Nowadays, collecting complex information regarding a machine status is the enabler for advanced maintenance activities, and one of the main players in this process is the sensor. This paper describes modern maintenance strategies that lead to Proactive Maintenance (PM), which is the most advanced one. The paper discusses the sensors that can be used to support maintenance, as pertaining to different categories, spanning from common off-The-shelf sensors, to specialized sensors monitoring very specific characteristics, and to virtual sensors. The paper proceeds then to detail three different real world examples of project pilots that make use of the described sensors, and draws a comparison between them. In particular, each scenario has got unique characteristics and prefers different families of sensors, but on the other hand provides similar characteristics on other aspects. In fact, the paper concludes with a discussion regarding how each scenario can benefit from PM and from advanced sensing.