Nordic-powered cellular IoT measurement solutions enable sustainable, remote industrial monitoring

Oslo, Norway
a close up of electronics

iProtoxi’s Aistin Level and Aistin Motion devices use Nordic nRF9160 SiP to relay sensor data to Cloud platform

A wireless level-measurement solution and a motion and vibration detection device have been developed by Finland-based industrial IoT solutions company, iProtoxi, enabling a range of remote industrial monitoring applications. The company’s ‘Aistin’ suite of IoT devices have a multi-year field life, eliminating the need for personnel to perform on-site data analysis in difficult and hazardous environments. 

The ‘Aistin Level’ device integrates object distance, ambient temperature, and orientation sensors to accurately measure any surface level and its important properties. Applications for Aistin Level include air, water, oil, and gas distribution, waste and septic tank management, or level control in tanks, containers, and silos. Typical use cases for the system include measuring the fill level of fuel and water tanks, the fill rate of waste bins or gravel storage, and the temperature and level of foodstuffs, as well as the delivery of predictive alerts when empty containers need to be filled. 

We selected Nordic’s nRF9160 for our Aistin devices for a number of reasons including the SiP’s low power consumption, cellular location services, and support for several tool chains
Harri Valasma, iProtoxi

The ‘Aistin Motion’ device measures motion and vibration, enabling the user to accurately monitor, for example, the true total usage time of an engine and a number of start-stop cycles. Use cases for Aistin Motion include detecting changes in device vibrations for electricity networks, operation time and predictive maintenance for cranes, pumped volume for sewage pumps, and the engine condition of various motors. 

Sending data to the Cloud

Sensor data gathered by Aistin Level and Aistin Motion is relayed from the devices to the Cloud via an LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular IoT network using Nordic’s nRF9160 low power SiP with integrated LTE-M/NB-IoT modem and GNSS, without recourse to a separate gateway. In addition to providing the cellular IoT connectivity, the nRF9160 performs the core application processing on the Aistin devices and enables device management as well as over-the-air device firmware update (OTA-DFU) functionality using the proprietary ‘IoThund Cloud’ web and mobile apps. Users can select their preferred Cloud server provider, for example AWS, Azure, or Linux. 

Aistin Level uses a single 3.6 V C primary battery and nRF9160 SiP-enabled smart power control to provide an operating time of over five years at 12 measurements per day, depending on other features such as positioning. 

Waste management services

Approximately 1500 of Wastebook’s Aistin Level-based ‘Jaete’ smart devices have been deployed across Oulu, Finland, enabling the city’s main waste management service provider to optimize its routes around the collection of filled trash cans. 

“We selected Nordic’s nRF9160 for our Aistin devices for a number of reasons including the SiP’s low power consumption, cellular location services, and support for several tool chains,” says Harri Valasma, Sales Director at iProtoxi. “Nordic products and SDKs [Software Development Kits] are also well documented and the active Nordic DevZone forum is very helpful to developers.”

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