Solutions that use thermal energy to detect fires or machine malfunction for business applications were showcased in recent trade exhibitions.
At Computex Taipei 2019, Micromax International
showcased a solution that install sensors in machines to detect heat and vibration. This is useful since high temperatures tend to be the symptom of malfunctioning machines.
“The temperature of a machine may increase at noon and then goes down in the evening. But when the temperature stays high for an extended period of time, it is an indicator that something might have gone wrong,” said John Lin, President of Micromax.
The sensor is useful when installed in electrical transformers, the malfunction of which, if not handled properly, may result in explosions, said Lin.
Different temperature thresholds can be set up for monitoring and control purpose. For example, if a machine normally operates under 40 degree Celsius, operators will be alerted when the temperature rises above 40 degree. When the temperature exceeds 50 degree, operators will be alerted to take action quickly. And when the temperature rises to 60 degree, they will need to resolve the issue immediately.
Micromax also showcased its end nodes used to relay heat and vibration data to the cloud. With processing on the cloud, operators will be able to view a graph that shows the temperature and vibration value over time.
The end nodes use one of the two types of transmission protocols: LoRa
, each of which makes up 40% of industrial IoT applications, according to Lin. LoRa is more popular in Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia while NB-IoT is more frequently adopted in China and North America.
Lin believes the Micromax solution can help utility companies that have many transformer boxes and manufacturers that use automation equipment.
Micromax teamed up with City University of Hong Kong to develop the heat sensors and St. John’s University in Taiwan to develop the cloud solution. Micromax originally specializes in distributing various electronic and semiconductor components. The new IoT solution is part of the company’s business transformation effort.
Shany's thermal camera
At Secutech Taipei 2019
, Shany Electronic
showcased a thermal camera that can detect fires. The camera is able to detect heat energy on multiple points in the camera’s field of view. And what the camera sees will be shown on a thermal display.
Existing devices like smoke detectors usually spot the presence of a fire only after the fire has burned halfway through a place, said Kevin Tsai, Director of Sales & Marketing Division at Shany. “The thermal camera is able to detect fires much earlier. Furthermore, it can tell in which spot is the fire present.” With the camera, a fire that is one square meter in size can be detected from a distance of 10 meters.
The thermal technology can also be applied to detect malfunctioning motors, equipment or machines, which tend to undergo abnormal temperature increase. It can be set up in such way that when the temperature rises beyond a threshold value, warning will be issued automatically.
The solution is meant for hospitals, factories, server rooms, data centers and other places which require advanced fire warnings, Shany said.