Word is slowly getting around: The new LOGO! 8.3, which will be launched this fall, also offers the possibility of connection to the cloud. But does this really make sense for a microcontroller? Well, not too many years ago the idea of a navigation system for small cars was considered amusing, whereas it is now standard. This could also be the case with LOGO! because the new feature enables many tasks to be solved more elegantly and conveniently.
One example is the topic of street lighting: The lamps, at least in larger communities, are usually switched in groups, and if there is a drop in the current consumed, this is a sign that one lamp is defective. Lighting could also be monitored by having an energy meter, for example from the Siemens PAC series, connected to LOGO! to record the currents of the individual lighting groups. LOGO! collects this data on a cyclic basis and forwards it to the cloud, where the individual groups are evaluated by area, and because the cloud connection works bidirectionally, an alarm can also be triggered. Service engineers are notified accordingly and can target the area where a lamp needs to be replaced.
A similar procedure can be imagined in the construction industry, where, for example, exterior plaster for new buildings is delivered in large silos. A sensor measures the fill level and the connected LOGO! transfers the data to the cloud, where the location, residual amount and replacement date for the respective silo are determined to avoid waiting times and idling.
The irrigation of agricultural land has always been a popular application for LOGO!. With the new version, it is now possible to link location, time and moisture measurement with current weather data, and via the cloud, irrigation can be shut off promptly when rain is approaching and switched on again afterwards, with a time delay that depends on the intensity of the rainfall. The same can, of course, also be implemented in vending machines for drinks or candy, where the cloud-based level measurement with integrated LOGO! can ensure a steady flow of goods from vending machines that are always well stocked.
The monitoring of cooling chains in supermarkets, for example, helps to ensure the quality of food. For this purpose, the temperature values of individual refrigerated display cases are recorded cyclically. This can already be done with the LOGO!. But the data is written to the SD card, and when the SD card is full, you have to stop the controller, remove the card, copy data, reinsert the card, and then switch LOGO! to run mode before the recording can continue. Where there is little data and the processes are not critical, this may not be a problem, but for continuous proof of temperature compliance, it is more convenient to send the data seamlessly to the virtually unlimited cloud storage and to alert service personnel if there is an impending disruption to the cooling chain.
And taking a look just a little further into the future, it will also be possible to record the charging states of renewable energy storage systems, document the e-charging of cars, or record the usage times for billing purposes of machines used by several different customers.
On cloud nine with LOGO!? Time goes on. The cloud now bears the number 8.3.