June 6, 2014

Automatic Monitoring of Gas Tanks via GSM/GPRS

Swiss sensor and telemetry-system specialist Sensile Technologies will be relying on the GE863-PY module from Telit. This powerful and compact GSM/GPRS module from the international M2M specialist will be used in remote measuring systems for liquid-gas tanks. The order comprises 12,000 modules in total. The deciding factors in choosing Telit were the unique BGA installation concept and Python capability of the GE863-PY combined with the excellent support offered by the company.

The GSM-based LPG-SENTSTM remote measuring station from Sensile Technologies is a maintenance-free system which autonomously monitors the level of liquid-gas tanks. In order to ensure reliable M2M communication, Sensile Technologies has chosen to use the tried-and-tested GE863-PY quad-band GSM/GPRS module from Telit.

"Telit offers the best possible solution for Sensile Technologies. Our modules are extremely efficient and are ideal for cost-optimised medium- and high-volume telemetry applications thanks to features such as the BGA concept and Python script interpreter," explains Dominikus Hierl, President Telit Wireless Solutions.

Successful cooperation

The cooperation between Telit and Sensile Technologies began in April 2006. In addition to Telit’s outstanding technical know-how, Sensile Technologies knows it can count on comprehensive support. M2M specialist Telit offers a high level of support during the product development phase, as well as direct support when the modules are integrated into the customers’ end units. Sensile Technologies has already benefited from the opportunity to use Telit’s own test laboratory to test and prepare its telemetry unit for the official EMC certification procedure.

"We are very pleased with our choice. We were impressed with the technical performance of the GE863-PY, and Telit provided excellent support during the product development stage. That kind of support is rare and could certainly benefit other companies," said Cédric Morel, Managing Director Sensile Technologies.

"Sensile Technologies is an important customer for us. The cooperation will raise Telit’s profile further on the Swiss market," explains Alexander Bufalino, Vice President Global Marketing, Telit Wireless Solutions.

Impressive M2M technology

In choosing a suitable GSM/GPRS module, Sensile Technologies opted for the Telit GE863-PY. This highly robust M2M module measures just 41.1 x 31.4 x 3.6 mm, weighs just 9 grams and is ideal for outdoor applications. It enables reliable operation at extreme temperatures of -30°C to +80°C. Like all modules in the GE family of products, the Telit GE863 features the unique BGA (Ball Grid Array) installation concept. This eliminates the need for costly plugs and cables. As with standard SMD components, the module can be connected directly to the PCB using a pick-and-place procedure which means that manual production steps are not required.

"In terms of the modules’ rapid integration, the GE863-PY BGA concept from Telit offers a major advantage over the systems of other providers. This was a critical deciding factor for us," says Cédric Morel. "We were also won over by the M2M module’s Telit-specific Python feature." With Python, users can develop simple software applications and run them directly on the module with no external microcontroller.

State-of-the-art management of LPG tanks

The LPG-SENTSTM remote measuring station can be quickly and easily installed for all types of liquid-gas tanks. To do this, a Hall-effect sensor and the H150-EEx telemetry unit are fitted directly to the tank; neither a fixed electrical connection nor a telephone connection is required, and the unit is run by a battery with a long lifespan. Wireless GSM communication via the Telit module provides the link to the central database. The remote measuring unit sends the liquid-gas levels via SMS to a central computer which records and evaluates the data automatically. A single telemetry unit can monitor up to four tanks in this way.

The users call up their tank data via the internet on a password-protected basis. The data they receive is always up to the minute and includes an overview of the individual fill levels and additional information regarding consumption and order times. Additionally, once the tank level sinks below a certain threshold, an automatic report is generated informing the user in good time via SMS, e-mail or fax.

Optimisation of processes

The Sensile Technologies LPG remote measuring system offers numerous advantages for the routine activities of petrol dealers and liquid-gas customers. Dealers benefit most from enhanced warehouse management, more cost-effective delivery programs and rationalised route planning. Because the customer tanks are replenished more efficiently, transport costs are reduced. For liquid-gas customers such as real-estate-management, transport and industrial companies, avoiding disruptions caused by a lack of liquid gas is a critical advantage. They also benefit from convenient Internet-based management and precise tank data received in good time. The purchasing processes for liquid gas are also optimised this way.

Telit on the Swiss market

M2M specialist Telit came to the attention of Sensile Technologies through the independent trading and service company Telion, which represents Telit as a distributor on the Swiss market. "We are primarily responsible for market development and control of sales activities, and we also provide technical support," says Patrik Eggenberger, Product Manager Actives&Communication Telion AG, regarding the cooperation with Telit. Telion has now successfully established itself as an arm of Telit in Switzerland.

About Sensile Technologies SA

Swiss company Sensile Technologies was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). Today the company focuses on the development and marketing of high-quality sensors and telemetry systems. Its specialist products are used in the rationalisation of fuel consignments and remote control of heating-oil systems. The technologies are sold in numerous European countries by authorised partners. The ongoing research and development work in direct cooperation with EPFL underpins the corporate success and competitiveness of this Lausanne-based company. For further information, visit www.sensile-technologies.com.

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