Rockwell Automation has decided to leverage Netbiter EasyConnect gateways as a hardware platform for remote monitoring. This will enable 24x7 monitoring services for low-voltage and medium voltage drives. This Rockwell Automation remote monitoring service minimizes downtime and speeds up problem resolution which is crucial for these business-critical applications.
Variable frequency drives, especially large drives, are often critical control components for a process or manufacturing operation. Drives are also often subject to many detrimental external influences, including environmental damage, power quality disturbances, and application abuse.To keep an eye on these external conditions and minimize downtime, Rockwell Automation wanted to find a solid and reliable solution to enable remote monitoring.
“We were looking for a small device that we could run our cloud gateway software on,” says Douglas B. Weber, Business Manager, Remote Monitoring and IoT Services at Rockwell Automation. “From a more technical point-of-view, we needed a solution that was DIN rail mounted and could be installed directly on or near the drive, had the processing power and memory we needed, and had options for both cellular and internet communication to our cloud platform.The Netbiter EasyConnect 350 and 310 fit our requirements well, and HMS was very willing to work with us to make it happen.”
With Netbiter gateways connected to their drives, running their cloud gateway software, Rockwell Automation can monitor customers’ drives 24x7, looking for issues that might cause downtime now or in the future.It is also possible to help customers troubleshoot drives, wherever they are, if a problem occurs. By using the Netbiter functionality called “Remote Access” Rockwell Automation’s Support Engineers can also configure and program the drives using Rockwell’s standard configuration software, just like being on site.
Access to information means less downtime
By continuously collecting and pushing data to Rockwell Automation’s cloud platform (including parameter data and any alarms or faults the drive generates), drive performance can be viewed and analyzed.Standard dashboards and preconfigured trend graphs and reports are available to show near real-time and historical performance of the drives. Rockwell Automation can also build more and more analytics into the application to predict future issues with the drives.This makes it possible to spot potential problems even before they occur.
Rockwell Automation sees many benefits of offering remote monitoring services, both for themselves and their customers. “The result for the customer is reduced downtime and faster resolution of problems when they do occur,” says Douglas B. Weber. “Because we are using cloud technology, it is possible to see the operation of a drive at any time as long as there is an internet connection, no matter where the user or the drive is. It gives both the customer and Rockwell Automation a set of tools that allows highly skilled and limited resources to support a larger number of critical assets, spread across a larger geography. We also have a tremendous amount of stored data that can be used moving forward to build even better predictive models.”