Sometimes a concept goes beyond the initial idea to create something bigger. That's what's happening at Net Irrigate, an Indiana company, that entered the ag market six years ago with WireRat. That low-power, all-year irrigation monitor would report copper theft to owners through a cloud service. It was a unique way to monitor a system.
"The fundamental concept was that the Wire Rat have no external power requirement," says Edward DeSalle, CEO and founder. "The battery can run for a very long time and there's no need for solar panels."
That system would monitor the irrigation pivot copper simply by being hooked to the wire. WireRat would send a signal down the wire periodically and if the signal didn't transmit (signaling a break) it would report that break to the owner.
The company found that customers had a lot of interest in this kind of remote monitor that could send a message to a designated cell phone. The unit uses cloud-based software. "We found with WireRat that people found other ways to use that system," DeSalle says. "They would hook it up to float switches on water troughs to verify the connection or relay fans in poultry houses."
That led to the creation of the xProxy, which can be wired into a range of systems to monitory activity, and other products as well including Pump Proxy and Circle Scout. But farmers wanted to monitor more systems and there was one problem DeSalle says: "You needed someone to come to the farm and wire that monitor into the system."
And that's what drove creation of the company's newest product xProxy Vibe, which plays off the idea that it can measure vibration and if the vibration stops the system can alert you to trouble. What makes this product interesting is that it has a magnet, and installation is as simple as identifying the unit in your xProxy mobile app, and telling the system what you're going to measure and what alerts to send. Then you simply slap the product onto the motor, engine, pump or other operating device you want to monitor and walk away.
You can see what we mean in the Youtube video at the end of the story.
"There's a vibration sensor on this, and with that design you can use it for grain dryers, diesel engines, or any engine-driven task that creates a vibration during operation," DeSalle says.
The Vibe is 'event' driven. It checks for vibration on a regular basis and if there's none it sends an alert to your cellphone - or anywhere you want an alert sent - so you can take quick action.
"At the end of the day, we're providing a service and the value is in the cloud," he explains. From a single online location you can monitor all your Net Irrigate sensors around the farm, and set up alerts too. You can also know how things are working, where irrigation pivots are, or if critical systems are still running.
Cost for the Vibe is $149 per year per unit. The unit uses a subscription based model which means if it fails you send it back and you get a new one. That way Net Irrigate can keep improving the product for customers too. Learn more about all the company's product by visiting netirrigate.com