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VTT Node improves reliability and productivity of machinery in the field


VTT Node is a powerful wireless sensor node enabling industrial Internet, now being demonstrated in its first industrial applications. It allows fast prototyping and is flexible platform for various needs.

Securing optimum up-time of machinery is of key importance in the global maintenance service business. In the future, industrial machines, vehicles, and process equipment will be incorporated in their millions to form global maintenance services and produce a massive amount of real-time information. The amount of data measured from all the machinery in operation will be enormous, and should be both processed and reduced before transferring it over wireless media. Systems producing intelligence for the processes should be easily configurable for different targets, even in small shipments. Technology should be reliable, even if used in very harsh conditions.

One of the central elements in VTT’s research and development within this topic has been the development of the VTT Node, a reference architecture and prototype platform similar to a very small-sized, re-configurable embedded computer. The VTT Node has been built as a reference platform for development purposes, as well as for full-scale piloting of distributed signal processing technologies in the condition monitoring systems of industrial machinery. The node has built-in flexibly configurable signal processing pipelines and interfaces for several types of sensors typically used in industrial applications. This flexibility is achieved by deploying FPGA-based reconfigurable architecture. For example, vibration and stress are very common indicators of failure in structures and bearings. These, among others, could both be measured and analysed in the field by the VTT Node.

Several industrial demonstrations were created during the research and development work to get industry involved in the development process from the outset. The commitment of industrial partners has been very strong and, because they are the best information source for the real requirements and challenges, their contribution highly valuable. The system has been demonstrated successfully, for example in train, mineral processing, mobile machinery and steel production applications.

VTT Node in a nutshell:

Professional wireless sensing and signal processing platform that enables:

  • Configurable sensor interfaces
  • High-frequency multi-channel measurements
  • Synchronous operation over the wireless network
  • Powerful signal processing
  • Efficient power management
  • Robust communication
  • Reliable operation in harsh environments
  • Seamless information flow from the machine fleets.