Monitoring System of a Mechanical Transmission

Dear all,

I'm working on a project where I'm trying to establish a monitoring system for a mechanical transmission assembly, by incorporating the "Internet of Things" (IoT) principles.

Basically, I need to upgrade an existing transmission system, that consists of 2 parallel shafts and equal sized sprockets, throughout which they are connected, with a sensor(s) and monitor the system's behavior. The measurements will then be analyzed and the results of the measurements, with info about the status of monitored components, will then be sent on to a cloud infrastructure (this is the IoT part), from where a visualization software will visually interpret them on the virtual model of the assembly, by highlighting the possibly damaged components.

To simplify the expected system, I divided everything into 4 portions:


So for the data acquisition, I need a sensor(s) and a microcontroller. Since its more about presenting how to establish the information route, I will probably focus on an accelerometer (ex. MPU 6050) and measure vibrations of a shaft or sprocket. I thought of a way of simulating a damaged sprocket, where I would attach an eccentric load on the side of the sprocket, which would cause deviation momentum and thereby oscillations, which would be measurable. With a constant comparison of pre-obtained measurements when the system is intact, with the current measurements, I would be able to detect causes of a tooth loss of the sprocket or anything similar.

I still need to determine what kind of data analytics will need to be done; for example just a good/not good analysis or with actual theoretical analysis.

For results storage, I need to define the optimal cloud-like infrastructure, onto which, in a wireless manner, results from analytical step will be uploaded.

Lastly and for the end user, the most important step is the visualization step. I need a way of presenting the 3D model of the observed (monitored) assembly and to be able to highlight the damaged (monitored) components.

Since I am a construction engineer by profession and even though I have a little experience in the electronic's field, I would like some support from you guys, about what are the best available commercial options for the different components and systems that I need, for example:

  1. Which Arduino module (UNO is enough?) would be the most suitable for obtaining measurements and be able to connect for example to a computer (ex. Raspberry Pi), where analytics would be done - if more serious analytics would be needed (in case good/not good manner wouldn't satisfy)?
  2. What is the best wireless data transmission option, Arduino compatible, on to an internet based cloud infrastructure (ZigBee?)?
  3. What cloud-based system would you suggest me to use (there are some solutions from Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and other, but I have never used any of them)?
  4. What visualization routine for presenting 3D models and analytical results is the easiest and most effective (I read a lot about an application for Arduino, called "Processing")?

Thank you in advance for any spend time on reading this and maybe proposing/expressing your opinions and suggestions. Have a nice one!


P.S. If you want a more detailed description or maybe a graphical presentation, please let me know.

You could determine the position of the transmission with microswitches.

In a moving vehicle you'd need something like a GSM module to send it.

Display, logging etc could be more easily done on eg a PC picking up this data. Arduinos have very llittle memory or processing power.