82% of companies reporting at least one unplanned downtime, costing up to $260,000 per hour. Annually, these unforeseen halts are draining approximately $50 billion from the manufacturing sector. (Source)

Moreover, the situation is exacerbated by a growing shortage of skilled maintenance workers. The gap left by retiring experts is not easily filled, and the ongoing pandemic has further strained these resources, leaving many industrial plants in a precarious position.

Solutions like Infineon’s predictive maintenance enabling technologies are emerging as pivotal tools in response to these industrial automation challenges. These innovations, particularly notable for their integration capabilities from the edge to the cloud, are not just advanced in monitoring but are significant steps forward in proactive system health diagnostics. For instance, Infineon’s approach goes beyond mere data collection, offering comprehensive solutions that monitor conditions within industrial drives, a crucial component in industrial environments.

An industrial drive, essential for its role in driving machinery with efficiency and reliability, can become a point of failure if not properly maintained, causing sudden and forceful stops of the conveyor belt, leading to mechanical stress and potential damage to components such as pulleys, rollers, belts, and bearings.  Infineon addresses this potential problem through advanced sensors and analytics, ensuring the continuous health monitoring of these motors and thus preventing unplanned downtime.

This approach of closely monitoring industrial drives, critical for their power and efficiency in industrial applications, is a key example of how predictive maintenance can be applied. Infineon's technologies, such as context-aware sensors for condition monitoring and predictive analytics software, play a crucial role in this process. It provides real-time data and insights into the motor's performance and predicts potential failures before they occur.

However, integrating these advanced predictive maintenance strategies into existing systems requires a nuanced approach, ensuring compatibility and efficiency while navigating the unique challenges presented by each industrial setup.

Infineon’s XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation Kit: A Game-Changer

In industrial automation, where precision, efficiency, and reliability are paramount, Infineon’s XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation kit emerges as a pivotal tool for evaluation and exploration. While it is a critical step toward solution adoption and development, it's primarily intended to facilitate a deeper understanding and evaluation of sensor-based condition monitoring and predictive maintenance technologies.

The kit is a testament to Infineon's commitment to making the IIoT work in practical, impactful ways. It includes a range of features essential for effective Predictive Maintenance Evaluation:

- Data collection and logging function

- Open-source software

- Compatibility with microcontroller unit (at the edge) or cloud connectivity

- Pre-integrated algorithm for AWS/tinyML

These features are specifically tailored to meet the industrial sector's demands for reliable,  scalable, and intuitive development tools. They not only aid in evaluating the potential and ROI of predictive maintenance solutions but also underscore the kit’s role as a development platform. It's designed to enable customers to create tailored industrial solutions based on their specific requirements.

Empowering Industrial Drives with Intelligent Maintenance

The XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation Kit demonstrates its true potential when applied to industrial drives, particularly those involving 3-phase motors. It can be used to monitor the intricate conditions of bearings, a common pain point in industrial automation due to their propensity for wear and tear and the increased inertia they can cause.

The XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation Kit is designed for industrial drives with 3-phase motors, which monitor bearings' conditions to prevent wear and tear. It employs advanced sensors like the XENSIV™ 3D Magnetic Sensor for rotational speed and position, temperature and pressure sensors for critical component monitoring, current sensors for load and power quality insights, and microphone sensors for detecting mechanical anomalies. This comprehensive sensor suite, alongside sophisticated software algorithms, enables early detection of equipment behaviour changes, reducing manual inspections and downtime, thus enhancing maintenance efficiency and operational planning.

Moreover, the kit's versatility in data processing, secured connection, and authentication showcase its adaptability to various industrial environments. Its ability to integrate with existing systems at the edge or within a cloud-based infrastructure makes it a practical solution for evaluating and developing various predictive maintenance applications.

From Edge to Cloud: Seamless Integration

As mentioned before, the industrial sector is currently undergoing a transformative phase with the integration of digital technologies, and at the heart of this evolution is the seamless transition from edge computing to cloud-based systems.

One of the standout features of the XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation Kit is its inherent compatibility with either edge or cloud deployments, highlighting a choice between two distinct processing scenarios. This dual capability ensures that data can be processed locally and allows for real-time data processing and decision-making directly at the source or more complex analyses and insights to be derived from the cloud, depending on the chosen deployment scenario.

The kit’s integration with either AWS for cloud analytics or tinyML for edge computing is noteworthy and central to its versatility. TinyML refers to the deployment of machine learning algorithms on low-power edge devices. By incorporating this technology for edge scenarios, the XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation Kit can execute machine learning models that directly predict maintenance needs based on data trends and anomalies on the device. In contrast, when leveraging cloud computing with AWS, the system utilizes cloud resources for more extensive data analysis and insights. This approach means the system can be either reactive or proactive, identifying potential issues before they escalate into significant problems, depending on the chosen deployment method.

The benefits of Infineon's approach, emphasizing an end-to-end solution from edge computing to AWS cloud integration, are multifaceted and specifically tailored to meet industrial needs:

  1. Comprehensive Data Management: Infineon's solution facilitates the direct transmission of all sensor data to the AWS cloud. This approach ensures comprehensive data availability for analysis and decision-making. By leveraging AWS's capabilities, the system efficiently manages the vast volumes of information generated by industrial equipment, offering a robust data processing and insight generation platform.

  2. Immediate Operational Insights: While the initial processing occurs at the edge for immediate actions, the integration with AWS allows for in-depth analysis and real-time operational insights. This dual approach ensures immediate responses at the edge are complemented by deeper insights from the cloud, optimizing immediate and strategic decision-making processes.

  3. Scalability and Flexibility with AWS: The seamless integration with AWS cloud services enhances the scalability and flexibility of data management and analysis. As operations grow, AWS's cloud infrastructure supports expanding data analysis capabilities without substantial investments in local infrastructure. This scalability ensures that companies can adapt to changing demands efficiently.

Infineon's XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation Kit provides a comprehensive solution that leverages FreeRTOS for connecting and managing edge devices, emphasizing the seamless transition and management of devices from the edge to the cloud. This end-to-end approach highlights Infineon's commitment to offering scalable, flexible development tools that harness the power of cloud services, ensuring that industrial operators have the tools they need for effective data management and operational insight.

Making predictive maintenance Accessible

The implementation of predictive maintenance can often seem daunting for industrial operations. However, Infineon’s XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation Kit significantly simplifies this transition, making the development of advanced maintenance technologies more accessible and easier to implement. Rather than solely offering standalone open-source software, Infineon’s solution provides a holistic hardware and software (HW+SW) platform. This integrated approach is designed to expedite and streamline the deployment of predictive maintenance strategies.

This approach acknowledges and addresses the diversity of industrial needs by offering a plug-and-play development system that minimizes the complexity of implementing predictive maintenance. By providing a well-integrated HW+SW platform, Infineon ensures that the technology is accessible to large corporations with extensive IT and engineering departments and smaller enterprises eager to modernize their operations without needing extensive customization or development from scratch.

Moreover, the scalability of Infineon’s solution is a critical feature. It can be efficiently deployed for evaluation across various industrial settings, from vast complexes to modest manufacturing units, without sacrificing functionality. This adaptability ensures businesses of all sizes can leverage sophisticated predictive maintenance protocols, optimizing their operations and preempting disruptions with minimal upfront investment.

In essence, Infineon’s XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation Kit streamlines the adoption of predictive maintenance across the industrial spectrum. By lowering the technical and financial entry barriers during development, Infineon paves the way for widespread adoption, heralding an era of improved operational efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced longevity of industrial equipment.


In conclusion, the landscape of industrial automation is witnessing unprecedented evolution, with predictive maintenance at the forefront of this transformation. Infineon’s XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation Kit stands out as a catalyst in this shift, offering a versatile, accessible, and efficient equipment monitoring and maintenance approach.

From its seamless edge-to-cloud integration to its proactive anomaly detection capabilities, the XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation kit embodies the future of industrial operations. Its open-source platform and scalability make it a universal development solution suitable for diverse operational needs. While it empowers businesses to maintain the health of their machinery, it also contributes to broader objectives of operational efficiency, cost reduction, and sustainable industrial growth.

Through its innovative XENSIV™ Predictive Maintenance Evaluation kit, Infineon provides a product and contributes to the robustness and resilience of industrial systems globally. Making predictive maintenance more accessible and practical sets the stage for a more dynamic, responsive, and efficient industrial future.


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