Top 9 Industrial IoT Devices

At QTRACA we only recommend the best IoT sensor providers. We have put a lot of time into proving NCD products, and linking them into the QTRACA IoT cloud. NCD has existed for 24 years, with 20+ years in the IoT industry. Tried and tested, and that’s why they are trusted by all the industrial giants and the US military. 

NCD engineers are always looking for ways to help connect the real world to the digital world via secure IoT solutions.  As a manufacturer, they have worked with customers in a variety of industrial IoT sensor applications.  Here, we will share our list of top NCD IoT sensors and the unique applications that NCD are seeing.  Industrial IoT sensors have an exceedingly fast payback time.  In most applications, the cost of the industrial IoT sensors and solutions begins saving money immediately.  When a predictive maintenance condition is successfully detected, the payback often exceeds the cost of the sensors, installation, and all software expenses ever invested.  NCD industrial IoT sensors are supervising multi-billion dollar facilities every day of the week.  They help with everything from improving the safety of the work environment to keeping your factory floor moving and productive.  In some cases, predicting failure of valuable assets has the ability to not only save machines, but to save lives as well.

1. IoT Temperature and Humidity Sensors

By far, the most common industrial IoT sensors with an ultra-fast payback are NCD’s line of Temperature and Humidity sensors. One of the biggest needs NCD have seen for this sensor is to help prevent condensation on a large scale factory floor.  In NCD’s customer application, the humidity would rise, and the floors would become fully saturated.  Wet floors were severely crippling the production line.  By implementing industrial IoT temperature and humidity sensors throughout the production line, the humidity could be carefully monitored.  The HVAC system redirected to the highest humidity areas, preventing saturated floors.  The payback for installing these sensors on the factory floor was less than one day.  These sensors continue to pay for themselves each day they are in use.

2. IoT Thermocouple Temperature Transmitters

Thermocouples are an essential industrial IoT sensor technology.  With the ability to measure a wide temperature range, and to live through extreme temperatures with surprising accuracy makes them a near requirement in just about every factory floor.  Thermocouples are an essential tool for monitoring the curing process of industrial ceramics. Ramping up the heat over the correct duration of time is critical to the curing process. High temperatures need to be sustained for a long duration of time (in some cases many hours) for proper curing.  Cool-down is also critical to build strength, but accelerated cool-down periods can cause cracking. Thermal Profiling can help tune the process, building a better product with the best possible strength. Thermal Profiling can also help save money, as it may be possible to cut hours off of the curing time with proper testing.  NCD thermocouples have been used successfully in numerous thermal profiling applications to insure product integrity. While the payback period of this sensor is not immediate for this application, this sensor can save a fortune in process controls to prevent manufacturing defects. This sensor has the unique potential to save a business, all by itself.

3. IoT Current Monitoring Sensor Transmitters

The importance of monitoring power consumption cannot be understated when it comes to implementing a complete industrial IoT sensor strategy.  Monitoring power usage obviously helps you keep utility bills in check. What may not be so obvious is the ability for current monitoring devices to help predict failure.  More and more companies are starting to catch on to the idea that power consumption monitoring has a secondary benefit of failure prediction, causing this sensor to be among NCD’s most highly sought after devices.  The first thing that happens when a bearing fails on an industrial motor is friction. Friction causes a higher load on a motor. By monitoring the average current consumption of motors, bearing failure can be detected when power consumption begins to exceed expected readings.  The biggest use case for this has been in industrial freezers. When compressors fail, one of two things tends to happen: 1) current consumption either spikes due to friction or 2) current consumption is drastically reduced due to internal component failure (causing the motor to spin freely without load).  By monitoring power consumption, unusual power trends may be detected and maintenance may be scheduled automatically.

4. IoT Cycle Counter Transmitters

Not all sensors are obvious in their benefits to a successful industrial IoT sensor strategy.  The counter transmitter is often one of the most overlooked devices because it’s benefits are realized over the long term in the predictive maintenance category of strategies rather than immediate sense and react strategy.  However, predictive maintenance devices offer a payback in preventative down time that can save a fortune on the factory floor.  By scheduling maintenance activities around known cycle counts, the counter transmitter can play a key role in helping your maintenance team stay ahead of problems.  Perhaps the biggest implementation of this device that NCD have seen to date is in loading bays where doors are opened and closed on a regular basis.  The counter transmitter keeps track of how many times a door is opened and closed, and periodically sends these data to key cloud technologies, which are capable of issuing work orders when the doors are predicted to need maintenance or replacement.  While it may be hard to imagine this type of solution saving any real money, magnify the problem to the scale of thousands of trucks loading and unloading each day across dozens of loading bays and you can see how the counter transmitter starts to make a lot of sense.  Since the counter transmitter uses contact closure inputs, just about any type of cycle you can think of may be counted.  From entry doors to conveyors and motors, the counter transmitter can be one of your best solutions in preventing down time.

5. IoT Pressure Sensor Transmitters

Industrial IoT sensors frequently require the ability to read pressure.  From measuring pressure of air to hazardous gasses and liquids, choosing the right pressure sensor will always require a little research, as every application is a little different.  NCD works with many companies to help focus a solution tailored to the pressure measurement application.  NCD have worked with about every kind of pressure you can think of, from medical grade precision sensors to heavy duty industrial sensors.  NCD industrial IoT sensors are capable transmitting pressure data directly to modems and gateways with the ability to send alerts upon substantial pressure changes.  Pressure sensor arrays are typically used to discover leaks or flow blockages in industrial environments.  Like most sensors, NCD pressure sensors send data periodically to let you know everything is working well.  If pressure changes exceed preset limits, additional transmissions may be sent.  Pressure sensors typically have a short payback period, particularly when problems are discovered.

6. IoT Vibration Sensor Transmitters

Vibration Sensors are a critical component to industrial IoT sensor solutions.  Vibration sensors are a common solution to many predictive maintenance applications, as they can alert to common issues of functioning machinery and equipment.  Vibration Sensors use accelerometers to read micro-changes in direction across a relatively wide bandwidth.  Once vibration profiles of properly running equipment are collected, comparative analysis of vibration data can provide an early insight into equipment as it falls further and further out of specification.  Vibration sensors have the ability to send RMS vibration data periodically, as well as minimum and maximum vibration in all three X, Y, and Z axis.  Additional vibration packets are sent when excessive changes are detected, providing the earliest possible insight into problems.  NCD have seen a tremendous number of applications covered by their vibration sensors.  From heavy equipment and motors to industrial pipe flow vibration monitoring, NCD vibration sensors can provide some of the earliest possible notifications of failing equipment.  Vibrations sensors rank among the top five sensors for predictive maintenance applications.  Because of the early detection capabilities, this sensor can actually save lives when used properly.  This is the number one sensor used in industrial applications where direct human monitoring is limited or impossible.

7. IoT Air Quality Sensor Transmitters

Air Quality sensors were born out of NCD’s own expectation to maintain a healthy work environment for their employees, particularly in their production department where solder machines and flux can produce obnoxious fumes.  Ironically, before they were able to install this product in their production department, this sensor was providing them unusual and unexpected readings at their design office during product testing. At first, they thought this sensor was providing them with fault readings.  As it turned out, this sensor was detecting a problem with their water distiller, used to purify drinking water for their employees.  A solenoid valve had started burning inside the distiller, and this sensor detected it before they could even smell it.  Within a couple of days, they were able to find the problem (and smell the problem).  Once the distiller was taken out of service for repairs, this sensor returned to normal values.  Air quality sensors are less obvious in cost recovery, but they definitely help improve the quality of living and work environments.  NCD consider air quality sensors to be among their most valuable industrial IoT sensors they currently manufacture.

8. IoT Activity Sensor Transmitters

Of all the industrial IoT sensors NCD offer, the activity sensor transmitter is probably one of the most unique.  Born out of an unusual situation faced by their customers, the IoT activity sensor seeks to solve the problem of unexpected high-value asset relocation.  In some applications, customers were faced with simple misplacement of high-value assets.  In more extreme cases, NCD’s customers were dealing with theft in the workplace.  The activity sensor is attached to large high-value assets and send data transmissions when movement is detected.  Coupled with strategic placement of multiple receivers covering a large property area (several miles), asset transmitters have already recovered their costs of ownership within the first couple of months of installation.  

9. IoT Water Detection Sensor Transmitters

Our list of top 9 Industrial IoT sensors could not be complete without the most fundamental sensor type imaginable.  Water detection sensors send an alert when water is detected and send another alert letting you know the sensor has returned to a dry state.  Water detection sensors also send data periodically letting you know they are still monitoring.  Like all NCD sensors, the battery state is also transmitted so you can determine the overall health of the sensor.  Applications for water detection sensors are surprisingly vast.  From moisture monitoring of crawl spaces to detection of flood conditions, water detection sensors have found a home in many applications.  Simple water detection in basements is very common with this sensor.  Water detection of concrete floors and walls are among the most basic of detection applications.