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Shock Absorbers Become Smart

ITT Inc. and its Enidine brand, Orchard Park, N.Y., recently introduced the Sentinel 1 shock absorber, featuring a first-generation on-board monitoring system. “By incorporating microelectronic solutions with Enidine’s robust heavy-duty shock absorber technology, Sentinel 1 can be designed into any energy management solution for reliable performance monitoring, says Farrokh Batliwala, ITT’s senior vice president and president, Connect and Control Technologies.

Company officials explain that the Sentinel 1 is intended as an entry-level solution with an event impact signal trigger to protect equipment. “Sentinel 1’s technology incorporates continuous shock absorber and impact monitoring, energy harvesting, and the ability to communicate across a facility to a PLC or other similar systems without wires or batteries,” reveals Greg Herman, director of sales and business development at ITT Enidine. “These features make Sentinel 1 easy to adapt into a previously installed shock absorber base. It allows machine builders to incorporate next-generation IoT 4.0 technology into their designs without the burden of major equipment modification.”

The Sentinel 1

The Sentinel 1 contains a miniature sensor and signal-processing module (shown at bottom-right, next to coin) to transmit data to PLCs and other controls.

Officials describe that energy harvesting in the Sentinel 1 uses a switch to capture mechanical energy that is applied to the shock absorber and translates it into electrical energy for the switch to transmit an RF wireless signal to a wireless receiver integrated into a PLC with a line of sight range of +2,000 ft.

Additional features and benefits of Sentinel 1 include:

  • the ability to capture, measure, and transmit pressure, velocity, and positional data to a PLC
  • users can monitor and manage simple (wear indicators) to complex (sensor technologies)
  • flexibility to provide beneficial information within various in-use applications 
  • monitor cycle count, hours of operation and internal pressure of shock absorbers
  • remote notification to facilities manager of shock absorber information

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