Smart Technology acts as a communication gateway from a remote control to a web-like sprawl of products. While, most applications are linked to home surveillance systems, appliances, lighting fixtures, and home accessories, this is changing at a rapid pace. Today, Smart Technology is used in automotive accessories such as trailer hitches, pet products, and navigation systems. Well, thanks to Jeremy Frank, founder of KCF Technologies Inc., this technology will soon be incorporated into the fracking industry.
Last year, Frank pitched his smart sensor to a group of gas company executives. David Ross, vice president of EQT Production, just happened to be in the group that day. Ross was intrigued with Frank’s idea and decided to give it a go, but first he had to convince FTS International to invest in the experiment. EQT Production is a leading producer of natural gas and FTS International is a provider of natural gas and oil well simulation services, with expertise in hydraulic fracturing.
The goal was to equip various components with a Smart sensor to monitor vibration and process the data, so it could be utilized to predict underlying issues. If the sensor is capable of detecting a minor issue, before it escalates into a full-blown malfunction, the issue could be diagnosed and eliminated. This innovative technology could potentially reduce breakdowns and extend the pump’s service life. According to Frank, a single pump can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 and replaced every three to six months.
The Smart sensors were finally approved and installed on various pumps in Greene County. The digital data was stored in the cloud and accessible from multiple devices. With 72 sensors hard at work, FTS is currently in the process of equipping sensors on its 16 North American fleets.
Falling oil prices are devastating the fracking industry, but with this technology, companies will have the opportunity to survive these difficult times.