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Overview

One of the most powerful features of a well-implemented IIoT solution is the ability to get reports and alerts/notifications of just those conditions that are cause for concern – exceptions. The reason “exceptions” are so powerful is that in their apparent simplicity there is a considerable amount of complex thinking and decision making to know the most important things to monitor and the frequency to monitor them. In general, it is important to align the reporting time with the rate of change (or potential failure rate of a thing monitored) as well as considering the response resources, timing, and remediation process. For example, monitoring and reporting on something every minute that doesn’t require attention or concern but on a weekly basis is overkill, while monitoring something once a week that could have immediate ramifications within an hour is not aligned either.

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Exceptions in Monitoring Gas Fill Levels

Consider the scenario where your organization needs to monitor the level of gas in a tank.  Depending on the size of the tank, the refill frequency, and the usage rate, a small personal tank might require a more frequent rate of monitoring than say a large industrial tank that is filled once a week and has a capacity to last for two weeks of operation. In the case of the small personal tank, hourly checks might be warranted with an immediate exception reported when the tank gets to a level where the user has enough time to get a refill or replace the tank before it runs out. In the case of a large industrial tank, once a day checks could accommodate verifying the level, identifying any potential leaks, and also in rare cases alerting the “owner” of the tank that it needs to be refilled if it goes below the “safety” level. In the industrial tank scenario, it is important that the “safety” level be set such that the daily reporting and the time to get the tank refilled are considered and factored in. In both cases, the owners of the tanks would only expect to see an alert/notification when the tanks reach their thresholds – this consistency will lead to owners paying attention to and responding to the alerts/notifications in a timely manner. If the exceptions are set incorrectly (where they are not that meaningful) the owners may increasingly ignore the alerts/notifications since they get too many or too late.

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Exceptions in Monitoring Mobile Assets

For many mobile assets, it is important to know both the location and also the current “state” of the asset. A good example is a container that the owners would like to know exactly where they are located and also if the container is empty or full (and possibly if the container is upright or upside down). With this information, owners can determine which assets are utilized and which ones can be scheduled for use. In addition, users can set exceptions to send alerts/notifications to let them know when one of their containers “goes off the grid”.   Whether the container has gone into a “dead zone” for signals, across a border or boundary, or is headed in a direction that it shouldn’t be going, these timely exceptions can help avert costly mistakes and losses. Imagine the case of a container that is worth $10k’s of dollars (USD) and is expected to stay within one state (say Texas), assuming the container is checking in four times a day with its status (location, signal strength, battery level, empty/full) if at some point the container starts to head “off course” or ceases to check in, an alert could be triggered at the first missed “roll call” or after the second or third missed check-in to alert the owner that there may be an issue to be investigated further. If all the containers are checking in regularly and within their set boundaries, then no notifications or exceptions are generated and the owner can be confident that things are within the required parameters. An additional benefit is that the owner can look at a map of all the assets at any given time and see, with confidence, where everything is and what the status is of each asset. This convenient “report” can save significant time and money when considering the manual effort that goes into tracking mobile assets today.

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Exceptions in Monitoring Farming

In agricultural settings, there really isn’t the concept of “a day off”. Plants and animals have to be fed, watered, and monitored 24×365 to assure optimal growth and health. The inputs to these processes typically include large “bins” that hold fertilizers, feed, raw ingredients, finished goods, liquids, gases, and many others. Batch, distribution, and delivery logistics are critical to make sure that the right items are delivered to the right location on the farms in the right quantity, at the right time, and in the correct order. If deliveries are delayed (or missed altogether) the crops and livestock will be put at risk. In most cases, accurate advance warning of low-level conditions can make the difference of buying the optimal quantities in time to optimize purchase price and delivery. Thus, alerts and notifications generated from exceptions that are aligned with the low level condition (or fill condition) and inform all of the owners along the process of issues and opportunities to address and leverage, respectively, in order to squeeze as much efficiency out of the resources as possible – all while prioritizing the welfare of the crops and livestock in their care.

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Bonus: Mapping Exceptions

Of all the potential reporting “views”, few are as profound and concise as a map. Whether the map is a classic geographical format, or is arranged as a process view, or even configured as an organizational hierarchy, the map provides a considerable amount of information in a small area. Maps are made even more useful by color-coding those items that are in an exception condition with colors (like RED = bad) so that users and owners can quickly see those items needing attention and then focusing in on them. Similarly, and sometimes preferred by users/owners is a map that is displayed as a table with color-coded cells. The advantage for users who have a table view is that the data can quickly be exported from the view and imported into other tables, emails, or documents for use in managerial reporting. Depending on the factors most important to users/owners, colors, data, and alerts can be configured to display the exceptions that are most relevant and timely so that they can be addressed accordingly.

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Conclusion

The Cellio Wireless Network has been designed to be quick, affordable, and high quality. Cellio Wireless Transceivers allow the Cellio system and customers to quickly and easily expand existing systems with as many sensors and controllers as they like (with minimal incremental expense).  The data collected in the back-end data system can be easily and rapidly mapped and provided for view on PC’s, tablets, smartphones, etc. both via browser views as well as automatically generated native mobile app views. Sharing and modifying the dashboard views is quick and easy. All of this is available in place today. There is a saying that you should “Inspect what you expect”. When determining alerts, notifications, and reports various users and levels of organizations, it is important to consider how, why, how often, when and what the result will be when an alert or notification is generated. The alignment of the condition monitored with the timing of the response can assure that when a user/owner receives and alarm that they will pay particular attention to the exception and take whatever steps necessary to address the condition before it becomes critical. So, it’s also important to “Inspect what you except.”

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Overview

Most people don’t realize just how many sensors are already installed to monitor things around us every day and in every aspect of our lives. For example, smoke detectors (and carbon monoxide detectors) are in most every house and apartment. Temperature sensors (thermostats) are installed in every house that has an air conditioning/heating unit. Hot water heaters have a temperature sensor built in to detect/manage/maintain the temperature of the hot water. Float switches are in our toilet tanks to keep them from overfilling and flooding our homes. In cars, sensors for fuel level, engine temperature, oil level, and emissions are monitoring the performance of the vehicle. And in Industrial settings, even more sensors are present to keep equipment and processes in range – and alert us when they go out of bounds. The primary drawback for most of these sensors is that the information from the sensors is integrated into and limited to the device – not accessible remotely by users or other devices. Remote access to the data from these sensors could improve efficiency and safety. Consider the example of a mission critical pump motor that keeps an area from flooding and works on a float switch. If no one is there to manually monitor the water level, the switch, the motor/pump, and the flow of water being discharged, blind faith is relied upon that the system is working. Wouldn’t it be smarter and safer to know when the water level is too high and have confirmation that the motor is switched on and running?

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Simple Electro-Mechanical Sensors

Sensors are typically digital or analog. This simply means they indicate if something is ON/OFF, or provide some level of measure between ON and OFF. For example, the digital signal of a fill level in a tank might be that it is EMPTY or FULL or that the acceptable set level has been exceeded. Alternatively, an analog sensor used in the same tank might generate a signal that indicates a measurement of the level of the liquid in the tank to an accuracy of within an inch. Both of these sensor types are useful and acceptable for monitoring tank level – it depends on the application. In either case, the mechanism may be mechanical and the output of these sensors is electrical.  This electrical “signal” provides the information that is then used to determine the level and whether there is a need to turn something ON or OFF.

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Simple Connections to Inputs

Most of these simple sensors have one output that provides the electrical information (the signal) to devices like Cellio through a direct wired connection. Once the sensor is wired to the Cellio Transceiver device, Cellio monitors the electrical signal for the measurements from the sensor and then transmits them wirelessly to Cellio Gateway devices. From the Cellio Gateway devices the information is sent to back-end data storage where it can be used for alerts, notifications, computations, analytics, display, and decision making. The collected data can be graphed, compared, calculated, stored, deleted, shared, re-transmitted, and much more.

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Turning Simple Sensor Inputs into Complex Decision Making

Data from one sensor monitoring one aspect of one item can be used to produce powerful results, especially if monitoring something that had previously gone without monitoring. More impressive, and complex, results can be achieved by remote monitoring aspects of many items in a process, a facility, an enterprise, up and down a supply-chain, and especially across a geography. For example, monitoring the water levels of a widely spread set of monitoring wells/reservoirs could give citizens, businesses, and public officials advanced notification for conditions that could turn into flooding, mudslides, traffic accidents, and other emergency situations. How the collected data from the sensors is aggregated, analyzed, and distributed is critical to how the data can be used for decision making. Decision making with Cellio and connected devices could be as simple as sending out and alert/notification over SMS or email. Or it could be as complex as sending a signal to a device (like a PLC) or to another process system that starts to pump the water in a coordinated way to alleviate current conditions and avoid compounding the problem by swamping out a pump further downstream. The impact can be profound.

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Bonus: Turning Inputs into Outputs

Seeing consistently, accurately, and timely what is “in the field” not only improves visibility and situational awareness to make more informed decisions, but it also provides a platform from which to use the informed decisions to remotely control devices in the field. As noted above, as the picture (on a map, in a table, through graphs, in a process diagram, or other relevant visual representation) forms from reports of devices in the field, short term, mid term, and long term options can be assessed while immediate action can be taken to alleviate conditions that could lead to equipment failure (unless allowing the equipment to fail would lead to a better overall outcome). Cellio devices also provide the capability to output electrical signals that can be used to signal/control devices in the field. For example, an output could turn on a red light that is used to signal workers of an error condition (or a green light that is used to signal an all clear condition). These output signals, coupled with simple or complex logic and help process and equipment owners close the loop.

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Conclusion

The Cellio Wireless Network has been designed to be as quick, affordable, and high quality. Cellio Wireless Transceivers allow the Cellio system and customers to quickly and easily expand existing systems with as many sensors and controllers as they like (with minimal incremental expense).  The data collected in the back-end data system can be easily and rapidly mapped and provided for view on PC’s, tablets, smartphones, etc. both via browser views as well as automatically generated native mobile app views. Sharing and modifying the dashboard views is quick and easy. All of this is available and easy to put in place today. There is a saying that you should “Inspect what you expect”. From simple sensors generating simple data link tank empty/full, to vast networks of tanks that warn of impending flood conditions, Cellio can be counted on to monitor and wirelessly report the data so that it can be used to make very simple or very complex decisions – and then send information back to the devices to respond in as efficient and effective a manner possible.

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Overview

For some users, having a simple notification or alert when a certain condition exists, is all the remote monitoring they want. For example, there are compliance requirements in many industries where if something is too full, too empty, too high, too low, an item has gone active, or an item has failed that someone needs to be notified quickly in order to protect people and property. In many of these cases the monitoring of the devices is done manually by workers and volunteers checking the status regularly and in many cases recording and reporting the information via paper logs to clerks or managers who transcribe the logs and record them electronically. Depending on the regularity, consistency, and accuracy of the manual checks, compliance may or may not be achieved. These manual “costs” may be quite high when calculated over a year’s time. If the manual checks are not accurate or consistent, the failure to meet compliance can “cost” many orders of magnitude more than the costs of the manual checking. With remote wireless monitoring, checks can be done as frequently, consistently, and accurately as desired. Most importantly, alerts and notifications can be generated automatically when specific conditions exist such that the situation can be addressed before it becomes non-compliant. Alerts and notifications can be as simple as an SMS or email.

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Simple Manual Monitoring that could be Remote Monitoring

Many applications that require manual monitoring today already have electrical equipment and/or sensors in place that can be converted simply and inexpensively to remote monitoring. For example, water levels are measured by sensors that provide a digital reading representing the current water level – this is recorded manually by a worker or volunteer who checks the reading every day (or more frequently when it is raining) and records the level in a log book. The person takes the log book and hands it to a clerk (or calls it in to a clerk, or sends via email, etc.) where the clerk enters it (hopefully accurately) into a spreadsheet or perhaps a corporate data system.   The spreadsheet or corporate system is then used by a manager or director to compile the reports that demonstrate that all of the items are being checked regularly to meet compliance, measurement, and/or other requirements. These types of checks are regularly done for other risks as well – liquid levels that may be too low/high, pressures that are too high/low, temperatures too high/low, timings too long/short, equipment that is on/off, and many others.

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Simple Connections to Inputs and Outputs

For most of the items being checked manually there is an electronic means of detecting the range of values that need to be reported and recorded. In some cases, the electronic “sensor” is as simple as a switch (similar to a switch in a toilet tank that turns off the water when the tank is full – we count on these every day!). Similar, but more complex switches may have multiple “positions” that change based on the level of fill. Even more complex switches generate electrical signals that vary within the range of things they are measuring. Many sensors do not directly display the measurements in a human readable form, but instead provide electrical information proportional to the thing being measured. Other sensors have simple indicators (red/green), digital displays, or even more sophisticated interfaces. For sensors that provide digital or analog outputs, connecting them to Cellio is simple and inexpensive. Cellio provides screw terminals where the wires from the sensor(s) can be directly connected into the Cellio Transceiver and the readings collected and transmitted as frequently as desired.

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Simple Alerts and Notifications

Based on collected data, whether from other cloud services or from sensor readings, alert and notification (SMS, email, HTTP posting, etc.) conditions can be set to notify any and all personnel who need to receive notifications in whatever means they need to be notified. In the case noted above, assuming that a “high water mark” was detected, Cellio would have reported the reading or sent a triggered report through the network to the back-end where it would have been evaluated against the set criteria and the relevant alerts/notifications/messages would have been sent to designated people, processes, and possibly other data systems to notify them of the measurement and “out of bounds” condition.   If the water level were to rise even higher and another level was measured that indicated an “emergency level”, that measured level would also be sent or would have generated a triggered report that might set off a different set of notifications, to a different set of people, processes, or data systems to deal with the new condition. Similarly, if the water to fall below the high water mark, a new alert might be sent to “call off” the alert condition and return the status to “normal”. All of the conditions, alerts, notifications, and integrations are configurable through Cellio.

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Bonus: As Much Complexity as You Need

Cellio’s integrated connectivity and back-end services provide all the tools necessary to view the collected data via graphs, tables, summary data, calculated values, estimates, analytics, and even sending and receiving data to enterprise systems or other cloud data services. These capabilities make the evolution from simple alerts and notifications to highly sophisticated analytics, forecasting, and integration to larger enterprise systems inexpensive and relatively easy. You choose the complexity that you want when you want.

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Conclusion

The Cellio Wireless Network has been designed to be as quick, affordable, and high quality. Cellio Wireless Transceivers allow the Cellio system and customers to quickly and easily expand existing systems with as many sensors and controllers as they like (with minimal incremental expense).  The data collected in the back-end data system can be easily and rapidly mapped and provided for view on PC’s, tablets, smartphones, etc. both via browser views as well as automatically generated native mobile app views. Sharing and modifying the dashboard views is quick and easy. All of this is available and easy to put in place today. There is a saying that you should “Inspect what you expect”. The rules around notifications and alerts are something that should be considered intentionally and deliberately. Who gets the notifications, how they get them, how frequently they get them, and what they are supposed to do in response to getting them will have a profound impact on the value of receiving them- implementing these decisions is where Cellio really shines.

At the simplest level, we have had customers get an IIoT system from sensors to alerts/notifications set up in less than half a day.

Overview

As much as technology has progressed, there remain a significant number of repetitive tasks done manually in industrial settings that have been waiting for the price of equipment and service to be at a level where business cases can justify moving to more reliable, consistent, and automated systems.  The business “pains” in these environments are often described by the amount of overtime being paid, the potential risk of injury for performing risky behaviors, the costs of not having the information in a timely manner resulting in emergencies, and the need for more accurate and timely information to make better decisions – remotely. Turnkey offerings of affordable Industrial sensor technologies, affordable Industrial connectivity hardware, and reliable connectivity services for data delivery are now a reality.

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Continuous and Repetitive Manual Data Collection (and Blindspots)

Most industrial environments have onsite and offsite inventory supply inputs that can range from full to empty, high pressure to low pressure, high flow to low flow, etc. over the course of minutes, to hours, to days, to months. Having an accurate read of the state of these inventories at a frequency that is relevant to their relative use, can help:

  • upstream business and process owners that are responsible for planning, purchasing, and replenishing the inventories in a timely and cost effective manner
  • immediate business and process owners who control and manage the actual equipment and flow of the supplies into other processes
  • downstream business and process owners that count on the outputs from these inventories and need confirmation about the continuity of supply

These manual checks currently involve everything from:

  • teams of drivers driving routes to every pickup location hourly/daily looking to see if anything needs to be picked up,
  • workers climbing ladders or towers every day (or multiple times a day) regardless of weather or conditions to check levels in multi-story bins and tanks,
  • employees carrying measuring devices to determine the operation of equipment, depths of reservoirs, and environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.),
  • and many many others.

Whether these checks are collected on paper logs or electronically, if not done consistently and somewhat predictably, can create blindspots for all of the business and process owners.

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Automated Data Collection (Data Visibility)

The most immediate benefits gained from a solid IIoT installation are:

  • Predictable measurement frequency
  • Reliable accuracy
  • Real time visibility/reporting/mapping
  • Ability to share measurement results
  • Exception alerts and notifications

IIoT installation(s) can range from simple installations of boxes that simply track the location or existence of an asset (especially important if the asset is mobile) to more involved installations where holes need to be drilled in the top, side, or bottom of a vessel and sensor instrument(s) installed to measure/detect the level of inventory. The outputs of measurement instrument(s) are connected typically to small connectivity equipment that communicate the information wirelessly over the cellular network to the back-end where the data can be processed and presented to any and all business and process owners that want or need to know the changing status of the inventories.

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Additional Benefits

The nature of the activities where IIoT is initially best suited are those that improve safety, improve visibility to critical resources, and/or monitor remote assets that would be cost prohibitive to “put eyes on” 24×7. The equipment installed in these situations is typically always “listening” for events that need to be reported when and if they occur – and as they occur.   The benefit of having this event driven information is that issues can be addressed quickly and before they turn into real problems, processes and assets can be tracked and management much more efficiently, and the ongoing and historical data can be used for insights into opportunities for greater overall operational efficiencies and savings.

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Conclusion

The Cellio Wireless Network has been designed to be as quick, affordable, and high quality. Cellio Wireless Transceivers allow the Cellio system and customers to quickly and easily expand existing systems with as many sensors and controllers as they like (with minimal incremental expense).  The data collected in the back-end data system can be easily and rapidly mapped and provided for view on PC’s, tablets, smartphones, etc. both via browser views as well as automatically generated native mobile app views. Sharing and modifying the dashboard views is quick and easy. All of this is available and easy to put in place today. Moving from very manual activities to more automated data collection and reporting can seem daunting when just starting out – that is why we have assembled all the pieces you need with Cellio.

 

Overview

Having trouble locating all your valuable equipment when you need to find it? Cellio Cellular Gateways with GPS can be used on equipment to track the location and movement of the equipment – tied to datahosting and dashboarding this can generate a map or table to give you instant access to the location of any mobile, stationary, or fixed asset you want tracked.

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Caption: Cellio Gateway attached to asset provides location information to back-end datahosting and dashboarding to provide location and alerts.

 

Cellular (CDMA, GSM) with GPS

Cellio Gateways are provided with either CDMA or GSM capabilities. Through the Gateway, GPS locations can be identified and then transmitted via the cellular networks to the back-end or cloud data hosting platform of choice. Depending on the frequency of updates from the Gateway the location and status of all assets can be determined at any time. Gateways can be configured, reconfigured, and even updated from the back-end without having to go to the field.

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Caption: Cellio Gateway fixed to asset provides GPS information over cellular to back-end datahosting.

 

Tracking Location and Movement

Data collected from the Gateway devices can be accessed from the data storage and used for mapping in a traditional map form, mapped into a table or spreadsheet form, or even mapped into various tiers of alert conditions to generate notifications (SMS, Email, Data Posting, etc.). The collected data can also be used to inform workflows, exchange data with other back-end or enterprise systems, as well as shared via dashboard views with employees and customers/clients via their own customized view.

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Caption: Collected GPS data can be used for mapping location, movement, status and generating notifications and alerts.

 

Bonus: LoRa Connection to Transceivers

With Gateways installed on assets/equipment that are either stationary or mobile, other devices that be used for signaling (inputs signals like a pushbutton or output signals like an LED display or alarm) can also be connected to the back-end via the LoRa wireless capability built into the Gateway devices. This additional capability can inexpensively extend the value of the system and the uses throughout your operation and the operation at client facilities or job sites.

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Caption: Cellio Gateway connected to asset also provides an infrastructure element for Transceiver devices to communicate with the back-end (via LoRa).

 

Conclusion

The Cellio Wireless Network has been designed to be as quick, affordable, and high quality. Cellio Wireless Transceivers allow the Cellio system and customers to quickly and easily expand existing systems with as many sensors and controllers as they like (with minimal incremental expense).  The data collected in the back-end data system can be easily and rapidly mapped and provided for view on PC’s, tables, smartphones, etc. both via browser views as well as automatically generated native mobile app views. Sharing and modifying the dashboard views is quick and easy. All of this is available and easy to put in place today. We know that getting IIoT/M2M/IoT solutions successfully designed/implemented/running from scratch can be tough if you try to do it alone – that is why we have assembled all the pieces you need with Cellio. If your priority is knowing where your assets are currently located and detecting when they move, Cellio Gateways will do this for you – and more.

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Caption: Cellio enables assets to be tracked, monitored, and notified.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BinMaster & Device Solutions Announce Strategic Alliance and Launch of Cloud-Based Remote Monitoring IIoT Solutions

automates sensor data collection, dissemination and reporting for delivery, agriculture and other industries

 

bincom(Lincoln, Nebraska—March 17, 2016) BinMaster of Lincoln, Nebraska and Device Solutions Inc of Morrisville, North Carolina have announced their strategic alliance that will revolutionize remote monitoring with end-to-end solutions for sensor-based networks. The companies have teamed up and designed systems that automate data collection, dissemination, and reporting. Customers across any industry will be able to monitor and manage data from all types of sensors for properties such as level, temperature, moisture, humidity or flow and be alerted when pre-determined thresholds have been met. Other system features include the ability to track assets and automatically optimize routes for delivery vehicles.

The backbone of the system is a wireless communication device based upon the Cellio® IIoT platform developed by Device Solutions that BinMaster will market as BinCom™. Transceivers and gateways send data from sensors to cloud-based application software. The BinMaster BinCom device roadmap will offer a variety of models compatible with Cellular CDMA, Cellular GSM, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet communication platforms. Remote data monitoring can be done via a PC, tablet, or SmartPhone and can be set up to send automated alerts via email or SMS text. Device Solutions has developed flexible dashboards that can be customized by each company, each user within a company, and by the type of sensor data they wish to monitor. BinCom is compatible with a variety of BinMaster sensors or currently installed sensors supplied by BinMaster or another manufacturer. The standard BinCom interfaces include both Analog and Digital and support 0-5VDC, 4-20 mA, dry contacts, Modbus, and RS-485 outputs.

The BinCom data monitoring and asset tracking solutions will be offered by BinMaster as complete systems including sensors, BinCom transceivers, gateways and asset trackers, cloud-based services and other options such as local monitoring consoles. “Customers today just don’t want to buy a sensor, they want a complete turnkey solution that is easy to implement and is extremely affordable,” stated Scott McLain, CEO of BinMaster. “Device Solutions is the perfect partner to round out BinMaster’s robust solutions. BinMaster is entrenched in industries such as agriculture, mining, plastics, food processing, cement, biofuels, chemicals, oil & gas that have complex and demanding supply chains. Teaming up with Device Solutions makes serving their diverse needs possible.”

“We are extremely excited about the opportunities that a BinMaster and Device Solutions partnership brings to reality,” stated Bob Witter, Co-Founder and CEO of Device Solutions. “Pairing BinMaster’s decades of experience and proven portfolio of sensor indicators and control systems with the Device Solutions Cellio Industrial IoT ecosystem, completes an affordable, scalable and reliable end-to-end data collection, analytics, and control solution that is ready for deployment in an amazing number of applications.”

About BinMaster

BinMaster is a division of Garner Industries – an ISO 9001:2008 certified company established in 1953 and headquartered in a 75,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. BinMaster is strategically focused on designing, manufacturing and marketing reliable, proven sensoring devices for the measurement of bulk solid and liquid materials for the feed and grain, food, plastics, pulp and paper, power, mining, and concrete industries. The BinMaster product line is sold worldwide and features many diverse technologies for bin level indication and measurement, being well known for its SmartBob2 and 3DLevelScanner advanced inventory management solutions. For more information about BinMaster, visit www.binmaster.com.

 

Media Contact: Jenny Christensen, Vice President of Marketing

Phone: 402-434-9102 / 800-278-4241

Email: jchristensen@binmaster.com

 

About Device Solutions Inc

Device Solutions is committed to providing wireless and mobile devices for embedded applications. Device Solutions has successfully created many products that impact daily life.  Examples of products on the market include a mechanism to control a car’s ignition through breathalyzer, wireless utility monitoring, an implanted heart device that serves those awaiting transplant, wearable electronics, and other innovative embedded and wireless product designs. Device Solutions created Cellio, an IoT/M2M/IIoT product, which simplifies connecting most any sensor or controller to the network. Cellio is designed to address the unique requirements identified across the variety of industries needing to monitor and control remote assets. For more information about Device Solutions, visit www.device-solutions.com

Overview

Quite likely, the simplest and most useful device we can control is the ubiquitous Light Emitting Diode (LED). When it comes to simplicity, low cost, and effective ways to communicate information, the humble LED can always be counted on to convert a simple digital output into light. If some clever methods are used, the LED can be used to blink various codes and instructions that can then be used by human operators or to communicate with sophisticated equipment and programs. When an LED is combined with a Cellio Transceiver and a Cellio Gateway, you have the makings for a highly efficient, effective, and distributed IIoT system that can be used reliably to get information from the back-end and into the physical world.cellio_control_LED1

Caption: Cellio plus a simple LED provides a rapid means of communicating with users to signal conditions and control devices from the back-end.

 

Integrating the LED

In a very simple example, an LED is connected to one of the digital outputs of the Transceiver. The back-end datahosting/Dashboarding communicates with the Gateway over CDMA, GSM, or Wi-Fi. The Gateway then communicates with the Transceiver using LoRa (up to a mile away).

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Caption: Cellio and an LED makes for a powerful combination that can be used in a vast array of applications.

This simple set of connections can enable the following applications and many more:

  • Notifying a user which container is full/empty
  • Signaling for assistance/service
  • Isolated signal to communicate optically with other equipment
  • Confirming information that some action had been performed
  • Notifying users that resource is on/off duty
  • Functioning as an Industrial Light or Flashlight
  • And many more

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Caption: Information coming from back-end data analytics is used to generate location based error conditions to signal users in the field.

 

Conclusion

The Cellio Wireless Network has been designed to be as quick, affordable, and high quality. Cellio Wireless Transceivers allow the Cellio system and customers to quickly and easily expand existing systems with as many sensors and controllers as they like (with minimal incremental expense).  The data collected in the back-end data system can be easily and rapidly mapped and provided for view on PC’s, tables, smartphones, etc. both via browser views as well as automatically generated native mobile app views. Sharing and modifying the dashboard views is quick and easy. All of this is available and easy to put in place today. We know that getting IIoT/M2M/IoT solutions successfully designed/implemented/running from scratch can be tough if you try to do it alone – that is why we have assembled all the pieces you need with Cellio. When in doubt, you can always start with a simple LED. We want to make sure you are successful the first time.

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Caption: The flow from the back-end through the Gateway, Transceiver, to the LED, and ultimately to the end User.

 

 

Overview

Often overlooked, the simplest and smartest sensor that we have access to that generates the fewest false positives and the fewest false negatives is … the unassuming pushbutton. In our attempts to automate most everything, the humble pushbutton is typically ignored as a proven elegant, inexpensive, reliable, and practical answer to signaling when something needs attention. Combine the simple pushbutton with a Cellio Transceiver and a Cellio Gateway (that has GPS in it), and you have the makings for a highly efficient, effective, and distributed IIoT system that can be used reliably to get information to the back-end and into dashboards for use with visualization, planning, notifications, and alerts.cellio_pushbutton_1Caption: A simple pushbutton plus Cellio provides a rapid means of empowering users to signal conditions to the back-end.

 

Integrating the Pushbutton Sensor

In this simple example, the pushbutton is connected one of the digital inputs of the Transceiver. The Transceiver communicates with the Gateway using LoRa (up to a mile away). The Gateway communicates with the network over CDMA, GSM, or Wi-Fi.

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Caption: A pushbutton, Cellio, and GPS/Location information makes for a powerful combination that can be used in a vast array of applications.

This simple set of connections can enable the following applications and many more:

  • Notifying that a container is full/empty
  • Turning on/off a remote light
  • Signaling for assistance/service
  • Starting/stopping a process
  • Acknowledging that some action had been performed
  • Confirming physical inspection of an asset
  • Locating a specific asset on a map
  • Notifying a central system that an resource is on/off duty
  • Counting specific events of interest
  • Functioning as an Industrial doorbell
  • And many more

cellio_pushbutton_3

Caption: Information coming in from pushbutton presses and associated location information can generate powerful and useful dashboards.

With the Gateway providing its location either in the transmission or as part of the back-end data mapping, any and all pushbutton presses can be used to highlight assets on a map, making the following possible:

  • Optimized Routing
  • Service Planning
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Forecasting/Trending
  • Resource Allocation
  • Adaptive Equipment Configuration
  • And many more

cellio_pushbutton_4Caption: The flow from the pushbutton through the Transceiver, Gateway, Data Hosting, Data Visualization, and ultimately through Analytics to the end User.

 

Conclusion

The Cellio Wireless Network has been designed to be as quick, affordable, and high quality. Cellio Wireless Transceivers allow the Cellio system and customers to quickly and easily expand existing systems with as many sensors and controllers as they like (with minimal incremental expense).  The data collected in the back-end data system can be easily and rapidly mapped and provided for view on PC’s, tables, smartphones, etc. both via browser views as well as automatically generated native mobile app views. Sharing and modifying the dashboard views is quick and easy. All of this is available and easy to put in place today. We know that getting IIoT/M2M/IoT solutions successfully designed/implemented/running from scratch can be tough if you try to do it alone – that is why we have assembled all the pieces you need with Cellio. When in doubt, you can always start with the simple pushbutton or switch. We want to make sure you are successful the first time.

Overview

Starting from a business problem that actually needs to be solved, let’s build a Cellio IIoT/M2M/IoT solution from the bottom up. For this case, assume that we want to see the location of all the trailers in our fleet and that we also want to know if the trailers are empty – so that we can optimally route drivers to use trailers that are unused or under utilized and also find any “missing” trailers. Let’s use what we already have on the trailers and Cellio to get the data we want from where it is to where we need it be, while keeping costs as low as possible and functionality as high as possible.trucking_cellio_1Caption: Cellio Transceivers and Gateways can be used with existing equipment to optimally configure IIoT/M2M/IoT implementation for Trailer Tracking.

 

Trailer Tracking Objectives

In this case, let’s make some basic assumptions about the objectives of the system we want:

 

  • Know the location of all trailers at least once a day
  • Know the empty status of all trailers at least once a day
  • Virtually maintenance free once installed
  • Minimal upfront equipment and installation costs
  • Minimal time to implement => get real live data immediately
  • Minimal monthly, or annual fees, for data connectivity and data hosting
  • Fleet dashboards that run on PC as well as mobile devices
  • Driver and fleet route optimization
  • Alerts/Notifications when trailers are missing
  • Alerts/Notifications when trailers are empty
  • Optional: Know the temperature and humidity inside trailers at least once a day

 

The above items come with the expectation that the owners/operators of the trailers want to be able to see a map of all the last known locations of the all the trailers, colors/icons that indicate which trailers are empty (or not empty), and special notifications of trailers that haven’t reported in within a certain period of time. The owners/operators also want to be able to provide customized dashboard views to their drivers and customers about the status/location of specific trailers. All of this needs to be up and running as soon as possible for as little as possible.

trucking_cellio_2

 

Caption: Balancing business demands with an optimized Cellio solution built from the ground up for a custom fit.

 

Cellio for Tracking Trailer Location

Cellio Wireless Gateways include both the cellular connection (CDMA or GSM or Wi-Fi) and GPS. By default they ship with integrated internal antennas which helps to minimize costs (costs of additional accessories, additional installations, additional mountings, additional maintenance, and better long term availability and performance). Combined with a low profile solar panel, the Cellio Wireless Gateways can run without having to connect to any power source and without having to worry about replacing batteries – virtually maintenance and worry free. If trailers are religiously parked in lots with public or open Wi-Fi access, a Cellio Wireless Wi-Fi Gateway could be used and eliminate all monthly data connection fees. If Wi-Fi is not available wherever trailers will likely be located, a cellular connection through CDMA or GSM will be needed to collect the GPS location of each trailer once a day. When the Cellio Gateway transmits the GPS location, the dashboard map will be updated with the location and any other sensor information available from Cellio Wireless Transceivers mounted in/on/around the Trailer.

trucking_cellio_3

 

Caption: Cellio Wireless Gateways provide GPS information to track the location of the trailers.

 

Cellio For Sensing/Reporting Trailer Empty (and Other Information)

Cellio Wireless Transceivers can be connected to a host of technologies and different kids of sensors to detect everything from whether a trailer is empty to the temperature, humidity, and other information that is useful for trailer owners/operators. In our example case, a Transceiver unit is outfitted with a sensor that measures whether the trailer is empty or not and transmits the information to Cellio Wireless Gateway that is mounted on the trailer. When the Gateway checks in each day, it provides the sensor readings from the Transceiver and this is added to the map. Additional sensors can be connected to the same Transceiver, or additional Transceivers can be mounted around the trailer.trucking_cellio_4Caption: Cellio Transceivers collect the sensor information from inside the Trailer and wirelessly transmit the readings to the Cellio Gateway.

 

Bonus: Cellio Data Mapped to Dashboard View(s) and Alerts/Notifications

The data transmitted from the Cellio Wireless Transceivers to the Gateways and then to the back-end data systems can then be mapped and displayed visually for owners/operators to see where all of the trailers are located, whether they are checking in, and any other information (like empty or not empty). This information can also be used with user defined settings to notify via sms/email of situations that need attention either reactively or proactively – depending on the settings defined by the owners/operators. The information from the dashboard can be shared with drivers, customers, partners, etc.

trucking_cellio_5

Caption: With data coming in from as few as one Cellio Wireless Gateway, useful information can be collected and acted upon immediately.

 

Conclusion

The Cellio Wireless Network has been designed to be as quick, affordable, and high quality as possible. Cellio Wireless Transceivers allow the Cellio system and customers to quickly and easily expand existing systems with as many sensors and controllers as they like (with minimal incremental expense). The Transceivers send the sensor information to the Gateways which in turn send the data to the back-end data systems. Gateways can connect via Cellular GSM/CDMA or Wi-Fi depending on design objectives. The data collected in the back-end data system can then be easily and rapidly mapped and provided for view on PC’s, tables, smartphones, etc. both via browser views as well as automatically generated native mobile app views. Sharing and modifying the dashboard views is quick and easy. All of this is available and easy to put in place today. We know that getting IIoT/M2M/IoT solutions successfully designed/implemented/running from scratch can be tough if you try to do it alone – that is why we have assembled all the pieces you need with Cellio. We want to make sure you are successful the first time.

trucking_cellio_6

Caption: Optimal IIoT/M2M/IoT Implementation for Trailer/Truck Tracking.

 

Overview

With 16 General Purpose Inputs and Outputs (GPIO) on each Wireless LoRa Transceiver, Cellio Transceivers are designed as agnostic as possible to support sensors you may want access wirelessly to collect, visualize and analyze data from assets in the field and throughout your operations.   Companies with existing sensors and sensor instruments already in place can quickly and affordably move from manual data collection (and paper based logs) to a more real-time and automated environment – and all the advantages and benefits that come with having data that is provided more regularly, more accurately, and electronically. At a minimum, the data can be used in a simple tabular format to get a consistent assessment of the status of assets in the field. At maximum, the collected data can be connected to back-end supply and logistics systems to help improve the performance of the business operations. Cellio is designed to get data from where it is to where you need it be.

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Caption: Cellio Transceiver can be connected to up to 16 Inputs and Outputs allowing for very flexible and affordable configurations of sensors and sensor instruments.

Cellio Transceiver Input Options

In order to support the broadest array of applications and industries, Cellio Transceivers have been designed to support the following input types:

  • Analog Inputs
    • Voltage
    • Current
  • Digital Inputs
    • Trigger
    • Digital State/Transition
    • Pulse Width
    • Pulse Count
    • Bus (ie RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, SPI, I2C)

With this variety of configuration options, the Cellio Wireless Transceivers can be easily and readily adapted to interface with most any sensor or sensor instrument that you may already have, or may be contemplating installing, in your field operations.

cellio_wireless_sensors_1

Caption: Cellio Transceiver support primary input types allowing for a large number of secondary input uses including RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485.

Connecting Sensors to Cellio Wireless Transceivers

The most direct connection of a sensor to Cellio Wireless Transceivers is either through an analog or digital pin/wire to the input connection of the Transceiver. For example, a simple temperature sensor that has been internally reference and tuned (ie Digi-Key Electronics or Mouser Electronics) can be connected to the Transceiver provided PWR and GND and the output from the temperature sensor connected directly to an Analog input signal. Additionally, a simple slide switch can be connected to the same PWR and GND pins and the center pin of the slide switch connected directly into a Digital input on the Transceiver. In this way, a very low cost set of sensors (up to 16) could be connected to any Transceiver and the collected data sampled and reported to the Gateway device(s) and then transmitted to back-end data storage/analytic/visualization systems. Additionally, for inputs that generate pulses (ie flow sensors/meters) the width of the pulse can be measured as well as the number of pulses. If the slide switch (or a pushbutton or other digital signal) is configured on the Transceiver as a Digital Trigger, the change in state of the digital signal can be used to force the Transceiver to transmit to the Gateway and the Gateway then immediately sends off an SMS or Email to a preconfigured list of notification destination(s). If other preconfigured thresholds are identified by the Transceiver, they too can be used to immediately notify the gateway with a report of the status of the sensors and instigate immediate notifications and data transmissions to the back-end.

cellio_wireless_sensors_2

Caption: Raw sensor inputs (analog and digital) are collected by the Transceiver where some of the inputs can be used as Triggers to immediately notify of conditions of interest.

Connecting Sensor Instruments to Cellio Wireless Transceivers

A likely scenario for many Cellio Wireless Transceivers is to connect to existing sensor instruments already in place in field operations. For example, an instrument that has an electronic read-out (and is powered electronically) is already in place to measure the depth of a liquid or powder in a holding vessel. In this case, the sensor instrument may provide a single analog or digital signal to indicate the measurement in which case, as described in the previous section, the Transceiver would evaluate the signal as a basic input signal. In the case where the instrument transmits readings over a bus (RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, SPI, I2C, etc.), the Transceiver can be configured to communicate natively in the required bus protocol and the resulting readings can be used similar to the readings from direct analog and digital inputs. If other preconfigured thresholds are identified by the Transceiver, they can be used to immediately notify the gateway with a report of the status of the sensors and instigate immediate notifications and data transmissions to the back-end.

cellio_wireless_sensors_3

Caption: Sensor Instrument inputs (bus protocols) are collected by the Transceiver where some of the inputs can be used as Triggers to immediately notify of conditions of interest.

Bonus: Reporting Sensor and Sensor Instrument Readings

An important capability of the Transceivers and Gateways is to balance the need to keep power use to a minimum (maximum battery life), support the maximum number of Transceivers per Gateway (minimum CAPEX investment), and reporting immediately on events of interest (high priority alerts, exceptions, etc.).  Cellio Transceivers and Gateways have been designed and can be configured to use sensor and sensor instrument inputs to quickly evaluate local readings against pre-set thresholds and then use those results to either report in immediately, more frequently than typical operational parameters, or as infrequently as needed. Thus, input signals can be used to identify conditions that need immediate attention so that users are notified with alerts as soon as possible to address both favorable and unfavorable conditions. This configuration capability allows users to directly benefit from both simple local network installations to full enterprise installations where process owners, managers, and key personnel can all benefit from specific alert conditions and kept in the loop to pay attention to only those items they need to pay attention to on a real-time basis. They can then rely on hourly, daily, or weekly reporting from the back-end for summary information. In this way, returns can be realized immediately from the very first installation of the very first Cellio Wireless Transceiver.

cellio_wireless_sensors_4

Caption: Cellio Wireless Transceivers configured to message locally and non-locally based on threshold conditions that may be of interest to different stakeholders.

Conclusion

Cellio Wireless Transceivers provide a wireless link from sensor and sensor instrument devices to Cellio Wireless Gateways via 900MHz LoRa with a transmission distance of a approximately 1 mile (3 square miles). The Transceivers can effectively wirelessly enable existing sensors and sensor instruments that are already in place in field operations – thus providing the least expensive and quickest path from manual paper logging to automated electronic data logging, reporting, visualization, and analytics. So whether you are installing new sensors and sensor instruments, or trying to retrofit an existing installation, Cellio Wireless Transceivers can be configured to fit your needs.