Pneumatic equipment is prevailing in modern factories. To convey adequate and clean compressed air for air-driven motors or operating tools (such as control valve in processing equipment, air cannon, and spray outfit), it is essential to have an air compressor to build air conveying systems in the working field.
However, oftentimes there are only a few metering devices integrated into the system, and it is hard to comprehensively control and monitor the whole operation (e.g. using flow meter, watt-hour meter, and thermometer to monitor input and output). The inadequate monitoring of real processing requirement, real air supply, efficiency of pressure supply, air leakage, and other critical operating indexes adds stress to air compressor since the compressor will work for extra hours to fulfill the needs. It will also generate more power consumption and the possibility of glitches as well as increase the cost of operating and maintenance.
The air compressor uses the most power-consuming power supply amongst the three basic power supplies (electricity, hydraulic, and pneumatic) in circuit printing factory. According to the US Department of Energy stats, air compressors take on average 10%~20% of total power consumption in the factory and about 25% of its consumption is due to air leakage caused by extra operating. The pressure supply also varies with seasons, temperature differences at day/night, and other environmental factors. To detect operating anomalies caused by air leakage and pressure supply variation, it is critical to build a stable and reliable monitoring system. The monitoring system has to be able to alert operators to adjust the wrong-working machine, which will decrease unnecessary power consumption, electricity expense, and possible damage caused by the air compressor. It also improves the efficiency of force arrangement because of the helping operator on real-time inspection.
The occurrence of pressure supply anomalies is unpredictable due to its volatility nature. Operators are also not able to discover abnormal operations instantly. This means that the monitoring system has to notify operators in real-time to do the maintenance when the anomalies happen. Thus operators do not need to do frequent checkups and have more time to work on other tasks. This monitoring system needs to collect data 24/7, and will maximize power saving.
DFI has seven air compressors at our factory. To deploy new monitoring systems to detect anomalies of pressure supply, we need a flow meter on all major outlet pipes of the air compressors and connect the meter to a computer in order to collect pressure data. DFI’s EC700-BT was chosen as the Gateway for data acquisition. Its small size and multi-mounting support allows it to be installed in any kind of space. To fulfill the needs of computing ability and real-time alert, we chose cloud computing because of instant feedback and convenient admin control. We adapt BenQ’s ESCO cloud computing solution and build the monitoring system with EC700-BT., making it able to support WiFi and compatible with the Intel Atom Processor E3800. Its computing performance is enough in terms of being a gateway, so it is able to transmit data from flow meter to cloud system. Lastly, in order to be able to monitor pressure supply 24/7,EC700-BT is designed with DFI’s motherboard. This motherboard has MTBF 1000k hours and works at wide temperature ranges (-20 to 60°C), ensuring high stability and low maintenance cost. Together, this solution is able to discover the anomalies and help operator work efficiently for the purpose of improving force arrangement and energy saving.