compressed air online monitoring

Intelligence in Compressed Air Monitoring Part 4 – putting intelligence to use!

How is intelligence utilized? Part 3 of the Intelligence in Compressed Air Monitoring series discussed different ways intelligence can be utilized to monitor compressed air performance, but how is that information useful and who uses it?

Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here
Read part 3 here

This article talks about the different use cases for this information and how it helps personnel make better decisions while saving up on energy utilization.

One of the more interesting things about the Internet of Things revolution and the realization of Moore’s law is the immense computational power available for any application and the ease of connectivity across the world. What this means for this article is that modern monitoring solutions can go far beyond simply monitoring a parameter and generating alerts – and this is where business intelligence comes in. Modern business intelligence systems can deliver role-based screens and dashboards, granting access to information for different levels of users who can make use of that information. There are usually three hierarchical levels for this information and use roles.

1. Floor Level

The simplest case for this intelligence is at the Floor Level, where shift operators, maintenance teams and other operational personnel can get access to information that requires immediate attention, with the usual timeframe for these tasks being daily. Monitoring solutions for this level consist of information geared towards impending reliability issues and addressable operational concerns. Typical dashboards and screens for such solutions are thus focused on basic running insights, consumption, production lines’ status, leak locations and other errors. This information can:

  1. Help operators address production flaws and concerns e.g. under/overloaded compressors, blocked lines etc., and
  2. Help maintenance teams address leaks and other faults before they get serious

2. Plant/facility Level

At the plant level, information gathered from monitoring can help plant managers and maintenance supervisors plan their delegation activities, assess performance, evaluate their budgets, and identify potential for improvement. The typical timeframe for these activities is weekly or monthly. Monitoring solutions at this level show trends instead of alerts for leaks, production, process performance, energy consumption and related plant variables. The objective of this information is to:

  1. Help plant managers cut costs and optimize operations by lowering air consumption, wastages, artificial demand and inefficient operations
  2. Help plant managers control emissions and environmental impact from leaks and misuse
  3. Help maintenance teams increase uptime and reliability by detecting failure trends and catching pneumatic system failures and air leaks before they occur
  4. Help maintenance teams reduce costs of periodic inspections and preventive maintenance of pneumatic systems by giving a better predictive maintenance schedule based on monitored system health

3. Corporate Level

At the corporate level, information gathered from monitoring becomes all about long-term performance, feasibility and related KPIs. Solutions aimed at the corporate level don’t just focus on a single dimension like compressed air leaks, but instead integrate long term trends and historical data from air monitoring alongside other facility-wide metrics like production, process, asset health, emissions, profitability, and human development. Compressed air monitoring and intelligence can help corporate decision-makers better evaluate performance of their facilities, evaluate/plan TQM and Six Sigma programs across the enterprise, and forecast business potential with higher accuracy.