Filtration services provider Perfect Filtration is incorporating intelligent software technology and services into its filtration and preventive maintenance measures for hydraulic equipment.
Perfect Filtration technical director Melvin Schmidt explains that, initially, Perfect Filtration used a programmable logic controller (PLC). This assisted technicians on site when monitoring hydraulic equipment, as they would receive messages on their mobile devices, informing them about the condition of the hydraulic machine.
He does, however, point out that using a PLC requires highly skilled personnel to maintain these processes for maintenance. If these personnel are not available, however, challenges arise in continuing sustaining these operations.
“We then decided that we would need a normal plug-and-play module, and today it’s easy, simple and affordable to put in a new module that complies with what we need. We now use a module in which one sensor does everything, such as measuring the temperature and pressure needed and providing an oil-quality graph”.
He adds that data collected by the sensor is then translated directly onto a dashboard at the company’s offices by means of a data network.
He claims that incorporating intelligent technologies and services will assist a technician by providing more in-depth information than provided by a PLC, in real-time, when a technician arrives on site.
The filtration machine, attached to a hydraulic machine, scans the technician’s smart device and automatically registers the serial number of the machine unit.
It then opens a standard profile and requires the technician to respond to questions such as asking whether a filter has recently been changed and the condition of the machine.
Once these questions have been answered by the technician, a relevant report, which also serves as a “proof of service” document, will be sent to the client and Perfect Filtration, and uploaded onto an online database.
“With this technology, a client can physically measure the temperature of oil on a machine or we can install online particle and moisture sensors on site that can provide live information regarding the condition of the oil. Some operations depend on this information. These options will be available to the client and we can incorporate that technology to suit the client’s needs.”
Schmidt adds that Perfect Filtration will incorporate the use of this technology and its features by collaborating with information technology service provider Dimension Data.
Dimension Data will supply Perfect Filtration with intelligent technology and services and will be responsible for the upkeep of software on Perfect Filtration’s website. It will also ensure that the company has constant access to data gathered on site.
He enthuses that Perfect Filtration will also aim to incorporate an application that will be dedicated to accessing and monitoring hydraulic equipment from a mobile device.
“We are aiming to become part of a leaner business solution. We’re going to integrate the whole system in terms of maintenance, signatures and authorisations and job parts – everything that’s combined with technology where you’ve got quality control tags or readers on a filtration machine,” explains Schmidt.
Perfect Filtration operations manager Gerrit Coetzee emphasises the importance of cleaning and maintaining oils and lubricants used in hydraulic equipment.
He argues that this has become vital amid the global drive for more environment-friendly and sustainable practices.
“Oils are not a renewable source and they’re becoming more expensive. We need to conserve and clean the oil that we do have while ensuring that you get the full potential for what you’ve brought. By doing that, we play a significant part in reducing our carbon footprint, which is a global drive at the moment,” explains Coetzee.
He notes that the company is also aiming to change the design of its filter machine to improve the oil management services it provides.
Without changing the core design elements of the machine and the way in which it operates, the company intends to design and manufacture a machine that is “smaller, lighter and has a smaller environmental footprint”.