In this post, we will examine some IIoT data integration use case examples involving the Digi WR31 cellular router, which is a member of the Digi industrial router product line.
Many Digi customers have highly demanding applications operating in extreme conditions such as mining and oil and gas, which are subject to a range of environmental conditions. Here are two such examples.
In this example, the customer is an oil and gas company that leverages the Digi WR31 on-board digital I/O. The companys application involves a private radio communications network.
The private radio network occasionally freezes and becomes unresponsive under certain circumstances, and the cost of sending a resource onsite to re-power the system is considerable. This customer has resolved the issue by placing Digi WR31 routers at each radio site and connecting an inline relay to the Digital output to interrupt/re-enable power to the private radio units. When a radio become unresponsive, the customer can now send a command to the Digital I/O on the Digi WR31, cutting all power from the private radio, then re-enabling it, resulting in a hard system reset. This solution avoids repeated truck rolls to numerous distant sites each year, resulting in considerable cost savings.
Another customer example involves a major power utility that installs Digi WR31 routers throughout the smart grid, using the on-board serial connection to monitor reclosers (power grid circuit breakers) and maintain a high degree of power reliability for more than four million customers. The Digi WR31 is installed outdoors in a utility box that also contains a battery backup, so the customer leverages both digital interfaces on the WR31 as inputs to monitor two conditions:
The availability of GPIO and a Python programming environment on-board the Digi WR31 allows the device to function much like a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU), while at the same time delivering the value of a truly industrial-grade cellular router with automatic dual-cellular failover capabilities.
Enhancing those capabilities through data externalization through use of the Digi Remote Manager API to platforms like AWS and Azure makes it possible for a small group or even a single person to develop powerful solutions more quickly and efficiently than an entire development team.