“MANUAL TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT ON THE FACTORY FLOOR IS OBSOLETE AND INEFFICIENT,” SAYS TŘINEC IRONWORKS PLC
Třinec Ironworks plc is the largest steel producer in the Czech Republic. Its main offerings include long rolled steel products. The ironworks exports over 60% of its production.
Description of Issue
As part of its condition monitoring, Třinec Ironworks needed to address the issue of inefficient temperature measurement on the shop floor.
Originally, the steel producer assigned the task of taking temperature measurements to some of its electrical engineers. They would stop and measure temperature in designated places, after which they would manually enter all values into a spreadsheet. Measurement would be carried out three times a day (once per shift) and would take about half an hour.
As this form of collecting data proved inefficient and prevented engineers from fulfilling other tasks, the management decided to approach FOXON to help the ironworks tackle the problem.
Having considered several solutions, the customer and we agreed to deploy Monnit wireless sensors. When choosing the right technology, two key criteria had to be met. We were looking for a solution that didn’t have to rely on the Internet for it to work and that featured resistance to interference. The plant was a metal structure and contained systems that could interfere with data transmission.
Along with Monnit wireless sensors, we deployed the CloudGate IoT gateway, which enables data to be processed in its own cloud system, in third-party applications or via an SDK library in a customer’s software. Data doesn’t need to leave the plant, which was one of the conditions that had to be met. Besides that, this gateway can easily be paired with new sensors. If Třinec Ironworks decides to measure any other values in the future, the project can easily be scaled.
The customer has access to live as well historical data in the form of user-friendly visualisation in the FIOT software. The software also allows the customer to set thresholds for alerts, name sensors and group them by category (e.g. pulse, humidity, temperature, etc.). Data can easily be exported to a spreadsheet.
The whole solution was installed and put into operation within two days of receiving the delivery of sensors. On the first day, we suggested locations where the sensors could be placed. They were then installed by the customer’s electrical engineers. On the second day, our FOXON Application Engineers installed and set up the software and connected the sensors to the gateway.
In a single afternoon, the solution was ready to be used. The factory floor is now home to ten temperature sensors, which are collecting requested values. We also installed a few other sensor types on the shop floor for trialling – pressure meters, humidity sensors, industrial vibration sensors, three AC current meters and two pulse counters for counting operating hours and lubrication cycles.
The return on investment that the project should deliver was calculated to be less than a year and a half.
"Our electrical engineers truly appreciated the implementation of this solution. Manual temperature measurement had been inefficient and had prevented them from performing other specialist tasks."
Ing. Ondřej Slováček, Head of Control Systems Service Department
- Sensors were easily installed by the user.
- The solution is a modular system that can be changed, scaled and moved.
- The user can trial the solution by implementing a pilot before a comprehensive condition monitoring solution is adopted.