Service & Sensors

Sensors — they’re everywhere. Over the last decade, we’ve found sensors creeping into every part of life. From your home to your workplace and the car that gets you there… And for good reasons.

Anupama Nair


These sensors are changing the way we manufacture, the way we live, and the way we do everyday things. The one thing that all sensors handle, irrespective of how or where they’re deployed, is data. Specifically, they generate meaningful data that can be collected by a processor and stored. Data collected from various sensors can be used to measure performance, efficiency, temperature, proximity, and more. This data can then be used to improve overall operations.

While manufacturing took on the sensor revolution a while ago, the use of sensors is yet to take over the service & repair industry. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the various sensors that are already employed in other industries but can find a perfect fit in service and repair. Let’s start by looking at the basics.

What are sensors?

Sensors are devices that quantify physical quantities. For example, sensors can measure temperature, pressure, humidity, light, vibration, sound, etc. The sensors then communicate this information so that a processor receives and stores it. This information can inform maintenance schedules, measure efficiency, and help adjust the production process to ensure consistency.

Why you should use sensors in your business

Sensors are a cost-effective way to monitor your service processes and help identify areas for improvement. You can use sensors to get a first-hand look at equipment and employee performance. This information is helpful for planning training schedules, identifying opportunities for process improvements, and more. The more sensors you add, the greater the level of detail you can obtain. Some sensors are connected to the service process, and provide real-time data to the computer or equipment. It’s beneficial to have sensors monitoring the production process to gain real-time feedback and keep operations running efficiently.

Think of sensors as an invisible supervisor who sees and knows everything, but in a good way.

So what sensors can you use in the service industry?


Accelerometers are used to measure changes in acceleration. Acceleration is a change in the speed of an object as a result of having mass added or removed. Accelerometers can be used to measure things like changes in acceleration due to force, changes in acceleration due to temperature, and changes in acceleration due to motion. Accelerometers are also used to detect vibrations. They are especially useful for measuring vibrations on the human body and in industrial equipment.

What can they do in the service & repair process?

  • Movement on the tools
  • Trajectory
  • Speed
  • Time the tools were in motion
  • Idle time for each device

GPS Sensors

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is a satellite navigation system that uses satellites to triangulate one’s location on the Earth’s surface. The system consists of three components: the GPS receiver, the GPS antenna, and the GPS signal.

A localized GPS is a term used to describe a GPS device that has been designed with a particular region or area in mind. This can be because the user lives in the area because it’s part of their business or simply because they have a specific need for the device.

What can they do in the service & repair process?

  • Monitor internal movement of tools and employees
  • Mark areas for restricted access
  • Monitor the movement of high-value goods

Proximity Sensors

A proximity sensor is a sensor that detects the presence of nearby objects. They are useful for many types of applications, including home automation, smart home devices, and wearable technology. The main purpose of a proximity sensor is to notify the user when they are close to an object or person, so they can avoid accidental contact. It can also be used to detect obstacles and keep track of the location of people or objects.

What can they do in the service & Repair process?

  • Monitor inter-employee proximity to prevent spread of diseases
  • Ensure sensitive equipment is not kept close together


A Bluetooth beacon is a wireless device that allows a user to connect and interact with other devices over short distances. This can be used for a variety of purposes, such as for tracking, for example, as well as for simple notifications and alerts. There are a number of different kinds of beacons out there, so it’s important to do your research before investing in one.

There are two types of beacons: proximity and active. Proximity beacons can last up to 30 days without battery replacement while active ones need to be recharged after every 60 hours of continuous use or they will die.

There are other types of beacons besides those used in tracking and navigation, such as those that trigger lights and sounds when they detect motion.

What can they do in the service & Repair process?

  • Broadcast service data in real-time
  • Track indoor location
  • People tracking

Bluetooth Gateway

A Bluetooth gateway is a device that allows devices to connect to a Bluetooth network. This can be useful for connecting phones and other devices to the internet, whether at home or in the office. As well as allowing connectivity between devices, it can also be used to control devices remotely. For example, you could use it to turn your phone’s music volume up and down or adjust the temperature in your home.

Bluetooth gates can also be used to provide secure connections between two different networks. For example, if you want to enable remote access on your computer when you are away from home, you can use a Bluetooth gateway to connect your device to any wifi network you have access to.

What can they do in the service & Repair process?

  • Send sensor data via Bluetooth
  • Connect multiple devices to the central database
  • Send data to the internet & back

Now that you know what sensors are… Let’s look at what they have been doing for the service industry

Meet Astra

Astra is Vicara’s motion-technology-based solution that improves the efficiency of maintenance & repair operations by providing accurate analytics. Data is collected for all activities performed, it is matched up to the standard, and the collated information is presented to managers and stakeholders via a visual dashboard.

Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

  1. Motion sensors are added to commonly used tools such as wrenches, jacks, and more
  2. The sensors collect data on actions performed, their accuracy, idle time, and time taken for execution
  3. It can also accurately measure and confirm how well the repair actions matched the standards
  4. Data collected from sensors are constantly shared via the cloud
  5. Floor managers and decision-makers can see live data on performance through an interactive dashboard

What can you do on the dashboard?

  • Reports can be generated for each individual employee to identify issues. Re-training activities can be planned accordingly.
  • Reports for the group can show the activities that are bringing about points of inefficiency as a whole. These processes can either be changed, or training can be planned for the entire employee roster.
  • Custom reports can also be created to share with customers where necessary. This allows you to maintain transparency with customers and builds a sense of trust.
  • Data collected over time can be used to identify bottlenecks in efficiency. These can be solved by introducing newer and better processes.
  • Efficiency and work data can be used to pick out star performers. Managers can then plan rewards or bonuses. This can improve job satisfaction and the need to perform better.

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