Balluff’s New Toolkit Could Help Machine Monitoring Processes in Industrial Applications

July 01, 2021 by Stephanie Leonida

Balluff provides industrial plant operators with its new Condition Monitoring Toolkit for overseeing machine and process status.

Balluff is a sensor and automation specialist that focuses on innovating the automation space and shaping the future of the industrial internet of things (IIoT). Recently, the company released its new Condition Monitoring Toolkit (CMTK) for comprehensive machine monitoring.



The latest devices and user interfaces in Balluff's Condition Monitoring Toolkit. Image used courtesy of Balluff 


Balluff aims to help manufacturers boost productivity by providing predictive maintenance for plant machinery and reducing unnecessary downtime. 


Balluff’s CMTK

The CMTK was designed to be a flexible, unified retrofit solution. One key feature of the CMTK is that it can connect to most all (I/O)-link sensors on the market. 

Four sensors can be connected and measure several variables at one point and have been designed to transmit collected data quickly and easily. Sensors include temperature and humidity sensors for monitoring control cabinets, capacitive or ultrasonic sensors for detecting fill levels, vibration and temperature sensors for monitoring motors and drives, as well as pressure and flow sensors for monitoring pumps and compressors. 


Enhanced Sensor Connectivity and Data Management 

The sensors connect directly to the CMTK’s central element, the base unit. The base unit is a small computer installed on a DIN rail in a control cabinet. It takes data collected from sensors concerning the status of plant machines and processes and processes it. In addition to connecting to the sensors, the base unit connects to networks and systems where plant data is used further. 


Balluff’s CMTK can be used to monitor the status of stacking machinery and many other automated machine systems. Image used courtesy of Balluff

The base unit is independent of the cloud or machine control system. This means that existing structures and processes retain integrity, and the possibility of unwanted interactions (brought on by querying and evaluation of the additional data) is avoided. As internet or cloud connection is not required day-to-day, data can be protected from falling into the hands of third parties, and data usage fees can be avoided. 


Plug-and-play Commissioning and Visualization

Key features of the CMTK include plug-and-play commissioning and visualization of the data, remote monitoring, and alerts for when adjustable limit values are exceeded. The CMTK software comes preinstalled in the base unit and is responsible for the visualization and evaluation of sensor data. A dashboard is automatically generated and configured using the data. This can help save time and effort during commissioning. 

The web-based software can be displayed on multiple end-devices and enable information sharing within a company’s automation ecosystem. Users can set up limit values and trend analyses with automated monitoring and email notifications. Sensor data can be saved and archived for later analysis if required. The combined software, base unit, and sensors provide users with a system that can help detect any machine or process issues early. This means faster and more controlled repairs can be made. 

Applications of the CMTK could include the monitoring of storage tanks and pipelines in the oil and gas industry or assembly machinery in automotive factories. The list of applications for the CMTK is broad because of its flexible sensors and mode of integration and installment.