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Why Modern Pipeline Monitoring Is Essential for Power Efficiency

Dec 7, 2021 | Manufacturing, News

Even though power generation gets a disproportionate share of the attention in the energy sector, the underlying network of pipelines and power lines that make energy production and distribution possible is just as important. Pipelines aren’t flashy or exciting, but they’re essential to your operations. To keep your business running smoothly, you need modern pipeline monitoring technology.

Why Modernized Pipeline Monitoring Is Essential for Power Efficiency - SAAB RDS

Why Modern Pipeline Monitoring Technology Is Essential for Power Efficiency

The Value of Your Infrastructure

Between production and distribution, production always garners more attention and investment. Cities don’t brag about new water pipes, but they love to show off a new treatment plant. The same is true in the energy industry. Despite the value and essential nature of energy infrastructure, it tends to get overlooked. Making matters worse, pipelines often attract criticism from the public while few people ever protest electricity production.

What if your pipeline network could be a point of pride? It doesn’t have to be a necessary evil. In fact, if it were given the attention it deserves, you could bring down your bottom line, minimize accidents, and reduce losses from unexpected events. Your infrastructure holds more value than you might give it credit for; until an accident occurs that is.

Pipeline Problems

Whenever your pipes start to leak, even in the slightest, you’re losing valuable material. Greater losses can threaten your entire operation. Being able to keep track of your pipeline network is a must. The problem has always been how. Pipelines face danger every day: Corrosion, erroneous digging, extreme weather, and even sabotage. Physical security for miles is impractical. Digital monitoring technology works, but its cost forces energy distributors to use it sporadically.

Today’s monitoring technology changes those variables. You can monitor your pipelines with much simpler equipment today in lieu of complex proprietary solutions. Off-the-shelf components and cloud-based technology make it possible. When you can detect pressure, temperature, chemical composition, or any other variable you can think of, you can prevent problems and optimize your operation. Best of all, you can even respond to problems remotely and limit your exposure to accidents. So, what do you need?  

Modern Monitoring Technology

Modern monitoring technology combines sensors, data transmitters, and GSM modules to create a robust, flexible surveillance network. Instead of relying on physical wires to transmit data or retrofitting analog gauges, you can install affordable sensors that can feed data to portable transmitters. You can even ignore power supplies thanks to the light power draw of these components and the affordability of small solar panels. You can deploy a greater variety of sensors at more locations for less than ever.

GSM modules allow you to leverage cellular networks to transmit data to the cloud for analysis. Modules can even relay signals for hard-to-reach sections of pipe that stretch beyond the limits of the network. If you need additional physical surveillance, drones are affordable and able to confirm issues faster than sending out a crew to investigate. All of the data you gather gets fed into analytics to help you make more efficient decisions.

Respond Faster, Save More

With that newfound data, you’ll be able to spot irregularities before they happen. And instead of a manned workstation keeping track of faults, automation can alert your technicians instantly. Your pipelines’ status will be more accurate and reliable, so there’s less guesswork when you get there. Being able to get visual confirmation through drones enables your team to arrive prepared. You can respond faster to issues and minimize losses. You’ll find this approach is much more cost-effective and efficient.

That’s not the only way you’ll save money, though. As you accumulate better data on your infrastructure, you’ll be able to plan more effectively. Instead of relying on factory maintenance schedules, you can learn your parts’ true mean time to failure and start planning replacements before accidents occur. With data backing your decisions, you can take a proactive approach to maintenance and ensure consistent electricity production thanks to your reliable pipeline network.

Increase Your Efficiency

The biggest advantage of modern technology is how flexible it is. You can get a custom solution for your company’s needs when you work with the experts. Contact SAAB RDS to learn more about how we can help you keep an eye on your infrastructure.