Stuffing Box Monitoring Difficult with Current IIoT Technology



Can current Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology be used for stuffing box monitoring? Lori Ditoro, marketing manager for SEPCO, recently wrote an article for Plant Services discussing the relationship between stuffing box monitoring and IIoT sensor technology.

“The influx of stick-it-and-forget-it vibration sensors for pumps and motors alone has been monumental,” the article stated. “However, you can’t use these sensors and other IIoT technology to monitor every possible fault and all types of equipment.”

stuffing box reliability

How IIoT Compatibility Was Accelerated by COVID-19

Global industry was brought to a halt with the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, while essential businesses and manufacturers continued to operate as safely as possible. However, to do so, social distancing was enforced, outside consultants and vendors were prohibited from job sites, and teams had to maintain equipment with smaller staffs and less support.

IIoT tools can help with these adjustments to staffing and remote work in these extreme and unprecedented circumstances.

“The need and desire to add condition monitoring sensors and digital access ramped up exponentially in the second quarter of 2020,” the article said. “However, for many reasons, including economic feasibility and asset criticality, visibility into every asset with condition monitoring sensors is not always reachable.”

IIoT and Stuffing Box Monitoring

According to the article, sensor technology enables personnel safety, increased equipment uptime, and minimized personnel on the plant floor. However, some equipment may not be critical enough for sensors, and some simply cannot be monitored with this technology.

One potential technology for safe and IIoT-equipped stuffing box monitoring is ultrasound. However, as the article mentions “as a sensor technology today, it is not an option.”

“The concern around IIoT technology was that sensors may replace the need for personnel in a plant. However, examples like stuffing box reliability reinforce that personnel will continue to be needed on the plant floor.”

In other words, the future of maintenance and reliability continues to require human input on the floor.

Read the complete article on PlantServices.com to learn more.

About the Author
Anna Claire Howard is a contributing writer and editor for Sealing Equipment Products Co. Inc. (SEPCO) and has been since Spring 2019. She is a full-time freelancer and stay-at-home-mom. Before those two big life changes, she was the content marketing specialist for Fluke Accelix; assistant editor for Grand View Outdoors, publisher of Bowhunting World, Predator Xtreme, Whitetail Journal, Tactical Retailer, and Shooting Sports Retailer; managing editor for Media Solutions, Inc., publisher of Gear Solutions, Wind Systems, and Thermal Processing magazines; assistant editor for MSI; and the editorial intern for B.A.S.S., LLC, publisher of Bassmaster Magazine and Bassmaster.com. In these B2B/B2C roles, Anna Claire developed an appreciation for the industrial sector, as well as the operators and technicians who make up the workforce. You can find her on LinkedIn at bit.ly/ACHowardLI.

From the Blog