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Salvador Jiménez: "IoT is changing how we currently interact with sensors"

  • Salvador Jiménez: "IoT is changing how we currently interact with sensors"
    Learn more about Catsensors products in iAgua Market.

About the entity

CATSENSORS sells in Spain electronic instrumentation products for the measurement of physical variables (pressure, level, temperature, conductivity, %HR, CO2, displacement), with readings in process or at a distance, Internet of things.

Catsensors sells Keller AG brand pressure and level sensors, the number one manufacturer in Europe. Among its products we may note the ARC-1, an autonomous remote transmitter and data logger by Keller, which measures and registers data remotely.

Salvador Jiménez, in charge of Digital Marketing, collaborates since 2011 with the company, and tells us about the most important aspects of this product.

Question: Can you please tell us about ARC-1 and its applications in the water sector?

Answer: ARC-1 is an autonomous remote transmitter and data logger by Swiss firm KELLER AG, distributed in Spain by CATSENSORS, compatible with 30X Series pressure and level transmitters and with other models with a RS485, I2C or SDI-12 digital interface. There are versions for 2" pipes, in watertight box and also Atex approved.

The main applications are those where you need to measure and register data remotely, with no need to physically go to the measurement point. In the water sector, common applications are level measurements in rivers, reservoirs, open canals, wells, groundwater, water supply, etc., as well as flood early warning systems, tank level monitoring, etc.

Q: Please tell us about its main features.

A: The main features are as follows:

  • Fully autonomous, with a lithium battery that lasts up to 10 years.
  • Connection to pressure, level and/or conductivity very low voltage KELLER digital transmitters. Up to 5 transmitters can be connected to each ARC-1, thus allowing savings when it comes to purchasing equipment. On the other hand, since the unit includes a barometric pressure sensor that compensates for variations in atmospheric pressure, transmitters can be absolute, thus avoiding the entry of moisture through the ventilation tube that occurs with conventional relative transmitters, improving their sturdiness and durability. It features 2 analogue and 2 digital interfaces for additional measurements and/or monitoring.
  • Measurement of barometric pressure, temperature, relative humidity and real time clock.
  • Capacity for up to 56,000 records, to be able to send data in buffer mode (for example once per day) or with the frequency programmed.
  • Data transmission via 2G/3G, 4G or LoRa. Types of transmission: SMS, e-mail (POP, SMTP), FTP (active, passive).
  • KELLER licence-free software and access to KELLER Kolibri Cloud.
  • Several specifications and options available for specific integration with each application.

Q: What problems related to integrated water cycle management does it address?

A: These past few years we have seen a gradual implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT), and it is changing drastically how we see our current interactions with sensors. With the ARC-1 data connectivity (2G/3G, 4G) and specially with LoRaWAN, which is changing IoT in industry, in smart cities and in many different areas, we can have all the data from our applications at any time, and use them as we think suitable and productive. In the water cycle, it allows us to have real time data, analyse trends, analyse specific situations that may occur, and prevent material and human losses caused by sudden weather events.

These past few years we have seen a gradual implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT)

Q: Why would one choose this product over a similar one in the market?

A: The ARC-1 has evolved from the GSM-2, which was already a game changer more than 10 years ago. It includes improved access to data networks, including the option of a LoRaWAN connection, which facilitates connecting all kind of sensors to a single gateway. The accumulated experience with countless applications in the water sector has been used to design this device, attaining a piece of equipment more adapted to the user. Not only does KELLER manufacture and supply the transmitter for each specific application, but also the ARC-1 data logger, meaning it can customise the supply to each client.

Q: What is the role of innovation and new technologies in water management, and what are the main challenges ahead?

A: For more than 40 years, the Swiss company KELLER AG has been working towards the technological development of its sensors, transmitters and measurement instruments. This goal is fully applicable today and thanks to it the company has positioned itself as the European leader in the manufacturing of pressure sensors. In parallel, new manufacturing and design technologies have been incorporated, which have positioned their products at the top of the sector of electronic instruments.

Q: What did the launch of the ARC-1 mean for the water sector?

A: Even though the product has only been 2 years in the market, it has been very well received given that is not a completely new product, but it has evolved/it's an upgrade from an existing one. However, the improvements to the electronics design, together with the new options available, particularly in the area of sensor and network connectivity, have been very well received.

Technology always evolves, and those companies that invest in improving their productivity will be, without a doubt, the ones to offer the best solutions to their clients

Q: Of all the projects where the ARC-1 has been used, which ones would you highlight due to their impact on the water sector?

A: The application in flood early warning systems in mountain streams is particularly relevant, because of the human and material consequences. For example, in Spain, with many short streams flowing down a steep slope, detecting in real time the flow level that will lead to the stream overflowing beyond its channel would be applicable in many locations. There is a significant scope for action, and the authorities should be aware of potential permanent consequences.

Q: Finally, let us look at the future; what are the business and development expectations for this type of product in the water sector?

A: Although the annual outlook predicts significant growth, already happening, the product is still not widely used. Technology always evolves, and those companies that invest in improving their productivity will be, without a doubt, the ones to offer the best solutions to their clients.

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