Conair Introduces Sensor Kits to Connect to SmartServices™

Auxiliary equipment supplier The Conair Group, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, has introduced SmartServices™ sensor kits that make it possible to connect operating, performance and alarm data from non-computer-controlled auxiliary equipment to the SmartServices platform, Conair’s cloud-based Industry 4.0 solution for auxiliary equipment monitoring, management and analysis.

The user-installed sensor kits are now available for use not only with Conair auxiliaries, but also with a range of competitive auxiliary equipment including:

  • Temperature control units (TCU)
  • Positive-displacement vacuum-conveying pumps
  • Single- and dual-stage regenerative vacuum pumps
  • Portable loading/conveying systems
  • Desiccant dryers

These kits were created by Conair so auxiliary equipment that does not utilize computerized controls could be equipped with digital sensors and communications capabilities and linked to the cloud-based SmartServices platform with the same ease as newer equipment. Each user-installed kit contains common digital hardware, plus fluid-system fittings, sensors and wiring specific to the equipment type. Digital hardware includes a SmartServices expansion box that receives sensor inputs via wiring and a SmartServices hub that securely exchanges data, via the facility’s local network, with the cloud-based analytics platform.

After installation, the new sensors monitor the performance and operating/maintenance status of each auxiliary, collecting data and operating information specific to the auxiliary type. For example, sensors on the TCU can monitor coolant pressure, temperature and flow rates, while those on vacuum pumps and conveying systems will monitor air flows and speeds, vacuum levels and the like. At the same time, sensors also will monitor for operating alarms, track maintenance alerts, and observe the vibration and temperature status of motors for anomalies that could signal possible problems.

“Adding a SmartServices sensor kit to an auxiliary unit that doesn’t have a computerized control dramatically simplifies monitoring and saves maintenance,” explained Alan Landers, a Conair product manager. “Consider maintenance of a vacuum pump, for example. With SmartServices, you can establish a norm for pump vibration, then build high and low limits around that norm. The system will then track vibration automatically, offering regular reports or sending a text or email alert to designated personnel if the level begins moving out of limits.

“Timely data like this can help save preventive maintenance by clearly indicating when maintenance is required. The alternative is to manually observe, measure, then guesstimate when preventive maintenance is needed. Or, you could wait for a breakdown.”

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