Predictive maintenance using structure-borne noise analysis

The challenge

The operator can monitor his systems via a mobile phone connection, but high logistical effort and costs arise if the conveyor technology unexpectedly fails.

On the one hand, a failure is only realized with a delay, depending on which check interval is implemented. Depending on the severity of the failure, personnel must then first assess on site what damage or defects are present and can only then arrange for a repair and request spare parts. The downtime is so enormous.

With the aid of a structure-borne noise analysis, the plant operator wants to determine wear or contamination on the machines before they fail, in order to implement preventive maintenance and minimize downtimes.


SYS TEC electronic develops the solution for predictive maintenance in cooperation with Bacsoft. With this method, the vibrations of rotating or vibrating components are recorded and analyzed using Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT). In this way, incipient wear and tear, loosening of mechanical connections or penetration of foreign bodies can be detected at an early stage.

These data are recorded as signals by structure-borne sound microphones or acceleration sensors attached to neuralgic points of the machine. A signal transformation from the time domain to the frequency domain enables the decomposition of the machine noises into individual frequencies. This enables conclusions to be drawn about various wear and damage patterns. The resulting frequency spectrum can be automatically evaluated using intelligent software. By storing threshold values, warning messages and alarms can be generated automatically.

The structure-borne sound analysis is technically realized by three main components: the sysWORXX Smart Controller, the FFT extension module and the IoT platform from Bacsoft.

The Smart Controller, a powerful industrial controller based on the sysWORXX CTR-700, also functions as a communication gateway and enables a direct cloud connection for remote monitoring and control. The Edge Controller is freely programmable by the user for local pre-processing of data and control tasks.

The extension module provides the signals of the structure-borne sound sensors as digitally processable data of the main control. This enables the analysis and evaluation of the vibration data. An analysis of up to six channels simultaneously is possible. This corresponds to the movement data in the three spatial axes at two measuring points. The transformation and filter algorithms used are flexible and can be adapted to individual customer requirements.

The Bacsoft platform is an end-to-end solution for designing and managing advanced IIoT and M2M applications. Bacsoft provides the expertise to integrate the sysWORXX hardware and provide a cloud-based application to remotely monitor and control operations.

The solution can be combined with other standard sensors and actuators (e.g. temperature, humidity, ...) to obtain an overall picture of the plant condition. This allows the machine analysis on plants of different ages to be extended, for example with regard to energy monitoring.

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Technical parameters

The FFT extension module developed for the operator of conveyor systems has the following specifications:


  • 6 channels
  • Sensors: IEPE acceleration sensors (Integrated Electronics Piezo Electric)
  • Resolution: 16 Bit
  • Sampling rate: 2.5 kHz
  • Useful signal bandwidth: 3 ... 1000 Hz
  • FFT resolution: 3268 spectral lines with a resolution of 0.305 Hz
  • RMS: continuous effective value
  • Temperature range: -20 ... +60 °C
  • Sensor diagnostics for each channel (short-circuit/wire break)
  • Interfaces for value transfer (FFT data and RMS values): RS232 and Ethernet

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