- Chemical Dispensing Systems Get Connected
Laundry Systems, Warewashing See IoT Influence
- Future IoT Applications In Dilution Control
The cost of laundry is a significant expense. Facilities often struggle with understanding from where the costs stem. By connecting laundry systems to IoT, usage can be monitored to help identify unexpected costs and to predict savings from increased efficiency. With IoT applications, facilities can now home in on their costs with a level of accuracy never before seen.
IoT laundry chemical dispensing systems have the ability to pull large volumes of historical data over a month or a year for periodic reporting. Facility managers have the ability to pull data on the number of laundry loads in a given shift, chemical usage, and the number of gallons of water used daily or in a given month, says Goetz. The IoT chemical proportioners can also determine if the laundry system reached an adequate temperature for sanitation, which is an important compliance measure. This data is relayed across the network to an application that can help facility managers calculate costs, which allows them to find a true pulse on their laundry operations.
IoT laundry systems greatly simplify the process of pumping chemicals accurately in large laundry operations and reduce maintenance costs dramatically. Today’s systems even offer remote monitoring and control capabilities that allow laundry facilities to access critical chemical data and make adjustments from anywhere an internet connection is available.
The historical data is useful to many facility managers, but the IoT chemical dispensing systems also provide real-time information that allows managers to address issues immediately. Dispensers can even use alarms to highlight issues that require staff attention, says Boscher. For example, if a laundry machine is running a formula at a lower or higher production rate than normal, staff can notify a supervisor that an operational review is needed. The technology allows organizations to be more proactive by checking on the availability of chemicals, the water flow and the condition of the dispensing system.
“As soon as the quality of wash is at risk, you receive an actionable notification, for example when chemical levels are running low,” says Boscher.
For laundry operations, rewash is a large concern, as it is labor intensive, costly and a major disruptor of operations. Having the right chemistry solution in the right wash program at the right time significantly reduces rewash levels.
“This [IoT] insight helps reduce rewash, prevent costly disruptions and errors within laundry operations, improves wash results, productivity, budget control, sustainability, and compliance,” says Boscher.
Because the systems are so transparent, corrective action can be taken immediately. Operations can be kept lean, sustainable and efficient.
Foodservice And Warewashing
Another popular industry segment that has taken advantage of IoT chemical dispensing technology is the foodservice sector.
Monitoring systems for warewashing provide real-time updates of the dishwashing process, highlighting current cycles, water and chemical usage, and more. Alarms alert employees and managers to issues that can impact dishwashing results.
“For example, the system highlights the rinse temperature, energy usage, drain change, the number of racks being washed, cost savings, etc.,” says Boscher.
Employees previously had to manually measure the dishwasher’s water temperatures twice a day. Today’s dilution control offerings automatically measure the temperature every time racks are being washed.
Reports can also be pulled from the system and used as proof of sanitation for compliance purposes, says Goetz.
Some systems also provide remote visual training to teach employees how to correct issues, says Boscher.
Adopting IoT technology gives a business enhanced visibility over its key processes. With a closer look at the inner workings of the organization, managers can better understand where efficiency is lacking, where sustainability can be improved, where costs are rising, and where training may be needed. They can take this knowledge and use it to transform these processes, making them more productive, sustainable and cost effective, thereby enhancing the bottom line.
For example, four out of five dishwashers use too much water, says Boscher.
“Organizations can pinpoint why excess water is being used — dishwasher wasn’t on the right setting; the wrong racks were used in the machine — in order to control resources and reduce waste,” he says.
In addition to chemical and water savings, manufacturers say these systems increase labor savings associated with troubleshooting and service calls. For example, the system can alert users to when machines need to be de-scaled based on water hardness.
“Imagine being able to avoid an emergency service call at a restaurant on a Saturday night by being able to log into a warewash dispenser and switching from probe to problem mode,” says Brass Clarkson, marketing and communications manager for DEMA Engineering Company, St. Louis. “The ability to analyze data from a dispenser without having to get up close and personal with the machine — you can build cost-per-use analysis for customers from your office all by logging into a machine remotely to gather that data.”
Chemical Dispensing Systems Get Connected
Future IoT Applications In Dilution Control
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