PneuViz: Compressed Air Monitoring Application

Compressed air is the fourth largest utility in the manufacturing industry behind electricity, natural gas and water. It is used in a wide variety of pneumatic, mechanical and maintenance applications in every manufacturing facility. However, very little efforts have been made in trying to monitor and optimize the utilization of compressed air. Hence, a study was conducted to analyze the utilization of compressed air under various scenarios that are typical during metal cutting operation in a manufacturing facility. PneuViz application was developed to analyze the results. PneuViz provides drill down capability to analyze cost of compressed air on a per part, per machine, and per customer order. Monitoring the utilization of compressed air by a stand-alone Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine as well as the overall utilization on the shop floor was facilitated by the use of a sensor system comprising of a flow meter, data acquisition system and a power sensor. MTConnect was used to enable plug-and-play functionality across the various machines on the shop floor. MTConnect was implemented by developing a system of sensor adapters, agents and data parser. Finally, analysis was performed over different machining scenarios to determine the cost, energy consumption and carbon footprint of the compressed air usage on the shop floor.