Keywords: Wireless, Collaboration, Critical Processes, Mobile, Personnel Safety, Open-Protocol.
Apprion, a leading provider of wireless application systems and services for industrial facilities, unveiled two new applications, ION Collaboration and ION Mustering, both integrated into the ION System and presented in ION's unified dashboard interface. This results in a tightly focused, highly tailored solution which addresses the complex challenges of managing and monitoring critical processes and activities in industrial environments.
In the harsh environments of industrial processing facilities, complex requirements and activities can lead to chaotic and even dangerous situations. There is a pressing need for a centralized information platform with clear, up-to-the-second communications about the status and safety of personnel and equipment. Apprion's ION platform sits at the heart of a facility's plant network, automatically integrating numerous applications that can be selected in a plug-and-play fashion, as needed.
ION Collaboration, part of the ION Communications Family, is a real-time communication system that allows work teams to communicate collaboratively with message streams filtered according to topic, avoiding unnecessary distractions. Similar to consumer-oriented social networking systems, plant, field, or control room personnel can post critical messages on a topic-specific "stream," so that all members of a team are up to date on events and activities related to a particular process.
Each activity feed has its own secure stream, and user groups are established so that only members of that group have access to a specific wall or information stream. Mobile users can view and contribute to the stream via mobile devices such as phones or electronic tablets. Tailoring communications so that everyone contributes and receives strictly relevant messages, and in real-time, vastly improves communication within and around an industrial facility, leading to enhanced productivity and – most important - safety.
A part of the ION Location family, the ION Mustering Application provides wireless technology and the integrated ION dashboard to verify the location and status of all personnel during an emergency. The solution leverages real-time personnel tracking via WiFi, GPS, or RFID Tags and visual confirmation of the safety of every individual within a facility, providing a much faster, accurate and more efficient system than traditional manual processes. When an alarm is activated, all safety wardens can immediately identify which personnel are already in the mustering area and who might be missing. Personnel icons on regional maps show specific location as well as a visible trail of recent movement.
These new industrial applications together provide for a unique yet critical approach to team collaboration, personnel safety and efficient workflow in daily activities. Like all ION Applications, they are easily integrated into the ION System to provide limitless functionality. For example, when combined with ION Video, safety wardens have access to a visual check on mustering areas to identify personnel and view live status. ION Emergency Notification activates an audible alarm for hazardous situations and evacuation and field personnel can communicate their status in a live activity feed via ION Collaboration.
Apprion's IONizer Connect Links Critical Data Points for Industrial Applications
Apprion also announced IONizer Connect, a unique, innovative device that quickly connects critical industrial network data points for data acquisition and transmission at a breakthrough price point. IONizer Connect provides easy, open-protocol installation and integration with both wireless and wired data networks.
The IONizer Connect is the latest addition to Apprion's fast-growing family of industrial devices, which facilitate data acquisition, input and transmission within industrial sites. IONizer Connect provides real-time communication between critical data points in the network, and has functions for interfacing and backhauling data from legacy sensors. It provides a wireless connection to Apprion's information management platform, IONosphere, giving seamless network integration for all data and applications in the network. IONizer Connect is a Class I Div 2 industrial rated device with various radio options such as 802.11, WiMAX, and 900MHz for backhaul and can connect to 4-20mA, Modbus, Foundation Fieldbus and other wired sensor connections. As a streamlined device for connecting stranded data points, its unique price point is significantly lower than less suitable industrial gateways and access points.
Deploying the IONizer Connect allows users to safely, securely and efficiently manage any industrial facility, and quickly respond to changing conditions in today's challenging and complicated processing environment. Customers include some of the largest oil and gas, chemical, pulp and paper, and power/utilities companies in the world.
Apprion's IONizer family provides an expandable software and hardware platform that goes beyond the standard functionality of network access points and routers. Apprion's ION System streams real-time intelligence from multiple applications and devices into a common dashboard view for plant operators in industrial process manufacturing industries. The System allows centralized management of multi-vendor wireless devices to ensure that wireless applications throughout a process manufacturing plant perform reliably and cost-effectively.
Apprion's world-class engineers have architected the ION System so that wireless network devices relay data around obstacles, creating a network with no single point of failure. This self-healing network ensures uninterrupted data communication even in environments with large obstacles such as storage tanks.
Harry Forbes, ARC Advisory Group, commented, "Low cost and rapidly deployable extensions like IONizer Connect enable manufacturers to rapidly expand their wireless applications and leverage their existing wireless infrastructure."