How to IoT: Monitoring Assets to Gain Meaningful Performance Insight

The Oxford definition of monitoring is "to observe and check the progress or quality of (something) over a period of time; keep under systematic review."

This is precisely the goal of the Flowserve Monitoring Center, part of Flowserve's Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio. Our monitoring team securely collects massive amounts of data from a cloud architecture and analyzes it to provide easy-to-read visualizations.

Industries are looking for this type of data and analysis to supplement general onsite control rooms. Collected by edge devices, the data comes in various forms: vibration, temperature, pressure, dual discrete, and 4-20 mA. The monitoring center team disseminates this data of a monitored asset and provides insightful interpretations to the customer's plant reliability and operations personnel.

An Enhancement Over Site Inspections

Ask yourself: If machine failures don't follow a set pattern, why does a maintenance program need to follow one? Most facilities still rely on preventive maintenance systems that involve time-based inspection and repair of all critical machinery.  However, facility engineers are quickly realizing their current maintenance models are no longer adequate. Instead, they're turning to innovative IoT-based solutions to optimize maintenance costs and improve equipment reliability.  


The goals of most IoT deployments include the following:


  • Simplicity and short time to commission -- Customers want an IoT system that is simple to install and quick to launch. Wiring traditional sensors from assets to a building control system or DCS can incur huge expenses. Going wireless is a better, simpler solution with one caveat: slightly wider data transmission rates.
  • Elimination of manual data collection -- Some wireless IoT offerings still involve manual data collection, as in the case of Bluetooth modules. Customers prefer technology that continuously monitors assets and fully automates the data collection process.
  • Easy access to real-time insights -- Real-time insights are important to our customers as well. Customers want to receive immediate alerts when an asset deviates significantly from its normal operating range. Also valuable is the ability to track machine utilization to maximize equipment life cycles. Even more than ever, information needs to be accessible anytime from mobile devices or computers. Historic trends and algorithms can only take you so far until you need to speak to the subject matter experts.

The solution and benefit will naturally result in an end-to-end industrial internet-based solution that includes state-of-the-art wireless sensors and cloud-based monitoring.


Once the system is architected, the next question is whether plant reliability engineers, operators and maintenance personnel know their equipment well enough to set relevant alarm and alert threshold limits. If not, no worries. The vibration certified engineers at the Flowserve Monitoring Center help you walk through building a baseline to determine asset health and establish the appropriate limits. You'll know the moment critical and non-critical assets begin to stray from standard performance ranges. This capability reduces from days to minutes the time it takes to determine what actions to pursue in maximizing plant uptime and stretching profit margins.


Flowserve's turnkey IoT solutions include hardware, software, installation, and commissioning experts, and ongoing technical services support so you can focus on production. Several types of IoT technologies have been designed for the industrial space. Some offer edge devices with Bluetooth capabilities, tying into local DCS systems, while others provide edge devices streaming to an online portal. Often the latter solutions require operators to manage complex equipment anomalies outside their areas of expertise. Flowserve's IoT solutions take some of that worry away. The Flowserve Monitoring Center provides key customer benefits in four main categories: continual awareness, insight you can trust, in-depth reporting, and expert services.


First, by partnering with the Flowserve monitoring team, customers can be confident that they will have continual awareness of their equipment health because Flowserve monitors and tracks the health and performance of assets and can deploy field engineering resources to assess and/or repair non-standard activity. Not many companies in the industry can claim such a synergy.


Second, the insight that Flowserve's IoT solution provides is reliable. In addition to our 200+ years of rotating equipment knowledge, we keep equipment performance under continual observation. We can alert facility operators of equipment anomalies in near-real-time, significantly reducing or even eliminating downtime.


Third, Flowserve's dashboards and reports help operators narrow preventive maintenance routines by targeting only troubling assets. By reviewing the equipment's performance trends, we can alert operators to those assets which will likely experience a fault condition. Reports and notifications are professional, in-depth, and on time, thus saving the customer from having to interpret "big data."


Finally, the expert services provided by the Flowserve Monitoring Center are a true benefit for the customer, based on experience across our suite of products and services. Flowserve provides remote technical support, reliability consultation, asset analysis, and quick-response services/support to address equipment and technology issues.