Red Lion: Increasing Visibility into Factory Floor
Colin Geis, Director of Product Management, IIoT
The manufacturing industry is witnessing an increasing buzz around ‘the connected factory’ and the industrial IoT (IIoT) to reduce downtime, enhance inventory efficiency, and boost productivity. This has laid significant emphasis on the acceleration of connectivity solutions in the industrial space, specifically addressing field devices bridging the gap between legacy systems of I/O, serial communication and modern IP, and cloud connectivity. Manufacturers need to push critical data to the cloud while ensuring data security at the field level. Adjacently, new protocols like MQTT are quickly penetrating the IIoT space that works well for wireless connections, which commonly have latency and bandwidth fluctuations. However, if communication is lost, data cannot be transmitted to the head-end system and operators lose visibility into systems and processes. Keeping all these requirements in mind, Red Lion is enhancing industrial automation through its cellular products that provide customers rapid and simplified integration of process data with leading IIoT cloud platforms. The company enables manufacturers to manage situations without losing data and minimizing downtime. “Unlike the commercial market where data consumption is high and requires high-bandwidth, the industrial market is about critical connectivity even when only a little data is being transmitted. We provide easy to deploy cellular devices that offer a granular view into settings for unique requirements that are only found in industrial applications,” says Colin Geis, Director of Product Management, IIoT at Red Lion.
The company offers a complete range of solutions to enable IIoT with cellular connectivity, protocol conversions, and automation. Clients can use Red Lion’s Data Station Plus, a data acquisition tool that allows clients to unlock the value from existing equipment using an extensive protocol library to enable seamless communication between disparate devices. Operators can then get instant feedback on the data through Red Lion’s ProducTVity Station, a plant floor visual management system that collects the data and displays real-time KPIs on a screen. The system enables users to track the performance of processing plants and factory floors, create sophisticated production scoreboards and drive productivity. Finally, the company’s RAM 9000 cellular RTUs with multi-carrier 4G LTE helps extending IIoT beyond the factory to remote assets by providing a secure cellular connection for the collection of data from onboard I/O or connected devices to remote networks or cloud platforms. The RAM also doubles up with a powerful event engine to push control to the edge of the network providing local control in the case of lost connectivity.
We provide easy to deploy cellular devices that offer a granular view into settings for unique requirements that are only found in industrial applications
A testimony to Red Lion’s unique capabilities in the IIoT field is Magnus Services, an oilfield water management and automation company. Magnus was looking for a way to remotely monitor and control water usage during the fracking operation to maintain adequate water levels and prevent overflow of tanks and overall operational efficiencies of its mobile units. Using Red Lion’s RAM 6900 series cellular RTUs in alliance with a partner’s IoT platform, Magnus developed H2Know solution to give oil companies access to real-time data on water levels and control functions at their fracking sites. The solution powered by Red Lion’s technology offered Magnus’ customers the ability to enhance overall process control with remote monitoring and control capabilities spanning fracking operation sites.
The company is actively engaged with its user base, understanding their pain points and trying to address those needs rapidly. “We are incorporating feedback from customers into our product development cycle to develop products that make a difference in our customers’ business,” says Geis. In addition, Red Lion is actively moving towards offering solutions versus devices to fulfill the growing need of integrating devices, networks and data.
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