Optimising production processes by improving energy efficiency and reducing costs are likely to be high priorities for most manufacturers and they can be achieved, thanks in part to the availability of increasingly sophisticated monitoring and measuring devices. A good example of this is the new SD family of Thermal Compressed Air Meters from ifm electronic, which incorporates an integrated pressure and temperature sensor.

The SD family of devices have been developed as an ‘all-in-one-sensor’ to provide ‘at-a-glance’ compressed air monitoring with volumetric flow, totalised volume plus pressure and temperature of the air. With clear TFT display and IO-Link interface, the unit can be easily parameterised and all information transferred to the control platform.

Furthermore, by integrating several key measurement parameters in just one sensor it contributes towards significant savings on hardware costs (wiring & input cards) along with reduced installation and ongoing maintenance costs.

The SD sensors can also help toward improving energy efficiency of process installations thanks to its ability to precisely monitor for leakages. This, combined with its high repeatability, enables exact location of the costs of compressed air consumption to the respective production line which helps operators to optimise product cost calculations.

Efficient monitoring of operating pressures is also crucial to overall energy efficiency and thanks to the integrated pressure measurement, both the pressure drop on polluted filter systems and the compressed air systems overall operating pressure, can be accurately monitored. This is important because if the installation comprises of actuators that are operating at 5 bar instead of the ideal 6.3 bar, load speed is reduced by 25% with a decrease in productivity.

On the other hand, excessive operating pressure does not necessarily increase performance and contributes towards increased consumption of compressed air along with increased wear and tear.

Contact:  Gemma Anderson, ifm electronic Ltd, Efector House, Kingsway Business Park, Oldfield Road, Hampton, TW12 2HD, UK.

Email:  [email protected]    Tel: +44 (0) 20 8213 2222

Automation Update