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Overview

As organizations experience success with the reporting/monitoring from their initial IIoT implementation objectives, their thoughts and questions naturally turn to how many devices and how many different things they can put on the same platform to inform them of other aspects of their operations. In fact, the relatively low cost to track additional nodes on the installed platform makes them wonder what they “can’t” remotely monitor and control. These are some of the initial questions.

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How Many Things can be Monitored at Once?

Without consideration for distances (but assuming the Transceiver nodes can talk to at least one Gateway device), hundreds and thousands could conceivably be connected to a single Gateway in a given installation. Factors that would play into the maximum number of nodes would have to consider the configuration parameters of the devices, but could be configured to support a significant number of devices. Additionally, since the Transceivers can connect to up to 16 points, the actual number of “things” that can be monitored is an order of magnitude greater.

 

How Many Different Kinds of Things can be Monitored?

Again, without consideration for distances (but assuming the Transceiver nodes can talk to at least one Gateway device), any manner of device that produces (or could be made to produce) an electric signal can conceivably be sensed and the measurement recorded and reported/monitored. If something doesn’t currently produce an electrical signal, some means of measuring the state of the device would need to be put in place so that the Transceiver could gather the information and transmit it electronically. For example, some devices may already be installed that produce a signal (a light switch can be monitored to see if the light is on/off since it is already electric). An alternative example would be measuring the light intensity of the sun – in this case a photocell could be put in place and could measure the light level and the Transceiver would measure the signal from the photocell and report it.

 

How Many and How Different of Things can be Controlled?

Similar to the monitoring noted above, different approaches can be employed to control something from the range of a simple single digital signal (ON/OFF) to the more complex RS-485 communication with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). Thus, there is support for a large number of devices across a significant range of device types.

 

 

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”.  If, like many organizations, your organization is diving into remote monitoring across a facility, a process, or the entire enterprise, having an extensible platform that is easy, quick, and inexpensive to deploy that supports the broad range of existing and future devices that need to be monitored and controlled, test Cellio on your tougher challenges to make sure you have the best platform in place for today and into the future.

Overview

One of the significant expense items associated with installing IIoT comes from the costs associated with installing the equipment. In particular, pulling cables and power cords (and conduit) can be on the order of half of the expense of the total installation. In the case of Cellio, the Transceivers run off a 9VDC battery that can also be used to power sensors – thus removing the need for power, cables, and conduit in many applications. Even in those cases where power may be needed for the sensing device, the Transceiver does not need a separate power supply to be provided (making retrofit installations very cost effective and quick). The Cellio Gateway can run from directly from a small solar panel or it can be plugged into an existing power plug within range of the Cellio Transceivers.   These wireless aspects of Cellio (resulting from lower installation, operation, and maintenance costs) further reduce the overall cost of ownership for Cellio based IIoT installations.

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Look Ma, No Power Cables

In one example installation, there are over 1,000 stationary objects that need to be monitored and measured. These objects are out in fields where pulling power, conduits, and cables would be on the order of $1,500 per object. The quick math for this scenario is $1,500 * 1,000 => $1,500,000 or $1.5M! Obviously this calculation does not account for the project management, logistics, associated back-end costs, monthly bills for electricity, or any other costs for maintenance, etc. But at first order, it is useful to demonstrate the benefit of a truly wireless system like Cellio. In the case of Cellio, the Transceiver has a 9VDC battery (Lithium Ion preferably), that can provide power and report readings from an external sensor for up to a 5 years. Thus, the installation costs (and associated annual maintenance, etc.) is reduced almost to $0. Additionally, in those cases where a sensor is already in place (whether it is unpowered or powered), the Transceiver can simply be placed on or nearby, connected to the sensor, and immediately start reporting the sensor readings wirelessly and remotely – no power supply or wires required.

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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 minimal installation costs, operational costs, and remote regular reporting and monitoring are important to the business, Cellio should be one of the first considerations. Be surprised when you see for yourself!

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Overview

From Agriculture to Manufacturing to Industrial Processing, there is at least one common challenge for remote monitoring – substantial distances. In addition to the distances, obstacles that block line of site between points of interest compound the challenge for transmissions and communications. Also, most of these points don’t have electrical outlets conveniently accessible. Cellio provides a solution to these challenges with its 9VDC powered 900MHz LoRa Transceiver devices that can collect information from remote sensors and transmit them over great distances through a great number of objects and materials – to the pleasant surprise of many process and facility owners/operators.

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IIoT Remote Distances

In industrial, agricultural, and other environments that have process elements that require going outside of a single facility, distances are typically measured in thousands of feet and hundreds of yards/meters. These environments are typically not well suited for pulling and maintaining long lengths of conduits, cables, and power – especially when costs are considered. In these cases a wireless solution that can inexpensively, quickly and reliably transmit information from a remote point B to a central point A without having to provide a power outlet is most desirable. Cellio Transceivers accomplish this using 900MHz LoRa (Long Range) wireless technology to cover great distances and transmitting through a great number of obstacles that would traditionally block communications for other approaches.

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IIoT Remote Power

Further challenging the requirements for an acceptable/feasible solution, not having access to a power plug means that the sensors and the transmission have to provide their own power source – and ideally that the power source will last longer than a year before having to be maintained/replaced. Cellio Transceivers accomplish this using a 9VDC battery that can be used to power connected sensors and in typical use can provide remote data for up to 5 years on a single battery before having to be replaced.

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IIoT Remote Network Access

The typical geographical locations of many agricultural, manufacturing and industrial operations are in more rural/remote locations. To access the internet and other remote networks, wireless is required to transmit all of the collected data to the “back-end” where the data can be aggregated, computed and distributed to users and systems that can make use of the remote monitoring information. Cellio Transceivers and Gateways accomplish this using Cellular CDMA/GSM network infrastructure to move data from the site to back-end data storage and processing. From the back-end, a host of operations, alerts, and computations can be generated to inform users and processes of the status of equipment, inventories, and process parameters.

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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”.  The distances typically involved in Agriculture, Manufacturing and other Industrial operations require technology designed and well suited for these environments. Cellio provides all this capability and more out of the box.

Overview

If a device fails in the field, and no one was there to see it – it still failed. When will it be fixed? Could it have been fixed before it failed? Technologies like IIoT can provide data, information, and insights about equipment that is failed or failing so that it can be addressed reactively, or proactively, depending on the priorities of the maintenance and repair policies of an organization.

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IIoT Insights – Simple

The very simplest insights that an IIoT system can provide are those that report a change in “normal status”. These can be immediate triggers that provide alerts about something failing, something going beyond a set limit, or something returning to a known good state. No matter the application, the information is a “snapshot” view of the state at a moment in time. The upside to this kind of information is that it is immediate, and it is reporting a real thing in the real world that needs to be addressed NOW. However, if the item being monitored is critical to the operation of the facility, it would be more useful if the information could be used to warn of an impending failure so that the failure can be avoided altogether.

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IIoT Insights – Complex

The more complex insights that an IIoT system can generate are those that consider more than a single data point comparison – usually including some advanced calculations or analytics. In these cases, a trigger or alarm can also be generated, but the condition can alert the appropriate users to conditions that may be leading to a failure. For example, for some refrigeration units, the parameters (current draw, cycle times, etc.) of a good working unit is known. Thus, if the refrigerator is drawing more current or cycling more frequently than it should, this information can be used to alert the users that there is an issue with the refrigerator that needs attending to so that the refrigerator does not fail catastrophically.

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IIoT Insights – Visualizing

In both simple and complex scenarios, all the data collected and transmitted to the back-end can be visualized in any number of ways. For many users, a real world mapping of the items with various color codes and labels is sufficient for their needs. Others need very high level summary table views, while still others need detail views of all the variables. Because the information from the remote devices is centralized in the back-end, all this information can be graphed, mapped, calculated, coded, and displayed however the users like to match their specific needs. They say a picture is a worth a thousand words – a visualization of data may be worth much more than that!

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Bonus: IIoT Insights – Remote Control and Remote Signaling

Of course, once the users have the insights, most times they will want to do something about the situation. In the IIoT system Cellio supports, there is also the option to send control data back to the field to control indicators, equipment, etc. For example, imagine that a refrigerator was detected as failed or failing, not only could an email or SMS be sent to a distribution list of people that worked with that refrigerator, but an alarm could be turned on near the refrigerator to alert people in the area that it needed attention immediately. This ability to manually or automatically send and control information to the alarm (light, buzzer, or otherwise) allows the IIoT users to “complete the loop”.

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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”.  With insights from the IIoT system, users can inspect all of the monitored items at all times. Additionally they can be alerted when items fail or when conditions may indicate and impending failure. And to close the loop, the system can generate a response to the situation that could be gated by a human or send automatically. Cellio provides all these capabilities and more out of the box.

Overview

We have heard a number of customers say the following phrase, “because we don’t have someone there watching it all the time.” And for equipment and supplies that are critical to the operation of the business, certain failures need to be identified as soon as they happen (if not before). With inexpensive devices that can be placed in and around the assets in an operation, the ability to monitor devices in real time can provide insights that could be used for advance notification as well as notifying anyone/everyone involved so that critical issues can be resolved as quickly as possible. In some ways, not only can the Cellio IIoT devices help to make and save money, they can also be considered as inexpensive insurance.

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IIoT Devices to Identify Issues Before, During, After Failure

The very nature of IIoT devices deployed in a distributed manner in and around the assets in the operation translates into constant monitoring. What is monitored, and how, is critical to generating the information that can be used to determine if things are within, if they are trending out, or if they have exceeded acceptable operating parameters.   Armed with this information, critical elements in the operation can be remotely monitored, reported, and produce notifications to equipment and process owners for preventative maintenance and issue resolution. Most importantly, if the issue is located in a place that is not typically monitored in some other way, the IIoT device can assure that if something goes awry that someone gets notified – immediately. The IIoT device, via the sensor, detects the “out of bounds” condition, generates an alert that is relayed via the Gateway device to the back-end. The back-end evaluates the state and based on the priorities and settings of the organization, notifies those people and resources appropriate for the response. If used for collecting data regularly about the state of the equipment (or inventory level), the information could notify relevant stakeholders about potential issues that could lead to a failure before the failure occurs. Depending on the impact of a failure, detecting it in advance might be more valuable then simply fixing things after they fail.

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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”.  If someone isn’t able to watch critical resources 24×365 having affordable devices that are watching the critical resources may very well be the best option for assuring and insuring that issues are detect and resolved as early as possible – ideally averted all together. When you consider that these humble devices can be deployed and provide alerts to situations that could cost Million$, you might start to wonder if a case could be made to an insurance company for reduced premiums.

Overview

They say, “what gets measured gets done”. This is no truer than in IIoT installations where the saying might be adapted to “what gets measured gets reported, regularly”. In fact, there are a growing number of stories where some frontline workers and some managers have initially been reluctant to have IIoT devices installed – the additional visibility that comes from devices regularly reporting measurements may expose practices that are inefficient and detrimental to operations and net profits. In time, reluctance turns into relief.

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Using Ingredients in the Correct Order

In many businesses, research and experimentation has been done to determine the best order in which to use ingredients. However, in practice, where there is not enough oversight or attention paid to the level or order of ingredients, the ingredients may be added or used in the incorrect order. The net result of the use of ingredients in the incorrect order can be sub-optimal sizes, durability, or value of the resulting product. Ultimately, across many production sites and many batches, this amounts to significant losses in profits. IIoT devices installed and monitoring can identify those areas in which ingredients where not fully utilized or used in the incorrect order to notify business owners of opportunities to address “best practices” as quickly as possible and the information can be leveraged as a “teaching moment”. Ultimately, if and when the workers and managers get on-board, they can leverage the IIoT devices to increase their own visibility and validate their adherence to the standards. The real “win” is when they decide to become partners in evaluating additional areas and opportunities to improve results.

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Ordering Ingredients in Time (Risk of Running Out)

Associated with using ingredients in the wrong order, we have seen where ingredients that are running low are not re-ordered in time. In the worst case, this can have catastrophic impacts on the current production batch (where everything has to be destroyed and disposed) or at best case an emergency delivery (with all the additional “rush” charges, overtime, and lost productivity) is delivered in time to keep things running with no interruption. In the spectrum between “destruction and interruption” there is a wide range of losses that are incurred. With IIoT devices in place, potential issues related to ingredients running low can be identified early and addressed in a timely (and cost effective) way. Most importantly, this information does not rely on someone remembering to check the levels or rely on them to measure the levels accurately and consistently. The dependability of the IIoT generated measurements becomes the primary input – with full expectation that workers or process owners will audit the measurements regularly to confirm the IIoT provided measurements.

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Timely Reporting of Equipment Failures

If there isn’t a predictive maintenance program in place to adhere to scrupulously, the next best thing is to have IIoT devices monitoring equipment to detect the moment that operating parameters have gone outside acceptable ranges. This real-time, and near-real-time, information can be the difference between knowing things are running well and hoping that things aren’t failing. For example, a simple water pump required to keep process equipment cool could fail and then minutes or hours later critical equipment that depends on the cooling water can fail bringing the whole operation to a halt. With IIoT devices monitoring the water pump, these early risks can be detected immediately and addressed before they turn into irreparable damage and guaranteed extended downtime. With the relatively small expense of the IIoT devices, significant increases in income can be realized.

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Bonus: In Depth Detailed Analytics

Extra benefits come from having IIoT devices collecting data from multiple aspects of the industrial processes, supplies, and logistics for future analyses. While the immediate benefits are in the instant visibility to levels and measurements, the longer term benefits will come from collecting a data history and correlating the data with other environmental variables to uncover hidden factors and validate any proposed improvements. For example, in one case, it was identified that the weather had a direct and measurable impact on the rate of update of various ingredients. With this insight, future production runs now take into account weather reports to adjust ingredient inventories. In yet another case, data was analyzed to see why certain sites were producing more optimized results, it was determined through the data across all sites that the suboptimal site was failing to fully utilize one ingredient before switching over to the subsequent ingredients. All of these findings demonstrated real losses in revenue and net income. Based on the findings, both revenues and income were increased without any indirect or unintended consequences.

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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”.  In many cases, the recommendations provided by corporate groups and third parties is well-researched and valid.   From the conveyance of the information to putting it into practices that are adhered to, there is a wide range of implementation success and compliance. Is it any wonder that outcomes are also so widely varied? With IIoT devices, the data from across all sites, all production runs, and various operators and managers can be gathered, viewed, compared, and analyzed. As we find most frequently, it isn’t that workers and managers don’t care, they just have so much on their plates that they can’t pay attention to everything, nor all at once. When no one else is able to pay attention to critical measurements, you can count on Cellio.

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Overview

Pragmatically speaking, successful innovation, evolution, and technology adoption have focused in areas where the benefit is at least an order of magnitude greater than the cost – in technology this is equivalent to a “slam dunk”. From the business perspective the classic 2×2 grid of value versus cost is usually consulted as a tool to map out and compare options and courses of action. Let’s explore, at a high level, how Cellio helps organizations access the most desirable quadrant on the value map.

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Value/Benefit is both Direct and Indirect

We find that many of our customers have a number of business pressures to move from a manual process of data collection to a more automated approach. The obvious solution is an inexpensive wireless solution that doesn’t require running cables or wires (which can be quite costly and subject to damage by rodents, equipment and regular wear and tear). From wireless edge devices, data can be gathered at a frequency that satisfies the needs of individuals and process inputs that will keep them informed of either the actual measurements and generate alerts to situations of concern that need attention to avoid critical errors – in this way, the data appears “real time” to the users. Some of the indirect benefits include reducing or eliminating risky measurement or monitoring situations that put workers in harms way. Additionally, workers have been known to get distracted or prioritize other activities over the measuring activities leaving the downstream data users questioning the status and accuracy of reports of the upstream inventories, levels, status, etc. Thus, the consistency, regularity, and automated data provided by the wireless data logging, monitoring and reporting can provide data in a timely manner on which people and processes can depend and make informed decisions.

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Costs/Effort need to Account for Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

The analyses our customers have run on costs consider items that include lost efficiencies, overtime pay, time spent from non-core activities, missed information from inconsistent measurements (resulting in critical situations that require remediation), potential risks to people and equipment, equipment maintenance, and other factors.  These factors are then added to estimates for expected gains in productivity, purchasing optimization, logistics efficiencies, and consistency of data for future analytics. In comparison, the cost of the devices and sensors is relatively low, as are the minimal amounts of maintenance of the installed devices, and the low annual data related fees for transmission and storage.

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Cellio Delivers on Low-Cost/Effort and High-Value/Benefit

The relative ease, affordable pricing, and ability to deliver a full Cellio IIoT deployment in a very short period of time (including data connections, data storage, dashboarding, native mobile app access, customized alerts/notifications, and connections to enterprise systems) squarely places Cellio in the upper right quadrant of the Cost/Value chart.

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Bonus: Cellio LoRa

One of the aspects of the Cellio system that enables the system to deliver significant value for the cost can be found in the use of LoRa for extending the range from Edge devices (Transceivers) to the Gateway devices. This ability to place as many Transceivers as desired in an area and have them all report back through a single Gateway drives the costs out of the edge devices and assures that the overall solution is as affordable as possible. Additionally, factoring in the small battery usage of the LoRa edge devices (a 9VDC battery can last for 5+ years without having to be replaced) and system-wide installation, maintenance, and dependability are greatly enhanced.

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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 deploy and 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 today. There is a saying that you should “Inspect what you expect”.  Cellio has been designed to shift the equation to more heavily favor value over costs.   From the design of the devices to consume as little power as possible, transmit only the desired data, drive down associated transmission costs and battery consumption, and deliver a whole solution that consistently provides successfully deployed systems from end-to-end in as little time as possible, Cellio delivers.