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Getting Clean Is A Dirty Business! A Powelectrics ‘Connected Sensor’ Solution is Helping Manage Hazardous Waste at a Hygiene Products Manufacturing Plant.

Posted on 10 Oct 2018

Powelectrics currently work with many bulk liquid delivery and collection businesses. We have delivered a number of projects for a fast-growing hazardous waste business. Our customer uses remote tank level monitoring to drive down costs via cost-effective collection scheduling. They also win business by assuring customers that they will not overfill, with all the messy and expensive consequences that would result from that.  

One Powelectrics m2m telemetry installation is at a UK site of a leading European manufacturer of private label household and personal care products. The final products are designed to make people and homes clean and fragrant, but the waste products created by the manufacturing process are quite the opposite!

Prior to Powelectrics Industry 4.0 solution, waste tank levels were checked in person, by observing the activity of mechanical floats, with measuring sticks that rose up through flanges on the top of the tanks. Busy employees may not notice the levels rising and measuring sticks sometimes got stuck in the flanges, which meant they were not able to rise and gave the impression that tanks still had capacity, when, in fact, they were full.

If the tank reached capacity, production may have to stop, which impacted on contractual obligations. Worse still, tanks could overspill, requiring an odorous and expensive clean-up. There could be environmental consequences and complaints from nearby residents.

The top photo photo shows two of the three waste tanks on site. For this m2m project, waste levels are reported to our customer every 2 hours via Powelectric’s award-winning Metron2 telemetry devices, to our MetronView cloud. Mains powered Metrons were used here, but battery and solar-powered alternatives are widely used for projects where no power is available on site.

On this site, the tanks are close together. Metron2 devices offer 4 channels, so the solution was exceptional value as only one device was required to monitor all three tanks.

Data is available to be viewed by our customer via the web, allowing them to schedule cost-effective and timely collections.User defined 'high' level alarms can be received via a computer, tablet or smart phone.

For this project, the huge tanks were fitted with Powelectrics robust SPS hydrostatic level sensors. The tanks have valves near the bottom, which were closed, a T-piece fitted, a sensor screwed in and the valve reopened.  ATEX and hygienic versions are available, though not needed for this application.

This IoT solution ensures that the tank never overfills, benefitting the manufacturer and our customer can keep down costs, by scheduling efficient waste collections.

Powelectrics telemetry is used in a wide range of Industry 4.0 remote level and condition monitoring applications. Remote monitoring devices are compatible with thousands of sensors offering a 4-20mA output.

Metron View is Powelectrics ‘middleware’, based on existing and evolving customer needs  through a commitment to an agile software development methodology. Metron View, it is a cloud-based datalogger with customisable dashboards and bespoke reporting. It offers a rapid and flexible response to specific application needs. Data and alerts can be easily viewed on a computer, tablet or phone. Metron View is a truly ‘any network, any device’ solution, processing 2.5 million readings/day and supporting over 140 protocols including MODBUS, MQTT, HTTP, TCP, UDP, SERIAL, SIGFOX, SNMP. The simple API allows MetronView to provide services to software applications beyond those available from the operating system

Powelectrics act as a connection between the world of sensors and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) operating at the centre of the ‘connected sensor’ community. We offer 25 years’ experience in the world of sensors, our own award-winning telemetry devices, a standalone data platform, with an API to connect with other software and a wealth of experience integrating third party devices.

Please call us to discuss your application on +44 1827 310 666