Labs Idea #19: Smart Factory Particle Monitor Network
Generate actionable insights of air quality parameters from production
With industry 4.0 advances in process automation and smart facility- and quality management, companies have the distinct advantage of being able to analyze their factories’ air quality parameters in real-time. Dust, fumes, VOCs and humidity fluctuations impact industrial manufacturing processes and workers' productivity and health. The increasing digitization of factories and industrial processes allows them to monitor and correlate air quality data with production events to improve output.
For example, an increase of particle matter can have an impact on the quality and yield of a production line. Having a real-time understanding of particle matter distribution over the factory layout allows management to identify and mitigate emission spots and emission distribution patterns.
Sensirion develops high grid density air quality monitoring solutions for smart factories. The solution targets use cases for quality improvements and monitoring, facility HVAC optimizations as well as keeping track of employees’ exposure to bad air quality. As interpretation and reporting can be only as good as the data received, Sensirion offers its expertise as solution integrator for high-quality IIOT air monitoring solutions. The sensor nodes typically monitor particle counts and can be extended to monitor additional environmental parameters like VOCs, humidity, temperature and CO2. Data can be provided via API or visualized via cloud-based dashboards including alerts and reporting Tools.
We address the following typical customer issues:
- Yield or quality affecting emission spots are not easy to identify on factory floors. A solution is needed to actively eliminate and reduce emission sources of fumes, heat, VOCs and particles. Additionally, there is a need to monitor the usage and effectiveness of pollution safety systems, e.g. electrostatic systems or fume hoods.
- On the way to flexible manufacturing systems, changes on production floors become frequent. With increased change processes, there is an increasing risk of emerging emission spots with impact on quality and yield. Process and production managers want to get insights on how to substitute goods, processes and materials with low-emission ones.
- Integration of air quality parameters into plant visualization systems.
- Today, HVAC systems are controlled by simple control loops. Especially in factories with large air volumes, improved understanding of air temperature and humidity distribution allows energy-efficient optimization of the air ventilation system. Filter and ventilation costs can be further reduced by optimizing and crosschecking heating and cooling control loops.
- Facility managers are looking for solutions to respond quickly to leakages, spills, cigarette smoke and accidents on the factory floor. They seek better cleaning and protection processes to reduce contamination and accidents.
- Environment, health and safety (EHS) departments are looking for solutions to train and educate employees about managing air quality. Real-time air data can be used to calculate annual exposure times of employees, according to WHO recommendations.
- Quality managers ask for traceability of production environments.
- Air quality is becoming an important KPI used in sustainability reporting for global corporations and their supply chains.
As an environmental sensor expert with millions of sensors sold annually, Sensirion has extensive know-how in operation, calibration and maintenance of large sensor networks and supports customers in keeping high grid density air parameter monitoring solutions updated and maintained.
Our expertise covers the following domains:
- End-to-end solution development for smart factory air quality sensor networks
- Choice of different communication gateways (OPC qualified) and different cloud infrastructure providers
- Application layer and data backup, available as an option on Sensirion's air quality data cloud
- Algorithms to validate sensor network data and maintain a high level of data Quality
- Optimization of sensor operation modes and life-time performance
- Continuous sensor firmware and hardware updates
- Device management
- Data analytics, data mapping and actionability
- Sensirion is a sensor specialist with deep understanding of sensor calibration → High-quality data
- Sensirion is a sensor data specialist with sensor compensation know-how → Valid and reliable real-time sensor data
- Sensirion has access to sensor operation modes and can optimize lifetime performance → Low total cost of ownership
- Sensirion has access to sensor operation modes like particle size binning → Dust fingerprinting for pollution source identification
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