Preventive maintenance is much easier with the STDES-FANPRE01 reference design
Reference designs are useful when starting a new product design, but many reference designs can overlap with each other. Every component manufacturer seems to have reference designs for power supplies, motor drivers, and a simple IoT platform. Some companies go deep into one industry, such as telecom and networking. Other companies see change on the horizon and release an innovative reference design to help their customers move quickly into an upcoming area of technology.
Preventative maintenance is sometimes over-hyped, but creative solutions built with standard processor and sensor platforms are yielding real results. STMicroelectronics has released the STDES-FANPRE01 reference design to target just this application, with a particular focus on fans and small motors in light industrial environments. If you’re looking to develop a preventative maintenance system for fans and small motors, here’s how the STDES-FANPRE01 can help you.
What Is in the STDES-FANPRE01 Reference Design?
The STDES-FANPRE01 is a preventative maintenance reference design that is built around the STM32 MCU, one of the most popular MCU platforms on the market today. This package includes the standard documentation you’d expect in other reference designs:
- Schematic sheets and BOM: The schematics and BOM for this design are available for download, free of charge.
- Assembled board: This reference design is unique compared to many other reference designs in that it is available as a physical product, which can be purchased directly from STMicroelectronics. The assembled STDES-FANPRE01 board is shown below.
- Gerber files: Although layout files are unavailable, the Gerber files required for PCB fabrication are available on the STDES-FANPRE01 product page.
Although the layout files for this product are available, designers that want to create a spinoff of the STDES-FANPRE01 can still capture the schematics in OrCAD/Allegro to create a custom PCB. This is generally the recommended approach to adapting a reference design into a customized system. One should note that this reference design is not FCC certified for radiated emissions, nor has it been qualified against specific industry standards. However, if you plan to build a compliant, high-quality product for preventative maintenance, the STDES-FANPRE01 nicely shows how the STM32 MCU can function as the main controller in this application area.
An assembled STDES-FANPRE01 board
Features and Specifications
The STDES-FANPRE01 works as a sensor controller board and data is captured by the STM32F412CE MCU. The on-board pin header provides interfaces to external peripherals via I2C, SPI, and USART buses, and this pin header provides access to 3V3 power. Other primary components and features on the board include:
- ST715: LDO to regulate power for digital ICs.
- IIS2DH: 3D accelerometer, used to sample acquired vibration data.
- STTS751: temperature sensor.
- STL6N3LLH6: PWM driver circuit for power MOSFETs.
What makes this product unique is its form factor. The circular form factor has a 10 mm inner diameter and 32 mm outer diameter, with all components mounted on the top layer. The small notch on the interior diameter allows the device to be aligned and securely installed along a notched shaft. As the board has integrated vibration and temperature sensors, these features allow the product to be quickly installed on a small bearing shaft and used for the collection of critical data.
An advantage of the STDES-FANPRE01 is the pre-installed firmware in the finished design. The device firmware contains algorithms to derive vibration power spectra, as well as peak and RMS acceleration, which can in turn be used to signal the status of equipment operating conditions. Unlike other reference designs, the prepacked board doesn’t need to be Flashed with an example application; it’s ready to go as soon as you receive it. You can then add external peripherals to integrate the design into a larger system.
Getting Started With the STDES-FANPRE01 and STM32
Developing a Custom Application
If you order the STDES-FANPRE01, you can still build a custom application and flash the board. This is required if you want to integrate the board into a larger system. To get started developing a custom application, download the STM32CubeIDE and other software development utilities and the source code for the STDES-FANPRE01. The source code and documentation can be downloaded from STMicroelectronics. Be sure to consult the STM32 datasheet for more information on developing an application for preventative maintenance and for interface specifications.
Building a Custom Board
If you want to build a totally custom board and application, the design files for the product are available in Cadence formats and can be captured in OrCAD/Allegro. The Gerber files can be used to provide some guidance on layout practices for the STM32 and the other components on the board, or they can be used to reconstruct the original layout.
The STM32F412CE MCU that runs the board includes 1 MB on-chip Flash memory, allowing the board to collect and store plenty of data during operation. Because there is no expansion memory on the board, it’s best to design the application to output data to an external controller via one of the digital interfaces or via Wifi/Bluetooth with a transceiver. You can also design the platform to store data on an SD card. All of these components, and even other STMicroelectronics reference designs, can be found with an electronics search engine.
Example STMicroelectronics reference designs for power products
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