Industrial Internet of Things

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by Powerblanket
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Industrial Internet of Things

In the world of growing technologies, the phrase “Internet of Things” has garnered quite the buzz. Put simply, the Internet of Things, or “IoT”, is the use of the internet to connect objects and enable them to send and receive data. IoT has the potential to connect anything with an on switch to the internet (toasters, large-scale production machinery, automotives, etc.) as well as specific parts of machines such as airplane engines or oil rig drills. The Internet of Things allows these objects or components to share data which is sent to a storage cloud and shared with users via smartphone, tablet, or computer.  The application of IoT is nearly endless.  Smart homes, smart cities, and self-driving cars are just a few of the developing IoT technologies expected to revolutionize our day-to-day tasks.

When it comes to industrial business, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is one of the most notable disruptive trends. According to McKensy, Industrial Internet of Things will have an economic impact of up to $6.2 trillion by the year 2025 and has the potential to drive operating costs across several industries.  Industrial IoT applications include machine to machine (M2M) communications for machine auto-diagnosis, indoor air quality control at chemical plants, and the temperature monitoring of storage containers containing sensitive materials, just to name a few.

The Benefits

The benefits of the utilization of Industrial IoT are compelling and countless. Internet of Things technology allows users to integrate and utilize data from different sources (humans, machines, parts). This data can provide valuable new insights to drive smarter, faster business decisions. For example, real-time production data may reveal additional capacity for increased production. Data collected for Industrial IoT can significantly increase efficiency and productivity, decrease production costs, and improve safety by providing data relevant to predictive maintenance. Additionally, Industrial IoT simplifies day-to-day operations by putting access to any and all industry machines and technologies at a user’s fingertips.

Have You Met Beacon?

The Beacon Wifi Temperature Monitor is an example of an Industrial IoT device that simplifies day-to-day tasks and provides valuable data gathered from multiple temperature-control products, all at your fingertips. The Beacon Wifi Temperature Monitor allows users to monitor and control Powerblanket products (or any other device that would benefit from temperature control) from a smartphone or computer. More importantly, it allows users to receive text, email or push notifications when the temperature goes outside the specified limits, so users can set the temperature and walk away with complete peace of mind. If you are interested in integrating IoT technology into your industrial business, The Beacon Wifi Temperature Monitor is an excellent place to start.

Wifi Temperature Sensors

 

Wifi Temperature Sensors

Wifi Temperature Sensors

Isn’t it amazing what technology allows us to do? New developments elevate and simplify daily tasks and open doors to new possibilities. Toady, WiFi technology allows us to connect with essentially any device or appliance that turns on and off and control and monitor it remotely. A popular example of this application is wifi temperature monitoring. In a personal setting, we can control and monitor our home thermostat from our smart phones. This remote, direct control over home temperatures allows for increased efficiency and reduced cost in home power.smart freezer controller

Save Time and Money

In an industrial setting, WiFi temperature transmitters (also called WiFi temperature sensors, monitors or loggers) save time and prevent down time and money loss by simplifying temperature control and preventing damage caused by extreme temperature fluctuations. The Smart Temperature Controller from Powerblanket connects with temperature control devices and allows users to monitor and control temperature settings from a smartphone or tablet. Users receive notifications when temperatures rise or fall outside of specified limits; this means you can address temperature issues before they lead to costly damage. Additionally, the Smart Temperature Controller features the Beacon Controls Portal, a simple to use interface that makes temperature monitoring from a computer, iOS or android device fast and easy (try it here with username “[email protected]” and password “1234”).

If you are looking to simplify and make the use of your temperature control devices more efficient, consider using the Beacon Smart Temperature Controller from Powerblanket.

Wifi Temperature Sensors

Smart Freezer Controller

Imagine the food we could save during the various stages of the supply chain if we used smart freezer controllers to monitor temperatures.

Smart Freezer Controller

smart freezer controllerFood loss and waste is a global issue, with loss/waste occurring at all seven steps in the supply chain from farm to table.  

  1. Farming
  2. Post-harvest and Packing
  3. Process and Distribution
  4. Retail and grocery store
  5. Food service and restaurants
  6. Households
  7. Disposal  

According to a Wall Street Journal article written in 2012, the United States alone tends to waste $165 billion in food each year.  While there are many factors along the way that contribute to this giant loss, temperature control plays an important role.  

 

The Role of Temperature

In many instances, temperature is the culprit in food loss.  When food traveling from the farm to the market is in a truck with unregulated temperatures, food can arrive at the grocery store spoiled and be immediately discarded.  If an industrial freezer/fridge door is left open for too long, the temperature can rise enough to render the food unfit for consumers.  If equipment on a freezer/fridge fails all of the contents can be lost before anyone notices. A smart freezer controllsmart freezer controllerer can warn you before spoilage occurs when used in post-harvesting and packing, process and distribution, retail and grocery stores, and foodservice and restaurants–that is four steps in the supply chain.  Even relatively small differences in temperature can mean loss: up to almost 20% globally. “In developed countries, food losses from the absence of refrigeration account for nearly 9% of total food production, and 23% on average in developing countries” (Shaw).

 

The Cold Chain

A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain in the food industry is an uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities and associated equipment which maintain a given low-temperature range.  A functioning cold chain is critical to the protection and delivery of fresh and frozen perishable foods. “In parts of the world where the cold chain is established and run effectively, perishable food loss can be maintained as low as 2%. When applied properly and consistently, a fully functioning cold chain can successfully prevent and reduce food loss” (Shaw).

However, breaks in the cold chain occur due to a variety of issues, including: operator error, insufficient precooling, poor loading practices, inadequate insulation, improperly functioning refrigeration equipment, or even something as simple as cargo or walk-in cooler doors being left open too long. Any of these breaks can cause damage to perishable foods with exposure to conditions that are too warm or cold, all leading to food loss/waste.

 

Save Food Save Money

Powerblanket has teamed with Beacon Controls to develop a connected temperature controller. This new, smart controller allows you to monitor and control your device from your smartphone or computer. More importantly it allows you to receive text, email or push notifications when the temperature goes outside limits that you specify.  Imagine the food you could save with a warning when something goes wrong and time to act before food starts to spoil.  Commercial refrigerators and freezers used in grocery stores and restaurants use controllers.  Replace your freezer/fridge controller with Beacon smart freezer controller and receive a notification when the temperature of your equipment falls out of the assigned threshold.  

Benefits of Beacon Smart Freezer Controller:

  • Compatibility with a wide variety of heating or cooling devices
  • Change settings locally or connect remotely so you can keep your operation running smoothly wherever you are.
  • Customizable alerts based on temperature, electrical current,  and voltage give you complete peace of mind.
  • 120/208/240V AC options, directly switch up to 24 amp loads

portable keg cooler

Sources

Gunders, Dana. “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Land ll”. NRDC Issue Paper. August 2012. 1 March 2017. www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf

Plumer, Brad. “How the U.S. manages to waste $165 billion in food each year”. The Washington Post.  22 August 2012. www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/08/22/how-food-actually-gets-wasted-in-the-united-states/?utm_term=.5476832ffe73

Shaw, John and Mark Beasley. “IMPROVED COLD CHAIN MANAGEMENT IS KEY TO REDUCING FOOD LOSS”. Food Logistics. October 2016. www.sensitech.com/assets/articles/flog10161415coolinsightsrgbz.pdf

 

Powerblanket Engineer Favorite #1

POWERBLANKET® ENGINEER FAVORITE

Over the years, Powerblanket engineers have used their ingenuity and Powerblanket technology to solve the temperature needs of many different companies throughout many different industries.  In the Engineer Favorite Series we will explore a variety of projects with unusual challenges and the Powerblanket solutions that saved time, money, and/or headache for our clients.

#1: No Off-the-Shelf Solution

Often, when your industry is unique, or your product very specialized, there is not an off-the-shelf solution for your specific temperature control needs.  In these cases, Powerblanket engineers take a hands-on approach to creating a custom solution just for you.

THE PROBLEM

Recently, an aerospace company had a carbon fiber mold with very specific heating requirements.  Because of the large mold, they needed to monitor and track the temperature at multiple points across the table to ensure that it did not get too hot.  In addition, this company used a custom-sized table with very specific power requirements.

 

CUSTOM CONTROL AND HEAT

Powerblanket designed and built the heating element and a control system that would monitor and log temperatures at four different spots on the heating element. The controller made it possible for the company to set a desired temperature. A USB memory stick contains the logged temperature data, allowing them to document the process and provide data if required by their customer.

This control system was something they needed, but it was outside of their area of expertise.  On top of that, they needed a large heating element which is difficult to come by. Powerblanket provided the exact and precise control needed, as well as the exact heating element required in the form of a flat blanket.

They can now type in the desired temperature and the blanket will take it up to that temperature. They need no second system for tracking and logging the temperature data. In the end, this Powerblanket custom heating and control solution simplified their process.

CUSTOM HEATING SOLUTIONS

Powerblanket engineers solve every kind of temperature problem from simple to very complex. Our expertise guarantees satisfied customers in a very short turnaround time, often in less than 14 days from design to delivery.  

We have created solutions for:

  • Frac tanks
  • Truck mounted propane tanks
  • 500 gallon gravity flow tanks
  • Pipes and manifolds
  • Valves and instrumentation
  • Hoppers
  • Large tanks
  • Wind blade epoxy curing

. . . and many more

Smart Temperature Controller: Make Your Life Easier

SMART TEMPERATURE CONTROLLER:  Beacon will make your life easier

Smart Temperature ControllerWhether it is monitoring alone, control and monitoring, or automation and monitoring, Beacon is here to help you have a constant link between you and your equipment. The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing all around us. Beacon smart temperature controller gives you the power to automate, remotely control, and monitor your assets. Beacon products are smart and give you peace of mind.  If a monitored parameter goes outside of the limits you set, you’ll be alerted immediately.

 

Take Control

Whatever the industry, whatever the application, Beacon can help you monitor and control your operations with ease and precision. If you need to regulate the external and internal variables associated with technological applications, Beacon’s innovative Smart Temperature Controllers can help you easily and remotely manage those variables from the convenience of your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Eliminate the guesswork and risk associated with your technological assets by using a Beacon Smart Temperature Controller to keep systems operating safely and efficiently.

No Comparison

There are other options available; however, those options are limited and have no remote monitoring controls.  Beacon has remote settings that allow for setting adjustments, scheduling, and location mapping.  You can view the state of your equipment in real time and make changes as necessary right where you are.  The data collected by Beacon Smart Temperature Controller is stored in the cloud for your analysis.  Not only is it smart and convenient, but Beacon is safe.  With various security features, you assign who has access to the controls and can identify who has been making setting changes.

smart temperature controller comparison chart

We are surrounded by devices that allow us to see who is at our front door from our desk at work, turn our lights on and off from our smartphones or get an alert when our garage door is left open.  Now similar technology can help you take control of your equipment and its critical temperatures.

Beacon is the Smart Choice

  • Compatible with a wide variety of heating and cooling systems
  • Change settings locally or connect remotely through Wi-Fi or Cellular networks, so you can keep your operation running smoothly wherever you are.
  •  Customizable scheduling and alerts based on temperature, electrical current, voltage, and resistance readings, give you complete peace of mind.
  • Create multiple users with varying levels of access and control for added security.
  • 120/208/240V AC options, switch up to 24 amps

smart temperature controllersmart temperature controller

Beacon Smart Temperature Controller

Smart Temperature Controller

In today’s connected world the “Internet of Things” (IoT) allows you to turn your lights on and off from your smartphone, see who is at your front door from your desk at work, or get an alert when your garage door is left open, among many other things.  The beacon smart temperature controller is ready to give you

 

Meet Beacon

The Beacon Smart Temperature Controller brings the IoT (Internet of Things) to industrial temperature control. It has the same features as many single stage, electronic temperature controllers plus many added benefits made possible by internet connectivity. For example: monitor conditions remotely and change settings remotely through a web portal or mobile app, recieve alerts when temperatures reach user defined thresholds, set alerts to be sent when settings are changed.

 

Remote Control and Monitoring

Control and monitor your system remotely. Check on current conditions and adjust setpoints, differentials, and other details related to your control system.  Control and monitor boilers, chillers, refrigerated warehouses, beer and beverage coolers, tank, valve, drum and tote heaters and many more systems.

 

Peace of Mind

Define your own temperature thresholds and leave the system unattended with confidence. The Connected Temperature Controller will alert you of any problems, whether you’re present or not.

 

Maintain Historic Data

Beacon’s Connected Smart Temperature Controller allows you to keep historic temperature data for long-term reference or process analysis. A log of electrical current lets you analyze the duty cycle of your cooling or heating equipment and the operating cost.

 

Additional features

  • Change settings at the physical device or anywhere with an internet connection
  • Customizable alerts based on temperature, electrical current, voltage, resistance, etc.
  • Connect to the internet through Wi- Fi or Cellular (coming soon!) networks
  • Create multiple users with varying access control for added security
  • NEMA 4x enclosure
  • Optional timer mode: easily set up an operating schedule by day and time (coming soon!)
  • Optionally switch load based on ambient temperature in addition to material temperature, for example, freeze protection applications (coming soon!)
  • Heat or cool
  • Backlit LCD display on device
  • Adjustable short cycle delay for refrigeration equipment
  • 120/208/240V, switch up to 24 amp loads
  • Options for secure interface with existing control systems

beacon-01

 

 

The Beacon Temperature Controller: Automated and Mobile

The technology behind The Beacon Temperature Controller is truly remarkable. And when you pair Beacon’s innovative approach to temperature control with Powerblanket heating and cooling products, you have the best of both worlds. Beacon plus Powerblanket equals total temperature control, and all as an easy and convenient mobile solution too.

 

beacon temperature controller

The Beacon Smart Controller

Whether you refer to it as the Beacon Temperature Controller or the Beacon Smart Controller, it’s the same innovative solution, an innovative solution that engineers have been developing for over two years now. And get this; the Beacon Smart Controller offers temperature monitoring through a revolutionary mobile system that is both easy to use and compatible with most mobile devices.

Remote temperature monitoring through the Beacon Smart Controller means that you don’t have to worry about babysitting your important, but perhaps time-consuming, temperature needs anymore. Other systems require your presence to monitor the changes and levels of temperature fluctuation. However, with the Beacon temperature controller, you can set alerts that come straight to you via email or text. Additionally, Beacon’s device mapping feature shows you were your temperature device (a.k.a Powerblanket) is in relation to other devices.

The Beacon solution works as a WiFi temperature controller to enable notifications, alerts, and device mapping. In addition to this, every beacon controller comes with the added option of adding a cellular plan as well, affording you even more access to your temperature control information. Beacon control solutions also provide data storage and analytics, the ability to add multiple user accounts, and the option to control your system locally as well as remotely, manually as well as automatically. Oh, and did we mention that you can easily schedule temperature changes and ramping through a simple programmable system. Such a feature makes epoxy curing and other similar tasks a breeze.

When it comes to regulating temperature, Powerblanket and Beacon come together to offer a revolutionary, easy-to-use system that makes total temperature control both easy and painless. Take a moment to consider what Beacon offers and the benefits associated with it.

 

The Benefits of the Beacon Smart Controller:

  • Compatible with a wide variety of heating or cooling devices
  • Offers both local and remote control through Wi-Fi or Cellular networks
  • Enables scheduling of alerts, temperature changes, and ramping
  • Allows for multiple users with varying levels of access and control for added security
  • 120/208/240V AC options, switch up to 24 amps

 

Learn More