Electra Networks was formed with the goal of delivering high quality, cost effective and imaginative IT and Telecommunication solutions; and with successful products and services spanning multiple applications and markets, the company has become a leading systems integration specialist in this sector.As some of Electra Networks’ largest clients have widespread locations, many of which are remote and unmanned, they required a solution that would enable them to monitor sites remotely. Engineer visits can be both costly and resource hungry and waiting for a physical site check may also result in a significant delay between power outage happening and its impact being resolved.
The ChallengeTo connect Electra Network’s industrial power monitoring solution for remote sites.
The Westbase SolutionWestbase provided the Sierra Wireless AirLink LS300 for:
+ Persistent and reliable cellular connectivity
+ Secure VPN capabilities
+ Remote troubleshooting
+ Customised alerting and actions through AAF
+ Real-time monitoring
+ Easy and rapid deployment of the solution
The Results+ The Electra Networks solution removes the need for engineer site visits to check or cycle power, reducing operational costs
+ Decreased time to resolution by enabling remote troubleshooting when there is a problem, either power or network based
+ Reduced time spent on power issues means optimised engineer time
+ Increased efficiency as the new solution ensures the correct engineer skill set is deployed
+ Potential to expand the solution to other industry applications
The Sierra Wireless LS300 formed part of Electra Networks’ final “PM3000”, the new power monitoring solution which would address their clients’ need for early detection and prompt resolution of power loss at remote sites. The PM3000 detects power outages by monitoring the digital I/O; detecting power outages the instant a voltage input is no longer present. The outage triggers an automatic message, sent via the LS300 and cellular network, back to the client’s central team, alerting them to the problem – perfectly meeting Electra Network’s requirements for their concept.
Sierra’s AirLink Management Service (ALMS) was also selected to enable the remote monitoring and management of the LS300 device itself. ALMS and its developer kit, the Aleos Application Framework, also meant that event notifications for power disruptions could be built and customised very easily on the device itself – saving the need for additional software or hardware to make the solution work as required.
Furthermore, the VPN capabilities of the LS300 also means that the PM3000 can be used for out-of-band management, enabling central IT teams to securely connect to the remote equipment, via the cellular network and LS300, in order to trigger power cycles and troubleshoot other network issues.
“The Electra Networks solution demonstrates how operational efficiency can be transformed through efficient and effective power monitoring.” said Lee Garrett, Technical Lead at Westbase Technology. “Their solution’s success demonstrates that in the 21st century there’s no need for remote sites to be out of reach and out of touch.”
The successful rollout of the PM3000 to-date has therefore resulted in Electra Networks now consulting with Westbase on how to maximise the opportunities and benefits that the PM3000 can provide.
“Being able to decrease the time to resolution for power issues at remote sites through the PM3000 has dramatically improved operational efficiency for our clients. The reliable connectivity of the Sierra Wireless AirLink LS300 has been critical to its success, and the efficient distribution by Westbase Technology has allowed our timescales to be met without a hitch” – Ian Brotherston, Electra Network’s Managing Director