Pureflow Inc. (PFI) has provided water purification systems and services throughout the southeastern United States for more than 30 years. To develop its solutions, the company has long relied on advanced technology and still does today. Their solutions are used in markets for pulp and paper, power generation, the semiconductor industry, life sciences, the food and beverage industry, and the industrial sector.
The Challenge: Improving online monitoring capabilities and customer engagement
Responding to customer demand, Pureflow looked to upgrade its online monitoring capabilities for system performance and make it easier for customers to review the resulting data. Customers specifically requested access to equipment, service and reporting information that would give them a closer look into the water purification systems they use. Doing so, they said, would help them make more informed decisions toward optimizing system uptimes and tackling maintenance problems.
The Solution: Native cloud solution developed using Google Cloud resources
The Pureflow project was a pilot to develop a new web environment providing the features customers had requested. Although the pilot effort offered no access to customers, its scope focused intently on 10 customer sites, the majority of which were bottling plants. Engineers from ClearObject used Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for the pilot’s development and testing.
Of note, Pureflow officials and customers identified the features they wanted for system monitoring and data collection in a pre-project workshop with ClearObject team members. ClearObject also used customer/user personas to design web app’s pilot-based dashboards for online monitoring, data visualizations and alerts as well as data access and reporting. Personas were compiled using documented user stories and empathy mapping along with detailed in-scope data sources.
Ingesting data more effectively is chief among the enhanced functionality in Pureflow’s pilot project, as is improved monitoring and reporting. For the pilot, data is provided via a device within the manufacturing environment called “eWon,” which collects key data from associated Components and Tags. Collected data is then transferred from the eWon to the GCP project via FTP on a periodic basis.
Pureflow’s pilot web app provides:
- Filter and extract data captured from Pureflow (and associated) systems
- Generate Water System Executive Summary reports for each customer deployment; reports include component/tag data as well as alarm data
- A dashboard showing the 10 selected sites
- Contact information about those sites including a high-level health status (red/green)
- A report dashboard that allows for selection of the last 12 monthly reports and the …ability to generate “Ad hoc” reports
In a report generated for the pilot, sections include:
- Section 1 – % of Data Points within threshold over past 12 months.
- Section 2 – Component view of data with total alarm count for that component
- Section 3 – Component KPI with individual tag summary
As part of the pilot work, ClearObject developed a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) roadmap to assess the new web solution’s feature backlog, tactical execution plan, Beta customer profiles, and even potential monetization opportunities for Pureflow.
225 Channels to ingest data from Pureflow’s eWon device
8 Distinct user-defined dashboard data visualizations/alerts
ClearObject is poised to build Pureflow’s full system monitoring solution and web application using the same GCP resources from the project’s pilot phase and MVP roadmap. Among enhancements for a proposed MVP project are additional customer sites and improved data ingestion, greater report functionality, and customized graph displays to show composite metrics across multiple tags.