The Metron2 is a multi-function cellular-connected telemetry device capable of making remote fill-level readings in tanks containing liquids and gases. The device’s integral display allows the unit to be used also as a local gauge and for system set up and testing. An optional pulse-counter board allows the device to take external meter readings.
The Metron2 is wide-area-network connected with the Telit GE864-QUAD V2 cellular module and self powered from an internal battery. The Metron2 can be powered from different sources, including an internal battery or an external 6-24Vdc source. It is often not economically feasible to run power to the site for remote telemetry installation, the companies said, such as the cryogenic gas monitoring segment where it is important that the device be on and available to be polled any time, day or night. For this market, Powelectrics developed a solar-powered system.
The solar-powered telemetry system allows the unit to remain always on and connected to the GSM/GPRS network so the server can make contact at any time with instant reading requests. Equipped with the Metron2, a tanker truck can be dispatched to best matching customer locations according to volume available in the tanker and volume required by customers, efficiently exhausting the tanker’s full supply of product instead of transporting it back to base saving fuel and removing the risk of the returned product contaminating the storage or process facility, the companies said.
Knowing how much product is in the customer’s tanks makes it possible to plan when and which truck should make deliveries. This translates into fewer miles driven to deliver the same amount of product and therefore a significant reduction in costs. There is also a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions. There are also accompanying operational benefits, including fewer emergency shipments, reduced customer service organization and reduced sales resources. These benefits translate into a balance sheet boasting reduced levels of finished goods and raw materials inventory.
The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) has been encouraging more extensive use of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools to improve supply chain efficiency. According to the Department for Transport in the UK, by 2015, total traffic on the roads will have grown by over 30 per cent compared to 2000 levels and the CBI has estimated that road congestion currently costs the UK up to £20 billion annually.
Telit’s GE864-QUAD V2 ultra-compact, low-power, quad-band GSM/GPRS 3GPP Release 4 module integrated in Powelectrics’ Metron2 has one of the industry’s broadest certification profiles in its class, making it easily deployable anywhere in the global market, Telit said. Modules in this family are capable of data rates of 48Kbps GPRS Class 10 also supporting 9.6Kpbs Circuit Switch Data (CSD) transfers ensuring connectivity in poor coverage areas. The GE864-QUAD V2 family features one of the market’s most compact Ball Grid Array (BGA) package measuring 30 x 30 x 2.8 mm and an extended operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C, making it suitable for outdoor-environment mobile applications such as the Metron2.
“The last couple of years have seen a dramatic upturn in demand for our product as users of telemetry become comfortable with the reliability and more aware of the benefits that telemetry brings. We continue to develop our already well proven solutions helping drive down the total cost of ownership and therefore reducing the payback time. Telemetry has never been so affordable,” said David Oakes, sales director, Powelectrics. “We realize the need to be flexible in what we offer. Some customers want a complete solution from us encompassing hardware, hosted software and SIM cards whereas others just want the hardware. It’s also vital that data is delivered where it is needed which often means us providing some form of automated interface into the clients systems, delivering data in a customized format.”