Tomato Grower Gets out of Red With Cornell Co-Pilot™

A large tomato grower in Central California was having issues with pumps that were being run unattended. Without someone there to watch the pumps continuously, they run into operational problems.

The fleet of several dozen pumps would see intermittent cavitation, causing pump damage. Bearing failures were another issue. Frequently, debris would enter the pump suction and restrict flow, or in worst cases, trip motors. All of these instances caused downtime to the facility, maintenance staff time and resources, as well as purchase of parts. Additionally, much of the fleet was older, causing issues with spares, and they operate in a tight labor market, so skilled labor for pump maintenance or even more casual labor to monitor the pumps, was hard to secure.

The grower wanted alerts that helped them stop a problem before it turned critical. They became aware of Industrial Internet of Things Monitoring (IIOT) as a possibility. The considered options, and felt that Cornell Co-Pilot™ was the right mix of escalating alerts, geolocation, being able to start and stop the pump remotely, and multiple logins so supervisors and workers can all monitor pumps independently.

One of the first wins the facility saw with Co-Pilot was geolocation. With pumps spread over several thousand acres, being able to precisely track mobile assets was a big time save. Later, as technicians were catching problems before they become critical, the additional cost-saving and maintenance value of Co-Pilot came into sharper focus.

The grower has been operating the Co-Pilot system for more than six months (as of December 2020 for creation of app sheet), and in that time they estimate they have saved over $12K in downtime and repairs. The system paid for itself in a few months. The expect five years’ service life of the Co-Pilots would mean more than $75K in savings. That is no small “tomatoes.”  Download the full story as a PDF.

Share the Post:

Related Posts