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Innovation - Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring of compressor packages gathers more reliable data - 100 times faster.

When there’s a problem with
your machine, every second down burns a hole in your pocket. With new remote monitoring solutions, Howden engineers can quickly and easily pull your data, diagnose your problem and order all the right parts you need – saving you precious time and money (often to the tune of hundreds of thousands – if not millions).

 

Problem

It has been hard for you to send us the data we need to help you – not without sending a Howden engineer on site. That takes time, and time in your world is significant money.

Background

Because sending an engineer on-site to directly connect to your Howden compressor package was costly and time-consuming for you, that inspired us to start researching a viable solution to make your life easier.
 
Our mission was to create a monitoring system that periodically logs data from the entire spectrum of Howden compressor packages and, when required, to remotely connect to your package in real-time in order to quickly solve (or prevent) a problem. This system also allows us to real-time monitor multiple compressor technologies from one system.

For more info about Howden screw compressors, click here.

Inspiration

Howden had no ability to monitor the condition of the packages we manufactured for you. This means if you were having a problem with the operation of your package, that would be quite expensive for you and therefore frustrating. You would quickly call the Howden Service Department, which would then (in turn) request data to help diagnose your problem. A DCS (Distributed Control System) trend is then sent. DCS trends have notoriously long sampling times (circa one (1) sample every ten (10) minutes) which, when providing evidence of a vibration fault, is essentially meaningless). Then we would have to send an engineer to fly out to your site, which alone costs thousands. Having a remote monitoring system in place allows us to not only log onto the package in real time, but also to access historical trends to aid in fault-finding and assist your end user without having to mobilise an engineer at all.
Additionally, you told us it would be immensely helpful if we could carry out predictive maintenance on your Howden packages. For example, if the data being sent back to us indicates that a bearing is rising in temperature or that a radial vibration is increasing, the Howden Service Department can pre-emptively contact your end user and schedule a service visit (saving you tons of money by preventing a possible equipment failure).

What makes it innovative for you?

Remote monitoring has been around for years. And you probably already have some level of monitoring in place, albeit not very much. However, the state of the art aspect of this system is that no other compressor manufacturer producing the range of compressors that Howden does (screw, piston, diaphragm and centrifugal compressors), has developed this data acquisition and analysis ability to be deployed across all of these different technologies on multiple packages. That means no matter what Howden products you have, we have the capability to help you remote monitor it and keep it running smoothly. No one else in our industry has been able to do this before for you. We now can.

How it works

Below is a sample of typical vibration trends from a Distributed Control System (DCS) like yours. In this particular scenario, you would call us up to tell us that there are very high amounts of compressor vibrations. However, we cannot get any useful information about the problem because the data sampling is poor. These graphs below (Figures 1 and 2) basically show 5 days worth of data showing the square root of nothing. Not having adequate data keeps us from pinpointing the origin of your problem. Compare this to Figure 3 below showing a trend lifted from our Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) in over just an hour.
In the past, the only way Howden field engineers could obtain more reliable data was to get it directly from the compressor (Figure 3). From these vibration trends, we’re able to tell you that the irregularities in the trends of the compressor vibrations are due to the opening and closing of the recycle valve of the compressor. That’s the information you’re ultimately after and a problem we can readily fix. However, sending a field engineer out to your site takes time and time is money.
Because Howden recognized that this was a problem for you, we have now created our own condition monitoring system (i.e. remote control monitoring system) that can gather performance charts to milli-second resolution with more reliable data than your own
DCS has.
Just one more way we’re Revolving Around You™.


Interested in remote monitoring for your compressor package plant?

For more information or discuss the what benefits remote monitoring could bring to your plant or for a quote, please contact:

Lynsey Brogan
lynsey.brogan@howden.com

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