Bring your environmental monitoring out of the cold

Companies are taking care of the environment using the latest technologies from Omniflex


May 2007
A popular topic with many organisations today is the issue and proof that companies are taking care of the environment. There are many benefits to be gained out of well managed monitoring systems for industrial environments. Conversely, the risk of poorly-monitored systems has huge potential liabilities with consequential losses.

Summary screen of the Data2Desktop service
Summary screen of the Data2Desktop service

Environmental monitoring is diverse with many constraints and disciplines requiring measurement, recording and reporting. Omniflex applies its latest technology to these issues enabling and empowering organisations to take the lead by providing the communications, recording and reporting infrastructure to solve the integration of dissimilar measurement instrumentation into a cohesive solution.

Typical values that require monitoring include:

* Gas emissions.

* Dust monitoring.

* Utilities monitoring.

* Water quality and usage.

* Wastage, spoilage, loss.

* SHEQ (safety, health, environment, quality) reporting systems.

"It all boils down to how to measure better and provide the results where you need them and in a form that is easy to use," explains Omniflex's Ian Louden. "That is where Data2Desktop from Omniflex shines. If it can be measured, Omniflex can present the data to the people that need it anywhere the organisation operates.

Louden continues: "Omniflex's solution leverages the power and pervasiveness of the world wide web and GSM networks for the presentation and dissemination of data. Large-scale operations can collect and consolidate data through the use of GSM-enabled (global system for mobile communications) RTUs (remote terminal units). The RTUs can interface with remote installed field units called data access points (DAPs) at a multitude of local or global locations.

End-user access to the collected data is via the Internet using a service called Data2Desktop. The service is provided by the Omniflex Data Center and is located within the GSM cellular communications cloud. This allows many users access to data with only an Internet browser and no investment in special software.

Environmental monitoring infrastructure
Environmental monitoring infrastructure

Effectively realtime data from the Omniflex Data Center can be acquired into corporate MIS (management information systems) through the use of an OPC (object linking and embedding for process control) server. Alarming and notification of responsible people can be automatically generated. Actual non-conformances can be identified with date and time and not just by processed historical logged data files.

"The implications?" asks Louden. "Automated real measurements from remote distributed assets without reliance on human intervention."

He elaborates: "Many organisations rely on manual systems within a SHEQ portfolio to manage conformance with occasional hands on verification to prove measurements and accuracy. Are these systems effective? Very often not, as time-stretched staff struggle to maintain the system. When this is automated, real measurable benefits accrue very quickly to the organisation.

For more information contact Ian Loudon, Omniflex, +27 0(31) 207 7466,,

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