Wear control company Filter Focus indicates that there are no competitors that implement the same logic control as the i-Commander – a global system for monitoring, automating and reporting events at remote sites, using a global system for mobile communication (GSM) – owing to its completely unique software, says Filter Focus technical manager Drew Leibbrandt.
The i-Commander controller, has generated a moderate amount of interest. Owing to the technical nature of the product, it is constantly being developed to fully penetrate the market, notes Leibbrandt.
The company originally launched the i-Commander at the end of 2014.
“New applications are being studied and researched on a daily basis in order to target applications and markets available worldwide,” he says.
The i-Commander is configured to perform site- specific functions and enables the client to remotely monitor and manage the operation of plants and equipment, cool-rooms, generators, boilers, pumps, pivots, cable runs and power supply, as well as the temperature, pressure, level and flow-rate of any fluid involved in the system.
The unit is equipped with a subscriber identity module (Sim) card and its GSM functionality uses an application-specific antenna to connect to a cellular network for communication. It is programmable through its SmartSetup programming software, ranging from 8 to 128 behaviour statements, which are logic control statements used to control the execution sequence.
The number of inputs and outputs to the device can be expanded up to 32 inputs and 32 outputs, thus allowing for a variety of devices or conditions that can be simultaneously monitored, controlled and reported on by using the i-Commander.
Types of inputs most commonly supported include dry contact, where a device can be monitored by the i-Commander while it is on or off, and analogue inputs, which pertain to the temperature, pressure, level, flow rate, moisture level and oxygen level of any fluid in application.
Leibbrandt explains that, if the device – a motor for example – that the i-Commander is monitoring registers a temperature – via analogue input – that is higher than 70 °C, an SMS will be sent to the client saying: ‘Temperature warning 70 °C’ and will include the time and date that the temperature reached the set limit.
After the client has been warned that his motor is running hotter than it should, the client can then ignore the message, arrange for an inspection of the motor or send an SMS to the i-Commander instructing it to switch off the motor.
If the temperature reaches 75 °C and continues above 75 °C for longer than one minute, the motor will be shut down automatically and an SMS will be sent to the customer to indicate that the temperature has exceeded its peak threshold, and the motor is then off.
He says the i-Commander has been used in South Africa by telecommunications provider Telkom South Africa, Johannesburg electricity service provider City Power, international investment and banking group Old Mutual, sugar producer Illovo Sugar and State-owned power utility Eskom.