McQ Inc. has recently been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract for the development of a wireless machinery health monitoring system for Navy vessels. The system is designed to continuously monitor for machinery component wear through the continuous collection of various data sources, including vibration and power, enabling the Navy to detect machinery failures before they actually occur, optimize maintenance schedules, and reduce fleet maintenance costs/service downtime.

Existing instrumentation systems are expensive, require connection points on the ship’s machinery, and do not provide accurate time synchronization across multiple sensors, McQ says. McQ’s approach is to develop a design that will advance contactless power measurement technology with smaller and lower cost tools that will facilitate wide-scale deployment, which will be completely unobtrusive to the existing machinery.

The system is designed to provide crucial data to train Navy CBM artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) based algorithms to detect failures before they occur. The ability to continuously monitor the health of machinery will provide more reliable and timely information on the status of equipment and can even help better manage maintenance intervals.

The sensor will enhance the Navy’s ability to maintain its fleet with predictive maintenance intervals resulting in minimal service downtime. The system can be applied to both manned and unmanned vessels to help reduce maintenance costs, allow for remote monitoring, and improve customer service experience and perceived product reliability.

It is also applicable to machinery in fixed applications such as industrial and manufacturing, building services, oil and gas wells, power generation systems, or public utility machinery; or mobile applications such as military vehicles, construction equipment, aircraft, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and subway/surface transportation systems.

McQ will transition this SBIR’s system into a new product in McQ’s existing portfolio of conditional based monitoring and environmental monitoring systems. Located in Fredericksburg, Va., McQ has been supplying DoD, DHS, DoE, DoJ, other U.S. Government agencies and commercial customers with advanced security technology and surveillance systems for over 35 years.