Data collection from network router helps water company manage multiple widely spread assets.
Nordikeau, a water and wastewater treatment company based in Quebec province, Canada, is using the Fetch Data Collector software from MAC Solutions to log data from critical assets and equipment in real-time and providing data for alarms and early notifications of any equipment or process issues.
Fetch Data Collector is a software package designed specifically for Ewon remote access VPN routers that makes data collection easier, faster and more secure. The software collects historical data from the data storage memory within the Ewon Flexy remote access VPN router and can be configured in an easy three-step process with minimum technical knowledge required and minimal configuration within each Ewon device.
According to Martin Fafard of Nordikeau, using the software with a router allows the company to provide staff and clients with live data and dashboards via mobile phones and laptops using alarms and notifications.
The Fetch Data Collector can connect to any number of remote machines via the Ewon device and Talk2M Remote-Connectivity Cloud. Alternatively, it can be configured to collect data on a local basis, for example for end-users who wish to store production data in local machines and then archive the data into a centralised data storage system. Data collected can be stored to either ODBC-compliant databases or a series of CSV files, with fully customisable file formats and naming conventions.
Nordikeau has configured the router to collect data from more than 50 sensors connected to critical processes and items of equipment at one plant. For example, parameters being collected remotely include water levels in tanks and reservoirs, pump speeds, turbidity, network pressures and flow rates. These are critical parameters where the data needs to be collected or refreshed regularly.
Fetch Data Collector stores the data in a SQL Server database at Nordikeau and is shared with the company’s Nordicité software, where staff and clients can visualise the data in customised dashboards. Alarms and notifications can be sent via SMS text messages to engineers or clients on remote devices such as mobile phones or laptops.
Fafard recalls an incident where Fetch Data Collector came to the rescue: “One of the reserve water levels in the plant reached a critical level and so an alarm notification was triggered. We were able to react quickly and find the source of the problem, which turned out to be a breach in a water pipe that was losing water quickly,” he says.
At present, Nordikeau is using Fetch Data Collector on one water treatment plant, but plans to roll out the software to other sites in Canada.
Router based DAQ
Data acquisition takes on a new dimension when channelled through network routers and web services, allowing the data to be more accessible in its raw form or as analysed actionable information in the form of complete reports or triggered alarms.
In this case, Nordikeau is using Ewon + Talk2M as a Remote-Access system, which provides a secure, reliable method to connect with machine control devices (PLCs, HMIs, etc), anywhere in the world, across the Internet. It consists of two elements: the Ewon remote-access VPN Routers and the Talk2M cloud-based connectivity service.
The combination of a remote access router and cloud connectivity provides an ability to take advantage of real-time PLC monitoring capabilities as well as customisable e-mails, and web-server pages as well as data and event logging.