A magnetic bearing is an industrial device that supports a rotating shaft with a magnetic field. Magnetic bearings have advantages such as high efficiency, low maintenance, and no lubrication. Active magnetic bearings (AMBs) use electromagnets with actively controlled coil currents based on rotor position monitored by sensors integral to the AMB. AMBs are apt to the Internet of Things (IoT) due to their inherent sensors and actuators. The IoT is the interconnection of physical devices that enables them to send and receive data over the Internet. IoT technology has recently rapidly increased and is being applied to industrial devices. This study developed a method for the condition monitoring of AMB systems online using off-the-shelf IoT technology. Because off-the-shelf IoT solutions were utilized, the developed method is cost-effective and can be implemented on existing AMB systems. In this study, a MBC500 AMB test rig was outfitted with a Raspberry Pi single board computer. The Raspberry Pi monitors the AMB’s position sensors and current sensors via an analog-to-digital converter. Several loading cases were imposed on the experimental test rig and diagnosed remotely using virtual network computing. It was found that remote AMB condition monitoring is feasible for less than USD 100.
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