“Our goal was to create something that not just engineers could use. Make no mistake – it was important to use the very latest advanced technology. It just had to be super easy to use.” The words of Stefan Carlsson, CEO and visionary at Celsicom, which develops hardware, software and cloud services for wireless remote monitoring of various environments.
FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF A TRIED-AND-TESTED AND WIDELY APPRECIATED SYSTEM
Celsicom Easy Connect is built on an existing system that is currently in use measuring the climate in thousands of environments in Sweden, Norway and Finland. It consists of sensors that transmit readings to a gateway (also known as a base station), which then sends all the data up to the Celsiview cloud service. Even though it is widely appreciated, the system is not without its challenges. A gateway needs a power supply, which can be difficult to arrange in certain environments. All the data is sent on an unlicensed frequency band that is sensitive to interference from things like the electronics of construction machinery on the same frequency. Too much steel and other metal in the surroundings can also obstruct the radio signals. It can be quite time-consuming to find the perfect positions for the sensors and the gateway.
NO GATEWAY – THE BOX MEASURES AND TRANSMITS
The new remote measurement system consists of …just a box. “We managed to get rid of the gateway, and installed a SIM card in the box instead. That means direct and reliable transmission of data to the cloud,” says Stefan Carlsson. All readings are sent over NarrowBand Internet of Things (NB-IoT) – an energy-saving technology developed for sending small amounts of data. It all happens in Telia’s existing mobile network, using a licensed frequency band dedicated solely to NB-IoT. The coverage is superb and the risk of interference is virtually zero, as Stefan Carlsson explains. “In underground car parks, for example, where you can’t even make a call, NB-IoT works like a dream. “And taking measurements in dusty and damp environments is no problem because the sensor, SIM card and other technology are well-protected in robust boxes.”
WHAT DO THE TESTING PARTNERS SAY?
Construction companies like Skanska, Peab and NCC were among the pioneers who got to test Celsicom Easy Connect in challenging construction projects. So what did they think? “They were delighted with the new system. Mainly the simplicity – they just had to insert batteries and put the boxes up where they wanted them. Then everything just worked, with nothing else to worry about,” adds Stefan Carlsson. An important detail: in the unlikely event that there is a problem with the connection, each box saves all the readings and sends them to the cloud as soon as it can connect to the mobile network. In other words, there is no risk that valuable construction data will be lost. No wonder that shortly after testing the system, NCC decided to purchase a large number of yellow boxes to measure the hardening of concrete slabs, walls and roofs.