Embedded Internet solutions company, Opto Africa, recently deployed a cellular GPRS (general packet radio service) solution for construction company WBHO. Commonly referred to as M2M (machine-to-machine), the system provides up-to-date information on what is happening on the construction site. A total of 14 eBox units were installed on WBHO cranes and concrete batching plants at various construction sites throughout South Africa.
The system, called SiteMon, provides realtime information on power up - power down cycles; screw conveyor start/stoppages; crane overloading; and concrete pour durations.
Data from the plants and cranes are transmitted via MTN's GPRS network to Opto Africa's dedicated web server. By logging onto Opto Africa's secure website, the construction company is enabled to generate reports on plant efficiency, total plant output, average batching time, total idle time and average production, among others.
The system also provides a simple mechanism to record plant downtime and response from maintenance personnel. If a breakdown occurs, the plant operator pushes a button instantly transmitting multiple SMS messages to various mechanical and electrical stand-by personnel. The downtime period is automatically cleared once the plant is back in operation.
As the system has a standard Ethernet interface, a network camera was also installed on the construction site for the new R727 million Sibaya Casino development, north of Durban. From the comfort of their offices, management is further enabled to view progress through daily live images transmitted via GPRS.
For more information contact Hennie Visser, Opto Africa, 011 792 4886, [email protected]
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