March 22, 2006 The monitoring of every aspect of the manufacturing process is something that has traditionally been done by hand, but with the advent of reliable, flexible, wireless sensors solutions the opportunities exist to create very cost effective and comprehensive wireless sensor networks monitoring entire factories, warehouses and almost any industrial process. One that caught our eye at the National Manufacturing Week (NMW) Conference in Chicago this week was a system that integrates sensors, software, and mesh networking devices into a turnkey solution offering plant/building managers instant actionable measurements of key operational levels (temperature, power, voltage, steam, water, air, flow, and pressure).
While sensor networks have been in use for some time in scaled commercial and industrial installations, the Sensicast Wireless Advantage delivers benefits beyond those possible with wired approaches; in particular:
- New sensor applications and support for coverage in challenging and/or harsh physical environments (e.g. large buildings, multi-building facilities)
Self-managing wireless systems with lower Total Cost of Ownership, combined with faster and simpler deployment; compared to wired solutions
Flexible multi-application wireless infrastructure through centralized monitoring of a wide variety of sensor node types sharing the same wireless backbone
"Sensicast is the only wireless sensor network company that can deliver complete, top-to-bottom solutions for a range of applications," said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of Sensicast Systems. "Other wireless sensor network vendors offer piecemeal solutions requiring a great deal of integration effort and investment to get working. Sensicast's solutions work out of the box and are up-and-running immediately."
"Monitoring with wireless sensors has a huge potential to benefit manufacturers provided it can be implemented reliably. As the first to deploy sensors with IEEE standard radios in industrial plants, Sensicast has developed reliable hardware and software for real industrial environments," said Harry Forbes, senior analyst at ARC Advisory Group. "With the assurance of reliability, plant managers in industrial and manufacturing facilities are now installing systems based on wireless sensors at a significant rate."
What Makes Up The Sensicast Wireless Advantage?
The Sensicast Wireless Advantage gives manufacturers superior solutions to wired senor systems. These solutions are built on Sensicast's industry leading wireless mesh networking system and patented SensiNet technology. The Sensicast system includes the following components:
- SensiNet Sensor Nodes - Small, stand-alone, long battery life wireless nodes connecting a broad range of popular sensor types to the Sensicast wireless mesh network.
SensiNet Mesh Node - Wireless mesh network repeater that extends the range and coverage area of SensiNet
SensiNet Gateway - Software gateway that connects the SensiNet(TM) network to software applications and the Internet.
OnCall - Applications Software
Sensicast Solutions for Industry Applications
The Sensicast Wireless Advantage streamlines the deployment of new systems delivering continuous remote monitoring of environments and processes. The $1.7 billion worldwide market for Temperature Monitoring has proven to be very receptive to Sensicast's offerings. For companies involved in metals, pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, or other manufacturing or processing industries; Sensicast's new wireless solutions will deliver tighter temperature range control, leading to improvements in process, throughput and cost-efficiencies.
In addition to reducing compliance costs through automated record keeping, The Sensicast Wireless Advantage gives plant managers superior control over operating parameters like temperature, pressure, vibration, and other data from which the operational status of machinery can be determined. Using custom Sensicast solutions configured for Predictive Maintenance and Energy Monitoring, customers will be able to reduce costs through the elimination of time-intensive manual monitoring, and scheduling "just-in-time" maintenance activities. The inherent ability of Sensicast wireless sensors to anticipate and "head-off" equipment failure translates into increased uptime, reduced work-stoppages, as well as improved operations and revenues.
"The recent volatility in energy costs serves as a reminder of the importance in effectively managing industrial or commercial energy consumption" says Robin Shaffer, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at NK Technologies, a leading manufacturer of current sensors for factory automation and Sensicast partner. "We're excited to be marrying our new energy sensing technology with Sensicast's Wireless Advantage. Not only has Sensicast given customers a cost-effective, wireless end-to-end alternative for energy monitoring and trend analysis, they've also armed operations personnel with instant information to better track equipment status, improve advance warning and alarm notifications, and reduce failures and downtime."