1. What’s your background?

“I am an Analytical and theoretical electrochemist specializing in design and optimization of analog and smart digital sensors for measurement of pH, ORP, ion selective, conductivity and dissolved oxygen parameters.”

2. What problem were you trying to solve?

“We required a robust HMI & PLC with certifications for use in hazardous locations (if required for a customer installation site) to interface and control the smart digital HiQDT MODBUS RTU sensors for measurement of pH, ORP and dissolved oxygen parameters.”

3. How was the problem affecting you/your company’s bottom line?

“With this new partnership with Maple Systems, we are expanding the market for smart digital HiQDT Modbus RTU sensors beyond just the OEM and system integrator to also support typical end-user requirements. Now we can provide complete turn-key solutions by mating together the Modbus RTU master device with the smart digital HiQDT Modbus RTU sensor slaves. Typically, key features and functionality requested by end-users were scalable 4-20mA analog outputs, programmable contact relays, and full remote access over ethernet to minimize on-site field visits, as well as email notifications for trigger events. Some OEM and systems integrators also desired a local display as well as Modbus TCP (a.k.a. Modbus over ethernet) instead of the Modbus RTU available directly from the HiQDT smart digital sensors.”

4. There are always multiple ways to solve any problem. What possible solutions did you consider?

“A variety of potential HMI and PLC suppliers were considered. Evaluation was conducted by weighing the available features, prices and certifications for use in hazardous locations. The ability to have more cost competitive versions for non-hazardous locations is a bonus if the software can be binary compatible between the hazardous location version and the safe non-hazardous location version.”

6. What would have happened if you had not made this purchase?

“ASTI would have been limited to only OEM & system integrator clients. In addition, the ability to construct a robust and complete software solution for use with the HiQDT sensors was crucial for us. Without this, we would not have been able to offer to our prospective OEMs and System Integrators the option to customize the project templates. Now they can easily modify or drop unneeded functionality from projects if they wish.”

7. What risks did you consider?

“For any new product there is the risk of damage to reputation if there are problems with commissioning or ongoing field-use and maintenance issues. We were not familiar with Maple Systems before this project, so we had to assess the risk of starting up business with a new vendor as well, but the choice has paid off.”

8. What reservations did you have?

“Initially we had reservations about our lack of internal resources in terms of HMI & PLC programming. This was solved by a recommendation to a very proficient programmer that was quite familiar with the Maple Systems development tools and hardware. This made it easy for us to implement all the core functionality we needed in the commercialized version of the touchscreen controllers.”

9. What measurable benefits have you seen?

“We have received increasing numbers of inquiries from companies that are focused on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) since adding the HiQDT product platform. This includes those that wish to have full remote access capabilities to these measurements for both environmental compliance as well as process control purposes.”

10. Anything else you think we should know?

“Plans are in place to add conductivity and ion-selective measurement parameters at some point in the future. There is no firm timetable, but we have confirmed that sufficient flash memory is available for all controller configurations to add these additional sensor types.”

Our Value Promise

Long renowned in the Industrial Automation industry for the quality of technical support we have provided for decades, Maple Systems has a reputation for connecting customers with someone who knows our products inside and out. Whether it is one of our trusted System Integrator partners, Distributors, or our own engineering team, we are happy to connect you with a knowledgeable engineer dedicated to understanding your application.

Supported Products

From basic functionality to IIoT advanced features, our touchscreen HMIs provide options worth weighing.

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