Gipsy 2000 LE Monitoring the Cold Chain
Food safety regulations for the food industry issued by national health authorities and hygiene institutes frequently imply a self checking method according to HACCP. Central issue in this method is to manage the critical control points – from the foods raw state through processing and shipping to consumption by the consumer– among which certainly falls the monitoring of temperatures. Tele-monitoring including complete logging is realized by the Gipsy 2000 LE embedded PCs running a special application for recording, evaluating, compressing an e-mail transfer.
Distributed cooling systems – fitted with LonWorks technology– have to be continuously temperature monitored and all logged data is collected in a management and service center. Furthermore, any limit value exceedance as well as any technical problem has to set off an alarm message to the center.
The solution makes use of the versatile communication capabilities of the Gipsy 2000 LE as well as of its programmability. Data is collected via its LonWorks interface and – after processing– transmitted via Ethernet or ISDN. Several programs handle the data within the device. All input is stored in a SQL data base. This holds as well all system parameters such as alarm conditions and messages, limit values, defined communication channels. Modules such as the alarm handling, the archiving or the optionally feasible representation by a web server operate on this data base. The device’s Ethernet interface allows local data access independent of the management center communication defined. All data is compressed for long term archiving. Memory is sufficient to store a history of about 200 days. FTP enables direct access to archived data for evaluation. Date transfer to the management center is using e-mails. While alarms are processed immediately archive data is collected and transferred once a day as e-mail attachment.
Usually there is more than one cooling system at one site, i.e. there are several sensors, and of course the system status is additionally monitored. System parameters such as recording interval, continuous or variation dependent recording and limit values can be set by the operator. For system integration the .xif files of the LonWorks nodes are used. They are opened with a PC based tool, completed with the system specific parameters such as monitoring interval and value scaling, and then loaded into the Gipsy LE. The Gipsy LE can be bound into the network as any other node. Being an embedded PC additional, customer specific software can be run on the device to extend its functionality. Thus further application can use the data from the LonWorks network in the SQL data base.
Additional Benefit: RNI
Gipsy 2000 LE, this means as well having remote access to the LonWorks network. Using the Easylon Remote Network Interface Software (RNI) gives applications from one PC access to the LonWorks network in another place. Thus network management tasks can be achieved via a dial-up connection without the necessity for traveling.
Temperature Monitoring Today
More than 10 years have passed since the above report was written. The Gipsy systems were replaced by the Delta embedded devices. And for temperature monitoring a completely new product line is available now: GesySense, the wireless sensor system.