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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

 

Overview

Cellio is designed on a simple philosophy: make it as easy as possible to connect almost any sensor or sensor instrument to back-end data systems to make collecting data for monitoring as easy, affordable, and scalable as possible. Whether you have existing sensors, or you are implementing a whole new system, Cellio is sensor and sensor instrument (front-end) agnostic as well as back-end data system agnostic. Cellio is designed to get data from where it is to where you need it be.

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Caption: Data flows from sensors mounted on real world assets to back-end data storage, dashboard view, analytics and into corporate enterprise data/operations systems.

 

Direct Notifications

The simplest data notification approach for some applications might using the Transceivers and Cellular Gateways to generate a simple SMS/text message to provide an alert when specific conditions are met by the sensors or sensor instruments. With Cellio, the Transceivers can be configured to use input(s) to trigger an immediate notification via the Gateway over the Cellular network to a designated destination using SMS message(s). In cases where immediate attention might be needed, this could very well be the quickest and easiest use of the Cellio Wireless Network to get notifications to the people who need to be aware of changes associated with real-world assets.

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Caption: Data flows from sensors mounted on real world assets through Gateway which sends SMS to users who need to be notified of specific situations.

 

Simplest Data Collection Option

Quite possibly the simplest data collection option would be to send data from the Transceiver(s) to the Gateway(s) and then to a local spreadsheet (or an online spreadsheet) that can log sensor and sensor instrument data with little to no cost for the data storage. These options will require more self-service for users to map, create dashboards, and perform analytics, but they also provide users the option of keeping data in the local network and accessible only to local corporate data systems. This is also likely the easiest approach for users that want quick and simple access to all of the data collected by all of the sensors and sensor instruments. In these cases, Cellio Wireless Network can be used to send data to data logging resources as simple as spreadsheets and even text files for later usage.

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Caption: Data flows from sensors mounted on real world assets through Gateway to simple logging via text files or spreadsheets.

 

Corporate/Enterprise Data Systems

Many organizations want their sensor data to be logged and then integrated into corporate IT data systems (for storage, archive, and sharing purposes) as well as possibly into larger enterprise systems. These larger enterprise systems can include ERP, CRM, PIM, Logistics, and other systems that help with supply chain, sales force, and inventory management to help optimize the flow of materials and resources both within and across various operational sites. Many companies may require time to validate the datastream to assure that data is collected, audited, and formatted correctly before it can be brought into the corporate data systems. Thus, this option may be the most efficient long-term, but may take more time to set up and integrate into the operations from end-to-end. In these cases, Cellio Wireless Networks can send data to back-end corporate data systems and ultimately to larger enterprise systems that can be leveraged to optimize enterprise operations.

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Caption: Data flows from sensors mounted on real world assets through Gateway to corporate data systems and enterprise operational systems.

 

Cloud Data/Third Party Data Storage

One of the most discussed options in the press and throughout IoT trends and forecasts is using third party (cloud) data hosting, dashboarding, and analytics platforms that will store data from all devices and make the data available for back-end analysis and visualization. In some cases, the data is stored in one platform and then a dashboard can be generated on another platform, analytics can be performed on yet another platform, and resulting inferences can be forwarded onto yet another platform. In these cases, Cellio Transceivers send sensor data to the Gateways and the Gateways send the data to the designated third party data storage systems.

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Caption: Data flows from sensors mounted on real world assets through Gateway to third party/cloud data storage and then on to dashboarding, analytics, inferencing, etc.

 

Summary

Whether the objectives are to receive simple alerts and updates based on specific conditions, or to integrate the data into large corporate enterprise operational systems, Cellio Wireless Networks of Transceivers and Gateways can be configured to get the data from the front-end sensors to the back-end data systems quickly and easily. In addition, adding more sensors to existing Transceivers can provide more useful data almost immediately. With Cellio Wireless Networks you will likely find yourself worrying less about the connectivity and collection of the data and focus more on imagining all the different efficiencies, savings, and operational objectives you will be able to use the data to achieve.

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Caption: Data flow from sensors mounted on real world assets through Gateway to a variety of preferred destinations.

Cellio is designed to get data from where it is to where you need it be.

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Caption: Cellio Wireless Gateway

Introduction

Cellio is designed on a simple 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. The engineering choices that have been made to provide sufficient long-range operation (LoRa, about 1 mile), with minimal battery maintenance (5 years on a single 9V battery), and minimize the data traffic to keep cellular or Wi-Fi connection costs to a minimum. Whether you have existing sensors and controllers, or implementing a whole new system, Cellio is both sensor/controller (front-end) agnostic as well as back-end data system agnostic. Cellio is designed to get data from where it is to where you need it be.

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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 control indicators and control systems on real world assets – closing the loop.

Sensors/Controllers connected to Transceiver(s)

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 (in the case of RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, Modbus, BACnet, etc.). The primary input/output configuration options include:
• Analog Input
• Digital Input/Output
• Current Loop In/Out
• I/O can be configured for various protocols as well
This configuration capability allows Cellio Wireless Transceivers to be as optimally customized as possible for installations where consistent, repeatable, and reliable performance is a top priority.

Transceivers connecting Gateway(s)

Transceivers and Gateways have been designed with an internal antenna to transmit via 900MHz and distances up to 1 mile. Transceivers operate up to five years on a single 9V battery. Using Long Range (LoRa) technology, a single Gateway can support 100’s and even 1000’s of Transceivers. Transceivers can provide their data to Gateway(s) on a regular basis and/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 transmit an immediate SMS message to get the alert out as quickly as possible. Transceivers both transmit data to the Gateways, as well as they receive information from the Gateways that can be used to signal indicators and controllers to provider user feedback as well as to control devices that control equipment, machinery and various other types of controls. Transceiver boxes and Gateway boxes are roughly 3”x4”x5” (about the size of 12oz can of soda). The boxes are IP68 (NEMA 6) rated to be both water-tight and dust-tight.

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Caption: Transceiver compared to size of 12oz soda can.

Gateway(s) connecting to Network(s)

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. The options for connections to external wireless networks include:
• Cellular CDMA (with and without GPS capability) and SMS capable
• Cellular GSM (with and without GPS capability) and SMS capable
• Wi-Fi (802.11bgn)
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 to turn on indicators for users or communicate with control equipment.

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Caption: Transceiver and Gateway side-by-side.

Implications

Based on the architectures and use-cases for a wide-range of applications, Cellio was designed to optimize the use of much less expensive Transceivers (supporting many sensors/controllers) communicating with a much smaller number of Gateways that may be communicating over Cellular connections (the small data packets assure that the minimal cellular data charges are possible). Although this may be the optimal architecture for the minimum expense, options where Gateways are installed on all assets is always an option, as is an All-in-One device that will host both the Transceiver 16 GPIO capability and the Gateway wireless connectivity capability (and GPS and SMS) all in one box that would be the same size as the one used for the current Transceiver and Gateway box. As a quick recap, sensors are connected to Transceivers via wires/cables, Transceivers communicate via 900MHz LoRa to Gateways, Gateways communicate with corporate/internet networks via Cellular (CDMA/GSM) or Wi-Fi to data storage systems, dashboards communicate with Gateways to send control information to Transceivers that then output the control information to indicators and control equipment. Whatever your priorities, Cellio can be organized to balance your IoT/M2M/IIoT communication objectives, capital expenditures, monthly data connections, and implementation timelines.

Posted by: In: Featured, Products 02 Dec 2015 0 comments

Connecting to the Real World: Sensors, Instruments, Controllers and more…

All Cellio devices have the ability to receive and send information. To receive information, Cellio Transceivers are used to directly connect to almost any sensor or sensor instrument whether by direct analog, digital, or industry standard cable and protocol (ie RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, BACnet, Modbus, etc.). The Transceivers sample the values from sensors or sensor instrument equipment and send that collected data wirelessly to Gateway devices. Up to sixteen (16) sensors can be monitored by each Transceiver making Cellio a very economical approach to monitoring as many things as desired. From the Gateway devices, the collected data can be sent to a local network computer, company data storage, internet cloud storage, or a third party data hosting and analytics provider.

Caption:  Cellio devices connected to sensors and controllers on real world assets.  Information flow from sensors to Transceivers to Gateway(s) to data storage and analytics/dashboards back through Gateway(s) to Transceivers to controllers also connected to real world assets.

Caption: Cellio devices connected to sensors and controllers on real world assets. Information flow from sensors to Transceivers to Gateway(s) to data storage and analytics/dashboards back through Gateway(s) to Transceivers to controllers also connected to real world assets.

Once the data is aggregated locally or remotely in a data storage location, it can be used to assemble graphs, charts, reports, dynamic gauges, dashboards, analytics, and ultimately into insights and recommendations. Whether automated or requiring human intervention, the collected information can be used to send information and control instructions back to installed equipment. For example, assuming that the temperature has exceeded a certain threshold, the back-end systems can send a control signal to turn on some HVAC equipment to correct the situation. More complex examples of this scenario could include having the back-end check whether or not the weather forecast suggests that the outside temperature will correct the situation on its own (thus saving energy and money), data on power company kW pricing could determine when the equipment should be turned on to leverage lower prices, and in even more sophisticated cases, the system could use historical data, information from other locations, and even input from other equipment in the facility to determine the urgency and options to correct the temperature condition.

Caption: Information/Data flow from sensor through Cellio to back-end with dashboard, semi-automated with human intervention/oversight, and control information to pump valve and warning light.

Caption: Information/Data flow from sensor through Cellio to back-end with dashboard, semi-automated with human intervention/oversight, and control information to pump valve and warning light.

In certain special cases, it is important for asset managers or owners to be notified immediately if a sensor detects a condition that is “of interest”. For example, if a tank is too empty, too full, a pump stops working, a valve won’t open or close, or equipment is moved outside of an acceptable area of use, someone needs to immediately get involved and take action. In these cases, the Transceivers and Gateways can be configured so that a text message is sent directly somewhere or to someone. Alternatively, these conditions can be used by the back-end data systems as a “trigger” that can set things in motion to send out notifications, check additional information, and even remotely and automatically control devices that can intervene to correct and minimize the impact or damage that the error condition might create.

Caption: Transceiver with integrated ultrasonic transducer, Transceiver mounted with sensors to large metal bin, Transceiver with light sensor and float switch (prototype unit assembled by students at North Carolina IoT Hackathon 2015)

Caption: Transceiver with integrated ultrasonic transducer, Transceiver mounted with sensors to large metal bin, Transceiver with light sensor and float switch (prototype unit assembled by students at North Carolina IoT Hackathon 2015)

As noted above, the other major capability of the Transceivers is the ability to output analog, digital, or industry standard protocols to indicators and/or control instrumentation (RTU’s, PLC’s, SCADA’s, PAC’s, and others). This means that the Transceivers can be used to turn on something simple like an LED or buzzer. Transceivers can also be used to communicate with more complex devices via industry standard protocols and cables (ie RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, BACnet, Modbus, etc.) to provide information that can be used to optimize operations.

The Transceivers have been optimized to balance transmission power and distance – this allows for transmissions up to a mile away and they can run for as long as 5 years on a standard 9Volt battery. The Transceiver (and Gateway) enclosures are approximately 3”x4”x5” and are rated IP-68 (dust and water tight). Thus, the Transceivers and Gateways can be mounted where they will be exposed to weather and other harsh environments. For more intensive and/or remote applications, external antennas, solar cell power supplies, and larger batteries can be utilized to meet system design objectives. In cases where a real world asset needs both dedicated sense/control as well as transmit capability to the network, an All-in-One unit may be the optimal option – for example, remote generators, substations, tractor trailers, heavy equipment may require their own dedicated tracking and monitoring capabilities.

Caption: Cellio Devices with both single tier and multi-tier architectures of All-in-One and Gateway/Transceivers, respectively.

Caption: Cellio Devices with both single tier and multi-tier architectures of All-in-One and Gateway/Transceivers, respectively.

The Cellio system of devices has been designed with the philosophy to provide an agnostic front-end to connect almost any sensor or sensor instrument. This approach also provides an agnostic front-end to connect almost any indicator or control instrument. Additionally, on the back-end, Cellio agnostically will exchange information with most any system – from something as simple as a spreadsheet and text messaging to systems as complex and sophisticated as ERP, PIM, CRM and other Enterprise Business Intelligence systems. For a first time user, this means that Cellio can connect into almost any existing equipment and make collecting and visualizing data as quick and easy and affordable as possible. For more experienced users and system integrators, this means that highly complex systems of sense and control can be put in place, connected across vast geographies and facilities to make as much of the operation visible and controllable as needed. With Cellio and its balance of configurability, affordability, and universality, enterprise wide systems can be deployed and scaled in real time. The sky is the limit.