I / O module enables remote data capture

Opto 22
Temecula, CA

Equipment as a service (EaaS) involves renting or providing access to equipment and collecting regular payments, rather than selling the equipment in its entirety. This payment model allows end users to pay for expensive or infrequently used equipment as ongoing operating costs, opening up new markets for machine makers.

Shumaker Industries is an OEM that builds an automatic truck cleaning system that uses a PLC to control position sensors, cleaning nozzles, and more. Shumaker wanted to add a remote monitoring option for customers interested in rental contracts, but PLCs didn’t. It has the ability to perform the database transactions needed to monitor usage.

The system integrator Martins Electrical Service (MES), which Shumaker adopted to design this new option, initially delivered data to a cloud database via its own remote monitoring system, a local Internet of Things (IoT) gateway. I experimented with the sensor). However, the system could only deliver updates every 10 minutes and the data was locked to the vendor’s private storage system.

groov RIO installed on the cleaning system monitoring panel.

MES has taken a new approach. Instead of installing additional sensors groov Opto22’s RIO and the system’s 10 software-configurable I / O channels capture existing sensor data in parallel with the cleaning system’s PLC.

Then use Node-RED — IBM’s open source IoT platform is built in groov RIO — They organized their I / O data into a time-stamped set associated with the vehicle number.Finally, they connected a 4G cellular router to groov RIO pushed these data structures directly from Node-RED to cloud-hosted storage and rented them from MongoDB.

This approach allowed MES to provide a scalable monitoring system without worrying about vendor lock-in or maintenance of IT infrastructure. It also eliminates the need to communicate or modify Shumaker’s existing PLC controls by simply acquiring existing I / O signals.

To complete the EaaS design, MES has built a web-based dashboard that allows Shumaker to visualize a running cleaning system at 1 second resolution. Node-RED also generates email and text alerts with monthly reports on the number of tracks processed by each cleaning system that Shumaker uses to calculate bills.

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Tech Briefs Magazine

This article was first published in the May 2021 issue. Technical overview magazine.

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