Remote tank level monitoring is no longer a new tactic, and if you’re not already doing it, you should talk to an expert today. However, for those who have jumped on the bandwagon (it’s a sweet wagon, you should try it out) there is an all-to-often missed opportunity: adding local automation to your remote monitoring system.
This is done through your level sensor’s alarm trip points and optional outputs.
Your mind might already be racing with all the possibilities. If it is, my hat is off to you. However, if you’re like the rest of us, this article will serve as your proverbial festivus.
Simple applications designed only to alert remote personnel of a full or empty tank probably do not need local trip point automation. But if you’d like a few other things to happen, then the world is your oyster. Starting a local process with a trip point or an output is a lot like the most outrageous way to share a coke, you can trigger almost anything if you’re willing to make it work.
A good example is a used oil collection company that wanted to fight theft. Used oil is valuable, and often stolen by night bandits with a few IBC totes or an old pump truck. Our customer decided to hook up security cameras to our remote level sensor trip points. Now the security camera starts recording when a preset amount of oil is removed within a certain window of time.
They haven’t cured global oil theft yet, but they have an important tool in urging law enforcement to pursue these leads.
Another example is pump control. Turning pumps on and off, or throttling a VFD, using a level or pressure sensor output is a well-understood task. You can do the same task with remote monitoring sensors, combining traditional applications with new technology and greater visibility.
Visual and audio alarms are another option. Sometimes a flashing red light is all you need.
Technically, you can program just about any action to be triggered by an output level or a trip point. You could start a fireworks display or tell a robot to come out and do the robot. The real question is what will you do to take advantage of this unique capability?
We’d love to chat about your ideas. Contact us to discuss your application, and how we can make you look like a rock star to your customers/boss/geeky barbeque buddies.
Using local triggers isn’t all you can add-on to our Tank Cloud remote monitoring platform. You can also use the sensor inputs to monitor the on/off status of, well, just about anything with an on/off status. More on that later.