Utilities such as electricity, water, gas and oil are one of the most important inputs for any Industry. Ensuring efficiency in consumption will reduce the inputs costs and improve the bottom-line

What gets measured can only be managed

Monitoring utilities on continuous basis provides industries with understanding of their consumption patterns and insights into mandatory actions that can enhance efficiency in operations. Though many different monitoring solutions are available in the market, cloud based, wireless monitoring solutions provide the best value for money. Below are the 5 reason why you should implement a cloud based, wireless utility monitoring solution.

1. Scalability:

Monitoring solutions have greatly evolved in the last decade or so. A good monitoring solution scales with the number of critical assets that demand monitoring. A scalable system is one that needs almost zero additional infrastructure and almost zero time to add or remove an additional node into an existing system. Legacy utility monitoring solutions that communicated over Modbus/RS232 protocols require a lot of wiring, numerous protocol converters, switches and a central infrastructure that maintains IP’s & Ports for transmission. Larger the facility, greater the complexity to coordinate connection and communication of various asset data to the server. The advent of  IoT has changed the game w.r.t utility monitoring. 

With LPWAN technologies like LoRaWAN, large facilities can now be served by a single gateway with sensors that continuously collect data and upload data to a cloud. Without the need to wire and worry about any additional infrastructure, adding a new sensor to the wireless network is as easy as flipping a switch. LPWAN based networks, once established can serve as a communication backbone for the entire facility to monitor anything from anywhere. Facilities can even use these networks to control lighting, collect process data, maintenance information etc without any support infrastructure. With a lot of need to collect data from distributed assets, facilities are thronging to wireless technologies, specifically LPWAN solutions to monitor their utilities consumption.

2. Competitiveness:

                 Competitiveness is central to any organization. Globalization has brought competitors along with the markets. In the pursuit of being competitive in the global market, companies rely on data to understand consumption, processes and efficiencies. With legacy monitoring systems, where data is stored on premises, typically on a PC, tools to generate the right insights are limited. Continuous integration of on premises data with ever evolving analytics technologies is a tedious task. This puts organizations at risk in terms of making continuous improvements and staying competitive. Cloud computing has changed the game. 

Cloud computing provides the flexibility to seamlessly integrate data with new analytics, algorithms and technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence that provide deeper & accurate insights. The pace at which new technologies can be adopted over the cloud can assist in quick data-driven decisions that help organizations retain their competitiveness in the marketplace.

In a study conducted by IBM, it was found that,organizations gaining competitive advantage through high cloud adoption are reporting almost double the revenue growth and nearly 2.5 times higher gross profit growth than peer companies that are more cautious about cloud computing. The survey also found that one out of five organizations is ahead of the curve on cloud adoption and achieving competitive advantage – not just cutting costs and driving efficiency – through cloud computing. 

3. Cost:

                        As LPWAN technologies are being widely accepted across the Industry, the cost of the technology is decreasing. Being wireless, deployments do not need long cabling and come with almost zero maintenance resulting in substantially lower cost compared to wired solutions. The scalability cost is much lower as well, as there is no need for any additional infrastructure to go from say 100 to 200 nodes. 

Lower upfront costs for computing infrastructure, pay as you use kind of model, relatively lower upfront licensing costs for monitoring software and provisioning resources as you scale puts cloud technology well ahead of on premises solutions. As organizations expand, the need for larger infrastructure makes the current infrastructure obsolete, resulting in high investments.

Cloud technologies on the other hand, can be scaled up with minimal cost without ever worrying about becoming obsolete!!!

4. Access:

Industry 4.0 Smart factory will be able to access all data on the cloud

The real strength of cloud computing is its accessibility. It provides access from anywhere, anytime. With no down time, complete data protection, organizations can view, share and process data anytime. For example, organizations that have deployed cloud-based utility monitoring solutions remain connected to their facilities and have taken active control of their operations even during force majeure scenarios such as CoVID-19 related shutdowns. Cloud enables organizations to simplify decision making processes with its ease of data sharing across the teams and thereby increases collaboration. Role based access enables organizations to cut the clutter and assist teams in focusing on the data they wish to monitor. Switch to cloud now.

5. Portfolio view:

                        Modern facilities are not just huge, they are geographically distributed across different locations . Collating data daily from different locations and creating a holistic view of utilities consumption is a tedious task. Cloud enables organizations to visualize live data of all their locations from a single dashboard. Portfolio view enables organizations to benchmark consumption data of different locations, understand their inefficiencies, derive specific energy values, combined cost of utilities etc..  and quickly make decisions that would result in a positive business outcome. 

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Conclusion

While wireless solutions provides scalability at a lower cost , Cloud helps businesses with data accessibility, portfolio views and seamless integration of new technologies that improve efficiency. Together, cloud based wireless utility monitoring solutions are changing the way facilities are being managed and controlled. BridgeThings has been at the forefront of providing Long range LPWAN wireless solutions for energy, water and fuel monitoring and bringing efficiency. Being a design house, BridgeThings has built the entire LPWAN end-end stack in house. This enables BridgeThings to customize any hardware or software based on customer requirements. Contact us now for end-end cloud based wireless monitoring solutions – info@bridgethings.com