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IoT Waste Management with Siemens PLCs and Microsoft Azure

Trash compactor

Summary

DMC developed an Azure-based IoT waste management solution for monitoring trash compactor fullness.

Customer Benefits

  • Predictive maintenance and remote monitoring of system status
  • Significant annual cost savings
  • Reduced server maintenance
  • Flexible solution that scales with company growth

Technologies

Solution

Waste Harmonics provides businesses around North America with outsourced waste management solutions including a trash compactor and baler monitoring service. Their unique solutions lower costs for customers and address common challenges in the industry.

Waste Harmonics reached out to Siemens who recommended DMC due to our extensive experience with Siemens PLC programming and IoT solutions. The first phase of the project involved programming the Siemens S7-1200 PLCs to connect to a web service. A few years later, Waste Harmonics contacted DMC again to further increase scalability by building out the app service end.

How It Works

The solution uses Siemens modems on the PLCs that communicate with the web service via the AT&T machine-to-machine network on Jasper, which increases security by not having public IP addresses. The original system relied on two Cisco routers and a physical server hosting the web service that required regular clean-up to maintain its speed. DMC developed a cloud-based Microsoft Azure solution with significantly less maintenance required that can easily scale by clicking a button to add resources with no downtime. The database was migrated to Azure SQL DB and the web service was ported to an Azure App Service. Messages from the PLCs are processed via Azure Service Bus. If a message requires a notification, an email is generated. The database holds the historical and status data for each compactor. Users can log into the App Service with a web browser, allowing them to check on the status of each compactor and schedule pickups or maintenance.

In a subsequent phase, the routers were replaced by a connection directly from Jasper to an Azure VPN and the physical server was replaced by an Azure VM, reducing monthly hosting costs and enabling future scalability at the click of a button.

Learn more about DMC’s Siemens PLC Programming and Microsoft Azure expertise.

Posted in C# .NET Application Development, Custom Software and Hardware Development, Manufacturing Automation and Intelligence, Microsoft Azure Cloud Solutions and Services, Microsoft Consulting Services, PLC Programming, Siemens S7 PLC Programming, Web Application Development

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