Trend Report: Pumps & Compressors

Modular System Designs Pose a Challenge for Component Suppliers

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In response to rapidly increasing energy costs, more and more electronic components and sensors are being installed on rotating equipment. However that in itself is not enough to make the components Industry 4.0 ready. Data generation (big data) must be followed by data analysis and interpretation (smart data). Sensors provide data, microchips with on-board software interpret the data and actuators initiate the appropriate response.

Practical implementation of Industry 4.0 means that a system no longer operates exclusively under the guidance of a central process control system. Intelligence migrates to the field level. Smart field devices execute specific functionalities and optionally may monitor and control other technical equipment.

The next step is the digital counterpart in the cloud. The digital twin can access other data sources or communicate over a network with other digital twins, e.g. as an active element in a cyber-physical system.

Connectivity and interactivity are essential for Industry 4.0 readiness. The compelling benefits for plant operators are enhanced transparency and higher system availability together with increased productivity.

Here are three examples. KSB offers a Pump Operation Check app. This service allows the user to generate load profiles using the Pump Meter monitoring unit and derive action recommendations for increasing system efficiency and availability (to be executed with the Pump Drive variable speed system).

A chemicals app is available from Grundfos which was developed in response to problems encountered by customers in the water treatment and chemical distribution industries. Mix-ups can occur when containers are connected to dosing pumps. The chemicals app ensures that the dosing pump will only accept containers which have been released for use via the cloud. Not only that, the app monitors the fill level of the container and can control replenishment with a new container.

Boge Kompressoren and Aventics have developed Smart Pneumatic Grid as a pathway to digitalization. Intelligent networking of air compressors and compressed air consumers based on the OPC UA communications protocol supports monitoring, control and optimization of the entire system topology. The Smart Pneumatic Grid captures energy demand data right down to the individual consumer level and provides a transparent visualization of the results, according to Aventics. Demand-based regulation parameters for boge compressors can be derived from this information with minimal effort. The device also provides notification of increased air consumption (leakage).