Periodic Reporting for period 2 - E-SAVING ULTRASONICS (Game-changing Ultrasonic Technology for Energy Saving in Predictive Maintenance)
Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2018-04-30
There are two drivers of energy costs of producing companies which are often underestimated but contribute substantially to increasing energy consumption: worn out machine parts and leaks in compressed air systems (CAS). CAS are accounted for about 10 % of industrial consumption of electricity in the world. Industrial sectors like automotive, automation, machinery and plant engineering emphasize leakage prevention in CAS as the means with the highest savings potential of energy-waste, as up to 30 % of compressed air escapes from leakages. Commonly used screw compressors used for industrial applications, e.g. air tools use, can easily cause an annual waste of several million m³ of compressed air per compressor even when leaks are very small. As CAS are often laid throughout the whole factory, leaks might be very small and air is invisible, leaks are hardly to detect. Up to now, there are no sufficient solutions at market.
Therefore, SONOTEC has developed an innovative device based on ultrasonic technology for two purposes: to identify easily leaks in CAS and to detect worn out parts of machinery which both cause increasing energy consumption. The technology consists of a technological platform, the SONAPHONE, an ultrasonic airborne sound sensor (for leak detection), an ultrasonic structure-borne sound sensor (for machinery diagnosis), and several algorithms (software apps) to interpret and illustrate data and to give recommendations for maintenance.
This novel ultrasonic solution for leak detection and machinery wear has benefits for both industry and society. By the SONAPHONE, industrial companies will be able to identify energy saving potentials for reducing their operating costs. This allows companies to offer their products for competitive prices by which in turn society profits. The second main benefit for society are lower carbon emissions as for example only the waste of energy worldwide directly connected to CAS amounts to approximately 228 TWh and involves about 171 million tons of CO2.
Overall objectives of this business innovation project are to
(1) renew the preventive maintenance market for CAS by providing highly improved technology and methods for realistic identification, quantification and reporting of leaks,
(2) introduce a new key technology for the future maintenance market combining ultrasonic sensors and testing software to diagnose frictions in all kinds of surfaces of technical parts
(3) offer companies innovative solutions to cut their energy costs by 42% and to reduce their carbon emissions.
Production processes for the SONAPHONE sensors and accessories have been up-scaled and documentation and quality management for the products have been implemented.
Pilot customers and sales partners have been acquired and project results have been disseminated throughout a mix of different communication channels and marketing measures. The business innovation project and its outcomes were presented at several fairs and conferences. Results have been published in papers and workshops.