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Out-of-the-box monitoring boosts industrial dryer uptime

Feb. 22, 2021

Gryphon Environmental provides large industrial dryers to commercial and residential customers that convert wastewater streams to over 90% total solids for reclamation. Gryphon’s advanced technology consists of a customizable continuous belt drive system that is one of the most automated and maintenance-friendly available.

Gryphon embedded remote monitoring technology into the dryers, enabling them to offer their customers an “expert eye” that provides efficient troubleshooting and proactive maintenance.

Efficient troubleshooting for better customer service

Gryphon chose to deploy industrial gateways on their dryers so they can remotely troubleshoot customer requests as soon as they come in. This has the benefit of allowing them to diagnose and resolve problems in less time, with fewer costly trips onsite.

In one instance when Gryphon’s customer in Pennsylvania called in about a high temperature reading within the dryer chamber, Ryan Hobson, Gryphon’s director of controls & Automation based in Kentucky, had to remote VPN into the controller to get a temperature reading. This approach only provided data for a single point in time, during which the temperature reading appeared to be completely normal.

With advanced equipment monitoring, Hobson was able to trend data, enabling him to see that the temperature reading was swinging from 200 degrees up to 1,100 degrees (way out of normal operating standards) and then back down to 200 degrees over the course of the day. The time series data made it immediately obvious what the issue was; whereas the old approach might have required additional support calls and trips onsite to get to the same conclusion. "We were able to troubleshoot the issues remotely in our home office and in about 20 minutes we made a change through the PLC to correct the issue," Hobson says.

"The first one or two customer troubleshooting trips the platform saves us, it’s paying for itself. It quickly adds up. I can easily say that one Industrial Gateway has saved us at least three trips to Pennsylvania and several thousand dollars in labor and service costs.”

In order to do this type of troubleshooting previously, Hobson would have to send a technician all the way out to Pennsylvania to retrieve the SD card on the PLC so that he could import the data into excel to analyze it manually. Being able to access trending data from anywhere, on a laptop or mobile phone, means that Gryphon can provide fast and efficient service to their customers. It also means that they save time, money, and labor that pays for the platform multiple times over.

Proactive maintenance reduces repair costs and prevents downtime

With remote monitoring and alerting, Gryphon is able to provide a set of ‘expert eyes’ which allows them to offer proactive maintenance before issues arise.

For example, Gryphon’s industrial dryers operate with a 10 feet wide and 20-50 feet long belt that can cost up to $20-35k to replace. In order to make sure the belt is running smoothly and Gryphon doesn’t have to pay for a repair, the belt is outfitted with instrumentation that can measure how straight it’s running. Gryphon uses alerts to notify an expert technician if that belt is less than a quarter inch off center so that they can address the issue before it leads to a repair or replacement.

Not only does remote monitoring help reduce repair costs, but it also helps prevent unnecessary and costly downtime for customers. In another example, Gryphon uses a filter that prevents FOGs (fat, oils, and greases) from building up on the condenser in the dryer. As the filter gets clogged, pressure changes in the system. Being able to alert on large pressure changes helps predict filters that are getting clogged and need to be cleaned, preventing downtime for customers.

How Gryphon chose a technology provider

When evaluating various solution providers, Hobson wanted an easy to implement solution that would work out-of-the-box with the instrumentation on the dryers. Gryphon chose Samsara because of the simplicity of deploying units into the field on existing equipment, the simple architecture, and easy to understand licensing cost. As Hobson puts it, “There’s a ton of instrumentation on our industrial dryers. We have three methods of temperature measurement, moisture analyzers, flow meters, pressure sensors, and much more. We’re able to pull in all of this data into Samsara easily, directly from our existing PLCs on the dryers. I wanted something simple and easy to deploy, especially for units already in the field.”

To learn more about Samsara for equipment monitoring or to start a free trial, contact us here.

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