Validating A Market For “Smart” Electric Valves That Can Predict Failure

Student: Jordan Schwers, 2015-2016

Sponsor: Banjo Corp. (IDEX Corporation), Crawfordsville, IN

Banjo Corp is a liquid handling product-manufacturing company specializing in polyethylene and polypropylene valves for use in agriculture. Although many of their products are sold to distributors, Banjo acts as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with reference to their electric valves. This means “finished product companies,” such as John Deere, use Banjo’s electric valves as parts in much bigger end products. As precision agriculture continues to grow, Banjo aims to find the potential value in failure prediction. API Alliance is an electronic manufacturing company based in Fort Wayne that Banjo has a 20-year working relationship with. Over the course of the next month, API will look at different sensor technologies that recover data, which then correlate with different electric valve failure modes. After these solutions are identified, this project will focus on the potential value this technology could offer the end-user and the finished-product company. The proof of concept for electric valve data collection, and the communication associated with this data, could be used as a springboard for future precision agriculture innovation inside the company.