Technology is everywhere you go, with people living digital lives seamlessly with the real world – sounds like a sci-fi movie, doesn’t it? Okay, we still don't have personal hoverboards, but we’re closer to that future than anyone fifty years ago would have guessed, especially in the industrial world.
Today we have many ways to integrate relevant data from the field with standard devices we carry with us all the time, such as your smartwatch or smartphone. We already showed how powerful this easy integration is in our article #Workingfromhome: How to use Google Home with your IIoT-enabled process.
We created an application that we call a reactive solution. It means you have to ask the system for information to get all the API stuff backstage to deliver it. But we wanted to create a proactive solution, where the previously defined thresholds are actively compared with live values coming from the process, providing critical process information conveniently on your smartwatch.
Does it work? Watch the video and see for yourself. Spoiler: yes, it does! The field architecture follows the NOA (NAMUR Open Architecture) standard, which means the solutions only read data without acting directly on the device. That way nothing interferes with your production.
Now, let's see 5 ways you could use it!
Level monitoring with WirelessHART
Level monitoring is an excellent application for this concept of pulling data with your smartwatch anywhere and anytime you want it. We already know that it saves money to have WirelessHART networks for level monitoring in different segments. You’ll often see it integrated into a SCADA system for constant plant monitoring.
However, in one application I supported, the customer didn't have a local SCADA. The operator checked the information on the browser. Integrating the solution with an IIoT cloud service, such as Netilion, could provide remote notification in both scenarios.
Whenever you’re close to your minimum level on your stock, your operator will receive a notification, giving you enough time to take action. You can even set up this notification to go directly to whoever purchases your stock. This is just one example of the different ways you can maximize the value that you get out of information you already have.
Stock monitoring with an IoT radar sensor
Here, we have a similar application. But in this situation, rather than a standard level transmitter with WirelessHART communication, we could use an IIoT radar sensor, such as the Micropilot FWR30. This smart device directly communicates with the cloud, removing many other "dongles" (intermediary components and their complexity) on your solution.
This type of device is easy to configure and ready to go, no big deal. A great application for this idea could be with intermediate build containers (IBC) for raw material. And you can get the same notification when you run low on stock.
There are plenty of flow monitoring applications where this concept can be very helpful. Once I had a project that needed to monitor natural gas receiving in a food-and-beverage company. Here, we implemented a Coriolis flowmeter solution, solar panel, WirelessHART communication, and HMI to visualize the data.
The operators needed to check on the HMI daily to track the company’s consumption of natural gas. Today, the same application could have an additional point to migrate this information to the cloud. Then it could inform the operators without them needing to be in front of the HMI.
This example is just one of the tons of possibilities for flow measurement.
One of the most popular process variables for a wireless solution is temperature. Mining and metal companies have heaps of temperature measurement points, and today many of these points have gone wireless.
Again, let me give you an example from my career. A metal company’s operators wanted to use a wireless solution in a particular area because the cables sustained a lot of damage from the aggressive environment.
Back then, we provided a solution to integrate into the SCADA system, but today we could do it in the cloud to offer relevant data in a straightforward way. It could also send notifications on a smartwatch, smartphone, and any other smart device we can imagine.
Water quality monitoring
Both natural bodies of water like rivers and industrial bodies of water like tanks need to have their water quality regularly monitored. In either case, you can use an IoT-enabled device and then make all the information available in the cloud.
Next, you can integrate your smartwatch into the system by using webhooks and APIs to gather all the relevant information on your water quality. Feel free to add it to your private swimming pool, if it makes you happy.😊
How to use your smart device for IIoT solutions
Anything is possible using the API in an IoT ecosystem, such as Netilion. In this video, my colleague Alex will give you a step-by-step guide on how to integrate your IIoT solution with your smartphone and/or smartwatch.
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Have a good one!