The latest networked control system from compressed air specialist BOGE promises to reduce energy consumption and improve maintenance efficiency in manufacturing operations. BOGE Airtelligence Provis 3 also futureproofs businesses, through its flexibility and its capacity to control unlimited numbers of compressors, compressed air networks and ancillary components.

“Provis 3 offers manufacturers an easy way to start turning their facilities into Industry 4.0 smart factories,” says Mark Whitmore, General Manager for BOGE Compressors in the UK. “It’s simple to introduce, with no need to invest heavily in additional infrastructure or capabilities, and its savings bring a fast return on investment. Once installed, it adapts to address both fluctuating daily demands and longer-term evolving needs.”

Optimising compressed air management

All but the smallest compressed air set-ups consist of a physical network of machines connected by pipes and valves. Typically, there are large, fixed-speed compressors to supply the base-load of air, with smaller, variable-speed units kicking in to meet variations in demand. The compressed air network may also include ancillary equipment like dryers, filters and storage tanks. Control systems co-ordinate these components and their activities.

BOGE Airtelligence Provis 3 is an intelligent management solution which takes remote control, monitoring and auditing of compressed air systems to a new level. Unlike previous networked control products, Provis 3 is limitless in its scope and scale. It has been developed for larger and more complex plants with multiple compressors and equipment. Importantly, it can securely integrate and upgrade new and old components from different manufacturers.

Lowering energy and maintenance costs

Essentially, Provis 3 maximises energy efficiency by intelligently and proactively matching fluctuations in compressed air demand with flow from the optimum combination of compressors and other components. Further energy-saving benefits result from Provis energy auditing, reporting, costing and performance testing functions, whose clear insights enhance budgeting, decision-making and planning.

In addition, Provis 3 enables monitoring of equipment condition and activity, so maintenance interventions are timed optimally to minimise costs and downtime. Authorised users can access intuitively displayed information and check, control or adjust equipment via the inbuilt Provis 3 display, or remotely on their PCs, tablets or smartphones.

The BOGE Connect service, whose secure internet link connects systems to the BOGE central analytics facility in Germany, is an optional extra. Continuously gathering live data from the equipment, it allows operators and service providers to analyse and understand each site’s operating conditions.

In the event of a deviation, specialist engineers at BOGE decide what corrective action, if any, is necessary. If the occurrence poses no threat, they teach the system to ignore it in future. As understanding deepens, they can adjust parameters in the machines’ controllers and enable them to alert customers directly to emerging problems.

Futureproofing businesses

As well as optimising the existing compressed air equipment and its use, Provis 3’s advanced reporting allows BOGE to simulate and evaluate proposed changes in its design, configuration and components. This expands the scope for efficiency improvements and adaptation to changing needs. Systems are also regularly enhanced by updating with new software.

“With its plug-and-play simplicity, Airtelligence Provis 3 is an easily installed and immediately beneficial add-on to your equipment – but that’s just the start,” says Mark Whitmore. “From there it initiates almost limitless improvement, customisation and futureproofing. And best of all, it quickly pays for itself through lower energy, downtime and maintenance costs.”