Equipment Monitoring with FleetZOOM

Remote monitoring devices increase the reliability and uptime of many types of industrial equipment that perform essential functions in the day to day operations of businesses and government. FleetZOOM telemetry solutions can be used on stationary or mobile equipment such as generators, pumps, chillers, tanks, electrical and HVAC systems.

Equipment owners and responsible personnel need FleetZOOM remote monitoring systems to receive immediate details about problems with their equipment. But even when equipment is functioning properly, interested personnel need information from a remote monitoring system to stay informed of their equipment status and location. They also need an easily accessible history of all data from past status reports.

With real time equipment status on your smartphone or computer, you can make better decisions based on operating intelligence provided by your telemetry. Armed with live data you can allocate limited mobile resources, or deal with an emergency or disaster situation that calls for efficient logistics, and quick decision making to utilize the resources available to a business or government at any particular moment in time.

Remote Monitoring from FleetZOOM

Remote equipment monitoring has been around for decades. Industrial equipment monitoring with alarm autodialers, PLCs (programmable logic controllers), and wireless SCADA systems (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems with telemetry features meet some remote device monitoring needs under very specific circumstances or applications of industrial equipment. However, these methods of remote monitoring require too many compromises to be cost effectively beneficial to the majority of the applications for equipment monitoring.

Monitoring with auto dialers requires dedicated phone lines to communicate with personnel. And even with dedicated phone lines, conventional telephone based autodialers can make only one call at a time. They are also usually limited by playing back one of a few prerecorded alarm messages. These limitations increasingly limit autodialers to simpler applications.

As the complexity of today's equipment increases, the benefits of a FleetZOOM device come in to play since most FleetZOOM units eliminate the need for a hard line. This is really important since some areas don't have phone service or cable modems available, and even in cases where service is available, if an autodialer is the only piece of equipment to utilize the hard line, the monthly service costs are prohibitive. The better choice is a wireless industrial monitor that provides more features at a lower cost than a telephone alarm auto dialer.

Some PLCs provide limited remote monitoring features, when configured appropriately by the system integrator, that tie the PLC into the equipment or process monitored. However, PLCs require custom programming by a specialized developer and PLC integration engineer. A combination of ladder logic and procedural coding are typically used to perform remote monitoring with a PLC. For monitoring applications where a PLC is already employed to control the piece of equipment, a PLC with remote monitoring will offer the equipment operator some needed features.

But, when used as wireless monitoring equipment, a PLC is typically limited to simple remote monitoring applications. Once advanced requirements such as web accessible aggregated historical data that a wireless data logger provides for viewing and export, or consolidated management of multiple sites from a single interface are needed, the PLC is a poor choice because the cost and complexity of implementing those features will far exceed a specialized remote wireless monitoring system.

Remote Monitoring from FleetZOOM

Fully featured and properly engineered SCADA systems provide the most options when used for industrial telemetry, but at great cost in terms of both dollars and integration time. Most SCADA systems are designed from scratch as remote monitoring equipment, for one piece of equipment at a time. This takes a lot of engineering time and manpower. Furthermore, the complexity of elaborate custom configurations and software built for a given SCADA application makes maintenance of the system inherently difficult.

Personnel not directly involved with the initial integration and development will have a hard time adding features or diagnosing issues that inevitably crop up after the personnel who performed the initial integration are no longer available. In certain applications these expenses and issues are justified, but for the vast majority of industrial equipment monitoring applications, SCADA systems are overkill and wasteful. For all but the most demanding monitoring applications, a wireless industrial monitoring system will provide a better balance of features, cost, and maintainability.

FleetZOOM devices use both GSM and CDMA data links to connect and send status, alarm, and data acquisition samples through their cellular connection to report to the servers which store field data and provide a web interface to the data from the monitoring website.

It's worth noting that data acquisition wireless systems like any of the FleetZOOM models, coupled with their wireless telemetry service and monitoring websites are full fledged telemetry systems, capable of performing industrial remote monitoring for almost any industrial application.

Industrial wireless telemetry and wireless data acquisition provide useful, real time status and alarm information to owners and operators of industrial equipment and processes.

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