If you’re an OEM or machine builder, chances are you’ve at least dabbled in remote access of some kind. Remote access can eliminate costly travel – how many times has an entire trip been booked and you lose an engineer for two days just to find that a simple fix that could’ve been done if only you had a means to connect to that PLC?
Remote access can optimize your engineering staff’s time to work where they’re needed instead of spending that time in a car or in an airport. Your staff’s efficiency can be improved solely by freeing up an engineer who would’ve had to travel – log in to the local network of the machine to make the requisite fix in a fraction of the time… maybe even fix multiple issues in the space of an hour vs multiple trips. With a remote access solution like an eWON, it is simply a matter of starting your VPN client, connecting, and making the change from your office or wherever you are. But that’s just the standard stuff.
Recently there have also been plenty of other creative uses for remote access capabilities beyond the usual scope of program changes. This includes selling extended warranty service and even actively observing machine behavior for preventative maintenance. Have you started looking into this yet?
What if instead of just doing a reactive response to an existing problem, you could ‘do a checkup’ or monitor the behavior of any of the devices on the local network remotely? You could maybe count cycles of a given operation and know when it’s time that a certain consumable part needs to be replaced and suggest or quote that to your customer / user.
When that happens, what if you could store those tag values, collect data history, and send alerts when values exceed a given threshold point via SMS or email? This might trigger you to suggest a maintenance visit with data to show why you are quoting it.
These are incredibly powerful tools that could not only constitute tremendous value from a preventative maintenance and performance metric standpoint, but also differentiate yourself from your competitors by allowing the information that’s already there to be disseminated into meaningful usable data.
Through our testing and training, we know that all of these things can be accomplished with the new Flexy 205. Fact is, these capabilities have been around for some time in the form of the Flexy 201; but with the new look and feel of the updated interface and the new smaller physical form factor of the Flexy 205, remote WWmonitoring, data collection, alarming, and visualization has never been better.
The Flexy 205 uses a similar vertical form factor as the Cosy 131, decreasing the DIN rail footprint; but packs in the capabilities above plus the ability to use up to two different add-on modules to achieve a wide variety of connectivity. This could be WiFi, 4G Cellular from GSM or CDMA providers, serial, or even an IO module – in addition to the built-in Ethernet WAN connection and 3 LAN ports. This means it supports a wired internet connection right out of the box.
For the more advanced users, programming may be customized with integrated Java Standard Edition in addition to the basic scripting functions that the Flexy has already become known for.
Intriguing? Here is some more information you might find interesting – On board the Flexy itself, the memory is enough to recognize and store up to 1,000,000 timestamped points in fractions of seconds for 2500 different tags. These each can have up to 4 threshold trigger points to send alarms via SMS or email without having to have an on-site SMTP relay or SMS service. The VPN relay services are all available through the Talk2M Cloud VPN service which comes standard with the Flexy at no charge for the Free version. Note – all data resides on the Flexy, it is not in eWON’s cloud. The Talk2M and cloud service are simply the VPN relay service, this is important from a security perspective.
The Talk2M Cloud service, which is the core of the eWON’s abilities, is distributed throughout 22 servers worldwide across multiple data center platforms including Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS to ensure availability and performance. Talk2M Free service is included, with the option to upgrade to Talk2M Professional, which allows multiple concurrent users vs a single user at a time.
With the Flexy 205, expanding your post-sale capabilities from just remote access can be as easy as making the switch. In most cases, for a <$200 price delta from the Cosy, you have the opportunity to take advantage of data monitoring, data logging, alerting, trending, statistical analysis, visualization, plus integrating to SCADA applications, historians, ERP, and MES via the built-in OPC UA server.
Remote access is great – why not take it to the next level with the Flexy205? Rumsey has a demo unit available so please don’t hesitate to ask us to borrow it and give it a try; we are sure you can expand your services and after market opportunities in some unique ways with these capabilities.