New SmartServices™ sensor kits from Conair now make it possible to connect operating, performance, and alarm data from non-computer controlled auxiliary equipment to the SmartServices platform, Conair’s cloud-based Industry 4.0 solution for auxiliary equipment monitoring, management, and analysis.
The user-installed sensor kits are now available for use not only with Conair auxiliaries, but with a range of competitive auxiliary equipment including:
- Temperature control units (TCU)
- Positive-displacement vacuum-conveying pumps
- Single- and dual-stage regenerative vacuum pumps
- Portable loading/conveying systems
- Desiccant dryers
These kits were created by Conair so auxiliary equipment that does not utilize computerized controls could be equipped with digital sensors and communications capabilities and linked to the cloud-based SmartServices platform with the same ease as newer equipment. Each user-installed kit contains common digital hardware, plus fluid-system fittings, sensors, and wiring specific to the equipment type. Digital hardware includes a SmartServices expansion box that receives sensor inputs via wiring and a SmartServices hub that securely exchanges data, via the facility’s local network, with the cloud-based analytics platform.
After installation, the new sensors monitor the performance and operating/maintenance status of each auxiliary, collecting data and operating information specific to the auxiliary type. For example, sensors on the TCU can monitor coolant pressure, temperature, and flow rates, while those on vacuum pumps and conveying systems will monitor air flows and speeds, vacuum levels, and the like. At the same time, sensors will also monitor for operating alarms, track maintenance alerts, and observe the vibration and temperature status of motors for anomalies that could signal possible problems.
“Adding a SmartServices sensor kit to an auxiliary unit that doesn’t have a computerized control dramatically simplifies monitoring and saves maintenance,” explains Alan Landers, a Conair Product Manager. “Consider maintenance of a vacuum pump, for example. With SmartServices, you can establish a norm for pump vibration, then build high and low limits around that norm. The system will then track vibration automatically, offering regular reports or sending a text or e-mail alert to designated personnel if the level begins moving out of limits. Timely data like this can help save preventive maintenance by clearly indicating when maintenance is required. The alternative is to manually observe, measure, then guesstimate when preventive maintenance is needed. Or, you could wait for a breakdown.”
The Conair Group (www.conairgroup.com) is a leading global supplier of auxiliary equipment for plastics processors, including resin drying systems, blenders, feeders and material-conveying systems, temperature-control equipment and granulators. Extrusion solutions include line-control systems, film and sheet scrap-reclaim systems and downstream equipment for pipe and profile extrusion. Over 450 individual products solve problems, save energy, cut waste and are easy to use. Conair is also an international company, with long-standing operations in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The industry’s most complete product line, top-flight engineering and unbeatable service, all combine to give processors the confidence they need to succeed in today’s competitive global marketplace.