Replacing the Engineer’s Ear with Sound Detection: Page 2 of 2

Augury’s condition-monitoring system detects the health of equipment by comparing machine sound to a database of machine noises.

the best bet for replacing that expertise. It’s not a matter of replacing the expert. It’s a matter of making the expert more efficient. Plus, we can detect things that are not audible yet.”

Augury is working within another trend in condition monitoring: offering the monitoring as a service rather than providing equipment. “We call it diagnostics as a service. Instead of selling a machine, we sell the function,” said Yoskovitz. “Vibration tools cost over $20,000 for the hardware. Then you’ll also need an expert and software. Our model comes with no upfront fee. You pay as you go.”

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 15 years, 12 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.


Jerald Cogswell's picture
Such expert listening is a great use for those tiny MEMS microphones (See my Gadget Freak #240 article). Coupled to an opamp, their signal can be run through either analog or digital filters to an analysis machine. Analysis can be as simple as a band pass filter that detects a squeal or an FFT with a comb filter looking for specific combinations of frequencies. Lots of uses. But beware of info overload in this IoT. We need smart machines to filter our info. Think of uses in your home or car.

The first diagnostic vibration monitoring system we sold was back in 1985. At least one version used that wonderful Spectral Dynamics model SD210 analyzer. That wonderful device not only did the spectral analysis, it also reported if the amplitude in any of the multiple frequency bands exceeded the programmed limits. It was a very handy device for testing. I have not been able to find any of the SD210 systems available recently, no idea where SD went.

Actually, asking the machine operators about the sound of the machine has been a useful service technique of mine for many years. Some operators are able to deliver a great deal of useful information, and they appreciate their input being considered worthwhile. Of course, there are also those operators who either never listen or whose attention span is so short that they have no clues about anything changing. Their observations are less useful.

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