device solution leadership team from north carolina

Device Solutions & TagoIO Partnership Brings E2E Scalable (and Profitable!) IOT Solutions to Market Quickly

Founded in 2003 by Bob Witter (CEO) and Chris Lamb (CTO), Device Solutions is a provider of product development consulting services specializing in embedded hardware and embedded software development. Device Solutions is also an IIOT equipment designer (branded) and end-to-end ecosystem provider.

The company has been in business for over 17 years and have over a century of combined experience in electronic product development. Located in Morrisville, NC next to Research Triangle Park (RTP), the company employs 25+ experienced engineers. Some of the areas that the company offers services:

• Embedded Hardware and Software Design and Development
Wearables, medical devices, wireless, low power
Filling the gaps in the product development cycle
• Feasibility studies, proof of concept, prototypes, certifications, commercial product development
• Wireless Radio Integration
3/4/5G Cellular, LPWAN, Bluetooth, WiFi, Zigbee, LoRa, GlobalStar, etc.
• Global Certification Support
Troubleshoot, pre-screen, regulatory certification, cellular carrier approval
• IOT Product and Solution Development!
Custom designs to wirelessly connect off the shelf and custom sensors
Gateway Hubs to aggregate sensor data and communicate to the cloud
MVNO with global Cellular operators

Having architected, built, and tested IoT solution for multiple successfully deployed applications, Device Solutions, together with TagoIO providing back end data services and dashboard visualization, is uniquely positioned to help customers to get to market quickly.

Building E2E IOT Is Not Easy

On the surface, enabling IoT sounds easy. The phrase “Plug and Play” is often used to describe the ease of deploying an IoT real time monitoring application. In reality, commercializing an E2E IoT solution requires a deeper understanding of all IoT eco-system components. Further complicating a successful IoT solution launch is that multiple companies may play a role in the final solution, each with a specialty focus on one or more parts of the eco-system.

Introducing Cellio

Cellio is a complete low-cost, easily installed, Industrial Internet of Things ecosystem that gives you visibility and control into operations and assets. Cellio utilizes a collection of Transceivers which connect to a variety of sensors and controllers. The Transceivers are able to communicate via 915 MHz LoRa radio over one mile line-of-site to an LTE cellular gateway which aggregates all the Transceiver data and sends it to a backend server application for storage, visualization, analytics, and alerting. Cellio also supports downlink remote control of assets either automatically through the backend scripts, or manually through the use of control widgets on the backend visualization dashboard – powered by TagoIO’s backend application.

Device Solutions’ Cellio alongside TagoIO’s backend application has enabled the commercial launch of many verticals, including:

• Cylindrical Air / Gas Tank Pressure / Level Monitoring
• Silo/Bin/Feed Level Monitoring
• Remote Fountain level / VFD motor control
• SCADA / RS485 control and monitoring
• Liquid Level, Liquid Flow
• Temperature, Humidity Level
• Power Outage Monitoring
• Moisture Level / Presence
• Commercial Air Handler Monitoring
• Asset Event Status / Movement
• Motion Detection

Case Study 1: Device Solutions Cellio IIOT Cold Storage Monitoring System Helps NC Public Schools Manage Natural Disasters

In September of 2018, North Carolinians faced the devastation of hurricane Florence which left thousands without power, displaced from their homes, and in need of emergency services and shelter. Public schools were not immune.

We are proud that together, Cellio and TagoIO provided critical information to help manage this disaster. School personnel were immediately alerted when power went out (and was eventually restored) at each location.

During the power outage, Cellio’s battery backup continued to monitor and report the temperature inside the coolers and freezers, report to the cloud, and send real-time alerts. This information helped schools set in motion emergency procedure to deploy mobile generators, relocate food product from one location to another, and in addition, determine if the products remained safe during the outage by analyzing how long and how high temperatures rose inside the coolers and freezers.

“More than half of our 86 schools lost power during Hurricane Florence. The Cellio monitoring system enabled us to monitor the cold storage units across the county without compromising the safety of staff that would otherwise have to travel to the facilities to check the status of the equipment and inventories. The cellular communication and battery back-up features were extremely beneficial during the storm, allowing the monitoring system to continue communicating temperatures during the power outages. After the storm, the data allowed us a quick assessment of the status of our food inventories. Cellio also enable us to identify how many schools remained without power, which was very useful for our maintenance department.” Executive Director Child Nutrition Services, Cumberland County School System, Fayetteville, NC

Public education buildings were also utilized as emergency shelters for displaced people, and the power outage information provided by Cellio provided additional information to local emergency services responsible for coordinating evacuation and shelter needs.

Real time temperature monitoring of coolers and freezers is indeed a perfect use case for Cellio IIOT, but predicting equipment failure adds a new layer of benefits. “Big Data Analytics” does not have to translate to costly and complicated. Identifying equipment failure trends proactively provides real cost savings beyond the retroactive notification of equipment failure (which result in costly emergency repairs and product movement).

“Since installing the Cellio monitoring system, we have been able to identify problems with the walk-in units and make repairs prior to compromising the food inventories. Not only does it preserve the safety and quality of the food, but avoids the disruption to our operations that would be caused if the inventories were lost due to equipment failures. Preventing the food loss has saved us time and money.” Supervisor, Child Nutrition Services, Cumberland County School System, Fayetteville, NC

Years of collected data in challenging environments across hundreds of cold storage configuration scenarios have enable us to design an early warning equipment failure algorithm – hours and days before the actual failure occurs.

Device Solutions Cellio and TagoIO early notification of potential equipment issues provided an additional level of resource planning, security, and cost savings beyond the traditional real-time monitoring.

Case Study 2: Device Solutions Cellio IIOT Feed Bin Monitoring Improve Farm Safety, Mill Order Accuracy, and Enables Live Production Cycle Efficiencies

Deploying Cellio on farm feed bins started as an effort to help individual farmers address safety concerns of having to climb bins 24/7/365 to estimate the amount of feed remaining in bins and to improve feed order accuracy. What followed was the ability for mills to more accurately plan feed production and delivery, and enable large scale integrated farm management solutions to optimize all phases of live production.

Determining how much feed is remaining in farm bins was largely a manual measurement process which is time consuming and labor intensive. Manual readings are often inaccurate with long times between readings. It is difficult obtaining measurements in bad weather and climbing bin ladders create safety concerns. Not having an accurate account of the run rate and feed inventory in the bins can create costly emergency deliveries and increase the risk of running out of feed with little notice.

Mills are also impacted by poor data from farms: feed type / mix / delivery planning is impacted and there are costly overruns if feed is returned to the mill. Valuable revenue can be lost if livestock feed expectations are not met which can endanger animal health.

Device Solutions has developed a solution via cost effective Digital Temperature Cable (DTC) to estimate bin feed level. The cable is easy to install in new and existing bins with no additional electrical runs required. Cellio provides reliable feed bin level data in all weather and, together with TagoIO, provides bin feed level reports and alerts via email, text, and dashboard visualization. Additional farm data (temperature, water consumption, motors, power, etc.) can also be aggregated and reported to full scale farm solutions providers to improve operational efficiency and ROI.

Some testimonials from Device Solutions’ customers:

“Banging on bins with rocks and mallets are okay for a rough guess, but it’s hard to be efficient reporting and ordering using paper logs. It’s just not safe to have farm employees climbing bins, especially in bad weather, banging or looking inside to get a level reading. Now I automatically get the readings and don’t have to worry about the safety of my crew – especially in bad weather. Plus I get an alert if there are issues with my equipment or if I lose power at the farm”

“Our mills need an accurate and timely view of what’s going on in the farm bins. We need a consistent and reliable inventory of feed to reduce emergency deliveries and outages. Cellio allows us to do this.”

“With the addition of accurate and reliable farm bin level data, along with other data from being centralized, we can efficiently plan and optimize all aspects of livestock cycles which improve health, and greatly improve efficiencies and ROI.”

Device Solutions Cellio Feed Bin Monitoring utilizing TagoIO’s backend services to deliver farm data reports and alerts improves farm safety, optimizes mill production, and enables large scale live production efficiencies.

Device Solutions and TagoIO – Efficiently Bringing IOT Solutions to Market

Onboarding Cellio Gateways and Transceivers is fully supported, easily managed by TagoIO.

Together, we provide full service support for:
• Integrated data hosting (AWS, direct to enterprise)
• Device Management, programing, OTA, FW updates
• White label customization for managing partner customers
• Billing Services for managing partner customers
• Dashboard Visualization, APIs
• Notifications, alerts, downlink control

IoT is more challenging than it seems. Device Solutions and TagoIO can help. Building an E2E solution with scalability and good ROI is difficult. Understanding the eco-system components and players are essential to a successful launch.

“Having architected, built, and tested IOT solution for a variety of applications, Device Solutions and TagoIO are uniquely positioned to help IoT solutions get to market efficiently.” -Bob Witter, Device Solutions’ CEO.