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Armstrong International and Everactive Collaborate on Wireless Steam Trap Monitoring, Combining Industrial Expertise with Batteryless IoT Technology

Armstrong International, a 120-year old, global leader in energy management, announced that it will work with Everactive to offer a more efficient and cost-effective approach to steam trap management, combining Everactive’s award-winning, low-power wireless technology with Armstrong’s leading trap management web-platform.

Everactive builds wireless, batteryless Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for steam systems and other industrial equipment and infrastructure.

Armstrong is one of the world’s largest and oldest manufacturers of steam traps – and in fact invented and patented the inverted bucket stream trap in 1911. The fifth-generation family-owned business is recognized for its deep industrial expertise and innovation.

Moreover, Armstrong has continually sought to deliver intelligent solutions that not only generate economic value, but also create an enjoyable customer experience and demonstrable environmental impact.  To that end, in 2016, Armstrong introduced SAGE, which has become the gold standard for steam and hot water system management.  With respect to steam traps, the software platform automates steam trap failure alerts to reduce the financial and environmental costs associated with undetected failures, as well as the cost associated with manual inspection rounds.

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Today, SAGE accepts a wide range of inputs, including data that’s been collected manually and with automated monitoring devices. The existing monitoring devices are all powered by batteries, though, which is where Everactive comes in.  The company was founded upon extremely low-power circuit technology that allows its Eversensors to operate entirely from low levels of harvested energy.  Just a few degrees of temperature difference or the light in a dimly-lit factory is enough for Everactive’s devices to continuously collect data and transmit it back to the cloud.

As Everactive developed its Steam Trap Monitoring (STM) solution using this batteryless platform, it turned to Armstrong to validate its approach.  While it is widely understood that temperature spot-checks alone cannot reliably identify trap failure, Everactive’s unique technology raised a new question: could it be done with continuous temperature monitoring?

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According to a series of tests performed by the steam system giant in its Global R&D lab, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Armstrong tested multiple types of steam traps, and multiple modes of operation, including cold and blow-through traps. The conclusion: the combination of continuous temperature monitoring and advanced analytics allows the STM solution to correctly detect the status of the steam trap.

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The validity of the approach offers Armstrong an opportunity to feed its SAGE platform with more robust and granular data, and promises to deliver additional insights and value to the companies’ shared customers.

As Armstrong and Everactive continue their collaboration – which will further combine Everactive’s innovative data collection techniques with Armstrong’s deep thermal analytics expertise – the two companies will work to integrate their existing offerings as well as jointly develop new offerings for the steam & condensate market.

The collaboration should be viewed in the larger context of the Industrial Internet, which strives to add data intelligence and automation to previously unconnected equipment to replace previously manual processes.  Says Bob Nunn, CEO of Everactive, “what better place to start than steam – the catalyst of the First Industrial Revolution.”

To learn more about the collaboration, please contact John Greenfield, Director of Business Development & Partnerships at Everactive and Justin Grubka, Global Smart Products Director at Armstrong International.

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