Equipment Monitoring with FleetZOOM (cont'd)

FleetZOOM devices also provide remote power monitoring thanks to their internal backup batteries. The status of main, or grid supplied power is constantly monitored by the unit and reported as an alarm (if desired). Each event is stored in the system any time the status of main or grid power changes.

Data parameters and reports can be compiled from the monitoring website over weeks, days, months, quarters etc., to quickly tell the equipment owner the total number of times the power has gone out, the total amount of time it has been off with a full list of each event and duration.

Digital inputs detect two signal states and they can have different meanings depending on the application. An industrial wireless remote monitor detects the digital input as either on or off or in some cases high or low (referring to the voltage of the signal). On the monitored piece of equipment the signal can also be considered normally open or normally closed. A normally open signal typically is off or, low when the status being monitored is normal or off, whereas a normally closed signal operates in the opposite way. Furthermore some digital input signals are positive or negative in their active state. Wireless telemetry units like the FleetZOOM devices can operate with any permutation of those signal types to support different types of equipment.

Remote Monitoring Devices from FleetZOOM

Analog inputs read the value of electrical signals from sensors or transducers that output voltage or current proportionately or sometimes inversely to the quantity of what the sensor is measuring. Most sensors output a linear proportional signal, but in some cases a non linear map is required to relate the analog input signal to real-world measured value via the signal being monitored.

Equipment monitors like the FleetZOOM devices can monitor analog signals either as voltage (typically 0 to 5 Volts) or current (typically 4 to 20 mA). Analog signals are used to monitor variable quantities unlike digital inputs which are either on or off. Examples of analog signals commonly monitored with wireless telemetry equipment include temperatures, pressures, flow rates, and tank levels.

Analog inputs can be used to monitor any value that can be read by an electrical sensor that is capable of outputting a voltage or current. Wireless monitoring devices like the FleetZOOM units have internal analog inputs too, which directly monitor its DC power voltage.

Digital outputs like those found on the FleetZOOM monitoring devices enable the system to remotely control industrial equipment. Digital outputs can directly interface with many PLC inputs to tell the PLC to perform a program controlled action. Alternatively digital outputs can directly drive external relays. Relay drive capabilities are advantageous to wireless telemetry systems in a number of ways, most importantly this enables the device to control equipment in an electrically isolated way.

Often digital outputs are used to turn on motors, pumps, fans or other equipment that operates at a much higher AC voltage such as the common 120 VAC found in normal household power, or even 3 phase 480 VAC used to power many larger motors used in pumps.

Relays, also called dry contacts, enable the digital outputs to control a much greater current than the FleetZOOM device is able to control directly. A digital output may provide 500 mA of drive whereas a common relay can provide 10 Amps of switching capacity. When considering the remote control capabilities digital outputs add to a remote equipment monitor, the system is really more than just a "monitor" since it can perform control functions on the same piece of equipment it is simultaneously monitoring.

Wireless Equipment Monintoring from FleetZOOM

The FleetZOOM series of wireless telemetry modules enable wireless equipment monitoring. Digital inputs, analog inputs and digital outputs suitable for driving external relays are all provided by the unit. Most wireless equipment monitors pick up the signals they are monitoring from dry contacts, or relays on the equipment that is being monitored, but analog inputs can be used to monitor variable signals with a sensor that outputs a voltage (typically 0-5 Volt) or current (typically 4-20mA).

The FZ300 for example provides of 20 discreet monitoring points; 14 digital inputs, 4 digital outputs and 2 analog inputs. But there isn't really a limit to how many I/O points can be monitored, with expansion modules or use of larger wireless industrial monitors, like the FZ400, equipment remote monitoring can be applied to almost any type of industrial equipment, regardless of complexity or I/O density. For more cost sensitive applications the smaller units like the FZ100 or FZ200 can be used.

Key features of FleetZOOM monitoring devices include totally wireless operation. No phone lines or data lines are required on the piece of equipment or the site. The entire system is web-based, so there is no software to buy. Utilizing cellular network infrastructure for data transfer, FleetZOOM units essentially operate as cell phone data acquisition devices. Thanks to their design, they are easy to install and use too.

An internal battery backup on the RTU (remote terminal unit) enables remote power monitoring and keeps the system operating during power outages in addition to notifying interested personnel about loss of power on the piece of equipment or at the site monitored.

The system provides daily updates by email or text. It gives immediate notification for any remote industrial monitoring alarms or events. Each daily report displays summary and statistical data for all monitored signals.

Users can access the remote monitoring system from anywhere, be it a home on a PC, the office, or on the road by using your smartphone.

Web-based configuration features provide flexible options for the sensor and transducer setup, while the online reports and history files make exporting data for all the events and alarms a snap.

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