Bluetooth 5.2/Bluetooth LE wireless sensor provides predictive maintenance data and alerts for industrial equipment


Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC enables Lynxemi’s Vibration and Temperature Sensor solution to send industrial asset health reports to technicians

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Lynxemi, a Singapore-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions company, has selected Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth® 5/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘Vibration and Temperature Sensor’. The platform is designed to provide reliable sensor data for predictive maintenance applications of industrial equipment, for example electrical motors, transformers, pumps, and fans in factory and commercial building environments. 

The Vibration and Temperature Sensor comes in a 30 by 36 by 68mm form factor and in addition to the nRF52840 SoC employs a MEMS accelerometer as well as a temperature sensor to capture critical asset health data. The device can be programmed to provide periodic reports on the equipment’s temperature and vibration performance, as well as any anomalous measurements. 

Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC provides ample processing power and generous memory to handle the large volume of data generated from the accelerometer and temperature sensor. The SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU), with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.2, ANT™, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) with 1MB Flash memory and 256kB RAM.  
The Nordic nRF52840 SoC’s combination of generous memory allocation and low power were very helpful in allowing us to perform edge computation 
Paymon Rasekhy, Lynxemi
Wireless connectivity is supported by MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT)—a simple and lightweight network protocol, designed for constrained devices—running over Bluetooth LE. Complete data samples and system alerts are relayed from the nRF52840 SoC-powered sensor to a gateway for additional processing, and then to the Cloud for deeper analysis. The periodic measurements are logged and stored on Lynxemi’s secure servers and are viewable by authorized users, while the anomalous data is logged on the server and alerts are triggered through email, WhatsApp, or a similar messaging app to the responsible technicians and/or supervisor for immediate maintenance action. 
While the SoC’s +8dBm TX power boosts range in RF-challenging industrial environments, Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC also supports Bluetooth Long Range, enabling the Vibration and Temperature Sensor to wirelessly transmit at a range of up to 100 meters. Nordic’s nRF52840 provides full Bluetooth 5.2 support including 2x on-air raw data bandwidth (2Mbps) to deal with the Lynxemi application’s large volume of data; 4x range; 8x broadcasting ability with advertising extensions that increase the advertising packet payload size to 251 bytes, and an improved channel coexistence algorithm. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S140 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5.2-certified software protocol stack for building long range and high data Bluetooth LE applications. The S140 SoftDevice offers concurrent Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster, and Observer Bluetooth LE roles.
The nRF52840 SoC is Nordic’s most advanced ultra low power nRF52 Series SoC. The SoC supports complex Bluetooth LE and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The nRF52840 is Bluetooth 5.2-, Thread 1.1-, and Zigbee PRO (R21) and Green Power proxy specification-certified and its Dynamic Multiprotocol feature uniquely supports concurrent wireless connectivity of the protocols. Designed to address the inherent security challenges that are faced in industrial IoT applications, the nRF52840 SoC incorporates the Arm CryptoCell™-310 cryptographic accelerator, offering best-in-class security. 
The Vibration and Temperature Sensor device uses a non-rechargeable Lithium Thionyl 3400mAh battery that can operate for around 25,000 measurements before replacement, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. 
“The Nordic nRF52840 SoC’s combination of generous memory allocation and low power were very helpful in allowing us to perform edge computation while keeping battery consumption to a minimum,” says Paymon Rasekhy, CEO of Lynxemi. “In addition, Nordic's technical support has been impressive. As our Bluetooth LE vendor of choice, the company’s fast response times and quality products have been very helpful.”