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Customer Story

How CosaTron uses OSIsoft Cloud Services to collect and display air quality

HVAC vent in the ceiling of an office
  • Challenge
    Real-time, remote monitoring of indoor air quality sensors.
  • Solutions
    As a Connected Services Agreement partner, leverage OSIsoft Cloud Services as a PaaS to remotely monitor, manage, analyze and visualize data collected from CosaTron’s indoor air quality sensors.
  • Benefits
    CosaTron can now perform analysis of data over time and provide high-value, remote air quality monitoring services for building owners and facilities managers alike, allowing clients to see air quality displays in real time on site.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought air quality into the spotlight in a big way. As people contemplate returning to offices, schools, and other public spaces, they want reassurance that those spaces are safe, and the air is free of virus-carrying particles. CosaTron manufactures indoor air quality monitors but did not have a way to remotely monitor or analyze data from its clients’ facilities. The company used OSIsoft Cloud Services (OCS) as part of a Connected Services Agreement to deliver new services to its clients. CosaTron gained the ability to compare historical data with real-time for deeper analysis of indoor air quality trends over time. After a successful pilot phase, CosaTron is now poised to include OCS as part of its monitoring service offerings to clients to provide them with indisputable evidence of indoor air quality.

Visualizing the invisible

CosaTron systems operate in thousands of facilities ranging from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville to the National Library of Japan in Tokyo. The company has used the same proven technology since 1958, and with the COVID-19 Pandemic explosion in 2020, real time, remote monitoring of indoor air quality became critical to ensure the safety of occupants. As a result, CosaTron created a remote monitoring service to show its clients just how effective its services are, so clients can breathe easy when it comes to air quality.

The indoor air quality monitoring service solved one part of CosaTron’s business need, but its leadership realized that monitoring indoor air quality was not effective if building owners and occupants could not monitor the air quality for themselves. Solving this part of the puzzle would require capturing the data and displaying it in a user-friendly way and in real time. Real-time results were key because air quality constantly changes as people come and go, and outside air mixes with indoor air. “Good air quality is difficult to see,” said Michael Orcutt, vice president of sales and engineering at CosaTron. “Thanks to OCS, we can now show empirical proof that we are effectively cleaning the air and compare to what the air quality was in a given space before we went in.”

People want to gain confidence when they return to the workspace—proof that the owners are doing everything they can to clean the air, and that is why we wanted to use OSIsoft Cloud Services to show the data.
Michael Orcutt
Vice President of Sales and Engineering, CosaTron

Data-driven peace of mind

The company considered several options for storing and visualizing data and quickly settled on OCS as a subscription-based service because it offered flexibility and unlimited potential. This will give CosaTron the ability to remotely monitor and display air quality data for its clients in multiple formats depending on their needs. For example, parents walking into a school might see a smiley face to indicate good air quality and a safe environment for their children, while an office building owner might need a more detailed view to determine which office suites are safe for occupancy. Furthermore, with the ability to capture historical air quality information, OCS will enable CosaTron to provide recommendations to their customers based on advanced analytic insights.

OCS meets all of these needs and continually updates data visualizations as air quality changes, allowing stakeholders to react quickly and make changes if air contaminants are detected. There’s no limit to the amount of data collected and it’s all timestamped, which allows for long-term analysis of air quality trends that will hopefully lead to better preventative measures and mitigation strategies. “People want to gain confidence when they return to the workspace— proof that the building owners and facilities are doing everything they can to clean the air,” Orcutt said, “that is why we wanted to use OCS to show the data.”

OCS is enabling four complimentary scenariosThe cloud-native platform provides remote monitoring, data sharing, and data analysis services for connected services customers and equipment providers.

Ready for prime time

CosaTron and the PI System team worked quickly to deploy OCS to monitor air quality in a collaboration that served as a proof of concept for both teams. PI System experts now have proof that OCS can be used for this purpose, while CosaTron has a turnkey solution it can deliver to its clients. After months of testing and evaluation, the air quality monitors with OCS are now ready to be deployed to all types of businesses.

Because of COVID-19, the necessity of monitoring for safe air quality is here to stay. With more than 50 years in the business, CosaTron brings an array of products that are positioned to meet a variety of business needs. Using OCS helped the company quickly adapt its products and services to meet changing market demands and provide peace of mind to people around the world.

For more information about CosaTron and the OSIsoft Cloud Services, watch the full interview on Radio PI.

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