Powelectrics Blog

Being aware of great things

It’s amazing how you can go through life and not be aware of something that is brilliant. I like to do a bit of running. Nothing competitive, just a way to try and keep the weight off as the years advance. I think it’s fair to say it’s more jogging than running. Over the years the legs have got stiffer, especially when getting out of bed in the morning, and the minor injuries become more frequent. I’ve increased my mileage in recent weeks and this led to a calf strain which was pretty sore. A personal trainer friend suggested I try out a foam roller so the next day I went shopping and within days I could feel the improvement. Two weeks later my calf is fine and I'd not taken the rest normally recommended. I’ve just done a quick web search and see the theory of lengthening muscles is by no means new and foam rollers have generally been around for about ten years. What I do know is that they are brilliant and have not only helped my calf but also helped with the general aches and pains I get in my legs.

Why didn’t I know about them sooner..?

I hear similar things from customers. They have either spent forever trying to find a suitable solution or have gone with others and found them to be lacking. Had I known to search for ‘foam roller’ on the web I’d have been laughing. As a supplier one of the tricks is working out what people search for. If I google ‘reduce leg pain after running’ I don’t get told about foam rollers.

We connect your sensors to the internet making the data available to you so you can view on your computer, tablet or smartphone; you can integrate to other software; you have configurable alerts. The solutions are compatible with tens of thousands of sensors from major manufacturers. Indexed and proven. It’s out of the box., ready to use. It’s finding those business who need the equivalent of my foam roller..!




Plug And Play Remote Monitoring

We are all guilty of it.... not reading the instruction manual. I did it yesterday when a new washing machine arrived and predictably I forgot to remove the transit screws. It happens all the time with our customers - we get calls about things that we thought were clearly presented in a fairly brief manual. Units are returned that have been connected to the mains even though it's clear the device operates from 12/24Vdc.

What we all want is plug and play and that's what we've brought you. We have catalogued hundreds if not thousands of sensors from the a wide range of manufacturers and can supply you with a ready to use remote monitoring solution. All you need to do is wire in your sensor and the readings are avalable through a web site and for collection via a simple and well documented API.

It's proven. It's affordable. It's flexible. It's the Industrial Internet of Things Out of a Box.

Smaller yet more intelligent sensors

Sensors seem to not only be getting more and more intelligent, but also smaller in size.

When Powelectrics first started selling ultrasonic sensors, the smallest available was an M30 housing. I remember being amazed when the M18 was launched, then the M12. This morning I was informed of the latest in the Disoric range of ultrasonics; an M8 housing.

The M8 sensor has an adjustable range of 20-80mm. A switching output can be programmed NPN or PNP and can be set as normally open or closed. A sensing window can also be programmed via an automatic teach in process. The housing is manufactured from stainless steel.

Contact us for more details regarding this product.

Converging the physical and digital worlds

I have sometimes struggled to describe what we do, usually to people who don't have a technical background and we tend to say 'we take signals from sensors and send them to somewhere they can be of more use'  and go on to give a few examples of what we do and how we do it, such as remote tank level monitoring helping significantly with logistics or checking the temperature of a bearing on train and swending an alert if it gets too warm to prevent breakdown.

A short while ago I read a blog post by Jahangir Mohammed that's about the 'Internet of Things' and within the post he uses the phrase:

 "As the physical and digital worlds converge to produce the Internet of Things"

I wondered if this describes what we do at Powelectrics. I think it does to a certain extent but sometimes we have to expect to give examples, just to make it clearer!

Read all posts by Dave Oakes Posted by: Dave Oakes on June 8th, 2015 @ 1:45 PM
Tagged with: internet of things IOT m2m m2m cloud m2m platform remote monitoring smarter world


A beautiful equation for everything sensor related in the I.O.T.

I watched ‘The Theory of Everything’ last night. Great film about great people with the lead played by a fantastic actor. Not only did I enjoy it, it also got me thinking whether it would be possible to create a beautifully simple equation that expressed what’s needed to get data from sensors into the Internet of Things.

First we need to understand the variables that need to be used so here’s my list:

Ps  = Power for the sensor

Pc = Power for the communications etc.

S = Scaling

Es = Environmental protection for the sensor

Ec = Environmental protection for the communications etc.

N = Noise immunity (electrical, from RF etc.)

St = Stability of the sensor and the signal processing, including temperature considerations

R = Robustness of the sensors, the power source and everything else

C = Communications, including handling re-tries & external variables and optimising to suit Pc

A = Application understanding

Thanks to hardware such as the Metron2 and middleware such as Metron VIEW we can substitute Ps , S, Ec , part of N & St and all of C with Metron as they handle all these. The rest of N & St get looked after with A so we can remove them. R and Es are handled by A as well.

We are left with:

Metron + Pc + A = Data from sensors

The Metron2 is available in battery, solar or mains powered options so Pc is handled. Powelectrics have 25 years experience with A. So the answer is to come to Powelectrics if you need data from sensors either to be viewed on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, or if you want data from sensors into your application.



(Industrial) Internet of Things Deployment Pays For Itself In 29 Hours!!

I love hearing from customers about how our technology is helping their business. Usually, the benefits of using remote monitoring are well-defined and understood before deployment. However, we are always delighted when our systems exceed efficiency and cost-reduction expectations. Most recently, a new record-breaker was reported to me, which is really so astounding, I had to share it!


Our Metron2 devices had been fitted on trains and were regularly reporting their data to our Metron VIEW platform. The feedback during the installation phase was great, with glowing reports on the ease of installation and usage, particularly the ability to remotely configure devices for the client via our Metron VIEW platform.


Once the data started flowing, the client, analysing that data, soon identified a regular occurrence, which had been happening for around 30 years. It was a situation of poor practice, but no one had previously been aware of it. It had passed under the radar for three decades without any monitoring in place. Managers were aware that this long-standing process was expensive, but without telemetry they had no idea that one element was disproportionately expensive …..and entirely avoidable!


Once highlighted, it was easy to retrain the relevant members of staff. Thus, a project with an excellent payback period, became a project that quite incredibly offered a return on investment in just 29 hours! That is going to take some beating! The solution has been short listed at the Railways Innovation Awards.


This story demonstrates, more than most, how monitoring can identify inefficiencies and lead to dramatic cost reductions even in tried and trusted procedures.