Automated Condition Monitoring

Automated Condition Monitoring is about saving man power and money.

Automated Condition Monitoring is about saving man power and money. There are a number of examples of situations where remote monitoring is tricky – these can be loosely termed ‘wide area’ automated condition monitoring systems. Imagine looking for rock falls on remote roads, or mudslides that have spread over the road. Perhaps checking the integrity of pipelines or powerlines. Checking the water levels in flood risk areas or within bunded tanks.

Most of these require someone to drive, walk or inspect the entire estate on a regular basis. However, all of these situations can be remotely monitored by using a unique, two stage process. The first stage is the alert on event. This is the trigger stage. And it some cases it may be enough because an engineer has to be dispatched to inspect the site. However, Orion can also send pictures and in many cases, a quick visual confirmation is enough to determine what level of response is required – rather than waiting for the engineer’s report.

There are the smaller scale condition monitoring solutions. This typically means measuring something on a machine to work out when it needs servicing or in the case of bins, emptying. Just look at the amount of scheduled maintenance that goes on generally and the size of the opportunity becomes apparent. Bins are a case in point because issues with council run bins generate lots of complaints. If the bin can say when it needs emptying then a small, lighter vehicle can be sent on demand, rather than taking a lorry to every site, whether it needs it or not.

real time tracking systems

Condition monitoring is particularly important when it comes to fridges and freezers. Orion provides a high accuracy temperature monitoring tag that because of its low frequency works well inside commercial freezers and store rooms. They are low cost and battery powered, so installation takes moments. Clearly this type of condition monitoring tells the operator when the machine has or is failing.

Crucially though, condition monitoring can point out operational differences in working practices between sites. A study done some years ago high-lighted this fact in a fast food chain. The option was either to help the delivery driver put things in the cold store by taking someone off the tills and holding the doors open, or to simply wedge the doors open. The difference in power consumption between outlets could be measured in thousands. Yet most managers would figure that taking someone off the tills was the wrong thing to do.

Temperature monitoring can be extended to cattle. The Orion bolus is able to send detailed temperature profiles back in real time on bovines so that sick cattle can be isolated, helping to prevent the spread of disease in the herd. This also means the herd uses less antibiotics, something that is going to become increasingly important.

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