Keeping hundreds of biotech cooling & air purifications machines operating with precision using Sparrow and Advisor

Customer: Global biotech company
Cooling and air purification/handling systems


Executive Summary

The Acoem suite of vibration monitoring solutions offers its customers flexibility and choice when it comes to monitoring critical equipment – providing a combination of portable and handheld tools together with wireless and real-time continuous monitoring systems for the most complex of machines. 

The introduction of its newest tool – the Sparrow sensor – which integrates seamlessly into the Acoem ecosystem and its Nesti4.0 software and management platform – means that no matter what type of machinery you are operating, where they are located and how many pieces of equipment need close scrutiny, Acoem can provide a precise solution that meets your budget and exact monitoring requirements

Every asset matters – so the Sparrow was designed with your balance-of-plant assets in mind and nowhere is this more important than in the biotechnology sector. While its balance-of-plant assets many not individually be as critical as more complex pieces of equipment, if any of them fail, your plant cannot operate effectively, the risk of shutdown is high and you can lose massive quantities of high-value, potentially life-saving material.

The Challenge

The biotech/pharmaceutical sector has very specific needs when it comes to vibration measurement and predictive maintenance. It is essential to maintain the right temperature in clean and cool rooms from a safety, security and risk-of-contamination perspective. Biological specimens and their by-products require absolute precision when it comes to storage conditions

These machines operate as sealed systems and there is zero line of sight between the wireless sensor and their gateway communication devices so accurate data capture becomes more complicated.

In a large-scale operation such as this one at a US facility, there are several hundred machines with the potential to impact the integrity of the product/samples generated and stored at the location. 

Over the past decade, this company had invested in no less than eight different wireless sensor options – each with its own software to install, learn and operate. Each time, there would be failures, communication issues and difficulties obtaining data. The biggest challenge this company faced was the fact that many of these wireless sensor companies specialised in that one product line so did not have the technical expertise or complete solution portfolio to accommodate the ongoing demands of the business – which were to accurately monitor vibration levels across an entire network of cooling and air purification machines and ensure that the software could predict potential failures to eliminate the risk of operational shutdown and contamination of extensive batches of product/samples.

The Solution

The customer was already using Acoem Falcon vibration analysers for its critical rotating assets across its operation, with over 1000 assets under Acoem monitoring management. It was also leveraging the customised guided maintenance strategy implemented through the Acoem Advisor service. The customer was extremely happy with the results and decided to extend its reliability partnership with Acoem to cover its entire balance-of-plant network of assets to try and eradicate the issues it had been facing. 

Close to 300 Sparrow sensors were deployed during a scheduled maintenance shutdown so the installation did not cause any additional operational delays. This occurred due to the sealed system requirements of these particular pieces of equipment, however in most cases, Sparrow can be deployed while machines are operational with no shutdown required, saving businesses considerable time and lost productivity.

Connected to the Nesti4.0 platform, the customer has a guarantee of data integrity and accurate automatic remote diagnostics. Together with Advisor service, the customer can now identify the exact source of vibration transmissions and their intensity, empowering the maintenance team to implement changes as required and schedule maintenance work at the optimal time to not disrupt operations.

The Outcome

Since deploying the Sparrow sensors on nearly 300 individual machines in this facility, the company has experienced a 100% success rate with data capture and automatic diagnostic reporting. There have been no failures, downtime or unplanned maintenance required – saving the business valuable time and resources. 

Not only does Sparrow and Nest show the customer what the problem is, communicating potential issues and raising alarms as required, using the sensors in addition to the Acoem Advisor service allows them to see firsthand the direct benefits of the maintenance repairs that Advisor recommends and schedules. And significantly, the company now has one trusted partner for its entire reliability operation with room for expansion based on its future requirements.

From large numbers of smaller sub-critical machines all the way up to high-end individual complex units, Acoem’s complete ecosystem of vibration monitoring solutions has you covered. It is backed by a team of certified technical experts who are machine experts and understand which sensors should be used in each specific application.

Sparrow has filled a gap in our vibration monitoring offerings, completing our suite of technologies, empowering us to provide the absolute optimal method of asset monitoring, both technically and financially, to our customers worldwide” commented Bob Arnold, Vice President of Services, North America.

“This case is just one example of the way we are elevating the customer experience, leading to greater satisfaction levels – especially when combining our Advisor service contracts with machine monitoring via portable, wireless and/or online systems” he added.

For more information about deploying our Sparrow system to monitor your balance-of-plant assets, read our press release and data sheet or contact us.

To find out more about the Acoem Solutions, please get in touch with our experts.
Contact us

Would you like to…?