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Power Monitoring & Analysis System Finds Root Causes of Plant Power Problems

Undetected plant power problems can cause equipment failure, downtime and excessive energy costs. This inexpensive power monitoring and analysis system can find problems before the damage is done.


Video Transcription

Narrator: Welcome back. I'm here with Doc Williams who is the Novatec electrical engineer working with MachineSense. Doc, tell us about the MachineSense power analyzer and why it's so important.

Doc: Well, we use the power analyzer to help you analyze things like total harmonic distortion, phase imbalances and things like that. Typically, a maintenance manager may have no idea what the powers like and they're replacing a motor in one of their facility every six months or so. They think it's normal because it's always been that way. We've had some customers put the sensor out on that equipment and find a lot of THD, harmonic distortion. Customers go and get their engineering guy to address the root cause, all of a sudden they're not changing motors every six months anymore. They haven't changed a motor in a year. So this is what it's for. It's like all these electrical problems are hidden from the guy because if the lights come on and the motor spins we're good, but maybe it's not always that way.

Narrator:  Well, tell us about why this is different than the other power analyzers on the market right now.

Doc: The other power analyzers out in the market are more spot checks. You take it out and you carried it over to one piece of gear and you hang it on there. Every 15 minutes maybe it looks at something and logs 15 minute data. Well, instead of getting one signal every 15 minutes we're getting 8000 signals every second. So that's what we bring in on current and voltage. We look at that we do a lot of edge computing down in a processor and we aggregate that data, send it up to the Cloud where there's more analysis done. Any time anything goes wrong, you get a real-time e-mail, text message, however you want to receive the data. You will get that in real-time so you'll know. It'll wake you up at 3 o'clock in the morning and say, "Dude you better go to work because something is wrong out there." We have screens like this, which is the dashboard screen. The guy looks at that first thing in the morning and if it's all the green stuff, you're good. If it's yellow, maybe he's got to go find a technician to go and find out what's happening. And if it's red, he's in trouble. So it's a nice and easy, quick thing for a maintenance manager or anybody in that plant to take care of.

Narrator:  Pretty impressive. How easy is it to install?

Doc: You have to worry about things like electrical rules and such like that, you don't want some guy sticking his hands in anything with 480 volts. So, you take the power down where you're working and these are current transformers. You just click them open like that, put them over the wire, close them up and you're done with those. On the voltage side, most of our customers use a hard connection where they plug this into the bottom of a breaker, or wherever it goes into the motor, and then it hooks up to this end and goes into the power analyzer. Also, if you're doing something quick and you don't want to interrupt that circuit, we have alligator clips. All of this stuff comes within the kit. So you'll get the alligator clips and the hard connections and they all just plug on the end of these little banana clips. No problem. So I would think two minutes to install. Now you have to find a home for that and you have to supply it with either 24 volts or 110 AC, and that's the installation.

Narrator: People are always concerned about security. How do you address the security issues or concerns that people have about having a system where it's up on the Cloud?

Doc: Well, everything in here obviously is OK but once we go to the Cloud we encrypt the data and we shouldn't have any problems. We've never had any problems. We've seen guys try to get in this equipment and they've all been rejected. We've done some hack testing and stuff like that and we're good.

Narrator: Final question, how do people order this? How do they find out about it? Is it through the Novatec reps, is it online?

Doc: Through the Novatec reps or you can go to Look there and you can find me. My e-mail is Let me know and I'll take care of you.

Narrator:  Doc, thanks very much.