How the Cloud Keeps Compressed Air Flowing

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How a compressed air monitoring solution from Exosite and Parker Hannifin can troubleshoot maintenance and flow problems in compressed air systems.

Name of Organization: Parker Hannifin Corporation

Industry: Manufacturing

Location: Cleveland, OH USA

Business Opportunity or Challenge Encountered:

For many manufacturers, one of the most critical commodities flowing through their facilities is compressed air. It is employed in a range of applications, including pneumatics, refrigeration, energy storage, heating and air conditioning, and braking systems.

Unfortunately, compressed air is also a significant expense, delivering less-than-stellar efficiencies. As documented in a recent case study released by Exosite, the value of compressed air is often eroded by air leaks, improperly sized pipe, poor compressor operation, over-pressurization, insufficient air storage, improper uses of compressed air, and inadequate maintenance of point-of-use filtration and connections.

“Inconsistent compressed air quality is also a contributing factor to downtime, scrap, and equipment problems within a manufacturing facility,” the report adds. The greatest issue with compressed air isn’t just operating costs, but also reliability.

Such was the challenge for Parker Hannifin, one of the world’s leading diversified manufacturers of motion and control technologies and systems, and a $13 billion global company with clients in the mobile, industrial, and aerospace markets.  Parker sought to create a compressed air monitoring solution that would help facility managers understand the key performance of their compressed air systems.

How This Business Opportunity or Challenge Was Met:

To meet the requirements for real-time monitoring, management and troubleshooting of compressed air systems, the company partnered with Exosite, which has an IoT platform and provides connectivity, application flexibility, and cloud-based infrastructure. Exosite and Parker developed a real-time condition-monitoring solution that includes multiple modes of data visualization, as well as trending and alarm notices, for the initial industrial compressed air piping application.

The teams worked together to deliver a system design specification, a proof-of-concept, and a production-ready system. The first end application of the Parker SCOUT cloud condition monitoring solution was remotely monitoring industrial compressed air systems. Referred to as Transair powered by SCOUT technology, this solution uses a suite of Parker SensoNODE wireless sensors to monitor pressure, flow, humidity, temperature, and power associated with a compressed air system.

The wireless sensor information is then sent to a gateway device specifically designed for the Internet of Things applications. The gateway receives and transmits the data to the Exosite platform, where streaming analytics are used to process the data for near real-time alerts and visualization of key compressed air system parameters.

Customers access their data through a web-based interface. With the ability to set custom alerts, view and analyze historical data, and access their system information anywhere, facility managers are able to better manage and optimize their compressed air systems to reduce downtime, rework, scrap, and energy costs.

Measurable/Quantifiable and “Soft” Benefits From This Initiative:

The implementation of the real-time monitoring and management of compressed air systems delivered a range of benefits, including increased efficiency, decreased downtime through IoT.

As reported by Exosite, plant managers are now able to understand what is going on inside their compressed air piping and take action to rectify symptoms quickly and efficiently.

In addition, the new system enables additional services and recurring revenue. The SCOUT condition monitoring enables Parker to provide product services beyond the initial sale of the pipe, creating a win-win scenario for both them and their customers.

The initiative also differentiated Parker as a market leader in industrial compressed air piping. As one of the first in the industry to offer a wireless condition monitoring solution, Parker can leverage the power of SCOUT technology to differentiate Parker’s Transair compressed air piping products from the competition. The project also created blueprint for Parker Hannifin’s success in the industrial IoT market.

(Source: Exosite)

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