Collect, Connect, Control
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Overview

“So now I can see the level of feed left in the bins around the farm, what’s the big deal?” The answer would likely depend on the size of the farm, if the farm is part of a network of farms, how fast the bins could be replenished, the rate at which the feed was being consumed, and the value assigned to the animals being fed by the bins around the farm (just to name a few factors). But, from a technology perspective, having all of that work from end-to-end reliably every day, is a REALLY BIG DEAL! The stories of enterprise-wide industrial implementations that are both affordable, scalable, and successful are few and far between. Usually the individual elements are not the confounding factors – it’s the connections between them. Cellio has built a recipe that guarantees success every time!

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Begin at the Very Beginning

In the ecosystem that is an IIoT implemented end-to-end system, the most important part is good data being collected in the field. There are many choices of sensors that can be used to collect data – typically the more accurate and more industrially designed devices are the more expensive choices. Thus, it is important to strike a balance between what is a “must have” versus a “nice to have”. For example, a sensor that could provide a level measurement down to the millimeter might be nice (and likely in the $1,000’s), while knowing every foot or two of the level is what is actually useful and actionable (and likely in the $100’s). In combination with the sensor selection, whether the sensor requires a powerline to be pulled to it or not will also impact the cost and should be included the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculation.   The data needs to be collected from the sensors by a device (Transceiver) that can then transmit that data a great distance (say up to a mile) to a central location (Gateway) where it can be packaged up before sending to the internet (some say cloud). Cellio has this built in.

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From Earth to Cloud (Internet)

Once the data from the sensors is collected, it is then ready to be sent to through the network to the “cloud” (another name for the internet) where it can be stored with the data from all the other sensors.   In the case of Cellio, the devices that collect the data from the remote sensors is called a Gateway. The Gateway can communicate over cellular (CDMA/Verizon and GSM) as well as over Wi-Fi (which could connect to a landline, ADSL, Cable, Satellite, etc.).   From there, whether over a VPN or the public networks, the data can be sent to a cloud storage location. Making all these connections, transitions from real world levels to electronic signals to local wireless transmissions and ultimately cellular transmissions to the cloud storage can take quite a bit of planning if done from scratch.   Cellio has this built in.

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And Now for the Show

As the data is collected in the back-end (cloud storage) it can be used for many purposes:

  • Displayed as part of a dashboard (including mobile workers)
  • Shared with other corporate/enterprise systems (quality and optimization)
  • Shared with partner organizations (supply chain)
  • Analyzed for specific trends and triggers (alerts for managers/workers)
  • Automate inter-related processes (ie re-ordering)
  • Archived for future use (deep trends and forecasting)
  • To control other parts/steps of processes and equipment (automation)
  • And many more…

The initial value for many owners is the immediate gratification of seeing the data they used to have to collect manually (or hope was collected manually in a timely manner) in a consistent, accurate, reliable format. Having this data reported in a timely consistent manner helps them with better visibility of their operations, inventories, and status of equipment that is critical to running their business. For organizations that are beginning a modernization phase, this is a relatively quick, low cost, low risk step into the earliest stages of automation. For the most sophisticated organizations, this can be the way to get in all the “extra” data that has been needed to validate current analytics that have some “blindspots” due to a lack of granularity of the geospatial data available. Cellio has this built in.

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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 Cellio, you have recipe you need for a full end-to-end successful IIoT deployment. You can count on Cellio. That’s the big deal!

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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.