Yokogawa and Iwaki collaborate to develop remote pump monitoring

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has started work with Iwaki to conduct proof of concept (PoC) tests of remote pump monitoring service using its industrial IoT architecture

Yokogawa and Iwaki will jointly conduct PoC tests of the service for remotely monitoring the operating status of Iwaki magnetic drive pumps, which are widely used in chemical, pharmaceutical and food plants for the transport of various types of fluids.

The PoC test will examine the market potential for such a service and investigate how it could be offered most effectively.

Yokogawa has exhibited and demonstrated a prototype version of this service at the IoT Solutions World Congress 2017, which was held in Barcelona, Spain on 3 October. Yokogawa will also appear at the IoT Korea Exhibition 2017, which will be held in Seoul, South Korea starting 11 October.

The centrifugal pump in which the rotational force of a motor is transmitted to an impeller using magnetic force, eliminates the need for a seal to prevent the leakage of fluid.

The part is coated with either Teflon or silicon carbide and is chemical resistant. With this service, operating data such as the current being drawn by a pump, pump discharge pressure and flow rate, temperature of the conveyed liquid, and tank empty/not empty status will be collected via an Iwaki pump protector DRN.

This data will then be transferred to the cloud using the industrial IoT infrastructure that Yokogawa currently has under development and will be available for remote access from any location by a facility manager.

With the ability to remotely monitor the operating status of the pumps at a facility, the facility manager will be able to detect problems early on and consult with staff at the head office to decide on comprehensive and appropriate countermeasures.

Pump manufacturers will be able to use this service to ensure the timely maintenance of their customers’ products in the field. With this service, it will be possible to remotely monitor the operating status of multiple pumps and a warning message can be emailed to the facility or maintenance manager to ensure a timely response whenever a set threshold is exceeded.

Iwaki is a Japanese manufacturer of chemical and pharmaceutical pumps. By partnering with this company, Yokogawa will gain access to its abundant know-how and expertise and thus be able to rapidly evaluate the market potential for such a service.

With the IIoT architecture that Yokogawa is developing, an IoT gateway device will receive sensor data via a low power wide area network (LPWAN) or some other wireless link, or via an analog/digital communications interface.

Once in the cloud, this data can then be accessed using a cellular or fixed line network. Yokogawa aims to create a system that simplifies the process of connecting to sensors and other instruments and transferring that data to the cloud.

With plug-and-play functionality, device detection and configuration will be done automatically, and other functions will ease the tasks of data transfer, remote control and alarm notification. This service is expected to be compatible with pumps from manufacturers other than Iwaki, providing they use the DRN pump protector.

Through the PoC test, we will evaluate the market potential for this service and look into the feasibility of speeding up its commercialisation by offering it based on a subscription model. This is a system in which fees are paid depending on the usage period. By working together with Iwaki, a pump manufacturer, Yokogawa will be able to present solutions that generate new value for its customers.

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