Centrifuge with Bluetooth Communications
LK Industries specializes in petroleum testing equipment, one of which is a portable transport centrifuge. The transport centrifuge is used out in the field to determine the amount of water and sediment content on crude oil haulers. Separating water and sediment from the extracted oil requires samples to be pre-heated to a specific temperature, then loaded into a separately heated centrifuge and spun at a speed determined by the user. Previously, only the speed of the centrifuge could be adjusted by the user via a dial physically located on the transport centrifuge, while the temperature could only be switched on or off via a switch located physically on the device. In addition, all test results had to be manually recorded by the user through visually inspecting the finished sample. With the help of American Control Electronics, a custom built version of a DCR300-30 with Bluetooth capabilities was integrated into the transport centrifuge.
The addition of the Bluetooth module to the DCR300-30 allows the motor control to communicate with a mobile app that was designed specifically for LK by a third party. The mobile app provides an interface that allows the user to interact with the transport centrifuge by sending test parameters such as centrifuge speed and temperature. Once the test is complete, a report will be generated and stored on a cloud based network. This report displays information pertaining to the test parameters such as the temperature of the bowl during the test, the speed of the centrifuge during the test, and the duration of the test. The app also provides critical test results such as water content and sediment content, both displayed as percentages of the oil sample, and the relative centrifugal force during the test. Lastly, the app provides convenient information such as the date and time the test was run, the physical location of the transport centrifuge during the test in terms of latitude and longitude coordinates, and a section for the user to input notes pertaining to that test. The ability for the user to record and store test results now means that important standards in the oil testing field can be met.
American Control Electronics was able to deliver a custom motor control that greatly enhanced the usability of one of LK’s popular products. Being able to interact remotely with the transport centrifuge as well as receive and store test results has helped create a modern industrial product.