Powelectrics Create Bespoke 'Connected Sensor' Solution for Waste Compactors
Powelectrics connect the world of sensors and the Internet of Things. Our solutions are employed in a wide range of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) remote level and condition monitoring applications. These include an increasing number of environmental applications, from reservoir and flood monitoring to emissions monitoring, waste oil collection and pump station control.
Some of our Industry 4.0 solutions are available ‘off the shelf’, but we also offer 25 years’ experience developing bespoke m2m solutions and we can create application-specific clouds, using the API on our proven, robust MetronView platform.
One great example is the bespoke monitoring and alarming solution Powelectrics have developed for waste compactors. Many compactors have control panels with red lights that signal to local operators when they are getting full (eg 3/4 full) and completely full. The light flashes at the first level and becomes solid at the higher level.
However, light bulbs can fail, local staff may not see them and once seen, waste collection companies still need to be advised and collections arranged. Many manufacturing processes would need to stop altogether, if compactors became full and there was no safe alternative location for the waste. Businesses may need to request ‘emergency’ collections or they may be over-cautious and request deliveries too soon, to ensure that their compactors never get full. Either scenario is extremely inefficient for collection companies and expensive for their customers.
This Powelectrics solution makes use of the existing technology within the compactor and makes it possible to receive data and alarms remotely. This is important for stakeholders, who are not physically close to the compactor, such as company management and collection companies. The data stored in the cloud also provides historical data for trend analysis and process management and offers enhanced functionality, such as the ability to predict when compactors are likely to be full, based on recent usage.
Powelectrics award-winning Metron2 telemetry device is installed inside the panel and checks the status of the light every minute, sending alerts when the levels reach ‘nearly full’ and ‘full’. The Metron2 offers 4 analogue inputs, optional 5 pulse inputs and 2 optional relay outputs, so we were also able to monitor the ‘fault’ light on the control panel, adding a condition monitoring feature to this solution. NB Since this article was first published, Powelectrics have introduced a new Metron device with significantly greater capabilities. Click here to learn about Metron4.
This solution allows key personnel within the business and/or their chosen waste collection company to plan logical, efficient collections that minimise impact on production and the environment. Monitoring the fault light also ensures that prompt action is taken, minimising down-time.
MetronView, Powelectrics ‘middleware’ is a cloud-based datalogger with customisable dashboards, reporting and alerts. MetronView processes millions of readings/day and supports over 140 protocols. MetronView is a standalone platform, but also offers a simple API, so data can be collected by other software. This can be done by customers or Powelectrics can create application-specific portals for you. Other examples include: tank management, energy metering, vending machines and train condition monitoring.