Purdue University Graduate School
KimMS_AfterDef_v11_final.pdf (5.48 MB)

Machine Anomaly Detection using Sound Spectrogram Images and Neural Networks

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posted on 2019-08-14, 17:15 authored by Hanjun KimHanjun Kim

Sound and vibration analysis is a prominent tool used for scientific investigations in various fields such as structural model identification or dynamic behavior studies. In manufacturing fields, the vibration signals collected through commercial sensors are utilized to monitor machine health, for sustainable and cost-effective manufacturing.

Recently, the development of commercial sensors and computing environments have encouraged researchers to combine gathered data and Machine Learning (ML) techniques, which have been proven to be efficient for categorical classification problems. These discriminative algorithms have been successfully implemented in monitoring problems in factories, by simulating faulty situations. However, it is difficult to identify all the sources of anomalies in a real environment.

In this paper, a Neural Network (NN) application on a KUKA KR6 robot arm is introduced, as a solution for the limitations described above. Specifically, the autoencoder architecture was implemented for anomaly detection, which does not require the predefinition of faulty signals in the training process. In addition, stethoscopes were utilized as alternative sensing tools as they are easy to handle, and they provide a cost-effective monitoring solution. To simulate the normal and abnormal conditions, different load levels were assigned at the end of the robot arm according to the load capacity. Sound signals were recorded from joints of the robot arm, then meaningful features were extracted from spectrograms of the sound signals. The features were utilized to train and test autoencoders. During the autoencoder process, reconstruction errors (REs) between the autoencoder’s input and output were computed. Since autoencoders were trained only with features corresponding to normal conditions, RE values corresponding to abnormal features tend to be higher than those of normal features. In each autoencoder, distributions of the RE values were compared to set a threshold, which distinguishes abnormal states from the normal states. As a result, it is suggested that the threshold of RE values can be utilized to determine the condition of the robot arm.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Martin B.G. Jun

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Patricia Davies

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Peter H. Meckl

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