Air compressors are an essential piece of gear for workers in a variety of businesses. Air compressors allow these workers to perform critical tasks such as product finishing, cutting, and welding at locations.
This usefulness is driving the growth of the air compressor market. Research firm Global Market Insights forecasts that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.3percent over the upcoming few years to $8 billion in 2026.
However, while engineering advancements have made air compressors more useful through the years, their core functionality has not changed. This lack of innovation has made it difficult for OEMs to differentiate air compressors, maintaining the average price for these machines.
The emergence of the IIoT has the potential to change this status quo. Employing the IIoT, OEMs can extract data from air compressors and transmit it wirelessly to the cloud, where they and their customers can monitor, analyze, and act upon this data to improve business outcomes.
Using the IIoT, OEMs finally have the ability to construct and deploy IIoT applications that make their compressors more energy efficient, easier and less expensive to maintain. By employing the IIoT to enhance the value of their products with these and other new features, OEMs will not only be able to increase prices for this gear but also offer customers new pay-as-you-go alternatives and other services that create new long-term earnings streams.
Improving Air Compressors’ Energy Efficiency (CEnergy@4iPlatform.com)
Optimizing mobile air compressors’ energy usage is one way in which OEMs can use the IIoT to increase these machines’ value. According to another report from Global Market Insights, electricity expenses represent as much as 75 percent of a mobile air compressor’s lifetime price. In addition, the greenhouse gases and other negative environmental effects of their energy usage is leading authorities regulators to establish new energy efficiency standards for these machines.
Together with the IIoT providing them with data on how their gear uses energy as time passes, OEMs can improve the energy efficiency of their mobile air compressors. Better energy efficiency will not only reduce their customers’ lifetime product prices but also make it easier for these OEMs to ensure their equipment complies with new government energy efficiency regulations.
Reducing Maintenance Costs and Equipment Downtime (ELT@4iPlatform.com)
OEMs can also use IIoT data from their air compressors to optimize the maintenance of these machines. Traditionally, this maintenance is performed on a periodic basis or only after the machine experiences performance problems.
This can lead to unnecessary maintenance expenses, with unnecessary truck rolls to check on equipment that hasn’t been utilized as far as forecasted. In addition, if a compressor is used more than expected but not maintained, this additional wear and tear can lead to equipment downtime.
Employing the IIoT, OEMs and their customers can remotely track how much their mobile air compressors are used, and they can receive alerts every time a compressor’s usage crosses a predefined threshold. By making sure to perform maintenance on compressors that require this, and avoiding maintenance on those that don’t, the IIoT can both reduce maintenance costs and equipment downtime.
New Edge-to-Cloud Solutions Simplify the IIoT for OEMs
How can OEMs deploy IIoT applications that allow them to offer their customers these and other new features and services — such as ongoing usage-based arrangements where customers pay for”air as a service”
In the past, there were significant technical implementation challenges OEMs faced if they wanted to deploy these types of applications. In particular, building the infrastructure needed to extract data from these machines and then transmit it to cloud-based systems is complex, and generally not one of these OEMs’ core competencies.
Fortunately, new edge-to-cloud IIoT infrastructure technology has emerged that eliminates the need for OEMs to acquire all the complex expertise needed to create this infrastructure themselves.
These all-in-one technologies include edge devices with built-in protocols for extracting data from air compressors. They comprise global wireless services that simplify the transmission of this data to the cloud. And they comprise cloud APIs that make integration of this equipment data into the cloud a snap.
OEMs now have an opportunity to differentiate their air compressors by simply connecting them to the cloud — hence making them”smart” These new smart air compressors can inform their OEMs owners, and operators when they are inefficiently with energy, tell them if they require maintenance, and alert them if they have been stolen.
Together with the IIoT, a new era of innovation has arrived for the mobile air compressor market — and people OEMs who start using the IIoT today to enhance the value of their compressors will be the first to reap the benefits.