The ability for IoT to optimize and automate industrial processes promises great value across a range of industries. Condition monitoring specialist SPM Instrument is taking a leading role, using Telia LTE-M to connect vibration sensors in Södra Cell's Swedish pulp mills.
Södra Cell produces pulp for the production of paper and textile products in its mills in Mönsterås, Mörrum, and Värö. They also produce green electricity, district heating and bio-fuels such as green methanol.
The Airius sensor measures three-axis-vibration and temperature and is a leading product in fan and pump monitoring. Previous versions have communicated via WiFi. However, for greater flexibility and security, a new version of the sensor is being tested that transmits data via Telia LTE-M, the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) cellular connectivity standard developed specifically for IoT.
Telia was the first in the Nordic region to launch LTE-M – one of the technologies defined as the ‘Massive Machined Type Communication’ components of the 5G standard. It enables battery-powered IoT devices to communicate energy-efficiently without the need for gateways, enabling fast implementation without the cost of WiFi expansion. It also works deep inside buildings and underground – which is important in many industrial settings.
In addition to LTE-M, the current version of the Airius sensor also supports 4G, and in early 2021 there will also be support for high-performance 5G.“The collaboration is a shining example of how industrial IoT can be used to automate a process that has previously been completely dependent on manual efforts,” says Björn Hansen, Head of IoT at Division X, Telia. “We are working closely with Södra Skogsägarna in their journey towards 5G, and together with SPM Instrument, we are using LTE-M to connect wireless vibration sensors in three of Södra Cell's factories.”
The tests, where sensors have been installed on machines and locations both indoors and outdoors, have been very successful. “The sensors' connection to Telia's network has worked very well,” says Thomas Håkansson, Senior IT Manager at Södra Cell. “Vibration and temperature measurement values have been sent without problems to databases connected to the powerful software Condmaster Ruby 2020. In this software, Södra's technicians analyze measurement data from both Airius and other measuring equipment from SPM. During the test period, machine problems such as bearing faults have been detected on, among other things, a larger flue gas fan, where the development of the bearing condition is now monitored continuously until a suitable time for planned maintenance action. For us, this is another digital step on our strategic journey towards a more data-driven predictive maintenance. We have pushed, and SPM has responded with development resources, and Telia has contributed its knowledge in connectivity. A good collaboration.”
The Airius vibration sensor is rated IP69 and can measure in ambient temperatures from −20 to +85 °C. It is available in versions for two measuring ranges; 10-1000 Hz and 2-1000 Hz / 10-5000 Hz, both with temperature measurement. Measurement data, stored in the analysis software Condmaster Ruby 2020, can be integrated with other systems and IoT platforms via the REST API and can thus be part of the smart factory and Industry 4.0.
Södra Cell is a business area within Södra, Sweden's largest forest owners association with 51,000 members. Södra has a total of 3,400 employees and a turnover of SEK 20.5 billion per year. Södra Cell invests in being one of the world's leading pulp manufacturers with high productivity and energy efficiency. Here, condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance of production equipment fill an important function.
Headquartered in Strängnäs, Sweden, SPM Instrument is a global leader in condition monitoring technology, developing and manufacturing high-performance solutions for the global market. The SPM Group comprises thirteen subsidiaries with more than two hundred devoted professionals and a worldwide network of sales and service representatives to support maintenance departments around the globe.
As Sweden's largest telecom operator and one of the largest Swedish infrastructure investors, Telia is an important player in one of the world's most connected countries. Telia Sweden is part of the Telia Company Group, which has 20,800 employees and sales of SEK 86 billion for 2019.