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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

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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.

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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

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.