Industry 4.0 was just the beginning

Monitoring and capturing manufacturing data has been the prefaces to the entire IoT movement. In the industrial space monitoring through PLC infrastructures have been around for decades. Surely also for VersaSense, the first use cases we solved were and still are in that space. Going from condition based maintenance on sawing machines through advanced vibration detection, to dashboards for operators when quality monitoring goes in alert.

The best part of doing this with VersaSense? We have simplified the entire End2End solution from sensor to dashboard so you wouldn’t need those pesky PLC modifications just to add some advanced monitoring!

More to monitor than fancy new things

When you are installing a new infrastructure, it is easy to take monitoring into account. Making sure there’s power, network and the right types of sensors is just a part of the design. There are however billions of devices out there in the field, creating a lot of daily value, that are not ready for replacement. But they sure can be managed better than we are managing them today with our gut-feelings and twenty years of ‘experience’.

In God we trust, but everybody else: bring data!

More to monitor than manufacturing

Yes, although the IoT movement has a strong history in manufacturing data, the broader movement goes towards all types of assets out there. Many actions in the world can provide objective data that leads to data driven decision making. Transportation, refrigerators, energy and utility metering, even the bread slicing machines in a retail store have been given a voice with VersaSense technology.

Production Line Monitoring for Packaging

The Problem
Equipment down-time or ineffective usage is the largest source of lost production revenue across manufacturing industries. Idle equipment carries​ ​a​ ​high​ ​financial​ ​cost​ ​and​ ​leads​ ​to​ ​missed​ ​deadlines.

Real-time​ ​Production​ ​Line​ ​Monitoring​ ​(PLM)​ ​reduces​ ​equipment​ ​downtime​ ​by alerting​ ​key​ ​staff​ ​within​ ​seconds​ ​of​ ​equipment​ ​failure​ ​or​ ​slowdowns.​ ​PLM shows​ ​real-time​ ​progress​ ​against​ ​delivery​ ​targets,​ ​reveals​ ​bottlenecks​ ​in production​ ​processes​ ​and​ ​enables​ ​the​ ​accurate​ ​side-by-side​ ​comparison​ ​of team​ ​performance.

The​ ​real-time​ ​Production​ ​Line​ ​Monitoring​ ​solution​ ​from​ ​VersaSense​ ​uses​ ​the VersaSense​ ​IoT​ ​Fabric​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​visibility​ ​at​ ​every​ ​step​ ​of​ ​your​ ​production lines.​ ​The​ ​solution​ ​also​ ​cost​ ​effectively​ ​scales​ ​to​ ​support​ ​a​ ​global​ ​network​ ​of sites​ ​using​ ​the​ ​VersaSense​ ​IoT​ ​Cloud​ ​Services.

The Solution
Real-time PLM adds wireless object detection sensors to: case sealers, wrapping machines and box printers to provide real-time throughput visibility. These sensors provide 24/7 real-time data on production line throughput​ ​and​ ​equipment​ ​failure​ ​through​ ​tailored​ ​visualization​ ​and​ ​alerts.

As the VersaSense wireless sensors are non-contact and battery powered, they require no changes to production processes or equipment. The VersaSense wireless fabric – consisting of the sensors, wireless devices and the edge gateway – install in minutes and will last for years on a single battery charge, providing an extremely low total cost of ownership. The VersaSense solution can be easily extended with workplace condition​ ​sensors​ ​for​ ​example,​ ​temperature,​ ​humidity​ ​and​ ​gases.


CaseStudyKey​ ​business​ ​benefits​ ​of​ ​the​ ​VersaSense​ ​PLM​ ​Solution​ ​are​ ​as​ ​follows:

  • 3%​ ​to​ ​5%​ ​performance​ ​gains​ ​through​ ​optimizing​ ​based​ ​on​ ​monitored data.
  • Senior​ ​Managers​ ​easily​ ​identify​ ​problems:​ ​downtime​ ​sources, sub-optimal​ ​processes,​ ​slow​ ​teams,​ ​aging​ ​equipment.
  • Local​ ​Team​ ​leaders​ ​view​ ​job​ ​progress​ ​against​ ​targets​ ​in​ ​real​ ​time​ ​and easily​ ​report​ ​causes​ ​of​ ​downtime.
  • Allows​ ​to​ ​quickly​ ​benchmark​ ​new​ ​products.
    These​ ​benefits​ ​can​ ​be​ ​realized​ ​through​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​unique​ ​features​ ​of​ ​the VersaSense​ ​IoT​ ​Fabric​ ​technology:
  • 24/7​ ​real-time​ ​line​ ​throughput​ ​data
  • Global​ ​stoppage​ ​alerts​ ​in​ ​under​ ​1​ ​minute
  • Simple​ ​&​ ​effective​ ​visualization​ ​&​ ​reporting as​ ​well​ ​as
  • 99.999%​ ​reliable,​ ​extensible​ ​mesh​ ​network​ ​with​ ​NIST-certified​ ​security
  • 2ms​ ​accurate​ ​object​ ​timestamp,​ ​5yr​ ​battery​ ​life
  • Plug-and-play​ ​installation​ ​on​ ​packing​ ​machines​ ​in​ ​±​ ​2​ ​minutes

All​ ​of​ ​the​ ​above​ ​benefits​ ​can​ ​be​ ​achieved​ ​with​ ​a​ ​low​ ​per-site​ ​setup​ ​fee​ ​and affordable​ ​per-line​ ​equipment​ ​cost.​ ​A​ ​wide​ ​range​ ​of​ ​support​ ​options​ ​is available​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​ongoing​ ​assistance​ ​as​ ​needed.

Solution Details

CaseStudyVersaSense​ ​IoT​ ​Fabric​ ​consisting​ ​of​ ​the​ ​following​ ​elements:

  • VersaSense​ ​Passive​ ​Infrared​ ​Detection​ ​Sensor​ ​(S01)
  • VersaSense​ ​Wireless​ ​Devices​ ​(Pxx)​ ​equipped​ ​with​ ​the​ ​object​ ​detection sensors
  • VersaSense​ ​Edge​ ​Gateway​ ​(M01)

The​ ​VersaSense​ ​software​ ​delivers:

  • Easy​ ​job​ ​setup:​ ​SKU​ ​number,​ ​PO​ ​number,​ ​start​ ​/​ ​end​ ​time,​ ​number​ ​of operators​ ​and​ ​target​ ​rate.
  • Identify​ ​planned​ ​or​ ​unplanned​ ​down-time​ ​based​ ​upon​ ​custom thresholds​ ​(e.g.​ ​10​ ​missed​ ​cases).
  • Prompt​ ​operators​ ​to​ ​enter​ ​root​ ​cause​ ​when​ ​unplanned​ ​downtime​ ​is detected​ ​(e.g.​ ​accident,​ ​cleaning).

The​ ​variables​ ​you​ ​get:

  • ​Total​ ​items​ ​produced
  • ​Average​ ​line​ ​rate
  • ​Target​ ​items​ ​planned
  • ​Progress​ ​against​ ​target​ ​(%)
  • ​Job​ ​time​ ​elapsed
  • ​Number​ ​of​ ​issues​ ​in​ ​run
  • ​Job​ ​time​ ​planned
  • ​Uptime​ ​(%)
  • ​Process​ ​reliability
  • ​Planned​ ​downtime​ ​(%)
  • ​Instantaneous​ ​line​ ​rate
  • ​Unplanned​ ​downtime​ ​(%)


Next Steps

For​ ​more​ ​information​ ​on​ ​the​ ​VersaSense​ ​IoT​ ​Fabric​ ​check​ ​out

  • The​ ​VersaSense​ ​technology​ ​White​ ​Paper​ ​at:
  • The​ ​introductory​ ​videos​ ​on​ ​the​ ​YouTube​ ​VersaSense​ ​channel​ ​at:
  • Alternatively​ ​you​ ​can​ ​also​ ​test​ ​the​ ​solution​ ​in​ ​your​ ​own​ ​environment​ ​using​ ​the VersaSense​ ​Starter​ ​Kit​ ​for​ ​Smart​ ​Logistics,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​available​ ​for​ ​worldwide shipment​ ​through​ ​our​ ​Distribution​ ​Partners​ ​Digi-Key.​ ​Check​ ​here​ ​for​ ​details:

Condition Based Monitoring

Monitoring saws conditions in heavy industrial environment.

  • Critical bottleneck in factory
  • Edge-intelligence on Vibration Sensor
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Correlation with other historian data


24/7 automated monitoring and avoidance of plant-wide downtimes 

Energy & Utilities

Utilities like water, gas, and electricity possess large $$-footprint in food industry

  • Plant-wide wireless infrastructure to monitor misc. meters
  • Cabling infeasible: meters are distributed everywhere
  • Plug&Play with major meter brands

Just by knowing actual energy consumption, companies already save on yearly energy bill

Fast-Moving Consumer Goods

Monitoring efficiency of packing operations for a Fortune-50 client:

  • From wireless sensors,
  • to tailored data analytics,
  • delivered in under 3 months,
  • and now being deployed worldwide

Providing 5% operational efficiency gains for a critical multi-billion dollar business segment.

Smart Buildings

Smart buildings deliver services that make occupants more productive at the lowest cost and environmental smart-building-Iconimpact over the lifecycle of the building. This requires the buildings to be instrumented in various ways depending on the focus of the efficiency gains, which can be related to illumination, thermal comfort, air quality, physical security, sanitation, and many more.Whilst a lot of buildings do have a certain amount of automation these are often closed systems operating in specific vertical silos. That is, systems such as access control, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) or meeting room occupancy all are single-purpose solutions, each replicating the data acquisition or actuation part. The VersaSenseIoT Fabric provides all the required data through a dynamic, unified and secure infrastructure. A wide variety of sensors is available: these can be as simple as a temperature/humidity sensor, but also very complex such as assessing the true number of people in a meeting room through image recognition. Some of the cases where VersaSense solutions have been applied are workplace condition monitoring and building energy performance.

Smart Logistics

In order to design your logistics system in a cost-effective and efficient way data is needed at key points in the flow of goods. smart-logisticsWhilst this flow is often heavily automated mechanically, the data points provided are often too few, not in the correct location or not of the required detail. Without this data process, planning and people cannot be aligned correctly. The VersaSenseIoT Fabric provides the necessary data points in a cost-effective way whilst remaining non-intrusive to the primary logistics operations. Once the data is available a continuous improvement process can be initiated, and due to the dynamic nature of the fabric it can evolve to support this process. Any logistics data problem can be tackled in a low-cost way, resulting in short-term cost savings and low payback times, given the wide variety of sensors available in the VersaSense catalog. Gathered data typically boils down to the detection of items, or parameters of these items, in the logistics flow at specific locations. Some of the cases where VersaSense solutions have been applied are flexible asset tracking and production line monitoring for packaging.

Smart Manufacturing

Extensive production process data is required to facilitate the shift from reactive to predictive production. smart-manufacturing-iconThe data that is gathered needs to be plentiful and of sufficient detail and variety. The dynamics of smart manufacturing requires an equally dynamic data acquisition infrastructure, battery-powered and wireless, with self-configuring data acquisition points and sensors.The VersaSenseIoT Fabric allows for the capture of the necessary data in a cost-effective way whilst remaining non-intrusive to the primary production process. When combined with self-learning algorithms, these data points will enable the production infrastructure to assess its own health, allowing for true predictive maintenance. Compared to manual measurement the use of the VersaSenseIoT Fabric can achieve immediate and short term cost savings and efficiency gains in the assessment of the health of production machinery. VersaSense provides a variety of sensors to interact with the machine environment, as well as sensing interfaces that couple with existing or external sensing elements. Some of the cases where VersaSense solutions have been applied are machine coolant monitoring and shop floor audio maps.

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