Aerators in Oxidation Pond at Paper Mill
As part of the pulp and paper manufacturing process, operators deploy aerators to prevent sludge accumulation in oxidation ponds used to treat wastewater. To protect employee health and safety and improve efficiency, a large paper mill plant looked at upgrading its monitoring system. To this point, staff had been carrying out “walkarounds” in a dinghy each month, manually checking the condition of aerators located atop toxic lagoons.
Aerators play a critical role in the manufacturing process, running around the clock and requiring constant monitoring. A wired monitoring solution would have been prohibitively expensive due to the machines being mounted on barges and moored in the middle of these ponds.
Agen affixed our Orlando remote vibration sensors to the floating aerator units. Each sensor featured a high gain antenna and WiFi access range of 150m. Sensors then transmitted machine condition data remotely to our cloud-based platform. The sensors were solar powered, with a sealed battery located inside the cabinet.
Machine condition data for the moored aerators is now available at any time, from any location. The maintenance team can now halt the monthly site visits, only visiting machines should the sensors detect any unusual vibrations. To this date, the aerators have not had any major problems, and production at the paper mill continues to run smoothly.