Remote Monitoring Solutions Overview
Remote monitoring is a very common feature that almost anyone can implement with a little time and some off-the shelf hardware from a local hardware or electronics store, but what do you need? This will basically allow you to see your equipment from anywhere you can get a good Internet connection; either on your computer or even on your phone. Many of the companies that do offer this service are merely providing you with this out-of-the-box solution piggy-backed onto their controller. What makes our solution better?
We started with this solution and built a very flexible system that we began field testing in 2014. Its most basic features will allow the user to install our "custom" software onto a phone, a tablet or many other computer devices. At this level you can pan and zoom the camera to view the surrounding area. It will limit the data usage via a timer when the app recognizes that mobile data is active to prevent expensive data overages from occurring. Simply start the app again to continue in that mode. If you have our machine controller then it is tightly integrated with the equipment and allows the operator to shut down its operation if necessary at no additional hardware cost. If you don't have our machine controller then we can offer you a remote monitoring controller, or RMC, to utilize that feature and most of our other features at additional hardware costs. This makes it capable of monitoring any equipment; even our competitor's. And with a little wiring we can monitor their various signals too.
The IP settings for the mobile device are configured within a password protected menu to prevent anyone from accessing this critical information. Passwords can be customized at the customers discretion. Since it is configurable on the device the customer does not have to share this information with us either; if they choose. Updates are performed by simply opening an email and following the simple instructions that we provide. Some of the other features are listed below:
Mobile Remote Monitoring System with Live Video
If you are connected to our machine controller the status of the controller, the motion controller and the camera is displayed. This is helpful for troubleshooting the equipment. If you are connected via our RMC (remote monitoring controller) you may or may not have access to the status of the machine controller depending upon the manufacturer's available connections. We offer several camera options. The lowest cost solution offers good quality video even in the dark.
As demonstrated on this demonstration video, live camera viewing starts when user taps "Start Camera" and can be ceased by simply pressing the Stop Camera button. If you tap the live video the screen image will enlarge to improve the visibility. Panning and zooming will only function if the camera has been started.
Notifications Management and Alerting via Email, SMS, Pagers and Others
The controller app allows for key personnel to be alerted in the event that a specific condition has been triggered such as an Emergency Stop actuation, a specific machine fault or any of the other numerous triggers that we have provided for the customer. These triggers are both hardware and software level signals so that general production alerts can be initiated automatically for production management. The triggers are configurable for each of the recipients listed in the app settings. This is no reasonable limit to the number of recipients. The configuration table for the alert management system, or AMS, is password protected and encrypted like any other IT security data.
The alerts are sent via email and/or text messages. This is configured within that AMS table also. Notifications delivery occurs via standard SMTP (simple mail transport protocol), and supports both secured, authenticated and plain-text anonymous services. Whether on-site mail servers or on-cloud, the controller app enables delivery of notifications leveraging your existing infrastructure while seamlessly adhering with your organization's existing email data security and retention policies.
Optimized Fault Monitoring and Configurable Trigger Actions
In addition to the troubleshooting usefulness of live video stream from equipment monitoring cameras in our solution, it also offers the flexibility of enabling remote support visibility of internal controls and electronic components when needed. An on-site assistance can simply detach the camera from its base and point it towards internal control that remove support experts may need to visually inspect.
Ongoing monitoring for irregular conditions, however, require the use of automation logic. Our optimized fault monitoring system (OFM system) has proven to be quite useful. Simply configure the system to trigger on one or more conditions and run the machine as you normally would. Then start the monitoring process. Once the trigger has occurred the system will produce a video of the condition before and after the trigger occurred. Pictures can also be taken from these triggers in this mode. We also gather important internal data to assist in our troubleshooting efforts.