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Big Data gives cool insights to air conditioning company

Manufacturing

A MAJOR air conditioner manufacturer is using the Internet of Things to maximise the performance and efficiency of its products remotely.

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Seeley International is developing a data analytics system in Adelaide, South Australia, to mine Big Data to help monitor the performance of its air conditioners across the globe in real time.

The data system will collect information such as ambient temperature, humidity, fan speeds, environmental conditions and air pressure of the units to ensure they are working at optimal levels.

It will also quickly identify the causes of breakdowns remotely so parts can be dispatched faster and repair times dramatically reduced.

Seeley International General Manager Rob Gilbert said the initiative would make the company the first in the world to remotely monitor its air conditioner software to guarantee more efficient maintenance.

“We constantly need to gather a lot of critical data from our industrial sites but to date have had no method of putting it together automatically,” he said.

“Previously we had to go and interrogate the systems one at a time but now we can gather data remotely and that will supply us a platform to better monitor these units.

“Initially, the Big Data project will only apply to our industrial products and will begin within a year. Whether it’s available to the public or not, it will be available for us to use.”

Sensors and control systems that are already installed in Seeley products will be used to transmit performance data to the company, which now has the resources to collate the information.

Seeley International was started by South Australian businessman Frank Seeley in 1972 and sold 1000 coolers in its first year of production, rising to more than 150,000 in 1982, two-thirds of which were exported to the Middle East.

Australia’s largest air conditioning manufacturer, Seeley is a global leader in the design and manufacture of portable and ducted climate control systems for the domestic, commercial and industrial markets.

Its brands include Climate Wizard, Breezair, Convair and Braemar.

Last year the company acquired American air conditioner manufacturer Coolerado and plans to produce components for its brands at the Denver-based facility to improve its international distribution.

Seeley International has been awarded a $51,000 grant from the South Australian Government as part of the Big Data Connect Program that will allow the company to analyse large amounts of data and make more informed decisions.

The Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre will work alongside Seeley International to ensure Big Data collected is compressed and collated for company use only.

South Australian Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher said the Big Data Connect Program aimed to raise awareness of Big Data applications show and how the technology could increase a company’s competitiveness and profitability.

“According to IBM, 90 per cent of the data in the world today has been generated during the past two years. Industries and companies have access to more information and data than ever before,” he said.

“The 12-month program will help manufacturers to partner with researchers to develop Big Data solutions that will deliver tangible outcomes for those businesses.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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