Specdrum implement sensor technology and build clear data visualisations

Specdrum is a family run business that has over 30 years’ experience manufacturing conveyor pulleys and is one of the world’s largest suppliers of this product, producing in excess of 50,000 pulleys annually. With a growing client base Specdrum is expanding their headquarters to enable them to meet increasing demand.


David Glasgow, the Senior manager in Specdrum had identified that the company would benefit from harnessing their data more efficiently. He observed that vast amounts of data had to be collected and analysed manually. The company resources alongside high levels of output meant that it was difficult to manually process all the data produced and analyse it in a timely and efficient manner, thus resulting in slow response times to problems and issues revealed by data in the processing plant.
The SMDH team and Specdrum Management, assessed the data needs and goals of the business and identified the corresponding areas in the production process and factory floor that would benefit the most from improved data insights. This included power monitoring of CNC machines, air quality monitoring in the welding area of the factory, oil usage monitoring, temperature monitoring in the paint area and pressure and temperature monitoring of the autoclave.
The SMDH team liaised with Specdrum to install digital and data solutions to harness and analyse the process data to obtain meaningful and timely insights.


The solutions were installed in 2 phases.  
Phase 1:
•    2 x air quality sensors were installed, both were used to monitor the air quality in the welding area of the factory.
•    1 sensor installed to monitor the fuel consumption of a diesel tank. 

Phase 2: 
•    4 x temperature and humidity sensors were installed in the paint area of the factory.
•    1 autoclave temperature and pressure sensor installed.

An external gateway and factory view install was also provided for Specdrum.  The solution was developed to meet the specific challenges identified by the company. The sensors results display on one dashboard to enable clear data visualisations for the management team to monitor. 


Specdrum can now access real-time data visualisations from several areas of their factory. The benefits to having immediate access to visual data are significant. The introduction of sensors has had a positive impact on the business and Specdrum will build on this moving forward.
Data visualisations from the welding area identified that at a specific time every evening there was a spike in air quality in the Welding Area.  Data analysis and monitoring of the area revealed that the fans were turned off even though welding staff were still at work.  The company were able to quickly address the issue and remove any potential health risks for staff in the welding area.

There was a significant challenge in monitoring the pressure generated by the autoclave during night-time heating. Autoclave sensor and data visualisations emerged as a crucial insight in addressing this challenge. With sensors for temperature and pressure now in place the data insights at night can be accurately assessed.  By leveraging autoclave data, the company can monitor end product quality and achieve significant night-time runtime and energy cost savings.
The Specdrum management now has access to a data dashboard that provides an overview of all the sensors installed in the factory. Any issues can be effortlessly monitored and identified. The dashboard incorporates precise benchmarks, causing a display notification to turn red if the data falls outside the established threshold. This automatic alert system ensures management are promptly notified of any potential problems.

“Within Specdrum, we had lots of ideas about how we could monitor and record data around our facilities to analyse costs and performance but needed a partner with the experience and expertise of sensors in industrial applications. The Smart Manufacturing Data Hub helped us identify areas of priority, and supplied the designs and funding needed to perfect the sensors and dashboard, providing an extremely user-friendly solution”. 

David Glasgow Specdrum
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