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Case Study
Having trouble maintaining cooling fans in remote areas?

IoT-ready San Ace Controller for remote monitoring of fan operating status

Facility Maintenance Company K (200 Employees)
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  • Case Study 97 - Facility Maintenance Company K (200 Employees)
Problem
  • When a cooling fan fails, it is necessary to assemble technical personnel quickly, but managing their schedules is a challenging task.
  • Delayed fan maintenance increases the risk of heat problems in equipment.
  • The customer needs to know the appropriate fan replacement timing so maintenance can be planned in advance.
Solution and Results
  • Remote and real-time monitoring of fan operating status is possible.
  • System status visualization enables systematic personnel management.
  • Energy saving has been achieved by optimizing cooling efficiency.
The use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology has brought about major changes in industrial equipment operation, such as improved maintenance efficiency and energy efficiency through information visualization. Demand for IoT-ready devices is expected to increase rapidly.

Problem

A sudden failure at our unmanned remote facility... Availability of technical personnel is a major challenge

Company K, a facility maintenance company, provides a television broadcaster with maintenance and operation of communication equipment cabinets in their relay stations. Mr. J of the company said:

"Many unmanned relay stations are located in isolated areas or mountains with inconvenient access. When equipment failures occur, we must ready the necessary components and personnel, and send them to the site quickly. Although we had been handling operations smoothly, we often had a hard time procuring components and scheduling a technician in the event of a sudden equipment failure. We've always wanted a more systematic way to perform maintenance."

A sudden fan stoppage... A delay in repair work could lead to heat problems for the entire system

Mr. J was particularly concerned about the operation of cooling fans.

"We use cooling fans in our communication equipment cabinets to stabilize equipment," explained Mr. J. "Conventionally, we used fans with a locked-rotor sensor that raises an alarm when the fan locks so we can react quickly. This means, however, that assembling technicians only starts after the alarm is raised. If a technician is not available, it will take a long time until maintenance work can be performed, which may cause a thermal runaway and affect the operation of the entire system."

Mr. J wanted to know the appropriate fan replacement timing in advance so maintenance could be performed in a systematic way.

Solution and Results

Remote and real-time monitoring of fan operating status via the cloud

When Mr. J visited an industrial machinery trade show for engineers, he discussed these problems at SANYO DENKI's booth.

During the discussion, a SANYO DENKI sales rep. proposed that Mr. J use a PWM fan with a pulse sensor in combination with a San Ace Controller.

"The proposed fan had a pulse sensor for detecting fan speed and PWM control functions for controlling fan speed," said Mr. J. "By combining these with the controller and a temperature and humidity sensor, fan conditions such as speed, current, and accumulated operation hours can be measured in real time. This enables you to not only monitor fans remotely from computers or smartphones, but also to have the controller issue an alarm for a set threshold. This means you could have it send you a replacement reminder before a failure occurs. I was excited because this would lead to preventive maintenance, which was what I was aiming for."

Visualize fan operating status for efficient maintenance planning

Mr. J was very intrigued by the proposal, and decided to use it after examining the details at his company. As a start, he introduced it at some of their relay stations. Finally, Mr. J told us how the use of the San Ace Controller changed the way he works.

"The visualization of fan operating status enabled us to perform fan maintenance in a systematic way, and manage personnel efficiently. In addition, using the controller together with a temperature and humidity sensor saves energy because you can set conditions based on sensor measurements so that the speed of individual fans will be automatically optimized. Measurement data can be stored in a cloud for future use, so I am expecting to further improve maintenance efficiency."

Moving forward, the company will use the San Ace Controller and PWM fans with a pulse sensor in all of their relay stations.

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