Good Inventory Practices are Key to Sensor Maintenance 

By Kim Anderson

Maintenance is critical to the operations and security of sensors, and it starts with having good inventory practices. Knowing the location of your sensors is not only essential to keeping them clean and staying compliant but to ensuring that data is being collected accurately. For instance, some retailers use temperature sensors to better regulate store temperature for an improved shopping experience, but if a sensor is placed too close to a store’s entrance, the data will be distorted by the outdoor environment as customers come in and out. 

Now, in a place where thousands of sensors are deployed, like a hospital campus or a large parking garage, keeping inventory can get complicated. And just imagine the complexity of accounting for all the sensors in a smart city. 

Using a unique identifier for each sensor in your inventory is a must. These identifiers can be utilized by sensor management tools designed to make tracking a large amount of sensors easier. inQ can provide your organization with sensor management tools that meet the highest regulatory and compliance requirements for security, privacy, and reliability. 

Features of inQ’s Sensor Security Platform (ISSP)

  • Device identity creation and management for sensors and devices
  • Sensor and device catalog with OCR and QR code generation
  • Ability to organize sensors by location and assign users to manage the sensors in one or more locations
  • Role-based user permissions that let you assign responsibilities across the organization
  • Ability to register, view, edit, and track sensors and devices all in one place
  • Dashboards and reports that let you analyze every aspect of sensor security and operations
  • Cloud-based application that allows you to deploy rapidly and integrate existing data
  • Compliance and governance to address stakeholder and regulatory requirements

Once the right inventory system is in place, your organization can effectively carry out the other components of sensor maintenance: compliance and cleanliness. 

Here are some of the key things to remember when it comes to compliance: 

  • Securely store sensor data 
  • Ensure that authorized users can access sensor data when needed
  • Make necessary software updates
  • Take a data minimization approach, which means using and retaining the least amount of data necessary to carry out sensor functions 
  • Build employee and consumer awareness around data security with a readily available  privacy policy about data collection 
  • Be prepared to replace IoT devices and sensors as the regulatory landscape changes

Tips For Keeping Things Clean

You’ll want to be sure that debris, dust, and oil are removed from any sensors deployed in your facility on a regular basis. Maintenance staff, or other employees designated to clean the sensors, should be trained on proper cleaning methods, and you might want to notify all employees when cleaning is being done. 

Cleaning a lens is pretty straight forward. All you need is a specialized cleaning fluid and a microfiber cloth. Simply apply some of the fluid to the cloth and wipe the lens in small, concentric circles to avoid streaks. You can use a dry part of your cloth to wipe away dust or excess fluid. 

Cleaning a sensor is a bit trickier. It’s recommended to use an air blower, being careful not to touch the sensor with the air blower, though you can also wet clean sensors with a specialized cleaning fluid and single-use swabs. 

If your IoT devices come in contact with moisture, check for corrosion while cleaning. When corrosion is present, you’ll want to hire a professional who can remove it or replace the device.  

If you need assistance with your sensor maintenance initiative, don’t hesitate to contact inQ. We’re here to help you achieve security and confidence in your smart automation initiative.