Development of turbo blower remote monitoring service "KNOWTILUS"

Supports labor savings and stable operation by utilizing IoT and AI

Turbo blower remote monitoring service "KNOWTILUS"

Background of development

Stable operation of sewage treatment plants or waste water treatment facilities is essential in order to perform proper treatment of wastewater generated in daily life and production activity therefore, the importance of stock management (facility management) is increasing.
In addition, the following business solutions are required in response to the labor shortages that have become common in recent years.

  • Increase in efficiency and labor savings of management work
  • Advancement of preventive maintenance and acceleration of corrective maintenance
  • Optimization and prolonged product life cycle

ShinMaywa's solution

The "turbo blower" is important equipment used for "aeration*" in water treatment and industrial wastewater treatment processes which operate 24 hours every day. The Turbo blower remote monitoring service "KNOWTILUS" was developed to support an increase in efficiency and stable operation of such management work.

In order to maintain stable operation of the turbo blower, it normally requires personnel to be stationed on sites where turbo blowers are installed, such as assigning staff at night and on holidays in case of an emergency, and checking the display panels on the equipment to make sure that there are no problems with the operating condition. However, introducing the "KNOWTILUS" allows connection of various terminals with the turbo blowers via the Internet. The status can be understood quickly and accurately, and initial actions can be taken because if any error occurs, the content of the error will be sent by e-mail, and the display panel and screen on the equipment can be checked on a personal computer or smart phone from an office or home as well.
Furthermore, the "KNOWTILUS" is also equipped with a function for checking the operating conditions of any time axis on a graph, a function for automatically creating daily reports, etc., and a function for analyzing the operating data utilizing AI machine learning. These functions reduce the load on management work which used to be an issue, and also minimize the down time by effective preventive maintenance and avoidance of sudden trouble occurrences.
The provision of the service started from September 2019. We received high evaluations from customers as below;

  • "Our management methods changed greatly"
  • Since the daily and weekly reports can be created automatically, the work load has been drastically reduced.
  • We can now check the operating status of the turbo blower without going to sites. Therefore, we feel a great sense of security as we can check the status at any time, while increasing efficiency in the working hours.
  • We can now take quick action because errors (failures) can be checked by smart phones or personal computers in real time, which contributes to improvement in productivity.

  • *"Aeration" refers to the blowing and mixing in of air to supply the oxygen required to decompose organic matter by microorganisms for the purpose of improving water quality through purification.

Main features

  1. 1.Operating status can be checked from a personal computer or smart phone even from remote locations.
  2. 2.Notifications are sent by e-mail when abnormalities and errors occur, and is also displayed on trend graphs.
  3. 3.Equipped with a function to automatically create daily reports, weekly reports and monthly reports, etc.
  4. 4.As well as automatically detecting the active - inactive status of the circuit, it also acquires and saves the operating data when the circuit is shut down.
  5. 5.AI machine learning supports preventive maintenance and stable operation.

Comments of Development Site

Mr. Yamada  Design Department, Ono Plant, Fluid Division  

Mr. Kadono  Operation Department, Ono Plant, Fluid Division  

Left : Mr. Yamada    Right : Mr. Kadono

Yamada: "While a commercially available remote monitoring service was being used, I began to understand the issues based on comments from customers and the service personnel of ShinMaywa Aqua Technology Service, Ltd. who were in charge of maintenance, where they mentioned that the [operating status cannot be checked quickly because a performance curve graph cannot be displayed,] and [it takes time to create reports]. It also took time to solve problems because our service personnel went to customer sites to clarify the cause. Therefore, in-house development of a new system was started with the hope of realizing both an [increase in the efficiency of equipment management work] and [stable operation by preventive maintenance]."

Kadono: "The development and sales of pumps in the Fluid Division has a fascinating history of more than 60 years. However, we had little experience in the provision of such a service called a "selling service." Therefore, even though the targets were set, we faced difficulty defining the customer value in order to commercialize a service valuable for customers, and we finally commercialized a service through repeated test operations over several years.
We were able to select an ideal system infrastructure and define the requirements with the cooperation of the SoftBank Group which consistently provides a gateway to a cloud service, which allowed our company to concentrate on the construction of a cooperation scheme of the service content, sales and the service personnel."

Yamada: "Minimizing the maintenance management costs of the system was also an essential point. Since "KNOWTILUS" is standardly equipped with the turbo blower, the service could be structured so that customers were able to use it without any introduction cost.

Kadono: "I believe that one of the missions of a manufacturer is to provide support so that the "operation" can be continued by reducing the manpower required for maintenance management of the equipment as much as possible, not only to perform development and provide better products. 
As a person assigned to the IT department of Fluid Division, I earnestly listen to the opinions of customers who will actually be using the system in the future and the service personnel, aiming for enhancements in the service as well as making further improvements in the system. I would also like to contribute to the establishment of a new business model of ShinMaywa through the construction of a useful cloud infrastructure by securely connecting the internal / external big data."

Yamada: "I would like to promote development so that this service can be applied to other products and additional high value-added service can be provided in the future, in order to further contribute to an increase in efficiency and stable operation of the management work of water treatment related facilities."