“Let me introduce myself. I am Berend and I am working at ALTEN Nederland as a consultant for over two years now. I have been working on an interesting project at one of our clients: Kuipers Electronics Engineering (TMX). Here I’ve worked as an embedded software engineer on the TMX IoT-Platform. In this post I am going to talk about this IoT-Platform.”
TMX supplies universal hardware and software solutions for telecontrol and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. In the development of TMX telecontrol substations, modem loggers, alarm dialers and main station software, security, reliability and ease of use are paramount. Hardware and software are developed in-house so that TMX can offer fully independent and open end-to-end solutions. TMX works with all common communication techniques and is used to remotely measure, control, alarm, register, configure and parameterize.
The IoT-Platform has the IMX200 as hardware which connects to sensors. When developing an IoT-Platform it is important to think about the needs of the customer. As every customer is different, so is every IoT application. So how did we come to an IoT platform with low development time that fills the needs of the customer? Well, we made a generic design which supports a lot of different sensors by default. Of course it is impossible to make a design which supports every available sensor as this will make the production cost unnecessarily high. So what if a desired sensor can not be used? Well, then we can make an add-on for the IMX200 which supports that specific sensor. This add-on philosophy enables quick development at low cost.
The IMX200 uses MQTT as communication protocol as this protocol is light weight and minimalizes the amount of data that needs to be sent. Most of the time the IMX200 is in sleep mode to conserve battery life. It only wakes up for measurements and for sending data at preset intervals. Depending on sensors selected, logging and communications intervals and other factors, battery life can be as much as 10 years or more!
The IMX200 can be configured using the MQTT protocol. The TMX main station already has a full implementation of the features of the IMX200 which makes the configuration more user-friendly. The IMX200 products can get new firmware by using FOTA (Firmware Over The Air). They also get a regular time sync to make sure the data is sent or buffered locally at the right time, as this can be critical for certain applications.
Do you want to know more about the TMX IoT-Platform or MQTT? Visit the TMX website or feel free to contact me. Technology we do together!
Berend van Hoek