Mobile Data Collection Case Study

Filter Control Problem

Pressure leaf filtration can be a common bottleneck in plant operations. Delays are costly, often leading to overtime in order to meet demand. This “batch type” operation includes many variables, and monitoring the process can be frustratingly difficult for operators and management. In addition to production delays, for every 8 pounds of body feed used, 1 gallon of wine is wasted. Therefore, excess use of body feed affects both bottom line costs and overall wine production.

Constant Flow Operation Using Real-time Data Collection and Reporting

The major operational variables in Pressure Leaf Filter Systems are “dirt” load, flow rate, pressure increase, and body feed rate. By making flow rate a constant and graphing the optimal pressure increase, the “dirt” load variable can be managed by adjusting the body feed addition rate during the cycle.

Examples of Constant Flow Filter Cycles

Optimal Filter Cycle

Non-Optimized Filter Cycles due to Insufficient Body Feed Additions (Shortened Cycle)

Non-Optimized Filter Cycle due to over addition of Body Feed (Shortened Cycle)

Achieving Optimal Filter Cycles with KipTraq

Once the filtration cycle commences, KipTraq can establish the optimum filter graph. Based upon the operators input on the body feed rate, KipTraq can plot the actual cycle performance in real time to provide both management and operators the measurements needed to optimize each cycle. In addition to each cycle, KipTraq can track the following for each shift:

  • Hours down time
  • Gallons filter per hour
  • Gallons filtered per shift


How KipTraq works

Operators carry smart phones or tablets with them throughout their shifts. Radio Frequency Identifier (RFID) tags have been placed at critical filter control points within the plant. Throughout the shift, generally every hour, the operator “bumps“ his or her device against the RFID tag, which both confirms the operator’s location and records the time of day and operator’s name automatically. A “task” associated with that monitoring point is then opened on his device which allows the operator to record filter performance data (volume, pressure, body feed additions, operational status, etc.) Once recorded, the information is automatically synchronized with the KipTraq server where it is available for reporting.

Analytics and reporting are performed on KipTraq’s reporting website, which is a powerful business intelligence tool accessible from any computer or phone. Administrators can easily preconfigure needed dashboards and reports and have them readily available for operators and managers to view on a real time basis. When operators come on shift, they are able to preview filter performance from the prior shift, and plan their shift and manage filter cycles accordingly. Management can view data online or receive automatic emails to keep them in the loop.