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Trico Introduces Sensei™ Real-Time Lubrication Intelligence System

Asset Condition ManagementMachinery Lubrication

New wireless monitoring technology can help manufacturers save time, maximize equipment uptime through data-driven maintenance

Pewaukee, WI – March 30, 2017 

Trico Corporation, a leading provider of lubrication management solutions, today introduced Sensei™, a real-time lubrication intelligence system.

Sensei, believed to be the first system of its type, wirelessly transmits oil level and ambient air temperature to a customizable, web-based dashboard. As a result, users gain real-time input on machine status and maintenance requirements. Sensei can:

  • Reduce inspection time from hours to minutes per week.
  • Reduce requirements for personnel to visit difficult- or dangerous-to-access areas.
  • Help avoid downtime by providing alerts and warnings.
  • Enable organizations to operate more efficiently by performing proactive, data-driven maintenance.

“The launch of Sensei represents a new ability to generate meaningful data faster and more efficiently than ever before. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to help customers develop cost-saving strategies and reduce the massive pressures of reliability,” says Jim Jung, President, Trico. “In combination with the services from the Trico Analysis Center, Sensei enables us to redefine lubrication management strategies for the Internet of Things era.”

Trico’s Sensei™ real-time lubrication intelligence system wirelessly transmits oil level and ambient air temperature to a customizable, web-based dashboard.

Sensei Applications

The first wireless sensors available as part of the Sensei system are oil level sensors designed to accompany Trico’s line of 8-oz. Opto-Matic vented and closed constant level oilers. Pumps, motors, gearboxes, fans, blowers and other equipment use constant level oilers to maintain a consistent fluid level.

Industrial and manufacturing applications include those in machining, petrochemical, chemical processing, primary metals, pulp and paper, food and beverage, power generation, water management, mining and other industries. Maintenance managers, directors of operations, facility managers, lubrication technicians, millwrights and reliability engineers in these industries stand to gain valuable insights from Sensei’s real-time monitoring capability.

Results from Initial Installations

“Sensei has helped us rule out and identify problems,” says Mike Walton, ICML*, MLT-II, Mechanical Technician at Irving Tissue, St. John, New Brunswick. Irving Tissue tested Sensei on the Yankee Exhaust Fans that assist in the drying process. Walton notes that the reliability team at first thought one fan had an oil leak because it lost so much oil in a short period, but historical data provided by Sensei showed that there were periods as long as four to five months where oil level stayed constant.

“On fan 200-190-21, Sensei enabled us to rule out a leak and look for other causes,” says Walton. “Conversely, fan 100-190-53 leaked constantly. On closer examination, we found it had a leaking fitting going to the bearing housing, as well as a bad seal. Work orders were entered to correct those problems.”

*International Council for Machinery Lubrication, Level II Machinery Lubrication Technician

Inside the System

The Sensei system includes three components:

  1. An oil sensor that measures the oil level, oil consumption and ambient temperature.
  2. The Sensei gateway (a router) that securely receives data and transmits it to the cloud. The gateway handles up to 64 sensors at a radius of 250 feet. Repeaters expand the network as needed.
  3. An intuitive, web-based dashboard for real-time intelligence (there is no need to install software). The dashboard is customizable with displays for oil level by device, daily alerts and several other functions.

“Due to competitive pressure, cost-saving requirements and retiring skilled trade talent, many companies no longer have in-house capabilities. That’s where Trico and our 100 years of lubrication expertise come in, helping customers turn data into action,” says Jung. “By pairing data from Sensei with our industry-leading oil lab services and analysis, Trico provides an unmatched ability to protect and extend the life of critical equipment.”

Custom Developed

To create Sensei’s customized optical sensor pack that captures oil levels, Trico partnered with MarqMetrix, a Seattle-based company that also helped develop the wireless network solution that flows data into the Sensei cloud platform.

“Using patented technology, we can automate previously manual and labor intensive measurement processes. Sensei technology has limitless opportunities for industrial and manufacturing applications,” says Brian Marquardt, CEO of MarqMetrix.

How to Get Sensei

To help ensure maximum impact with the expert monitoring made possible by Sensei, the system is only available through a select network of trained distribution partners, or directly through Trico. Companies can request access to a simulated Sensei dashboard that illustrates available information and configurability,.

Sensei oil level sensors are available as a complete oiler, but can be retrofit to existing Trico Opto-Matic installations by replacing the upper bulb assembly. It is not compatible with competitive oilers.

About Trico

Trico Corporation is a total lubrication management service and products company that focuses on increasing industrial asset performance and reliability. The company offers assessments for lubrication management programs, equipment audits, oil analysis, training, and a complete line of high-performance lubrication products. Founded in 1917, Trico’s mission is to protect and extend the life of critical equipment, providing customers with peace of mind through machines that run more productively. Principal offices are in Pewaukee, Wis., and Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, visit tricocorp.com or call (800) 558-7008, ext. 117.