PACstudio brings intelligence to the IoT sensors
by Andreas Wandenälis (comments: 0)
Are billions of dull sensors damaging the internet? Mankind should not take this risk as there is a solution for this problem. In order to avoid this data garbage a waste separation is necessary right there where the problem arises: on the edge at the sensor. The majority of the obtained data are measured values which are only temporarily of importance. If we would send all this data into the cloud the whole network might possibly collapse as the amount of data is inconceivable big. Therefore, a kind of waste separation will be necessary after the sensor, ensuring that only the significant data is transmitted to the cloud.
Intelligent controllers will carry out the waste separation by pre-processing and multiplexing the data from multiple sensors. Consequently, only relevant events and results will be sent into the cloud.
The costs of the more powerful electronics can be neglected as the IoT capable sensors will be equipped with standard processors from the communications electronics.
But now, we have another problem: Who shall program these billions of sensors? We really have a shortage of skilled professionals. As electronic components are comparatively cheap, the costs of IoT systems arise mainly from programming and visualization and not from the hardware. And at this point our proven graphical programming system PACstudio comes into play: it is designed in such way that no programming language has to be learned, as the graphical programming is intuitive and easy to understand. Since it is based on function blocks which are represented by graphical symbols, the program interface is easy to understand for engineers and technicians from different fields. The function blocks are connected on the worksheet and the finished program is then being downloaded on the controller. In this way, costs can be reduced significantly.
After the pre-processing in the edge controller the filtered data is transmitted by MQTT protocol via mobile phone or Ethernet interface into the cloud. There, it is available for analysis and evaluation. For this purpose, ProSign has integrated the application Thingsboard that provides a dashboard to the user for accessing all controllers through a browser interface. Here, the installation of a dedicated software is not necessary which guarantees an easy access from everywhere.
In this way, the user receives a coherent overall solution, as the used software and hardware components are already available. So, the user can save costs and transmission capacity. As this solution is very universal and highly scalable, a broad field of applications, from heating control systems over industrial process control to control technology in vehicles, will be possible.