Peter Jackson talks monitoring chemical levels remotely

Peter Jackson, Engineering Manager at Christeyns UK, explains why remote tank monitoring is a must-have in the laundry and hygiene sector too.

Suppliers of bulk laundry chemicals have largely relied on educated guesses when it came to tank levels, estimating when tanks need refilling, in conjunction with insight from customers.

This has worked in the past to a certain extent, but particularly in the current circumstances, a more exacting method brings many benefits.

Essentially, remote tank monitoring comprises both a hardware and a software system. A sensor is installed in or on the chemical tank that accurately tracks fill levels and other data using a serial, ethernet or I/O connection. The gateway then sends the information via the internet or cellular network to a cloud-based data centre. The data is encrypted both to and from the server.

The information can be accessed online via a website where the user can see all their parameters of the installed tanks. Access can be gained via computer, tablet or smartphone, thus providing real-time updates that can be easily viewed by all parties. Suppliers, such as Christeyns, therefore know exactly what chemical customer tanks have and need at all times.

The constant monitoring of the tanks allows us to plan ahead more accurately for deliveries and forecast for the future. Customers in turn don’t need to worry about running out of supplies that could inhibit service output. It also allows Christeyns to more accurately forecast the long-term costs of chemicals, aiding with budgeting and transparency on both sides.

This collection of accurate and comprehensive data allows for intelligent business decisions. With the tank monitoring technology, Christeyns is able to conduct analysis and provide reports on customer usage and suggest ways to cut costs or streamline operations. Inventory planning and stock purchase is far more accurate based on data and the ability to view trends over time.

The efficiencies of the system also eliminate over-servicing and unnecessary deliveries, with product being delivered on a ‘just-in-time’ when needed basis, rather than on fixed deliveries.

From a customer perspective, it eliminates the requirement to manually check chemical levels, a plus point when it comes to safety and provides peace of mind that there will always be product available without the need to receive chemicals when not required.

The supply of chemistry is a business-critical process for laundries, so by offering a web-based 24 hours a day tracking system, this allows them to manage their inventory more effectively and provide more control over the process.

Our tank telemetry system assists with the basic administration tasks such as automated emails for re-ordering and the provision of usage reports. It can also set level warnings to forewarn of re-stocking and has the ability to identify if a tank is leaking or has a dosing issue based on historical data of each tank. One system can manage information for up to eight tanks.

The adoption of tank monitoring technology has proved a real asset for us as a company, allowing us to increase our efficiency in many ways and it means we can offer out customers even better service levels and value for money.