Commanding the highest efficiency of core system functions
By S Blanckensee., Enviropower
Published in: Electricity+Control March 2014 (pages 30 – 31)
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Industrial operations in South Africa can now remotely control numerous machinery functions without having to invest in large capital-intensive programmable logic controller (PLC) technology. It is a smaller, more affordable solution to a traditional PLC, which allows the user to control the required equipment or functions from a cell phone. It is the ideal solution for smaller systems that may not be covered by a PLC, but have certain aspects that need to be monitored, such as temperature, pressure and oil analysis. The i-Commander allows the user to set the parameters that it functions within, setting off an alarm if the system operates outside of those parameters.
The heart of the system comprises a range of GSM/GPRS devices utilising cellular communications with powerful control and easy programming. Each device utilises a standard network SIM card and application specific antennae to connect to a cellular network for communication. The device is configured to perform site specific functions using SmartSetup programming software. Programming makes provision for intricate timed operations, logic combinations and counting variables to name a few.
Cellular communications enable the device to communicate via text message to any number of authorised phones and also to communicate via GPRS. GPRS communications via Airdrive GPRS web-based platform allows for logging of data and incidence management online. Airdrive provides the user with real-time ability to detect and address problems before they become major issues.
- The control and telemetry device described in the article is best suited to smaller operations.
- A unique feature on the device is its cable theft monitor.
- The device can be used in a variety of industries.