Air Water Inc., a Japanese industrial gas corporation, has introduced a Remote Control Support System which will centrally monitor around 230 of its on-site facilities, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The system, in place since 1st April 2016, will monitor all the gas generation facilities that the company handles for its gas sales, such as its oxygen (O2) and nitrogen (N2) pressure swing adsorption (PSA) units.

Facilities in Air Water’s V1 Series and small air separation units (ASUs), which the company calls VSU plants and are generally used in the semiconductor sector, will also be monitored by the system.

By accumulating and analysing the operational data of these units, I would like to use this information to reduce costs and to improve performance

Air Water has created a Remote Control Support Centre in its Plant Engineering Office in Sakai to support the implementation of this system, with a team of five employees monitoring the plants 24/7.

This is the first attempt to centrally monitor generators, which are located on a worldwide scale, on a nationwide level.

Initially, the plan calls for 130 units to be monitored during the first year, with a further 120 added the following year, forming a network to cover all of Air Water’s generators.

As a preliminary step, Air Water previously implemented centralised monitoring at the Daio VSUA Centre in Hirakata, Hyogo Prefecture, approximately four years ago. This system currently monitors 12 VSUs which are in operation throughout the North Pacific rim country.

Future improvements

Kouji Tanaka, Manager of the Manufacturing and Quality Control Department of the Engineering Company, stated, “In addition to being able to cope rapidly with liquid backup during emergencies, continuous monitoring will be useful in preventing problems before they occur as well as in establishing safety to prevent accidents.”

The company anticipates that the accumulation of this data regarding the daily operations of its facilities will lead to feedback for future improvements and technological developments of both the corporation’s sites and its business model.

Tanaka went on to say, “We have a track record of deliveries from a total of 170 units in the V1 Series. Currently, just over 100 units are in operation. By accumulating and analysing the operational data of these units, I would like to use this information to reduce costs and to improve performance.”

The installation of the Remote Control Support System is estimated to cost around ¥400m ($3.7m).