Wireless capability is an option for EXAIR’s Digital Flowmeter’s. It is the efficient way to monitor your compressed air consumption wirelessly utilizing the ZigBee® mesh network. This is accomplished by a module located within the meter that transmits data to an ethernet connected gateway. Each meter has a range up to 100 feet (30 meters), however the ZigBee mesh network protocol is very versatile as it allows data to also be transmitted from meter to meter, effectively extending the distance over which the system can operate. So large facilities with great distances to cover are not a problem.
The Digital Flowmeter with Wireless Capability is offered in a kit with a wireless output flow meter, wireless to ethernet gateway, drill guide, power supplies for each component, and ethernet cable for gateway connectivity. These kits are best suited for new installations. They are also available without a gateway if you are simply adding an additional meter to a pre-existing Gateway in your plant. EXAIR simplifies this process by configuring each gateway to communicate with the flowmeter to provide the necessary communication for monitoring your system. Models from 1/2″ to 4″ iron pipe are in stock. 5″, 6″ iron pipe, copper pipe ranging from 3/4″ to 4″ diameter and aluminum pipe from 25mm to 101mm diameter are available with short lead time as a special product offering. Each digital flowmeter is calibrated for the pipe size to which it is mounted and the large digital display shows air use in either SCFM or Cubic Meters per Hour.
Setting up the EXAIR Digital Flow Meter with Wireless Capability is super easy. After the meter is installed download the graphing software from our website and install on your computer. There is also a video tutorial posted in the previous blog from Tyler Daniel, Video Blog: EXAIR’s New Wireless Digital Flowmeter Installation.
The Digital Flowmeter with Wireless Capability is designed for permanent or temporary mounting to the pipe. It requires the user to drill two small holes through the pipe using the optional drill guide which includes the drill bit and locating fixture. The two flow sensing probes of the flowmeter are inserted into these holes. The unit seals to the pipe once the clamps are tightened. No cutting, welding, adjustments or calibration are needed, ever! If the unit needs to be removed, blocking rings are available for the 1/2″ to 4″ iron pipe sizes from stock with other sizes available on short lead time as special orders.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” might be the most popular axiom in any process improvement endeavor. And it’s true. We hear it almost every time we discuss a Digital Flowmeter application, and a conversation I just had with a customer was no exception.
Their business is growing, and they’re pushing the limits of their compressed air system. The use compressed air to run their CNC mills in their machine shop, for blow off/cleaning as they assemble products, as well as a variety of pneumatic tools throughout the shop. The CNC machines’ air load was pretty consistent…the rest of the shop; not so much. So they wanted to find out when their compressed air demand peaked, and what it peaked at, in order to make a more informed decision about upgrading their compressor.
So, they purchased a Model 9095-DAT Digital Flowmeter for 2″ SCH40 Pipe, with USB Data Logger. They installed it immediately, with the USB Data Logger set to record once a second…this told them their consumption at any given time over the course of the day. Every day at closing time, the shop manager pulls the USB Data Logger from the Digital Flowmeter and transfers the data to his computer. After just a few days, he knew exactly how much air they were using…and exactly when they were using it. He’s now using this data (in the short term) to plan certain operations around peak scheduling, and (in the long term) to know what they’re looking at for their next air compressor.
Do you know as much about your compressed air usage as you should? If you’d like to talk about how to measure…and manage…your air consumption, give me a call.
EXAIR’s Model 9147 USB Data Logger has become one of the most valuable tools that we sell to help customers get a “view” of their compressed air usage over time. One of the important tenets we promote at EXAIR is energy savings by prudent use of compressed air through our engineered solutions (Air Knife,Air Nozzles, Air Amplifier, etc.). But how does a person in charge of such systems really “know” whether they are helping or hurting their compressed air system?
The first step is to have an appropriate flow meter which can give an indication of how much air volume is being used. EXAIR’s line of Digital Flow Meters are perfect for getting to that point with instant and direct readings that don’t need to be calculated any further. What you see on the meter is the flow in either SCFM or m3/hr calibrations.
The second step is to attach the USB Data Logger to the Digital Flow Meter so that readings can be kept over time. It is like setting up a security camera for your compressed air system. Nothing gets by without being recorded.
The USB Data Logger can be connected to just about any type of monitoring system that has a 4 – 20 mA output to which the 2-wire harness can be installed. A quick and easy initialization to choose the unit of measure, to select the frequency of measurement and some optional alarms is all that is necessary. The software package is included with the USB Data Logger and is convenient to run on a typical desktop or laptop computer. You simply, set it and forget it (at least until you want to do some reporting).
The reporting is how the USB Data Logger can help you as the person concerned with monitoring the compressed air use in your facility. Once the defined monitoring period of time has passed, the USB Data Logger can be removed from its socket, stopped from recording and the data is then downloaded into a suitable format that can be imported into EXCEL or other spreadsheet program for creating charts to analyze what is happening, when it is happening and how much compressed air is being used. In the analysis, you can compare the flow data and times with certain problems in a production line that might cause low pressure condition which shuts machinery down. You might also be able to determine where additional, point of use compressed air storage might be needed close to certain processes.
Ultimately, the USB Data Logger allows you to “see” your compressed air system in a way that allows you to sleuth out problems seen that might have no other explanation. It can also help you to justify your air savings when you apply the other air saving compressed air products that EXAIR produces by monitoring a base line for “before” performance and “after” performance. After all, it if is important to your organization, it should be measured. And compressed air is certainly a utility that should be measured.