Smelter worker holding an El-Watch wireless sensor.

World-Class Smelter Safeguards Operations with Sensors from El-Watch

El-Watch’s sensors are really put to the test here at Elkem. The Thamshavn smelter is notable for performing predictive maintenance and monitoring in harsh conditions, sometimes even at extremely high temperatures. El-Watch’s solutions have safeguarded the operation and averted costly machine breakdowns at the smelter for years.

“Elkem Thamshavn is the most energy-efficient smelter in the world. We have an extremely challenging working environment, with lots of dust and magnetism that often wreak havoc on our electronic equipment. We have chosen El-Watch as our supplier, because their sensors are robust enough for our needs.”

Øyvind Henningsen, IT Manager, Elkem Thamshavn
Scanning of wireless sensor for smelter monitoring.

The cooperation between El-Watch and Elkem Thamshavn has been productive for both parties, in particular, because El-Watch’s IoT-based solutions provide a good overview of machine performance. Moreover, the system warns of deviations that may necessitate maintenance. 

“We have collaborated with El-Watch for a number of years and are using many of their sensor solutions. We use, among other things, a range of vibration sensors as well as temperature sensors for both high and regular temperatures.”

Øyvind Henningsen, Elkem Thamshavn
Customer Story Elkem Thamshavn - Predictive maintenance and monitoring in harsh conditions

Elkem and El-Watch strengthen each other with good synergy

“We use the sensors to measure deviations that show up over time, in particular, in critical equipment, for which there used to be no good methods of measuring in the past. Moreover, we use El-Watch’s solutions to monitor important processes that we needed to keep a better watch over.”

There are substantial differences in Elkem’s line of business, which puts the sensor supplier to the test. Together with the team at Thamshaven, El-Watch have developed a monitoring solution that is optimal for the smelter’s needs.

“Elkem have been open and ready to embrace changes. Together, we have learned to think outside the box and developed the most effective method for using new technology. This is how we have managed to optimise production here at Thamshavn.”

Hallvard Helgetun, Consultant, El-Watch

Product

Neuron Vibration Sensor

The Neuron Vibration measures vibration level and surface temperature every two minutes. The sensor has an embedded magnet at the back for easy installation.

El-Watch saved Elkem’s smelter 100,000 (NOK) in repair costs

Sensor monitoring is about so much more than just production optimization. Perhaps the most important advantage of automated and IoT-based monitoring is predictive maintenance. This is something that can save companies a lot of unforeseen expenses.

Two workers reading smelter monitoring data on computer screens.

“The sensors warn us promptly of any equipment deviations. This allows us to repair the equipment before it actually breaks down. This is of particular importance to Thamshavn. There are lots of resources to save if we fix the equipment before rather than after it breaks down and halts production.”

Øyvind Henningsen, Elkem Thamshavn

“To give an example of this, we found out that one of our fans was about to break down. Dealing with this at an early stage saved us NOK 100,000.”

Øyvind Henningsen, Elkem Thamshavn

Imagine how much Elkem Thamshavn would have lost if the fan had indeed broken down and put parts of the production on hold until a new fan was fitted.

“Elkem sees how valuable it is to look after their machinery and equipment as they are aware of the potential consequences and costs of a shutdown of critical equipment.”

Hallvard Helgetun, El-Watch

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Thamshavn — A world-class smelter that has the future in mind

Naturally, Thamshavn opted for a solution that was best for them, but they also had their future employees in mind. “Elkem wants to make sure that the next generation of workers at the smelter have a modern and up-to-date workplace that takes full advantage of its sustainability potential.”

Hallvard Helgetun, El-Watch

Sustainability is also important to us at El-Watch. Therefore, we think that it is appropriate to point out here that IoT monitoring promotes sustainable operations. By automating monitoring, you can easily find out if the operation of your equipment is energy-efficient or not. You can read more about this in our article about how wireless sensors enable a sustainable manufacturing industry.

We like to think that our solutions have helped Elkem Thamshavn become the most energy-efficient smelter in the world. However, we would like to help more. This is why we have developed a range of sensors and solutions for many types of industries and enterprises. You can find out more about this a bit further down.

Product

Neuron mA Digitizer &
Precision mA Digitizer

The Neuron mA Digitizer converts your analogue signal into a digital measurement. Integrated battery ensures up to 10 years of battery life.

“Over time, El-Watch’s sensor solutions have turned out to be robust and, in particular, easy to put into service. From sensors through gateways and all the way to apps; all of El-Watch’s solutions are so easy to install that practically everyone can do it unassisted.”

Øyvind Henningsen, Elkem Thamshavn

“Here at Elkem Thamshavn, we need sensors that withstand heat, dirt, dust and suchlike, which makes El-Watch’s solutions perfect for the job.”

Odin Nærup Hellem, trainee, Elkem Thamshavn

El-Watch develops solutions for all types of monitoring

El-Watch’s product range counts more than 50 types of sensors that can monitor everything, from machinery vibrations to temperatures in cold storage rooms and pieces of meat. 

Check out our newsroom to find more testimonials of customer success. Among other things, you can read about how lumber producer Talgø MøreTre made millions by investing a few thousand NOK into El-Watch sensors and IoT-based monitoring.

At El-Watch, you can find sensors that monitor if your ventilation system wastes too much power, if the air humidity in your vertical farming system is optimal, if any windows/doors are open and much more. View our range of sensors here.

We work hard to develop solutions that make it easier for companies in a range of different industries to monitor and optimize their operations. You can read more about this in our article «El-Watch Neuron Sensors: A sixth sense for IoT monitoring».

Ready to try wireless sensors?

Please contact our Sales Manager for some good advice and a nice sensor- chat.

KNOWLEDGE

Further reading

Neuron Virtual Sensor
Articles

Neuron Virtual Sensor

It’s here! We’ve been looking forward to offering our customers a solution that also includes virtual sensors – with countless applications. Many of you have been asking for this product, which is now ready for launch.

Read More

PRODUCT BROCHURE

Find the perfect
sensor solution

We offer over 50 different sensor types. Explore the possibilities in our product brochure.