Remote Monitoring of Compressed Air Equipment

Compressed air efficiency at a distance

Plant Engineering, April 8, 2015. Image credit: Skitterphoto

Until recently, compressed air system maintenance was reactive—an unforeseen event required immediate intervention from a service technician. In this scenario, the facility is in the dark about maintenance needs, suffers from inefficiencies, and is at increased risk of breakdown.

Remote monitoring of compressed air equipment is one of the most effective strategies to help facilities avoid downtime. Whatever the facility’s production schedule, 24/7 remote monitoring is constantly compiling compressed air data in real time—data that can be analyzed for key performance indicators to predict potential problems. This helps plant managers develop an ongoing plan to improve system usage and efficiency throughout the production cycle.

Without a robust remote monitoring system, the facility manager is responsible for initiating service calls and keeping track ofkey measurement parameters such as running hours. The service call is therefore reactive instead of proactive, pushing the date of service beyond the recommended machine service interval.

You may recall the $3.2 billion in wasted energy costs—remote monitoring systems that alert managers of maintenance needs can help facilities recover thousands of dollars each year through predictive maintenance strategies.

Remote monitoring systems are intelligent and connected systems, generating emails or text messages when abnormalities in the compressor functions are detected. This provides a level of security and immediacy without requiring a physical presence. Though daily walk-by checkups on the machines provide a small amount of security as it relates to compressor uptime, a missed compressor warning could mean drastic consequences.

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