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Bomac Electric Select Powelectrics As Their Telemetry Partner for Their Groundbreaking Automated Oil Management System

Posted on 30 Oct 2018

Powelectrics are delighted to have been selected as telemetry partner for Bomac Electric Ltd, one of the UK’s leading companies in the design and manufacture of heating elements and heating products, with over 40 years’ experience.

Bomac’s Technical Director, Richard Bowen had previously worked with a national supplier of waste oil storage and collection solutions with their own facilities to process the waste into biofuel. Whilst there, he identified the benefits of remote monitoring. He saw some of the m2m solutions being offered, but he realised that the technology was not always well-suited to this harsh application and he had witnessed several reliability issues.

He was keen to develop an Industry 4.0 solution for the industry and he approached Powelectrics on recommendation. He felt that Bomac had the perfect pedigree and customer base for this IoT development and that it would bring them an additional revenue stream.

Bomac wanted to enable fast food outlets, food manufacturers and other users of oils and fats to monitor oil usage, minimise manual handling and reduce environmental risk. They are using a Powelectrics ‘connected sensor’ solution as an integral part of their unique modular automated oil management system. 

Prior to using telemetry, many smaller operations simply used plastic barrels to collect waste product. This required local staff to constantly check levels and change barrels. There was significant manual handling and potential for barrels to overspill, creating a health and safety hazard … not to mention a very unpleasant odour. The spill would then need to be cleaned up, either by unhappy (and potentially untrained) staff or an expensive external contractor. A busy UK fast food outlet can produce 2400 litres of waste oil a month…that’s a lot of plastic barrels!!!

There are minor differences between the solutions for smaller food outlet tanks and larger factory tanks, but the basics are the same. The system comprises of level and temperature sensors in the tank and may also include monitoring of inlet and outlet valves.

The development of this industry-specific M2M solution incorporated testing and selecting valves, floats and sensors that are robust enough to cope with the viscous and sticky contents of the tanks. Powelectrics SPS hydrostatic level sensors have been used in the majority of installations, but system can be retro-fitted to existing level sensors.

The photo above shows Richard Bowen with Bomac's 850 litre indoor containment tank complete with the Metron2 IoT solution and connected ancillaries.

Levels are reported every hour to Powelectrics MetronView cloud and there is a control panel at the end-user site, with ‘traffic lights’ on the exterior. When waste levels reach a user-defined ‘yellow alert’ level, MetronView creates alarms. The yellow light on the control panel comes on and messages are sent to local staff. If the customer wishes, their appointed waste collector can also be alerted. When waste levels reach a higher ‘red alert’ level, the red light comes on and alarms are sent as before.

In many cases the solution will have been recommended and/or installed by the waste collector and they use it to help plan logical and cost-effective collection routes. One feature of the system is the ability to predict when tanks will fill, based on recent usage.

Temperature can also be measured as part of the system. This is important as there is a heating element in the tank, to prevent the fats and oils from solidifying in lower temperatures. Monitoring temperature ensures that the elements are functioning and that waste is not solidifying or getting too hot.

The tanks favoured by fast food chains often have inlet and outlet valves.  Metron2 telemetry devices have four inputs, so one device can be used to monitor level, one for temperature and the remaining two to monitor if inlet and outlet valves are open or closed. The additional monitoring means that this forward-thinking IoT Bomac oil management system effectively combines traditional tank level monitoring with system condition monitoring … a perfect industry-specific solution!

Bomac can badge the MetronView platform to display their customers’ logos and also display data according to customer preferences. Data is secure and can only be seen by authorised users. Data and alarms can be sent to any web-enabled device.

This unique system is being rolled out across the UK, primarily within well-known fast food chains and food factories producing snack foods, such as pork scratchings and crisps. However, there is enormous potential for other organisations, such as employers with canteens, schools, hospitals, hotels and conference centres … anywhere people get together and eat fried food! Not only do customers get rid of their smelly waste, but they know its going to be converted to biofuel, an environmentally-friendly alternative to diesel.

There is a clear demand for a proven and robust monitoring solution within the UK, for management purposes, to comply with legislation and to achieve environmental objectives.  Bomac have also experienced an increasing number of overseas enquiries.

Richard Bowen, Bomac’s Technical Director said, “From initiation of the project sourcing a reliable, proactive telemetry system supplier was critical, as this is fundamental to the whole solution. Powelectrics have been brilliant with their flexible and adaptable approach, which was just what we needed. I am particularly impressed with the reliability of the Metron2 and its connected sensors. There was a clear need for this solution and I am delighted with its reception so far. With the huge potential for any organisation producing waste cooking oil, I am also very excited about the future!”

If you would like to learn more about Bomac’s unique automated oil management system, please follow this link:  https://www.bomac-elec.co.uk/cooking-oil-management/

If you would like to learn more about Powelectrics award-winning telemetry solutions, please do not hesitate to get in touch +44 1827 310 666  sales@powelectrics.co.uk

You can also browse our news pages, which show many real applications ... from tank level monitoring to flood protection schemes, condition monitoring, security, product testing, performance monitoring and energy metering.