Collect, Connect, Control
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Overview

When considering the most cost effective way to monitor/control the greatest number of sensors/controllers while spending the least on CAPEX and OPEX, a couple of approaches can be considered.

On one end of the spectrum, you might consider installing stand-alone devices on every asset to be monitored or controlled. Every device will likely need to have similar capabilities to all the other devices and they will all either report through each other (a bandwidth, latency, and battery killer), or to a single point (typically requiring a sizable transmission range), or completely on their own (usually the more expensive CAPEX and OPEX option).

On the other end of the spectrum is a more distributed approach where a few hardware devices are connected to all of the sensors and controllers. The sensors and controllers share these “edge” hardware resources to then report back into a single point that has the more expensive communication components required for connecting to an external network (cellular, Wi-Fi, etc.). This distributed approach with its hierarchy of specialized devices can minimize the per sensor/controller connection costs while maximizing battery life, range, and scalable deployment.

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Caption: Cellio Transceivers and Gateways help to minimize TCO in IIoT.

 

 

Single Gateway Serves 10’s, 100’s, 1000’s of Transceivers

A central point of savings across a deployed network of sensors and controllers is having them communicate to a single (or a very small number) of more capable devices. This minimizes the more expensive CAPEX elements (cellular and wi-fi components) and OPEX elements (cellular and wi-fi access and data charges). Cellio Transceivers up to a mile away can share a single Gateway and the Gateway can take care of the cellular connection (meaning one cellular activation and as little data transmitted as necessary). With a radius of one mile, one Gateway could serve up to 3 square miles (enough to cover most campus, facilities, etc.).

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Caption: A single Cellio Gateway serving many Transceivers – serving all the sensors and controllers.

 

 

Single Transceiver Serves up to 16 Direct IO

In some applications there are assets that have multiple sensors from which to collect data as well as resources that can be used for signaling or control (an example might be a refrigeration unit that can tell multiple zones of temperature and humidity, current and voltage usage, and perhaps an overflow detector while also allowing for control of temperature setting, remote on/off, lighting, and other parameters).

In other applications there are many assets in and around each other and they may all need to be monitored or controlled (an example might be gas cylinders and pressure monitoring of each).

The Cellio Transceivers support connecting sensors, indicators, controllers by making 16 IO points available to connect analog and digital input signals and digital output signals.

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Caption: A single Transceiver can be connected to up to 16 inputs/outputs making the CAPEX for connecting to many sensors/controllers very inexpensive.

 

 

Minimal Overhead Minimizes Data Charges While Maximizing Throughput

By leveraging the design of the Transceivers to transmit and receive as little data as necessary to and from the Gateway, the Gateway is able to transmit and receive as little data as necessary through the cellular or wi-fi network(s). With IIoT and M2M plans typically charging on a per kB/MB basis, minimizing the data and the overhead for transmitting the data through the various sessions made by Gateway devices throughout the day can reduce overall data transmissions on a monthly basis to 10’s of kilobytes. This translates into significant savings in OPEX – especially when 100,000’s or millions of deployed remote sensors and controllers are contemplated. The additional benefit is reduced requirements in back-end (or cloud based) data storage, data hosting, data analytics, and data dashboarding resources required to make the most of the data collected and monitored.

 

 

Bonus: Installing and Scaling additional Transceivers and Gateways

As noted above, a single Gateway device can support many Transceiver devices supporting many sensors/controllers. Once a Gateway is installed, it is very easy and inexpensive to add additional Transceivers (and additional Gateways as desired).   Thus, as additional environmental parameters need to be monitored or additional devices need to be controlled they can be connected to existing Transceiver devices or additional Transceiver devices can be added quickly and easily – leveraging the installed Gateways.

 

 

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. 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 minimizing total cost of ownership (TCO – installation, configuration, capital expenses, operational expenses, and ongoing support and maintenance) – make sure you include Cellio in your evaluations, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Overview

When evaluating ways to connect real world devices to the back-end there are a number of options to consider. Cellio provides two primary means of connecting – Cellular CDMA and Cellular GSM. The question arises, “What if I don’t get good cellular signal from any carriers at my location?” This is why Cellio also provides Wi-Fi as an option. Real world assets combined with a Cellio Transceiver and a Cellio Gateway, is 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.

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Caption: Cellio connecting real world assets via wireless options to the back-end and dashboard views.

 

Wi-Fi + Satellite

If being connected from anywhere in the world at any time is the most important requirement in the application, the satellite option may be the only approach. Satellite comes with other issues and costs, but in rural or remote settings it may very well be the only option. In this configuration, the Cellio system would connect to a Wi-Fi access point connected to the Satellite system which would then connect to the back-end.

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Caption: Cellio Wi-Fi option paired with Satellite gives connectivity globally.

 

 

Wi-Fi + Corporate Ethernet

Depending on the corporation and the philosophy of the IT Department, connecting to the Corporate Network may or may not be an option. In this configuration, the Cellio system would connect to a Wi-Fi access point connected to the Corporate Network (using appropriate credentials) and then connect to the back-end through the Corporate Network connection(s) to the cloud or the corporate data stores.

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Caption: Cellio Wi-Fi option paired with Corporate Ethernet gives local connectivity with existing infrastructure.

 

 

Wi-Fi + Landline Options

With various offices, offsite locations, divisions, sites, subsidiaries, etc. there may be existing connections to the internet or corporate network using business grade or even residential grade landline connections (DSL, Cable, T1, etc.). In these configurations, the Cellio system is simply connected in those locations to a Wi-Fi access point and then over the landline to the cloud and ultimately to data hosting or the corporate network data stores.

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Caption: Cellio Wi-Fi option paired with Landline gives local connectivity to a variety of carriers and can re-use existing connections.

 

 

Wi-Fi + Other Wireless and Wireline Options

The examples given above are by no means exhaustive. With the flexibility of Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi access points (they almost always have an Ethernet port) whatever a Wi-Fi access point can connect to should be able to connect the Cellio system to the back-end. Some examples of these other options would be connections like Microwave, Laser, Mobile Radio, etc. In these configurations, the Cellio system is simply connected to a Wi-Fi access point and then over connection technology to the cloud and ultimately to data hosting or the corporate network data stores.

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Caption: Cellio Wi-Fi option paired with other wireless and wireline options gives vast array of possibilities of connections to the back-end.

 

 

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 cellular signals are not going to work for your application, you always have the Wi-Fi option to connect to an access point and then to whatever connection technology will work for you wherever you are.

 

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Overview

Whether you are retrofitting existing manual operations to make them more automated or you have decided to install a completely new system, you are likely considering the total cost of the equipment, the installation, and also any monthly fees.  Cellio Transceivers help to minimize the equipment costs, the installation costs, and the monthly costs by leveraging less expensive wireless devices at the edge of the network. Cellio is designed to get data from where it is to where you need it be.

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Caption: Cellio Transceivers help to minimize equipment, installation, and monthly fees for IIoT/M2M/IoT system implementations.

 

Cellio Transceivers Minimize Equipment Costs

Cellio Wireless Transceivers have been designed to allow many sensors inputs and many control outputs to be connected to a single device. This approach moves the typical Device:Equipment ratio requirement from 1:1 to 1:Many.  Thus, a much smaller number of devices is needed to monitor a large number of sensors and equipment. Net net, the total equipment costs for a system is reduced compared to traditional implementations.

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Caption: Cellio Transceivers help to minimize costs by using less expensive equipment at the edge to aggregate sensor data and control capability.

 

Cellio Transceivers Minimize Installation Costs

Cellio Wireless Transceivers have the immediate advantage of being wirelessly installed on or near equipment to be monitored and/or controlled – this removes the need for costly cabling/wiring installations across long distances. Additionally, Cellio Transceivers can be configured to connect with existing sensors and instruments to make use of what is currently in place – removing the need for costly new equipment while allowing all the equipment to connected on the same network. Finally, Cellio Transceivers can be used to connect directly with raw sensor and control elements – allowing for a broader range and more highly customized elements while minimizing the costs of traditional instrumentation. On a case-by-case basis, these savings can be substantial.

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Caption: Cellio Transceivers help to minimize installation costs by using a single device to monitor and control multiple sensors, instruments and equipment.

 

Cellio Transceivers Minimize Annual and/or Monthly Fees

Cellio Wireless Transceivers transmit the data from sensor readings to Gateways, and the Gateways transmit the data via Cellular or Wi-Fi to back-end data systems. Similarly, Gateways transmit data back to the Transceivers that can then be used as outputs to signal or control instruments and indicators. This configuration assures that as few wireless connections via Cellular or Wi-Fi are required to be maintained. One Gateway can support hundreds of Transceivers. In the case of Cellular, annual or monthly fees can be minimized by setting up the network to use as many Transceivers as possible with as few Gateways as possible to assure optimal coverage for the environment in which the devices need to communicate. In the case of Wi-Fi, balancing the installation of access points and the relatively low cost of internet access in some locations, as many Gateways as desired could be installed to optimize or maximize coverage without affecting the total annual or monthly fees.

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Caption: Cellio Transceivers help to minimize monthly fees by sending data to the network through a smaller number of gateway devices.

 

Bonus: Cellio Transceivers Can Be Used with Multiple Gateways

Cellio Wireless Transceivers provide a distinct advantage when installing across an enterprise whether in many small sites, tracking large numbers of mobile assets, or in large campus environments. Leveraging Cellular, Wi-Fi, or a hybrid combination of Cellular and Wi-Fi can further reduce the costs of equipment, installation and monthly operation of the network of sensors and controllers. Multiple Cellular Gateways can be installed to provide increased coverage and reliability while minimally increasing the overall costs of the system. A combination of Cellular and Wi-Fi Gateways can be installed to shift usage from Wi-Fi to Cellular when Wi-Fi is not available.

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Caption: Multiple Gateways can be configured to provide increased areas of coverage and better network access for large numbers of Transceivers.

 

Conclusion

Cellio Wireless Transceivers provide an optimized wireless link from indicators, actuators, controllers and control systems to Cellio Wireless Gateways via 900MHz LoRa with transmission distances of a approximately 1 mile (3 square miles). The Transceivers can wirelessly enable existing sensors, instruments, and controllers that are already in place in field operations – thus providing the least expensive and quickest path from manual control to automated remote sensing and signaling. So whether you are installing new equipment, or trying to retrofit existing equipment, Cellio Wireless Transceivers are designed to help minimize the costs of equipment, installation, and monthly fees.

Overview

With 16 Points for Inputs and Outputs on each Wireless LoRa Transceiver, Cellio Transceivers are designed as agnostic as possible to support controls you may want to provide wirelessly to send an SMS or email alert, provide a digital signal, turn an item on or off, or provide user interface information to assets in the field and throughout your operations.   Companies with existing controllers, actuators, and/or indicators already in place can quickly and affordably move from no (or low) automated remote control and remote signaling to a more real-time environment – and all the advantages and benefits that come from signaling information to the field more regularly, more accurately, and digitally. Initially, simple SMS or emails can be sent to relevant stakeholders for exception based reporting to signal conditions in which parameters are higher, lower, or at some pre-defined condition of interest. Optimally, data from various inputs, analysis in the back-end, and user input can be used to provide automatic signals back to the field operations to improve efficiency and communication to equipment and workers throughout the 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 indicators, actuators and controllers.

 

Cellio Transceiver Output Options

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

  • Digital Outputs Connected To
    • Indicators
    • Actuators
    • Controllers
  • Digital Output Organization
    • Single Digital Signals
    • Scaled Voltage/Current Output
    • Digital Bus (RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, I2C, SPI)
  • SMS Messaging
  • Email Messaging

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

cellio_wireless_controllers_1

Caption: Cellio Transceivers support digital outputs allowing for integration with most all electronics and electronic that need to be signaled or controlled remotely.

 

Connecting Indicators and Actuators to Cellio Wireless Transceivers

The most direct control from a Cellio Wireless Transceiver is through a digital output pin to an indicator or actuator.  Using this approach simple indicators like LEDs, buzzers, alarms, flashers, vibration devices, and others can be signaled with a change in digital state and turned ON/OFF based on local conditions or remotely from information contained or computed in back-end data systems and data analytics (and/or through manual overrides from a remote dashboard). Actuators used for opening and closing flows, opening or closing relays, raising or lowering a level, starting or stopping a pump, and a host of other automations of manual switches can be integrated and tied into the Cellio Wireless Network. Put simply, devices that require manual control can technically be automated and controlled remotely. In this way, a very low cost set of indicators (up to 16) could be connected to any Transceiver and the combined set used as a user interface to inform users in the area of conditions requiring their attention or intervention.

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Caption: Digital outputs connected directly from Cellio Wireless Transceivers to indicators and actuators.

 

Connecting Controllers to Cellio Wireless Transceivers

A more sophisticated scenario leverages the outputs from the Cellio Transceiver to communicate with a controller or control system (i.e. programmable logic controller [PLC], remote terminal unit [RTU], supervisory control and data acquisition [SCADA], human-machine interface [HMI], programmable automation controller [PAC]). Cellio Wireless Transceivers can be used to send a simple signal to a controller or control system to signal a specific condition or event to then initiate the controller or control system to proceed with its programmed steps. Alternatively, the digital outputs can be configured in a bus format to communicate over a standard bus like RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, I2C, or SPI to output data and communicate with instrumentation, controllers, and control systems. In these cases, the value of Cellio would be to provide initiating information and for the controllers and control systems to do what they are designed to do best. In the case of a local loop, the Transceiver can be programmed and configured to do some basic calculations and generate outputs as needed to inform other local devices or to transmit the data through the Cellio Wireless Network to back-end data stores, analytics, and dashboarding.

cellio_wireless_controllers_3

Caption: Controller and Controls System inputs are connected to Cellio Transceiver Outputs (either single signals or via buses) and data from the back-end is transmitted for use in signaling new actions to take or actions that should cease.

 

Bonus: Using SMS and Email as Alerts and Notifications

A valuable feature of Cellio for immediate notifications/alerts is the use of a Gateway to send SMS and email messages to designated stakeholders. In the simplest of installations, requiring not back-end data storage or analytics, Cellio can be used to simply send an SMS or email when certain thresholds are met or exceeded. When the threshold settings are satisfied, the Transceivers send their information to the Gateway and the Gateway can send specific messages to users. In more integrated systems, SMS and email messages can be sent to stakeholders (or other processes) AND the information about the threshold status can be transmitted to the back-end data storage for archival, analytics, dashboarding, and populating information in enterprise systems (ERP, PIM, CRM, etc.) to inform other parts of the business and optimize performance in areas such as supply chain management.

cellio_wireless_controllers_4

Caption: Cellio Wireless Transceivers configured to message locally and non-locally based on threshold conditions that may be of interest to different stakeholders and possibly used for tying in back-end data and processes.

 

Conclusion

Cellio Wireless Transceivers provide a wireless link from indicators, actuators, controllers and control systems 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 controllers and control systems that are already in place in field operations – thus providing the least expensive and quickest path from manual control to automated remote digital notifications and control. So whether you are installing new controllers or control systems, or trying to retrofit an existing installation, Cellio Wireless Transceivers can be configured to fit your needs.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Overview

Core to the Device Solutions Embedded Devices Design Philosophy is that Cellio be embeddable in existing products that need to move from manual/wired operation to automated/wireless operation. Companies with existing offerings can quickly help their clients get into the IIoT/M2M of things by simply and easily connecting (or embedding into their devices) a Cellio Transceiver or Gateway. With inputs, outputs, and bi-directional communications to the network, clients can be connected end-to-end with automated data updates and remote asset control in less than a weekend. Cellio is designed to get data from where it is to where you need it be.

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Caption: Cellio embedded with existing devices can convert them from manual to automated and wireless in very little time and very little expense.

Embedding Cellio Onto Existing Device Enclosures

The quickest and easiest (and possibly the least expensive) approach to integrating Cellio with an existing sensor, instrument, controller is to simply mount the Cellio Transceiver or Gateway directly to the outside of the device where it is already installed. Transceivers can be configured to RS-422, RS-485, or multiple RS-232 communication connections (ie. BACnet, Modbus). The upside of this approach is that the existing installation is leveraged, existing processes are not interrupted, and the Cellio devices can be tested and validated before switching over the data collection/reporting from what may be very manual and time/labor intensive to more regular and automated wireless updates. If the sensor/instrument/control device needs to be reset, set, or controlled, the Cellio device can serve that function as well. The Cellio enclosure is already IP68 (NEMA 6), thus environments that require dust and water tight operation is already addressed.

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Caption: Cellio Transceiver/Gateway attached simply to the outside of the sensor, instrument, controller enclosure making it possible to quickly, easily, and affordably convert from manual to automated.

Embedding Cellio Into Existing Device Enclosures

Another simple approach to quickly get existing equipment and assets moved from manual/wired operation into more automated/wireless operation is to place the Cellio Transceiver/Gateway into the enclosure of the existing device. In many cases, the enclosures that house sensor, instrument, or control equipment may have sufficient space to place the Cellio device inside the enclosure. Externally, the functionally will look the same, but practically now has wireless remote data access for reporting and controlling the instrument and other connected equipment. Depending on the environment, placing the Cellio unit inside the enclosure of the existing instrumentation may provide the Cellio device more protection than if mounted outside the enclosure.

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Caption: Cellio Transceiver/Gateway included inside the enclosure of the sensor, instrument, controller as an alternative to quickly, easily, and affordably converting from manual to automated.

Embedding Cellio as Integrated in Existing and Future Products

Due to space constraints, operational parameters, or other design criteria, it may be more advantageous to place the embedded electronics from Cellio devices (without the Cellio enclosure) into existing/future sensors, instruments, controllers. This is also a reasonable approach to moving offerings from manual to more automated and wireless portfolio offerings. Additional mounting and possible certification requirements may be involved, however, the resulting device will likely maintain the most cohesive look to other product offerings – with the added advantage of remote monitoring and remote control.

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Caption: Cellio Transceiver/Gateway integrated into the sensor, instrument, controller as an approach to provide a wireless networked option for enhancing product portfolio offerings.

Bonus: Integrating Sensors into Cellio Transceivers/Gateways

An important alternative to consider for some applications is to integrate sensor(s) into or onto the Cellio device enclosure – especially where a single sensor/Transceiver would make installation, maintenance, and operations more effective and efficient. Using the provided inputs, outputs, and remote data access of the Transceiver devices, multiple sensors, indicators, and control signals can be supported (up to 16 GPIO).

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Caption: Example of ultrasound sensor integrated into Transceiver enclosure for use in container level detection and measurement. With the 5 year battery life, the affordable sensor, and relatively simple installation, this makes the integrated solution compelling.

Conclusion

Cellio Wireless Transceivers provide a wireless link sensor and controller devices to Cellio Wireless Gateways via 900MHz LoRa with a transmission distance of a approximately 1 mile (3 square miles). The enclosures can be mounted with screws, adhesives, or industrial strength double stick mounting tape. Cellio Wireless Gateways (Cellular GSM/CDMA or Wi-Fi) are used as the link from the Transceivers to the local corporate network, internet/cloud data storage, and/or back-end enterprise data systems. The Cellular Gateways can operate on their own to send GPS location and can send SMS messages directly through the wireless network to designated users. So whether you are installing new sensors and controllers, or trying to retrofit an existing installation, Cellio Wireless Transceivers and Gateways can be embedded to fit your needs.

It’s Really Up To You, and It Might Be More Flexible Than You Think

Introduction

We here at Device Solutions are passionate about IoT – and equally as passionate about our oft stated Cellio design philosophy: “make it as easy as possible to connect almost any sensor or sensor instrument and controller to back-end data systems to make sensing and control as easy, affordable, and scalable as possible”. Cellio’s ability to be flexible – from sensor to dashboard – allows you to configure and control your end-to-end solution at multiple stops along the eco-system to best fit your needs.

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Caption: Flow of data from sensors mounted on real world assets to back end data storage and dashboard view, through user interaction and ultimately back to indicators and systems on real world assets – all under your control

 

So just what are Cellio’s “Control Indicators”, “Control Systems” and what is your ability to control the power of Cellio? Let’s explore the meaning of “Control” and place it firmly in your hands.

 

The Cellio Universal Protocol – CUP

To achieve our goal of providing an affordable, flexible, low power, controllable / programmable IOT device, the smart folks in R&D created the “Cellio Universal Protocol – CUP” specification to help minimize the need for custom SW / HW while still maintaining a high degree of flexibility in most Cellio applications. Servicing a plurality of interfaces between node (sensors, transceivers, gateways, local radio links, wireless links to the cloud, servers and dashboards, protocol standards, and hardwired I/Os to name a few) could be daunting and create multiple avenues for error introduction (and excessive current drain if not optimized). Minimizing this risk was achieved by establishing a proprietary thin layered message exchanging protocol that allows for easy programing and adaptability to make for easy installation and execution.

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Caption: Cellio Universal Protocol – CUP, enables control and configuration at virtually all points of the IoT eco-system allowing easy and efficient customization and deployment

Many factors have been considered to allow devices supporting different protocols to successfully communicate. CUP must be:

  • Generic enough to run over a number of different transport layers
  • Capable of sending multiple messages in a single server transaction
  • Both forward and backward compatible
  • Capable of receiving messages in a continuous stream
  • Able to recover from lost data
  • Able to connect to most any front-end and most any back-end

Different physical media are also supported by the Cellio architecture including (to name a few):

  • TCP Sockets
  • 900 MHz RF radios
  • Serial Links
  • Digital and analog connections
  • Control signal outputs
  • SMS Text / Email

 

It Starts With the Sensors

Cellio Wireless Transceivers are designed to support as many as 16 General Purpose Inputs and Outputs (GPIO) supporting most any of the various sensors, sensor instruments, indicators and/or controllers. The transceivers communicate with the sensors and controllers via a direct connection – either physical wires or physical cables. The importance of controlling sensor behavior is not lost with Cellio’s ease of use philosophy. The CUP will ensure the programmable control of the sensors are accurate while at the same time maintaining the goals of your Cellio deployment. Examples of Sensor control programming include:

  • Scheduling wake up / reading / polling times (between 2 seconds and 24 hours)
  • Sensor trigger points – interrupt driven sensor wake up conditions / ranges
  • Scheduling sensor data reporting / check in times
  • I/O pin configuration / voltage levels

A wide variety of off the shelf and custom sensors / transducers are supported by Cellio today. The flexible design of Cellio allows Device Solution to work together with our customers and eco-system partners to expand the interface protocols supported (ex:  Modbus RTU/ASCII/TCP, BACnet) to ensure the Cellio solution meets sensor protocol requirements in a wide variety of applications.

 

Transceivers, Gateways, and Server Controls

Transceivers are also controllable via the CUP. They can be controlled to provide their data to Gateway(s) on a regular basis or based on specific events. In the case where an event triggers an immediate reporting of data to the Gateway, the Cellio Wireless Cellular Gateways can be programmed to transmit the data to a backend server (check in trigger, rate, or time) or transmit an immediate SMS message to get the alert out as quickly as possible. Transceivers transmit data to the Gateways, and receive information from the Gateways as well to control devices that in turn control equipment, machinery and other sensors. Gateways are designed with internal modules and antennas to support both the 900MHz LoRa transmissions to communicate with the Transceivers in the network, as well as options to communicate with cellular networks and Wi-Fi networks.

CUP provides a means for controlling the Gateway configuration, including: Server IP and port address, transmission reports, location data, modem capabilities, channel status, FW version, HW configuration, time of day requests, and SMS destination.

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From the Gateways, data can be sent over cellular networks and/or local Wi-Fi networks to local facility networks and data storage (as simple as updating an internal spreadsheet) or they can be sent over the internet using public and private (VPN) networks to third party cloud storage vendors, IoT platform vendors, or back-end enterprise corporate data systems (CRM, ERP, PIM, etc.).

From the data store, dashboards can be created and utilized to visualize the information, analytics can be performed on the data, external data can be augmented to inform a bigger picture, and inferences/insights/recommendations can be generated to either automate other processes or inform users on conditions and opportunities of interest. From here, control data can be send back to Transceivers via the CUP interface to turn on indicators for users or communicate with control equipment.

 

Summary

In summary, the Cellio eco-system is conceptually simple, yet highly flexible, configurable, and controllable. To achieve our goal of providing an affordable, flexible, low power, controllable / programmable IOT device, the Cellio Universal Protocol – CUP specification was created to help minimize the need for custom SW / HW while still maintaining a high degree of flexibility in most Cellio applications. Let Device Solutions help you meet you IoT/M2M/IIoT objectives in an efficient manner with the Cellio line of products.