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Customer Stories / Smart Sensors Toolkit from 30 MHz Taps the Power of Digi XBee Modules

Smart Sensors Toolkit from 30 MHz Taps the Power of Digi XBee Modules for Fast integration and Reliable Connectivity

"We evaluated the market, looking for the best international wireless radios, And we found Digi, which has a proven and mature product family. It was a great choice for us because Digi XBee is reliable and cost-effective, and was especially fast and easy to integrate with our sensors."
-Flavia Paganelli, Director of Engineering for 30MHz

With a portfolio of easy-to-deploy wireless sensors, 30MHz empowers businesses to transform the metrics they capture from the physical world into actionable insights. The 30MHz Toolkit – leveraging Digi networking technology – lowers the barrier to entry for smart sensing. The scalable, interoperable plug-and-play solution is designed for rapid deployment of hundreds of thousands of devices with complete, centralized monitoring.

Business Challenge

When companies want to improve their ability to collect more accurate data, automate processes and centralize their monitoring, 30MHz is quickly becoming the experts that many are turning to. 30MHz’s acclaimed sensor toolkits are able to capture metrics such as temperature, humidity, position, vibration, item counts and more – and then transmit that granular data to a central database for notifications, alerts, trend graphs and other analyses.

The uses for these smart, networked wireless sensors are almost limitless. In agriculture for example, 30MHz sensors can monitor and report real-time temperatures and humidity from multiple greenhouses to ensure vegetables grow under the optimal conditions that increase yield and minimize the chances of crop damage. If the temperature falls below 10° C [50° F] or rises above 20° C [68° F], a greenhouse manager gets an instant text notification alerting him of the variance in order to take speedy corrective action. Or if a tulip-storage warehouse cooler malfunctions, 30MHz sensors can immediately detect the variance and issue alerts before the valuable bulbs spoil.

In a popular Dutch museum, 30MHz infrared and vibration sensors are measuring foot traffic in a high-volume wing to minimize delays and ensure compliance with fire regulations. In ports and harbors, those sensors can identify open docking sites. And in new-style open offices, sensors track the occupancy of desks and chairs to help workers find available workplaces.

“We’re offering an entire monitoring platform,” explained Flavia Paganelli, director of engineering for 30MHz. “And it can bring tremendous value across countless industries and applications. Wherever you need the ability to automatically monitor a condition, a state, or a process, we can help. And that’s particularly true when the locations are remote and difficult to reach because we can wirelessly transmit those sensor readings back to a server for centralized monitoring. With our cloud-based infrastructure, we can handle thousands of networked sensors. You get more frequent readings and you get faster updates so you’re always on top of the situation.”

Solution

For 30MHz, one of the keys to success is the wireless connectivity embedded directly into its high-performance sensors, and that happens through the Digi XBee® 868 LP, a low-power wireless module designed for deployments at 868 MHz in Europe. The high-performance, low-power embedded Digi module provides a simple and cost-effective way to integrate mesh technology into the company’s flagship family of sensors.

Digi XBee® 868 LP, a low-power wireless module designed for deployments at 868 MHz in Europe

Digi XBee 868LP RF modules can run either a proprietary DigiMesh® or point-to-multipoint networking protocol utilizing a low-power Energy Micro microcontroller and an Analog Devices ADF7023 transceiver, for industry-leading interference-blocking. Digi XBee 868LP operates between 863 MHz and 870 MHz, making it deployable in several regions throughout the world, including approved European countries and India, by utilizing a software selectable channel masking feature.

Digi XBee 868LP requires little to no configuration or additional development. And programming directly on the module eliminates the need for a separate processor. Since the wireless software is isolated, 30MHz can create applications with no risk to RF performance or security.

“We evaluated the market, looking for the best international wireless radios,” said Paganelli. “And we found Digi, which has a proven and mature product family. It was a great choice for us because Digi XBee is reliable and cost-effective, and was especially fast and easy to integrate with our sensors.”

Results

With Digi XBee 868LP modules transmitting sensor readings, 30MHz can provide customers with data-rich analyses that improve efficiency, maximize output and increase safety. “We can provide a lot of data in many different styles and formats,” said Paganelli. “By offering a customizable dashboard, we can show the present values of all sensors in the mesh network. And we can present that in time-series graphs for the last hour, the last day, the last week, or whatever periodicity is needed. You can change the pace or the order – it’s all very flexible.”

Users can also drill down to individual sensors and times or perform longitudinal analyses stretching back months or years. “All the data is there,” said Jasper Geurtsen, technical lead. “With one glance you can see the values and then drill into the details that you want to examine further. Plus, we offer an open API, so our customers can build their own dashboards on top of our data feeds, if that’s what they prefer.”

“Digi’s been a tremendous partner for us,” said Geurtsen. “They have provided great advice on our designs and helped us stay on track. Digi XBee has been the right choice for us.”

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