News | October 15, 2007

GE Energy Launches Wireless Condition Monitoring Solution

Houston, TX - GE Energy has launched its wireless condition monitoring solution, the Bently Nevada wSIM. Short for "wireless Sensor Interface Module," the wSIM has operated successfully during extensive pilot phases in industrial environments prior to its launch. This announcement was made at the ISA Expo in Houston, Texas.

Designed for non-critical assets that need frequent, periodic monitoring, the wSIM enables temperature and vibration measurements on assets that are inaccessible, due to remote locations or hazardous environments, delivering reliable and accurate measurements. Once installed, using either quick magnetic-mount or conventional stud-mount methods, the condition monitoring system functions similarly to its hard-wired counterparts. The wSIM can operate using either a long-lasting battery or an innovative new self-powered "energy harvester," which generates power from the vibratory motion of the machine itself.

In addition to cost and installation time reductions, the Bently Nevada wSIM enables plants to gather data reliably, minimizing human error by providing data at regular intervals and with consistent quality. The system takes measurements at programmed intervals and broadcasts the data to System 1, GE's industry leading condition monitoring software platform, which performs trending and analysis and provides information for predictive maintenance.

Network reliability has been built into the wSIM via advanced mesh network technology. Featuring self-joining and self-healing capabilities, the wSIM automatically builds redundant links to enable data to be transmitted through alternative routes when a signal path is interrupted. The wSIM is secured through network keys and 128-bit data encryption and is highly scalable, able to accommodate one to more than one thousand wireless sensors.

To help customers access the benefits of the new technology, GE has introduced a unique WiTry kit, making it easy for customers to purchase, install and evaluate the performance of wireless condition monitoring on a pilot basis. The WiTry program can be used by any customer, but is particularly straightforward for those who already have System 1 software installed at their site.

"GE has recognized the need for easy-to-deploy, highly reliable alternatives to conventional hardwired condition monitoring solutions," said Brian Palmer, general manager, GE Energy's Optimization and Control business. "We developed this new technology to augment our existing solutions, making permanent condition monitoring more affordable and practical for a larger percentage of the assets in our customers' facilities."

As one of the front-runners in wireless technology, GE has been actively involved in creating the ISA SP100.11a emerging standard, both through its Global Research Center and its businesses, such as GE Energy. Intended to ensure interoperability between devices, ISA SP100.11a is based on IEEE 802.15.4 and is an open architecture that can be used with components from multiple vendors. The standard supports numerous protocols via a single wireless infrastructure and governs condition monitoring, asset management and process automation applications.

For more than 50 years, the Bently Nevada name has been synonymous with machinery protection and condition monitoring. One of the five product lines that comprise the Optimization and Control business, GE Energy's advanced Bently Nevada condition monitoring solutions help optimize plant safety, uptime and efficiency.