The easy way with an app

Siemens | June 2022

What does the word 'app' make you think of? For me, it now stands for applications on smartphones - isn't it the same for you? Basically, an application software with user benefits on different platforms such as mobile devices, the cloud, or quite simply on a computer "under-the-desk" - even in terms of process instrumentation.

 

Banking on the go, navigating through foreign cities, or just playing a quick game to pass the time - nowadays, apps offer a wide range of possibilities. Mobile devices and the apps installed are not only used in the private sphere, but increasingly also in workplaces. Alternatively, you can use your mobile or stationary device to access cloud-based apps.
In the following, let me give you a few examples of how apps can bring huge and unexpected benefits in process instrumentation.

 

Quick and easy parameterization of field devices

You probably know this, too: Since sensors are usually mounted in ideal locations for their measuring task, they are often difficult to reach. However, efficient commissioning and parameterization of such field devices, for example from the SITRANS LR100 device family, can be carried out conveniently via smartphone, as can ongoing maintenance - using the SITRANS mobile IQ app. Simply download the free app to the mobile device of your choice and you can access supported field devices via secure Bluetooth connection. When the app opens, all supported field devices in the environment are automatically detected and displayed. To access individual transmitters, the user enters the device PIN. Once the devices are connected, the app displays identification information, and you can perform a guided quick setup as well as a detailed setup. You can thus commission a transmitter within minutes by entering just a few parameters, such as operating mode, material or application type. The app allows convenient viewing of both measured values and echo profiles. Devices that are equipped with a service interface, not a Bluetooth interface, can be retrofitted with a Bluetooth adapter, such as the SITRANS LU240 (Level Ultrasound).

Inventory management in the cloud

In places without integration into an automation system it is particularly difficult to obtain data and values. Yet measured values are also of great importance here! I'm referring to the timely mapping of fill levels of tank farms or silos as well as stock levels on shelves, for example. On-premises or cloud-based apps can yield enormous advantages here: highly cost-efficient and secure operation as well as the fastest response times and availability of measured values - 24/7 and all over the world. The approach taken by SITRANS store IQ is similar: The tool for intelligent inventory monitoring and management uses our IoT-as-a-service solution MindSphere. The cloud-based app enables near real-time monitoring that is easy to implement. You can optimize your inventories and logistics processes based on the measured values and SITRANS store IQ. Production downtime due to material shortages, costly storage of excess capacity and unnecessary logistics services thus become a thing of the past.

 

On-premises process data collection from remote sensors

Do you need process data from widely distributed or remote measuring points? Then I have good news for you, because apps for the acquisition and storage of this data are not limited to mobile devices or the cloud - of course they can also be run on locally operated industrial PCs or servers and even on virtual machines. SITRANS serve IQ is an example for such an on-premises solution: The server-based application can collect, locally store and view measurement data even from distant measurement points, e.g. in the case of battery-powered flow measurement in water management. The app supports the download of entire data series and also displays all sensors in a clear and geographically exact position. Particularly convenient is the possible integration into your existing SCADA systems, making formerly isolated measured values available to you in a reliable and automated manner.

 

There are various methods for creating value from data. Siemens offers customers comprehensive solutions - both for a wide range of measurement tasks and for intelligent digitalization strategies. Feel free to contact us, we will be pleased to advise you!