Driving Efficient Operations with Smart Pneumatics

by , | Feb 26, 2021 | Fluid Control & Pneumatics, Packaging

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

Pneumatic Tips--Smart pneumatics: Gateway to higher efficiency, productivityAcross process, hybrid and discrete manufacturing and production operations, pneumatic pressure helps create mechanical movement from valves to complex packaging lines. The devices that control the flow of pneumatic pressure continue to gain intelligence to provide more accurate and reliable performance.

In a Pneumatic Tips article, Smart pneumatics: Gateway to higher efficiency, productivity, Emerson’s Nils Beckmann contributes his expertise to how these Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based devices help to improve operational performance.

Manufacturers in the hybrid and discrete industries:

…are turning to smart pneumatics for improved energy efficiency. In compressed air systems, improvements of just a few percentage points can mean tens of thousands of energy dollars saved each month.

Leakage is a challenge in pneumatic systems.

Over time, that leakage will increase, resulting in excess energy use, higher operating costs and a larger carbon footprint. In fact, the average manufacturing plant wastes up to 35% of compressed air annually due to leakage, with larger leaks contributing to significant energy loss, more machine downtime and added costs. We’ve seen some plants lose more than $50,000 per year, per machine!

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)., a key performance indicator is a function of:

Availability: This is the uptime of the machine. Is the process running continuously during planned production times?

Performance: This aspect relates to the speed of the machine. Is the process running as fast as possible, and without slow cycles?

Quality: This relates to the end product, which can be affected by component wear and poor or erratic machine performance. Is the production free of defects and reworks?

Analysis by Emerson personnel working with manufacturers found that for typical packaging lines:

…OEE is only about 45% to 55%. The good news: there is ample opportunity for improvement.

The article cites one example of IIoT technology, Emerson’s AVENTICS Series AF2 Flow Sensor measures airflow and the AVENTICS Smart Pneumatics Analyzer (SPA), which:

…can identify any machine exhibiting a problem and create alerts accordingly, presenting easy-to-use dashboards or sending alerts to end users in real time.

Read the article for more on these analytics use with palletizing and depalletizing equipment, connections with Edge IIoT platforms, and achievable business results.

Visit the Smart Fluid Control & Pneumatics Technologies section on Emerson.com for more on ways to increase productivity and efficiency in your operations. You can also connect and interact with other pneumatics experts in the Fluid Control & Pneumatics group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.