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Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Case Study Chemical Company


Case Study Chemical Company

Chemical Manufacturing company pays a huge amount of money for their steam. They have not had a full steam audit for 3 years. They know they have had a number of closed failures because the failures destroyed heat exchangers but have no idea how many traps were currently failed open. They want to be able to plan maintenance better to fix closed failures before they destroy equipment and simultaneously fix open failures and cut their energy costs across the plant.

Heat Savings on Exchangers pays for the cost of solution and installation. ROI is almost instantaneous.


Installing Pulse Steam Trap Monitors on all steam traps took 2 of their maintenance people 2 days. Avoiding even 1 close failure pays for those workers wages tenfold. Plus being able to schedule the time was much easier than having to adjust schedules to accommodate emergency fixes, and no production line downtime was needed.

They have a number of solutions that monitor their equipment, all the dashboards are displayed on a central computer monitor that is accessible 24 hours a day. They like that the Pulse solution runs on an independent highly secure network that doesn’t interfere with other apps and that failures are sent as alerts.

“Cutting energy costs is one of our mandates for the next few years. This is a great start.”


  • They are able to proactively fix closed failures and avoid the devastating consequences to their heat exchangers

  • One of their biggest costs is energy, reducing that cost will significantly impact their net revenue

  • Installers completed a full steam audit while implementing Pulse solution, the first in over 3 years

  • They don’t need to monitor the dashboard at all times as failures and even anomalies are sent via email

  • Automation and efficiency are goals for the entire operation, this is one more step towards that ideal

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Case Study Food & Bev


Case Study Food & Bev

A large food manufacturing and processing plant has 193 steam traps. They use culinary steam, hvac, a permeate tank and a heat exchanger. They are the market leader in the aggressiveness of their sustainability standards. They have a hard time finding steam trap leaks as inspections are very challenging because of their location (very high up near the ceiling). They have stated on their website that they will be NetZero by 2025.

Expert auditors did install in 4 days. A failure was detected saving thousands of tonnes of CO2.


Once they heard about the Pulse SaaS solution for monitoring steam traps they instantly knew they needed to have this solution throughout their plant. They hired a third party steam trap auditing company to come and do an audit and simultaneously attach monitors to every trap. The audit company is very fast, they are able to install anywhere from 30 to 50 monitors per day, anchoring devices securely and quickly assessing which side of the trap is the condensate side so temperature sensors are placed correctly. During the install/audit process they actually discovered and replaced a failed trap, potentially saving the company thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions and helping them adhere to their strict ESG goals.

“We have set very ambitious goals for our sustainability standards. I believe everyone should”


  • Using an audit company to do the install allowed them to fill in details about the size, type and position of the traps so that they are very easy to find down the road when they fail.

  • This is a best practice approach as they ensure that all traps are operational and have an accurate baseline.

  • The CEO of this successful family owned business has made a personal promise to be the most sustainable in his market space. This solution helped him on his track.

  • They no longer need to send workers up to inspect traps which are located in dangerous positions. The monitors send data to their dashboard wirelessly and safely.

Updated: Jan 16

Steam systems are dependable and resilient and sometimes lull users into a false sense of security…

Why Automate Inspections

I have been working in the manufacturing sector a long time and, when talking to plant managers, inevitably the topic of automation comes up. Is it a good thing? Of course it is, but where does it stop? It is immeasurably helpful in situations where the environment is harsh or dangerous, it is a relief when it can manage jobs that are tedious and repetitive. It is worth the cost for tasks that require a precision that is impossible for a human operator. But if the task needs the ability to react to changing conditions, when it has a complex set of actions that require freedom of movement and flexible decision making automation just doesn’t have the wherewithal to manage those processes.

I would argue that inspections generally fall into that category. There are too many variables to program into a machine. Inspectors are like superheroes, they crawl under things, they tap and prod and twist and go where others fear to tread. They have the know-how to use many types of diagnostic tools plus the experience to “just know” that something is not right. The problem with inspections is their data is obsolete the moment it is created. An inspector checks a heat pump to see that the thermostat gauge is working, the hoses are connected and that it doesn’t have any cracks or kinks, that filter is clean, the reverse valve is operational, no liquids are leaking out etc and moves on. As soon as he/she is out of hearing range the thermostat dies and the whole thing shuts down. It’s even worse for steam traps because they are inside heavy steel pipes and it requires an ultrasound wand placed on the trap at the outside to determine whether or not they are functioning.

Even workers standing right beside the trap have no clue whether or not it is operational.

Why Automate Inspections

So how do you decide how often to do inspections? Typically, different types of machinery have set inspection guidelines based on a number of characteristics including Failure Developing Period (FDP), pass/fail rate, duration and frequency of use, danger to user (for example equipment used to lift persons is required to be done more frequently), cost and complexity of inspection, certification requirements and various other criteria. For example, OSHA requires that each piece of heavy equipment pass inspection before every use. Other aspects of the guideline may include the method of inspection.

In the case of steam trap inspections the need is clear.

  1. You can’t see or hear a failure (you need special equipment to test)

  2. Failure rates are high (from 5 to 25%)

  3. Energy losses are significant from failures

  4. The cost of energy is high - both financially and in environmental detriment

  5. There are many traps in every steam system (anywhere from 50 to 1000)

It makes so much sense to automate steam trap inspections. Having the traps monitored constantly by a plug and play solution that costs very little to install and maintain that sends failure alerts via email is brilliant. Hmmm that sounds familiar?! I look forward to the day that plant managers, union leaders, CFO’s, CEO’s and everyone in between can focus on strategy and productivity and workplace culture and other more important topics. All with the comfort of knowing that all the machinery supporting the business is running smoothly and if anything goes wrong the right person will know instantly and can do what is necessary to remedy the situation.

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