Asset condition monitoring versus performance monitoring—what’s the difference? And, analyzing and forming decisions on the data from this monitoring—should it be done within the company or in the cloud?
These questions are the subject of a Control Engineering magazine article, Should assets be monitored in-house or in the cloud? Emerson’s Brian Joe opens the article describing how Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based sensors have made monitoring both for asset condition and performance more doable than was previously possible.
With the example of a pressure relief valve (PRV), Brian defines asset condition monitoring and performance monitoring.
Condition monitoring looks for valves leaking slowly without closing fully.
…evaluates the frequency and duration of releases.
Both type of monitoring can provide a significant return on investment from operating improvements and regulatory fine reductions for manufacturers and producers.
For example, a 250,000 barrels per day refinery launched a PRV monitoring project and recovered all deployment costs in six months. A 570,000 tons per year ethylene plant implemented a similar project and found it paid off in three months.
Installation only requires:
…a wireless battery-powered acoustic transmitter that can be attached to the discharge pipe close to the PRV…
Brian compares performing the analysis on the data from these acoustic sensors with built-for-purpose analytics software in-house or as a cloud-based connected service. In the in-house approach:
Technicians see the data on a dedicated PRV condition/performance dashboard… If there is a problem, the software initiates notifications to technicians. Furthermore, once an event occurs, plant personnel can receive that alert immediately on their mobile device for prompt response.
All of this is supported and maintained in-house on the company’s servers, with data carried by internal networks and decisions made at the plant. Implementations like this can be approached incrementally, beginning small and scaling up as the ROI is proven.
With a cloud-based connected services approach:
…the same acoustic transmitters would be used, still communicating, but they might be owned and installed by the service provider.
The service provider uses specialists to perform the analytical services and deliver recommended actions, including recommending work orders for individual maintenance tasks. The provider even can staff technicians at the company’s site to carry out the hands-on service work.
Read the article for more on each of these approaches and how these types of asset condition and performance monitoring can be applied to other essential assets such as heat exchangers, centrifugal pumps, cooling towers and steam traps.
Visit the Plantweb digital ecosystem section on Emerson.com for more on the technologies, software and services to drive improved operational performance. You can also connect and interact with other IIoT and digital transformation experts in the IIoT & Digital Transformation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community and/or at the September 23-27 Emerson Exchange conference in Nashville.