The core of what we do is making it easy and economical to get industrial data to the cloud so it can be analyzed, monitored and reported on in a valuable manner. A key component of our infrastructure are our RemoteLobeTM field gateways. Our PERL-1-420MA RemoteLobesTM allow users to monitor 4-20mA signals in a wide variety of applications and sensor types.
Many devices that exist in the market today have been built more for a computer room than an industrial setting. Our RemoteLobesTM are designed for the harsh conditions encountered in industry. They are NEMA4X rated and have all weatherproof cable glands or stainless steel cable fittings.
Analog signals are easy for Instrumentation and Control Engineers; however, for the common user they are confusing. Understanding that not every organization has skilled staff, we designed our RemoteLobesTM to be as simple as possible to install. The single channel, 4-20mA RemoteLobeTM can either come fitted with a standard ProcessConnectTM fitting, a 2-wire or 4-wire shielded, twisted-pair cable. The ProcessConnectTM fitting allows any user, of any skill set to easily install a ProcessEyeTM sensor, error free, by screwing in a stainless steel connector into RemoteLobeTM. The 2-wire configuration allows the RemoteLobeTM to accept a 4-20mA signal from other devices, like a PLC. The 4-wire configuration allows the RemoteLobeTM to provide power to an external sensor.
Usually special cables, software and/or drivers are required to configure or program devices in the field. Our RemoteLobesTM eliminate these needs by utilizing standard WiFi to communicate with them. So as long as a user has a cell phone or computer they will be able to easily configure the RemoteLobeTM. All a user needs to do is connect to the RemoteLobeTM hotspot just like they would connect to a WiFi network at home or in a coffee shop or airport. Then they open up a web browser on their device and can easily configure the device via an easy to use and understand web page.
There are a lot of different devices in the market that have the capability to handle specific sensor types; however, this leads to users needing multiple different types of devices, user-interfaces, etc. to get to an overall solution. Our single channel 4-20mA input RemoteLobesTM are universal in nature and can handle over 30 different types of signals from vibration, to temperature, to level, to flow, etc. Depending on the type of sensors that is being utilized there are other parameters that are automatically available for configuration like the units of measure or emissivity constant in the case of an IR temperature sensor. Or, if the signal is to be used as a tank level monitor the dimensions of the tank can be entered and the RemoteLobeTM will automatically calculate the tank volume. In addition, calculations are run in the RemoteLobeTM at microsecond intervals, so things like totalized values can be calculated accurately.
Timestamps of readings seem relatively benign on the surface, yet they play a critical role in remote data management. Managing timestamps of readings can be a challenge in traditional applications, so typically all signals that are analyzed need to come back to the same PLC or other device. In the ProcessEyeTM ecosystem, every RemoteLobeTM has their clocks synchronized multiple times per day with a calibrated time server in the cloud. This ensures every timestamp, from every RemoteLobeTM are in unison…anywhere…anytime. This allows our users to derive “Calculated Values” with confidence in our ProcessCentralTM cloud-based historian.
Most devices require an ethernet connection. The problem is that Ethernet Connections = needing to work through an IT department. Once that happens there are many barriers and challenges with getting access to data remotely due to the concern of these devices being on the same network as their other sensitive information. Our RemoteLobesTM utilize standard WiFi communication so they can get access to the internet via a site’s Guest WiFi network. If that isn’t an option then a cellular modem with WiFi capability can be utilized. The fact that WiFi is utilized in the ProcessEyeTM ecosystem enables monitoring points throughout a facility in a distributed manner rather than having to rely on a central device within relatively close proximity of a sensor.
Most technologies require human intervention to perform updates to the software or programming in devices in the field. Our RemoteLobesTM poll our servers on a daily basis to check for any new updates and then they automatically download and install these updates. The updates might be due to enhanced features, bug fixes or security patches. Our users can be rest assured that they will always have the most up t0 date software installed in their devices.
Many M2M devices and platforms that exist today are vulnerable to security related issues. Unfortunately this has become an increasing area of scrutiny, but our cutting edge technology enables us to utilize the most advanced encryption techniques to prevent malicious activities. We know that the area of cyber security will always be changing, but our capability to automatically rollout updates tomorrow will keep our customers as safe as they are today.