Since 1994, Ameram has designed and manufactured slurry air mixing systems suited to new or existing, above or below ground tanks and lagoons. Hundreds of systems are now installed in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and most recently in the US. Powelectrics’ IIoT technology helps Ameram monitor their market-leading Aeromixers. More here.
Slurry is a mixture of solids suspended in liquid. Farmers can collect animal waste and organic matter and create a slurry to be used as fertiliser on grass or crops.
Ameram’s specialised Aeromixers assist this process. They blow air into the base of the slurry stores to keep them mixed. Mixing keeps the slurry in a uniform state and prevents it from solidifying, making it easier to pump out and spread.
Mixing also helps keep the gases produced by decomposing organic material inside the slurry. This is important. For example nitrogen, if released as ammonia emissions, is odorous and can become a health and safety hazard, even requiring breathing apparatus for operatives. Retention of nitrogen within the slurry also improves its quality as a fertiliser.
Uniform distribution of nutrients in the slurry helps farmers calculate application rates and is kinder to soil life such as earthworms.
Aeromixer operation cannot be seen in a slurry, making it difficult to detect a failure. Mike Ross, Ameram’s managing director, came to Powelectrics for a remote monitoring solution to report on Aeromixer operations and alert both Ameram and customer personnel to any failures.
Mike was looking for more than a simple ‘Not Working’ alert, as that would always require a maintenance visit and the service engineer may find that a farmer had simply switched the power off.
To avoid the expensive of unnecessary maintenance visits, he developed an m2m solution incorporating Powelectrics Metron telemetry hardware.
Metron4 devices offer 4 inputs and Mike needed to monitor up to 12 digital inputs. He maximised the value of data collected by combining fault/no-fault signals with a “time-of-day” and “day-of-week” sending time. These combinations, together with Ameram’s ability to interpret the data, offer a wealth of feedback on operations.
The data is sent to Powelectrics MetronView and from there data and alerts can be sent to unlimited users on any web-enabled device.
Mike explained: “By this means we can greatly increase the amount of information we receive and use this to identify distinct scenarios, such as failure of the mains supply, failure of a compressor to deliver air or channel failure.
“Powelectrics’ telemetry solution helps us respond efficiently and appropriately, ensuring that the process runs as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible, creating higher quality fertiliser that’s easier to use.
“Metron has given us steady, reliable readings wherever we’ve found a suitable 2G signal. We’ve had zero problems with the kit in-service even though our conditions-of-use tend to be arduous – outdoor, all weather … so we build the Metron into its own IP68 enclosure.
“The cost of a Metron is generally outside what our customers want to pay – so increasingly we fit Metron equipment at delivery for a 12-month “guarantee engineer” period. This saves us visits while the farmer is becoming used to the equipment. Then we move it on to another new installation.”
Metron4 can use external power or be battery/ solar powered for use in remote and rural locations. Metron4 telemetry hardware supports 2G & 4G, comes in an IP67 enclosure and offers operational temperatures – 25 to +65°C for global deployment.
MetronView is a secure, scalable, intuitive and customisable cloud. Data and alerts can be seen by multiple authorised users based on a permissions hierarchy, on any web-enabled device.
Powelectrics offers 30 years’ experience in sensing and remote monitoring. The company’s ‘connected sensor’ solutions are employed in many industries including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, Adblue, fuels, oils, LPG, lubricants, food and beverage, waste & recycling, landfill & leachate, agriculture, utilities, pumping and environment, rail and security.