Agromatic, the Swiss manufacturer of monitoring and controlling equipment for mills, feed mills and silos has introduced its newly developed ‘one-wire’ registration system, in combination with wireless transfer.
The systems, which were developed from 2008–2010, have been designed mainly for applications with very large datarates.
A classical example is temperature monitoring in grain silos or flat storages. Agromatic has systems with 4,000 to 5,000 sensors which are made using conventional technology (bus or multi wire systems). The technological requirements for a temperature monitoring system have been increased significantly over the last years.
In many places an all-over 24 hour monitoring is required, which is also capable of meeting fire-prevention safety standards. Generating more data, however, implies that more data will have to be transferred and evaluated.
With the conventional monitoring system for classical, decentralized and small-sized storage the limits are reached quickly — how should the data of single, detached silos or storage systems be transmitted to a central point? How should the large data volume be evaluated? Here it is the task of the manufacturer to supply only the relevant data which may indicate a need for action, and to suppress all irrelevant information that is then stored in a separate database.
In previous years, the sensors were the cost-intensive part of the temperature monitoring system. This has now changed, and it is the temperature measuring cables (wire protection sleeves) that are expensive, due to the increasing demands regarding discharging loads.
A quality monitoring cable must stand permanent output loads of >10kP.
The less expensive sensors make it possible to use a greater number of sensors per cable, which allows for quicker information about possible irregularities. In 2007, 30m-long cables were equipped with six or seven sensors; today, there are ten, or more. This implies new, high-speed data transmission systems.
Agromatic has decided to develop two new integrated systems:
  •   for the in house wiring the one-wire Agro datasystem (ADT-D)
  •   for single or blockwise transmission of external parts or buildings the wireless Agromatic radio transmission system (ADT-F).
Both systems have been in operation since May 2010 in the industrial sector. The one-wire system is supplied for first-phase ‘temperature monitoring’. At the same time, systems are being developed that can merge the large number of sensors that are today being used to oversee operations in a mill or feed mill. The wireless transmission system (ADT-F) working in the 2.4GHz range, is constructed in such a way that every probe/receiver unit is constantly monitored by the control unit in order to ensure consistent availability. If the sensor or the transmitter detect a change, this information is immediately sent to the control system, and the sensor and its location are identified and acknowledged. If acknowledgement can’t be made, the transmitter tries sending again. A data transmission e.g. to a central command abroad is also supported by the system, depending on the available net, either via GSM record, internet etc. The data transfer rates are very high. The systems are approved for the industrial application and are running successfully in different applications.