EHS & Sustainability monitoring systems

EHS & Sustainability monitoring systems


NEMKO Norlab, in cooperation with SINTEF Helgeland and SCHNEIDER, has developed a distributed EHS and sustainability monitoring system for measuring emissions and working environment conditions. The end users involved in the work are MARINI MARMI, Italy (natural stones, primarily marble; underground mine); TITANIA, Norway (ilmenite, open pit); and KEMI, Finland (chromite ore; underground mine).

Objective and Outcomes

The objective of this task was to develop a distributed and EHS and sustainability monitoring system for measuring emissions and working environment conditions. For this purpose, generic sensor bundles were developed comprised of IIoT / low-CAPEX sensors for measuring dust, NO2, CO and NH3 in air; and turbidity in water. The sensors provided measurements online through a communication layer defined by ICCS, Greece and LIBRA, UK as part of the project. T2.3 was part of WP2 “Data acquisition” and contributed directly to the WP2 objective of developing a distributed EHS and sustainability monitoring system for measuring emissions and working environment conditions. The output from the task in the form of sensor data is fed into the sensor platform / data warehouse developed as part of T3.2 “Data gathering platform implementation” in WP3 “IIoTp: data & device management and cybersecurity”, and subsequently used in subsystems developed in WP4 “Digital twin layer”, WP5 “Intelligence layer”, WP6 “System integration and validation”, and WP7 “Academy, Workplace and Society outreach”, workplace, and society outreach. The data will notably be used in T6.3 “Dig_IT testing on real use case scenarios”. The data will also be stored on the blockchain developed as part of T7.4 “Distributed ledger technologies for sustainability monitoring”. For description of task dependencies, see also work package-level Pert diagram below.


T2.3 built on T1.3 “Sustainability-based use case analysis (environment, energy, operations)” in WP1, which was completed in H1 2021. We then proceeded directly into T2.3 in H2 2021. Based on the requirements from WP1, the project followed a traditional linear process, with requirement analysis, design, implementation, testing at lab, deployment at end user sites (MARINI MARMI, TITANIA and KEMI), and finally testing at site, winter 2022 / 2023. Commercial sensor components were used. The process included some minor redesign / rework cycles plus significant on-site work. The development work took place at NEMKO Norlab’s sites in Oslo and Mo i Rana, Norway. The picture below to left shows the equipment at site and before installation at MARINI MARMI in Bergamo; on the right shows a screen dump of sensor outputs.

The accuracy of the sensor bundle has been characterized by comparison with reference instruments and analysis of passive adsorbents. The accuracy has been assessed to be satisfactory. However, the sensor bundle did not meet the validation criteria for dust with concentrations above 2 mg/m3, for CO in the lower part of the measurement range, and for turbidity in general (though the sensor could be used to identify episodes of high discharge rates). The development of the sensor bundles did not proceed without trouble. We have identified four causes of project delays relative to plan:

  • delay in WP1, on which T2.3 depended;
  • restricted physical access to sites and a worldwide electronic components shortage in 2021 and 2022 caused by covid-19;
  • project-mandated change of one of the end user sites in 2022, from SOTKAMO to KEMI (which have different technical infrastructure); 
  • various technical issues (underestimating the technical implications of on-sensor noise measurements, mechanical design issues with the turbidity sensors caused by sand and gravel). 

T2.3 included one contractual deliverable, D2.3 “Report: EHS and environmental measurement performance”. It was submitted to the project’s management in April 2023 and subsequently forwarded to the project’s project officer and expert for comments. The task is essentially complete, except for some coordination activities at the interfaces with other work packages and tasks, and except for ensuring smooth operation at end user sites over time, including regular maintenance and replacement of faulty parts with spare parts. The following software tools / protocols have been used as part of T2.3: MATLAB / ThingSpeak for stand-alone, early-stage IIoT sensor data storage and analytics (that is, outside the Dig_IT data platform developed in T3.2); MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) for transport of data into Dig_IT data platform (part of T3.2); and MS Office.