A composite image of a laptop, cell phone and SignalFire's Ranger

Sensor-to-Cloud Platform Aimed at Industrial Process Monitoring

Dec. 11, 2019
SignalFire's Ranger uses the latest LTE CAT M1 technology to connect industrial sensors to the cloud for remote monitoring, control, and alarming.

SignalFire Wireless Telemetry recently announced the expansion of its wireless Internet of Things (IoT) product offering with the Ranger, a cellular-based transmitter and new 4G LTE-M platform. This next-generation remote-monitoring solution for the industrial sector delivers the promise of sensor-to-cloud with a plug-and-play experience, says the company.

The Ranger uses the latest LTE CAT M1 technology to connect industrial sensors to the cloud for remote monitoring, control, and alarming. By connecting directly to the cloud, the Ranger bypasses local networks to offer a more secure connection without adding more work for information technology (IT) departments. It's designed to work with a wide range of sensor types and brands, making it easily integrated into industrial monitoring systems, claims SignalFire.

The Ranger is equipped with two digital inputs, one analog input and one relay output. The digital inputs can detect on/off status or frequencies up to 2 kHz. The analog input can be set to 1 to 5 V dc or 4 to 20 mA and is powered by the integrated battery pack. The relay output is a latching double-pole single-throw (DPST) type, capable of loads up to 2 A at 30 V dc, 0.3 A at 110 V ac, or 0.5 A at 125 V ac. A built-in GPS allows for tracking of the Ranger's location and its measurements on a map.

According to the company, the Ranger comes complete with a web- and mobile-friendly SignalFire Cloud interface, which allows users to remotely monitor assets, view trends, and receive alarms either by text or email. It also provides for remote configuration and troubleshooting of the Ranger node and the sensor to which it's attached. The SignalFire Cloud uses secure MQTT technology for integration with private cloud platforms, when applicable. Operators can turn on/off the relay output from the cloud interface to remotely control pumps, motors, valves, and more.

“LTE CAT M1 technology is uniquely suited to IoT, allowing battery-powered sensor devices to efficiently communicate using existing cellular networks,” said SignalFire GM, Josh Schadel. “SignalFire’s new platform will provide application-specific solutions that are reliable as well as easy to install and maintain. This exciting new technology will enable monitoring of sensor data that was previously difficult or impossible to do.”

“SignalFire is breaking the norm by using cellular technology for the industrial sector because there is a need for monitoring isolated measurements or ‘lone rangers’ where it is cost-prohibitive or complicated to simply get a reading from a sensor. So, we focused on a do-it-yourself user experience and designed the Ranger sensor-to-cloud platform,” said Sandro Esposito, VP, sales and marketing.

Cloud connectivity removes barriers in collecting data from assets located in impassable locations. For example, when configured with the sensor-to-cloud Ranger, a user can monitor pipelines in mountainous terrain to ensure proper gas distribution. Companies can track fluid levels of vast tank farms in remote locations through a cloud connection accessible by any smart device.

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