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June 21, 2023

Smart cities: it’s not all about energy consumption

Category: All Industries

Smart cities, IoT, connected devices. We’re fast-tracking towards a world where every element of our lives is controlled to some degree by technology.

While most people might think of this in terms of practicalities, such as controlling our heating remotely, dynamic traffic management or even a fridge automatically placing an order when your milk supply is running low, there’s a whole other realm of possibilities just waiting to be taken advantage of.

One of the most valuable of these is emergency alerts and damage control. While governments across the world are already testing and utilising technology to inform citizens of upcoming hazardous events, companies are also becoming aware of how such tech can revolutionise their operations.

Industries, such as energy, water and wastewater are dependent on critical asset management. Naturally, the focus tends to be on the big-ticket operational aspects. But such elements are only as good as the foundations that support them. The infrastructure on which our utilities depend requires strategic management, including being aware of the tiniest nuances and changes occurring at a structural level.

Introducing the smart monitor

The move towards a smart society has one overarching goal: reducing our use of precious natural commodities. Water, gas, and electricity must become more efficient as the human race increases and demands spiral. Our climate change responsibilities are critical, with the window of opportunity for any meaningful change rocketing towards closure as we speak.

Smart monitors, such as Chesterton ConnectTM, are advanced IoT devices that continually monitor asset processes. They capture real-time data 24/7, providing valuable information about:

  • Process pressures
  • Process temperatures
  • Equipment vibration
  • Surface temperatures

The advantage that this knowledge brings is massive. Not only does it mean being alerted to incidents that could lead to floods and/or leaks, but such information provides everything necessary to improve the whole maintenance and repair process. The latter is key to reducing our use of energy and water, something that won’t only impact the human race financially, but will have a bearing on the future of our species as a whole.

 

The smart meter advantage

Assets and their components have a finite lifespan. Current methodology utilises estimated historical data that determines when testing and repairs need to be carried out. This is little more than a guesstimate as to when an asset begins to underperform – something that’s traditionally been built into an operating model.

However, accurate, real-time data not only means that asset maintenance teams can tell when an unprecedented leak or out-of-parameter conditions are occurring but can also accurately determine when maintenance and repairs need to occur. This removes the hit-and-miss approach, whereby some work is carried out too late, resulting in excessive energy and/or water consumption. It also prevents unnecessary shutdown when everything operates as it should, and testing is carried out just in case.

Designed in both regular and intrinsically safe certified models for gas and dust hazardous environments, Chesterton Connect works via Bluetooth, transmitting ongoing data to an app to any chosen device.

This dramatically simplifies the monitoring of pumps and other rotating equipment. It allows maintenance teams to work proactively to reduce consumption and be alerted to anomalies at the exact time they occur. The potential for money saving is immense, with such instruments already playing a leading role in many smart environment situations.

The bottom line is that simple, easy-to-fit monitoring devices are poised to become the norm in multiple industrial scenarios. As well as smart city management, they’re already being deployed in various fields, including oil and gas, water, wastewater, manufacturing, food and beverage, infrastructure and anywhere rotating equipment is used.

The move to a proactive maintenance blueprint is well underway, with early adopters standing to seize the greatest advantages. If you’re not already one of them, then now’s the time to act – because if you don’t, you can be sure that your competitors are.

Chesterton can provide bespoke solutions to overcome many of your operational challenges.

 

This article was first published in Infrastructure Magazine

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