The value in utility monitoring of non-processing infrastructure

Significant savings and efficiencies can be gained by gaining a holistic insight into the health of standalone assets at a factory or plant, says IoT expert Freddie Coertze.

“Often non-processing infrastructure such as air compressors or refrigeration units are delivered as standalone assets and are not part of the production process and SCADA system, meaning there is no visibility on these assets,” says the National IoT Business Manager for ifm Australia. “Yet these units can use a lot of energy. It can be difficult for the average plant or factory to collect from these and the equipment used in their processing.”

This is where the moneo IoT platform can be deployed.

“This platform can sit between the assets as a middleware, collecting data and informing as to the equipment’s performance,” he explains. “With its in-built DataScience toolbox, it will advise on the best conditions for efficiency. For example, rather than coming in daily and turning an asset on at 24 degrees, it will advise whether that temperature is required and is the most efficient energy use.”

Freddie Coertze cites an example of an air compressor unit with a blocked filter.

“As the moneo DataScience toolbox examines the whole system based on real-time data and historical data, as well as inputs that engineers have fed into the software, it provides a good look at the entire system, not just the compressed air, but moisture, pressure and other performance factors,” he says. “In one case, moneo could detect an anomaly with the suction of an air compressor out at a factory. They discovered it was due to a blocked filter and could easily act that.”

moneo supports utility monitoring of infrastructure

If not for moneo, Coertze said the factory wouldn’t have checked the filter.

“Instead, they would not have noticed any evidence of an issue until the whole unit started to vibrate, and already at that stage, it is beginning to fail,” he says. “The real benefit of this moneo software platform is its ability to gain a holistic view and predict issues before they become costly. It’s not just about preventing a catastrophic failure. It’s about optimising the asset’s health and lifespan.”

According to Coertze, water tracking is another way moneo can be utilised. It is not just to track water usage at a plant but to ensure water released back into the environment or sewerage system is of acceptable quality.

“Again, moneo can collect data from several inputs and be integrated with existing IT infrastructure or run separately. In the case of water tracking, this has become an important issue for many plants as they can get fined from their local council if the water quality is not up to standard,” he says. “With moneo and our sensor hardware, we can provide a turnkey solution to ensure the water treatment a facility has in place is effective so that any fats, oils or other harmful substances are removed from the water before it is released down the drain.”

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