Introduction to IIoT and its applications in the chemical industry
Rohit Pimpley, Forbes Marshall Ltd
Defines and explains IIoT and outlines some of the key applicaions in the chemical industry.
IoT – The Next Big thing in Connectivity
The world today is rapidly moving closer and one of the major concepts making this happen is ‘IoT’. Data indicates that around 8.4 billion devices (things) worldwide will be connected to the internet in 2017 i.e. up by 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020[ whereas
1] in India, IoT units are expected to reach 1.9 billion[
2] by 2020 indicating a whopping 31-fold growth. These numbers indicate the overall impact that IoT will have in our day to day plant operations in the near future.
What is IoT ?
IoT stands for Internet of Things. The concept of IoT is to connect a physical device as small as a flow switch to as big as a boiler over the internet to make its data available remotely for analyze, predict and control this device. Many industry experts claim IoT to be the revolution 4.0 in the industrial sector which will help in providing information more precise and accurate. IoT allows objects to be sensed or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computerbased systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit to the end user.
How will IoT help industry?
IoT implementations will be very promising in increasing the uptime of the plant. Currently the failure of a machine or a system is detected on a threshold basis i.e. whenever a critical parameter of a machine crosses a specific threshold limit then
action is taken by the concerned operator. Through IoT implementation, systems can be monitored and analyzed while they start developing failure over a period of time. If analysis of the captured data is done while machine is in fault developing stage, solution can be found to extend the machine life and avoid unplanned shutdowns.
Thus Internet of Things can help the industry to: Use their machines more efficiently and effectively. Enable managers and executives to ensure best practices are always followed.
Boost productivity by streamlining business processes and automating decisions.
Improve the customer experience.
Applications of IOT in Chemical Industry
1. Peak Plant Uptime using Predictive Maintenance : The current monitoring systems for a heat exchanger system or a distillation column alert the operators after a specific threshold value has crossed making the unplanned shutdowns unavoidable. This can be minimized using IoT. Condition monitoring of the equipment will help in detecting early trends of failure and thus taking preventive actions in avoiding the unnecessary plant trips. This will thus improve the overall uptime of the plant equipment and would directly help in increasing the plant production output.
2. Chemical Leakage Detection and Indoor Air
Quality: One of the top priorities for any chemical plant is to make sure of safe environment for their employees. IoT can help in achieving it. The detec- tor sensors installed at multiple locations can be connected to a network and remotely monitored and alerted to the concerned authorities. This will enable in taking quick actions and avoiding any harm to human life or important plant assets making the workplace more safe for operation.
3. Boiler Peak Performance and Health Monitoring: In today’s competitive world industrial sectors are looking out for ways and means to increase boiler house productivity with minimum resources. To control this cost of operation, one of the major hindrances is the fuel bills of the boiler. Hence all these parameters need to be continuously monitored to maintain the boiler efficiency at peak levels. Hence continuous monitoring of boiler critical data and availability of the same 24 x 7 is the need of the hour. Through IOT this can be very well achieved. Instead of utility manager making frequent visits to boiler house, the complete boiler house itself can be brought on his finger tip using IOT services.
4. Energy Management: Smart Energy Meters monitoring energy consumptions at critical branches of electrical network and then providing an overall summary through IoT on the finger tips will easily pinpoint any variations in daily consumptions initiating the corrective actions immediately. For example, IoT enabled chiller plants allow monitoring from any place, on a tablet or phone, providing advance diagnostics before issues turn costly.
1] Gartner Inc. research published in January 2017. 2] Report by Deloitte Inc. in February 2017.
Rohit Pimpley (BE-Instrumentation & Control) is R&D Product Manager with Forbes Marshall Ltd. He has about 13 years of experience in the field of instrumentation, automation and industrial IoT products development. Team leader for developing need based...