The Internet of Shoe Leather

Industrial IoT for Dust Collectors

..or how to meet your steps goal while saving money on safety equipment

It’s still unclear who decided that 10,000 steps are the goal for a healthy lifestyle. The premise is also lost too; that a person can lose a pound of fat per week by walking 10,000 steps per day. Of course, there are so many variables like weight, level of effort and age, we can only assume that the step goal is a general call to action to exercise more.

The average maintenance technician in an industrial manufacturing plant walks a lot, in addition to climbing and lifting, in all weathers and climates. If we assume for a minute that the 10,000 steps translate to about 5 miles (8km), that’s on the light side for an average plant.

The Industrial Protective footwear market exceeds $2.7bn globally. We are all in favor of a robust business, but we also want to avoid stress injuries and overwork for our maintenance brethren. There are small but impactful contributions to be made to health and safety while supporting the shoe industry. One of them is to release industrial workers from all that walking around when assessing their dust collectors and filters.

Some of the key measurements to be made on a baghouse dust collector, be it pulse-jet cleaning or reverse air, are static pressure, flow and particulate concentration. Of course, technology has advanced to a point where digital sensing alternatives are available to replace analog, manual readings. But, as industrial plants age the upgrade of the sensing lags behind. Result: lots of maintenance team members walking lots of miles to log lots of readings on their clip-board with a pencil. That's not a vision you were expecting for the 21st century.

Luckily, the Internet of Things has arrived to save the day. By adding sensor retrofits, a robust data connection and a cloud-based monitoring application to your dust collection system, the end to excess wear on shoe leather is in sight. One observation though. We are all overwhelmed by data these days. So before going the IOT route, be sure that the industry partner providing the remote data visualization is backed by decades of experience in predicting functional reliability and performance.

So meet your steps goal while connecting to a dust collection professional today!