The independence of FlowChief remote control technology pays off particularly in the remote terminal unit. The process data acquisition and data transfer take place independently of the manufacturer via standard devices. FlowChief GmbH makes a GPRS library available to numerous PLC and equipment manufacturers that is installed either as a stand-alone or in combination with the control program in the PLC. The customer is therefore not dependent on a particular hardware manufacturer and does not require two intelligent components in the system. A reduced probability of failure, unnecessary couplings, or hardware jumpering and a familiar programming environment not only increase operational safety, but reduce the engineering and operating costs in particular.
One of the special features of FlowChief remote control technology is the type of communication. The slave station, both in connection setup and data transfer, is the active partner.
This means a fixed IP address or a host name is needed only for the control center, the remote stations, however, get the dynamic addresses of the respective provider. On the one hand this eliminates the need for cost and configuration-intensive IP management and on the other systems remain hidden behind the private provider address field preventing unauthorized access.
Since the data communication is not controlled by polling from the control center, but actively from the slave station, transfers can be event-driven and/or cyclical. This allows the transmission volume and hence the monthly costs to be reduced to a minimum and at the same time the accuracy of the data collection to be increased to a maximum.
The remote terminal units independently maintain a permanent online connection to the server. Through intelligent connection management, connection costs are monitored and bidirectional data exchange enabled. Lengthy selection times are a thing of the past. In addition, all current process information is virtually available in real time in the control center.
In an ideal case, all data is transferred online. In addition, seamless data buffering in the slave station is essential for data security. If, for example, not confirmed data logs from the server due to communication disorders, there is intermediate storage including a timestamp in the PLC. Once the connection to the control central is established again, the data is automatically transmitted with the original timestamp, being also historically accurate.
Through internal UTC timestamping, system data can be evaluated on the server in the respective local time across diverse countries and time zone boundaries.
The system operator is alerted via SMS directly from the slave station as additional monitoring. This way, he can be certain that, for example, no undetected plant shutdowns or malfunctions occur due to the failure of the control center.
- Standard PLC with FlowChief GPRS library
- Support for numerous device manufacturers, e.g. Siemens, Panasonic, VIPA, Wago, B&R, Phoenix Contact, Beckhoff, Eaton, Sabo, …
- System control and remote control functionality in one device
- Reduced engineering outlay (PLC basic knowledge)
- No fixed IP addresses needed
- Full connection and cost control
- Sending transfer method (no polling from the control center)
- Cyclic and event-driven transfer
- Data volume-optimized
- “Always-on” – bidirectional online transmission in real time
- Data buffering with timestamp on remote terminal unit (UTC timestamp)