Sensor, analyzer, and vibration meter. What is the difference?
Similar does not mean the same. Industry professionals, suppliers and dealers alike use the terms meter, sensor and analyzer as synonyms to refer to devices that measure vibration in industrial machinery and equipment.
Similar terms may not correctly represent a device or technology.
Understanding these differences is important so that each professional can find the solution that best applies to their reality.
DEFINITION OF SENSOR, METER, AND ANALYZER
They are electronic components that respond to physical or chemical stimuli, that is, they detect variations in the environment in which they are inserted.
Sensors can respond to different stimuli as: heat, pressure, movement, light etc. and can also be analog or digital.
Analog signals can be converted to digital signals using analog-to-digital (A/D) converters.
The goal is for the sensor to emit a signal that can be interpreted by other devices.
It is a broader term that encompasses the previous one. A meter is a system that aggregates several electronic components and makes it possible to take measurements of parameters.
The meters may or may not have data storage capability, i.e. the ability to collect and store a history of measurements.
Most meters have this capability and have an integrated data logger.
In other words, a data logger to collect and store data over time.
In this way, the data is stored for later analysis on a computer or other digital analysis equipment.
The function of an analyzer is to provide tools for interpretation and analysis of the collected measurements.
Such as graphs and diagnostic mechanisms, enabling the user to draw conclusions, observe trends, and make informed decisions.
This term depends on the previous two. For, an analyzer can only effectively do its job from the measurements collected by the meter which, for its part, gets them from the sensors.
In the case of the DynaPredict solution, there are two sensors attached to the onboard electronic board. One for temperature and another to measure the accelerations in the 3 axes.
These two sensors are responsible for detecting the heating level and the vibrations of the machine component to which the device is attached.
The complete solution, which adds the Android application and the web platform, is not only a vibration meter.
But also an analyzer, offering the user several options for interpretation and diagnosis of faults in monitored components.
POWER SOURCES: BATTERY OR CABLING
For the sensors and meters to work, a power source is required.
This source can be, for example, a battery or a cable connected to the factory’s power network.
Battery power has advantages in terms of convenience and flexibility for the many applications on the factory floor.
In wired solutions, the environment itself will indicate the limiting factors, such as cabling distance, need for robustness, power consumption, etc.
COLLECTIONS: AUTOMATED OR MANUAL
Most commercially available vibration meters require an operator/expert to go to the machine they want to evaluate, position the device, usually wired with a sensor on the end, and take measurements.
These are usually expensive, high-tech devices that, integrated with an analyzer, provide detailed information about the equipment being evaluated.
Another option for meters are those with automated collection, i.e., capable of collecting data without the need for constant manual operation.
The meter is attached to the machine, acquires data, and stores it in its internal memory.
One advantage of this type of meter is that it performs continuous monitoring, i.e. it collects a history of data.
When transmitted to an analyzer, it is possible to see a ‘movie’ of the machine’s operation.
FORMS OF COMMUNICATION
For the analyzer to be able to perform its function, it needs to communicate with the meter, i.e. send data to the analysis system.
In the market there are meter options with the most diverse forms of communication and data transmission.
The most usual form is wired communication. However, there are also wireless options.
Such as meters with USB ports, which store data in the internal memory and then download it to a computer.
As a more innovative wireless communication option, along the lines of Industry 4.0, Bluetooth communication meters have been gaining space in the market, making communication much more dynamic and practical.
Learn more about our DynaPredict Solution, industry 4.0’s most robust meter and analyzer for monitoring industrial machinery and equipment.
So, did you understand what is sensor, meter, and analyzer? Comment below!