Connecting multiple on-site networks to a cloud IOT Service

Data Driven Operating Efficiencies with sensors and analytics

Advancements in wireless sensor technology coupled with the growth of analytics in cloud-based services bring about new means of achieving unprecedented data-driven operating efficiency with lower risks of failures.

 

For example, it is difficult for human testing to consistently uncover the points of inefficiencies (i.e. heat transfer losses) in a large factory system or to predict where failures will happen before they occur, but sensors can be cheaply and simply added onto the existing plant infrastructure to provide an ongoing and pervasive pool of data that analytics can mould into a sensible picture for management.

To connect these data from multiple sites and plants, the FATBOX G3 IOT gateway is a lightweight device that can be employed to efficiently aggregate the data from each site and send it to a designated cloud service via MQTT cloud protocol.

Connecting using an existing ADSL/Fiber service – FATBOX G3w

 

The FATBOX G3w is a cost effective IOT gateway that aggregates and securely sends data from Zigbee, Serial RS232, RS485, Modbus, CANBUS and Ethernet devices if there is an existing ADSL or Fiber connection on site.

 

In this example, a network of Zigbee sensors run across the manufacturing floor to transmit values of pressure, flow, temperature, acoustics or vibration to the G3w gateway. In addition, the G3w gateway can also aggregate data from Modbus PLCs and meters or the video data from surveillance cameras in the site. The data (with exception of video) is stored in JSON file format for the integrated MQTT client to send to a MQTT broker where it can be accessed by a cloud service (i.e. Azure or AWS). Simple automation, such as sending of alert SMS upon event triggers to an engineer, can also be run locally from the G3w using Python, LUA or BASH scripts.

Go To:: The FATBOX G3w page

See also:: Application note for setting up the FATBOX G3 to Microsoft Azure.

See also:: Application note for setting up the FATBOX G3 to AWS.

Sending industrial data using existing WAN network
Connecting remote networks or backing up an existing connection using LTE/3G – FATBOX G3

 

Remote industrial sites without existing ADSL or Fiber can be connected to a central server or cloud service using the FATBOX G3. The dual SIM router gateway is easily configurable for connectivity over a LTE/4G or 3G/HSPA+ network. 

 

The FATBOX G3 might be also deployed as a gateway with existing ADSL/Fiber connection - using the 3G as a backup layer for network reliability. When the gateway detects an AUTOPING sequence fail in the Ethernet WAN connection, it automatically switches to a secure 3G failover until the primary Ethernet connection comes back online.

Go To:: The FATBOX G3 - LTE page

Go To:: The FATBOX G3 - 3G page

CROSS COMPILE C-CODES OR ADD CUSTOM SCRIPTS

The FATBOX G3 is an open Linux platform where user can deploy their own portable codes e.g. in C program or Python or LUA to run on an industrial cellular (3G or 4G/LTE) and ethernet WAN connected gateway device. This will allow user to write codes to read Modbus, CANbus, RS232, RS485 serial data, ZigBee, BLE and other inputs – and process the data onboard or send it straight to their central server.

TESTING A CLOUD CONNECTION USING THE AZURE IOT HUB ON THE FATBOX G3

The FATBOX G3 Azure IoT Hub Starter Kit is a simple way to demonstrate retrieving data from Modbus sensors and sending the data to Azure IoT Hub for utility by applications such as Power BI. Azure IoT Hub client has been integrated into the FATBOX G3 for the ease of testing your own cloud connection on the Azure platform.

In the starter kit, you will find the FATBOX G3 with Novus Analog & Digital Input Module and a temperature sensor. The comprehensive steps to design, wire up, configure and set up an Azure/Power BI account can be seen here in the Azure IoT Quickstart Guide.

In this example, we have also connected other devices such as an ABB Power Meter and Schneider heating module. By configuring the Stream Analytics output in Azure IoT Hub with our designated subscription string (i.e g3powerBI) we are able to get a near real-time datasets from our industrial equipment data.

From there, Azure Stream Analytics can process the JSON message using Query to,

 

  • create visualised reports with Power BI for monitoring and management (see above)

  • save data to a SQL database, DB table, dataset or blob file

  • trigger a notification, e.g. send a SMS or email 

The FATBOX G3

IMPLEMENTATION FEATURES OF THE FATBOX G3
 
  • Integrated device server for scheduled poll and read from attached equipment

  • Multi-port support - RS-232/RS-485 (e.g. MODBUS), Ethernet, CAN Bus and USB (for Zigbee/BLE/WIFI transceiver)

  • Integrated MQTT Client to connect to cloud services 

  • Azure IoT Hub client to integrate with your Azure cloud resources  

  • Ubidots IoT Client for integration with Ubidots Platform

  • User scripts supported for cross compile of C-program/ custom Python, LUA scripting 

  • 2GB of on-board storage 

  • Parse Time Series Data for analytical applications

  • SNMPv2 for management

  • Persistent LTE and 3G data connection with network watch-dog

  • Dual SIM & WAN-to-3G failover redundancies

  • Wide power supply 5~30VDC (12/24V) ensures stability of operation

  • Industrial temperature -40C to 75C and robust aluminium enclosure 

  • Weather resistant enclosure for wet or corrosive environments

 
IMPLEMENTATION FEATURES OF THE FATBOX G3w
 
  • Integrated device server for scheduled poll and read from attached equipment

  • Multi-port support - RS-232/RS-485 (e.g. MODBUS), Ethernet, CAN Bus and USB (for Zigbee/BLE/WIFI transceiver)

  • Integrated MQTT Client to connect to cloud services 

  • Azure IoT Hub client to integrate with your Azure cloud resources  

  • Ubidots IoT Client for integration with Ubidots Platform

  • User scripts supported for cross compile of C-program/ custom Python, LUA scripting 

  • 2GB of on-board storage 

  • Parse Time Series Data for analytical applications

  • SNMPv2 for management

  • WAN-to-3G failover redundancy

  • Wide power supply 5~30VDC (12/24V) ensures stability of operation

  • Industrial temperature -40C to 75C and robust aluminium enclosure 

  • Weather resistant enclosure for wet or corrosive environments

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