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Predictive Maintenance of Motors and Gearboxes on Large Cranes [Success Story]

Predictive Maintenance of Large Cranes Application Image

Customer Requirements: Wirelessly monitor gearboxes and motors to predict when they need to be serviced

Solution: Wireless Q45 Universal Node, QM30VT vibration and temperature sensor, DXM Series wireless controller, TL70 tower light

Why Banner? Rugged and durable - Products can withstand high vibration, temperature changes, and work well in demanding environments

Simple installation and operation - Reduced wiring, easy mounting, and intuitive setup design.

Customer Benefits

Predictive Maintenance – Monitoring changes in machinery performance allows for corrective action to be taken before a larger issue arises, saving companies time and money on emergency repairs and downtime

Scalability – The DXM Series wireless controller can communicate with up to 47 nodes or wireless sensors, making it flexibile to meet the needs of expanding companies


The global port industry is experiencing significant growth and more businesses are turning towards automated solutions to predict if motors or gears are beginning to fail. The cranes that move shipping containers are large, dangerous, and exposed to many harsh elements, such as extreme temperature, vibration, and unpredictable weather, that can cause them to breakdown or underperform. Most operators and crane employees need to dedicate large amounts of their time to manually check on rotating parts and machines to ensure that they are working properly, cutting into the overall production time.


Recently, an Australian port operator worked with Banner Engineering to find a solution that monitors electric motors and gearboxes throughout the entire port facility. These motors and gearboxes are found on the boom and hoist of their Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes that are used throughout the facility. The company needed a way to monitor vibration and temperature levels so that the components could be serviced before they failed completely, causing excessive downtime and repair costs.

Port monitoring applications typically present many difficult challenges that ordinary sensors can’t solve. The outdoor environment presents unpredictable weather and can cover large areas of land. Ports use large and heavy machines and they create high levels of friction and vibration, causing equipment to deteriorate quickly.

Downtime or slow performing machines significantly affect a company’s effectiveness and profits. To prevent this from happening, port operators need to routinely perform a manual inspection of the cranes to make sure they are in proper working order. The manual check is not ideal because ports are quite large and a complete inspection takes a long time to complete and prevents operators from doing other tasks that would improve the company’s throughput and effectiveness.


Banner Engineering’s wireless products are the best solution for predictive maintenance at ports. The large outdoor atmosphere cannot be wired easily and wireless products offer the advantage of covering multiple units over a large area. Taking advantage of predictive maintenance devices works well and can save companies both time and money.

The QM30VT wireless vibration and temperature sensor connects to a battery powered Q45 wireless node to monitor the motors and gearboxes. The Q45 wireless nodes are paired with a DXM Series wireless controller to collect and interpret the values received from the vibration and temperature sensor. The controller can also be set up to regulate TL70 tower lights that are used to notify the port’s maintenance team. If the vibration or temperature exceeds safe thresholds then the TL70 will alert employees to take appropriate action before the problem becomes worse. These set thresholds can be easily adjusted on the DXM controller.

Wireless products and battery powered devices make installation easy and eliminating cables keeps the area free of clutter, especially in areas that may be hard to reach. Banner Engineering offers many wireless products that are simple to use and include pre-defined I/O mapping between two devices. The DXM Series controller is also scalable and can communicate with up to 47 sensors or nodes, making it ideal for growing companies.

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