Alarm app in the Linux container of the LTE router

Connection to any process control systems

“We plan to switch any existing and future software of STEBATEC to the MRX. We also use the MRX routers for our partially guided or MID controlled pneumatic sewerage control. The MRX is simply a great device!“

Jonathan Brechbühl
Head of Support
Stebatec, Brügg (CH)

Added value for Stebatec

  • icom SmartBox: LXC programming environment (Linux container) integrated in the router

  • All Stebatec apps are running ON the router

  • No additional software installations, updates and licences

  • Saving small industrial PCs (IPC)

Initial situation

Cities, municipalities, associations and wastewater producing industrial units operate widely ramified wastewater systems, treat process water and operate heat stations.

In case of more recent structures, the function of the controls and plants is monitored continuously to be able to alarm the stand-by duty immediately in case of a failure.

But: Old plants are far from this level and retrofit often resulted an uncontrolled growth of devices like data loggers, switches and routers.

In addition, the two largest Swiss providers will shut down their GSM network (2G): Swisscom with end of 2020, Sunrise already end of 2017.

Objective

The Swiss STEBATEC AG provides their customers with latest plant technology for precise flow measurement and optimum sewerage control as well as cloud-based process control systems specifically developed for this. The existing monitoring and alarming system STEBalarm based on MoRoS HSPA routers already had many beneficial features like:

  • Parametrisation-capable and integrated stand-by planning
  • Data exchange with process control systems
  • Configuration via JSON import/export
  • Meter data acquisition via Modbus or M-Bus
  • Connectible to each customer plant

However, the new STEBalarm shall master much more:

  • Using all cellular networks up to 4G/LTE
  • Local intelligence at the spot in ONE device

  • Data processing/storing
  • Secure data communication

Solution

The cellular LTE router MRX5 acts as head station and distributes the stand-by settings to all autonomous substations (MRX3).

Benefits of the MRX router series for STEBalarm:

  • STEBalarm and other apps are running side-by-side in the icom SmartBox, an environment based on Linux containers (LXC) integrated in the router. This saves an IPC, additional software installations, updates and licences.
  • MRX routers can be easily extended by MRcards, e.g. with the MRcard ES by four switch ports; this saves costs and brings IT security since the ports can be monitored.
  • Customer-specific MRcard developments are also possible.
  • STEBATEC customers benefit from the LTE routers of the MRX series by the very good LTE network coverage in Switzerland.

Highlights of the STEBalarm software

  • Pushing meter data as *.csv to an FTP server.
  • STEBalarm alarms alternatively via pager, SMS or e-mail and communicates via Modbus/TCP or I/O.
  • The stand-by plan is exact to the hour, knows holidays and has a fairness generator that alarms those employees first who had the least service duties.

  • STEBalarm stores the information as backup automated in the head station.
  • Critical alarms can be dispatched in two different ways to increase security.
  • Escalation levels and prioritisations can be defined freely here.
Summary

STEBalarm is the alarming app in the Linux container of the LTE router and a flexible extendible, intelligent alarming system for remote monitoring: from the individual alarm device up to connection of numerous plants via head station. Versatile interfaces at the MRX router and via Application Connectors allow the connection to any process control systems. Moreover, the fully modular MRX routers communicate secure and can be extended flexible itself.

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