IT in Manufacturing

Data clouds

November 2008 IT in Manufacturing

Environmental monitoring is a topical subject and a pressing requirement for many organisations these days. This is because the burden of proof of compliance rests with companies themselves.

The real challenges are in the measurement of environmental parameters. While in-plant monitoring is closely scrutinised, making measurements in more remote locations or areas where environmental risk is identified presents a real challenge. Providing a 24/7 monitoring system with open and transparent presentation of the data further exacerbates the problems. Automation of this function is a further requisite where staff levels leave no time for collection and collation of data from off-site monitoring.

Omniflex applies its latest technology to these issues enabling and empowering organisations to take the lead is this area of monitoring by providing the communications, recording and reporting infrastructure to solve the integration of diverse measurement instrumentation into a cohesive solution.

Environmental parameters that may require collection and reporting include gas emissions, dust levels, utilities values, water quality and usage, wastage, spoilage and loss.

Data2Desktop from Omniflex puts meaningful data and reports on the right peoples’ desktops using the power and pervasiveness of the World Wide Web and GSM networks for the collection, presentation and dissemination of data. The technology enables large scale operations to collect and consolidate data through the use of GSM-enabled Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) and remote field units called data access points (DAPs). Dissemination of information uses e-mail and SMS communications to reach personnel involved in the process.

The Teleterm M2 Series RTUs are available in many variants from Ethernet, Conet, and Modbus to wireless forms with radio or GSM communications. Access to the collected data is via the World Wide Web using the Data2Desktop service. This is provided by the Omniflex Data Center which is located within the GSM cellular communications cloud and accessible via the Internet. This allows many users access to data using only an Internet browser and requiring no investment in special software.

Data from the Omniflex Data Centres can be incorporated into corporate MIS systems through the use of an OPC server or special drivers. The actual status of measurements from geographically remote locations can thus be compared against legislated or target levels. Discrepancies in the system can be identified immediately instead of during periodic audits. Alarms and notifications to responsible people can be automatically generated.

For more information contact Ian Loudon, Omniflex, +27 (0)31 207 7466,,


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