News Releases 2021IoT test conducted at Numazu Works substation to boost smart industrial safety

As part of its effort to make smart industrial safety*1 a reality, Meidensha Corporation (Meiden) has started a so-called proof-of-concept experiment to remotely and entirely monitor an ultrahigh voltage substation at its Numazu Works by equipping the substation’s transformers with internet of things (IoT) devices. The substation, which has been rebuilt outdoors at the plant, started operating in August 2021. 

Cutting-edge technologies such as IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) are being used for collecting data to assess and monitor the equipment’s condition, so any problems with power reception and transforming equipment that Meiden has sold and installed can be quickly detected and resolved. Many such facilities are getting old and deteriorating, a problem compounded by a long-term worker shortage due to the aging and retirement of many skilled technicians, increasingly severe and frequent natural disasters, and the heightened risk of terrorist attacks. Moreover, ensuring such facilities operate uninterrupted even amid the challenges posed by infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, is crucial to enable people to live their day-to-day lives securely and with peace of mind.

The new substation is Meiden’s first facility to operate while collecting data necessary to maintain and manage a major facility around the clock. Meiden will accelerate efforts to enhance smart industrial safety for its products by using the substation to conduct the following three demonstrations:

1.Automatic data collection and analysis with the use of a cloud computing system, IoT and AI
Meiden will collect data – such as meter readings and on/off switch display information from transformers, cubicle-type gas insulated switchgear (C-GIS), high voltage panels and transformer panels – for storage in the cloud system around the clock. This data will be used for services including compilation of operational reports and sending text alerts when anomalies are detected, as well as trend analyses featuring graphs.

2.Verification of labor-saving during inspections
Meiden has designed a system that reduces the annual workload necessary for inspections by 90 percent*2 by harnessing data collected from multiple cameras and sensors. It will assess if this system is viable for daily and regular inspections and effective in saving labor.

3.Development of next-generation products
The company will conduct demonstration experiments on the system’s diagnostic functions on facility conditions using the collected data, the results of which are planned to be reflected in Meiden’s products and services.

The Meiden Group will contribute to smart industrial safety by providing people with peace of mind in their daily lives and helping our clients streamline their operations.

A camera monitoring an oil temperature gauge installed at the substation.

A camera monitoring the on/off switch of a vacuum circuit breaker installed inside the high-voltage panel.

A worker conducts an inspection using a tablet.

Monitoring screen

*1 Smart industrial safety
This ambitious undertaking conducted jointly by the public and private sectors is designed to boost industrial safety and enhance efficiency by introducing new technologies, such as IoT and AI. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has established the Public-Private Council on Smart Industrial Safety to promote this.

*2 90 percent reduction
By introducing the system, 83 percent of items that had been checked visually by human inspectors will be checked automatically through the data collected. The system also will enable manual inspections to be conducted less frequently – monthly instead of weekly – by monitoring the facility around the clock. These steps, combined with automatic inspection report compilation, are expected to reduce man-hours required for inspection work by 90 percent.

Press contacts:

Corporate Communications & PR Promotion Division