Hands-on Modbus Cloud Connect - Remote Maintenance using the example of our customer Natelberg

Anton Blanke

Anton Blanke – Business Development Engineer

When it comes to service and maintenance management, companies often face challenges such as unplanned service calls and high costs for on-site visits. But nowadays, this can be addressed: Through the connectivity of devices, potential problems can be detected at an early stage and a variety of challenges can be solved remotely. In this blog post, we take a look at the example of our customer Natelberg and how they successfully met their challenges with Modbus Cloud Connect.
About the blog article series:
Modbus is a data communications protocol and has become a de facto standard protocol to connect industrial electronic devices. But how could those devices become part of the internet of things and what use cases could be developed? With this series of blog articles, we would like to give answers, ideas, suggestions, and helpful hints. To demonstrate how easy, it is to bridge the gap between devices and IT/cloud infrastructure by using Modbus Cloud Connect.

Recurring problems stand in the way of remote maintenance

  1. Incompatible equipment: Customers operate equipment from a wide range of manufacturers that cannot be easily integrated into one platform.
  2. High costs for access to interfaces: Manufacturers often charge high fees for access to the interfaces of their remote equipment.
  3. Difficult to gain network access: Some equipment is located in places without network access, such as the basement.
  4. Integration of older existing installations: Older installations typically do not have network access by design.
About Natelberg:
Natelberg is a service provider for heating, plumbing, electrical, air conditioning and renewable energies in East Frisia. With over 40 years of experience, the company offers reliable and innovative solutions for a wide range of buildings, including single and multi-family homes, restaurants, hotels and industrial facilities.

The solution for Natelberg

Natelberg faced similar challenges when they approached Vodafone/grandcentrix. However, with Modbus Cloud Connect, they were able to successfully solve these problems. All relevant plants, regardless of manufacturer, year of construction or plant type, were connected to the cloud via an available Modbus interface.

Modbus: The Modbus RTU interfaces of the connected devices offer exactly the functions that Natelberg needs. Best of all, both new and already installed equipment can be integrated. So can devices with Modbus TCP, which are connected to Modbus Cloud Connect via a corresponding converter.

In this way, important values are continuously monitored. If necessary, detailed analyses can be carried out remotely and minor problems can then also be solved remotely by adjusting parameters (Instant Read & Instant Write). And for more complicated service cases, a service technician can travel to the customer prepared and with the necessary spare parts.

Cellular IoT via Modbus Cloud Connect: The cellular technologies NB-IoT and LTE-M are optimized for the penetration of buildings. This means that access to heating systems in the basement (or even the 2nd basement floor) is also possible without any problems. With Modbus Cloud Connect, setup is easy and after the initial installation, configuration is completely remote.

IoT Platform: All customer data is stored in the IoT platform set up especially for Natelberg (based on the Centersight Platform from Device Insight) and Natelberg and its customers have an overview of the status of the systems at the respective locations at all times. Problems can thus be identified at an early stage and Natelberg can provide its customers with an individual dashboard with information on their equipment at various locations.

The benefits of remote maintenance with Modbus Cloud Connect at a glance

  • Compatibility: Thanks to the uniform technology and use of the Modbus interface, which has been established for many years, systems from a wide range of manufacturers and years of construction can be integrated into the remote maintenance solution.
  • Cost efficiency:** Compared to conventional on-site visits, remote maintenance significantly reduces costs.
  • Early detection of problems: Connected devices enable early detection of potential problems so that they can be proactively rectified.
  • Time saving: Minor issues can be solved remotely, which means service technicians do not always have to be on site.
  • Efficient use of resources:** By analyzing data and targeting service technicians, resources can be used more efficiently.
  • Customer loyalty: The ability to provide customers with their own dashboard with real-time information and proactively alert them to any service needs strengthens customer loyalty and builds trust.

Conclusion

Thanks to Modbus Cloud Connect and the developed IoT platform, Natelberg can streamline their remote maintenance processes and offer their customers a customized digital service solution. Overall, remote maintenance with Modbus Cloud Connect will help Natelberg improve their service processes, reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction. By using modern technologies such as NB-IoT and established interfaces such as Modbus, Natelberg is taking a decisive step towards future-oriented service management.

Modbus Cloud Connect makes it easy to use, flexibly connectable and broadly applicable. Your device, directly to the cloud.