You know the old adage, what you see is what you get. But what about what you hear? What if you could see what you hear?
A blade makes a certain sound when it functions normally. But when it isn’t functioning normally, it will make a similar sound but not enough for the technician to act right away. What if you had sensors that could detect, through acoustic patterns of the sound of the blade, what was wrong with the blade and run a virtual diagnostic test to alert technicians so they can make an immediate repair or shut down the blade.
This is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market.
According to a research report by Markets and Markets, the Industrial IoT market is expected to grow to $151.01 billion by 2020. As manufacturing and production increasingly becomes more automated, there is a need for predictive maintenance technology that helps to keep equipment running optimally at the same time, identifies potential problems in real time.
Enter an Israeli startup 3D Signals. The company just grabbed a seed round of $3 million from Grove Ventures that’s betting the company’s combination of ultrasonic sensors and predictive analytics software will give customers access to unique proprietary data and actionable insights.
“IoT, cloud infrastructure and artificial intelligence are emerging high-growth areas and Grove invests in companies that touch upon or converge in all three to address markets ripe for disruption,” said Lotan Levkowitz, Partner, Grove Ventures. “Manufacturing, mining, energy and other heavy-industry companies continue to use decades-old equipment, which creates opportunities to retrofit existing machines with Industrial IoT technology. The hundred billion dollar IIoT market will accelerate quickly and bridge 40 years of technology gaps in the next five years.”
This is where 3D Signals steps in. The company combines wireless ultrasonic sensors and machine learning algorithms for industrial equipment and machinery such as turbines, compressors, robotics, motors, cutting equipment in one system that will alert engineers and technicians in real time to potential equipment failure/damage before it becomes a costly accident. They use acoustics as diagnostics and focuses on predictive maintenance versus preventative maintenance for industrial equipment.
“Sound taps into a part of the brain and that allows humans to instantly know if a machine is working as it should or about to malfunction. In the case of industry and manufacturing, engineers have used this innate intuition to diagnose equipment problems using sound since the time of early machines,” said Amnon Shenfeld, Co-founder and CEO, 3D Signals. “We designed 3DSignals to build upon this fundamental human capacity and enable engineers to monitor multiple pieces of equipment, access that data from any location, and make quick decisions that can avoid costly machine disasters.”
The company claims it can deploy within 20 minutes with just a power supply. The sensors are connected wirelessly and software can be deployed on either a public or private cloud.\The company has one disclosed pilot with MacSteel International. The company also says it’s looking at use cases for autonomous industrial vehicles and farm equipment.