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(2)How to buy a suitable data collector ?

- Apr 02, 2018 -

How to buy a suitable data collector ?

Market application

With the general promotion of bar code technology, the modernization of China's shopping malls has developed rapidly, and the level of electronic business management has been greatly improved. The market for portable data collectors has been formed and there is a great demand.

However, the inventory of domestic logistics companies (inventories) is still at a relatively low level, and there is a big gap with the level of foreign business management.

In fact, the application of data acquisition system can not only save time, reduce workload, reduce management costs, effectively improve the inventory structure, but also in the logistics company to establish a data acquisition system, the use of portable data collector is also very feasible.

Difficult to implement

Logistics companies only need to purchase a portable data acquisition system on the basis of the original MIS system, without the need for a major move.

With the development of science and technology, the functions of portable data collectors are increasingly perfected. General systems are provided with application software so that users can connect with the original system, and will not cause loopholes in the operation of the enterprise and the operation of the original system.

It can be said that the use of a portable data collector is a useful supplement to the original system in inventory (inventory).

Easy installation, simple operation and strong applicability

It does not need to increase the site, and is not limited by time and space. It is dexterous and practical, and facilitates the realization of inventory (inventory) and item tracking management.

Equipment investment is not high, but achieved significant results

For example, improve work efficiency, save working hours, reduce manual labor, reduce various management costs, and improve inventory structures in a timely manner.

The most important thing is that using a portable data collector can shorten the inventory cycle and the time spent on each inventory, truly achieve non-stop inventory, and minimize the mistakes of site management.

Management and technology are more mature

At present, there are many successful examples that can be used at home and abroad.

The application software of various types of portable data acquisition systems on the market has strong practicability, easy operation and good stability, and effectively improves the accuracy of inventory data and the reliability of data communication, and solves the disadvantages of slow and error-prone manual inventory. .

Easy to buy and maintain

Some foreign professional companies have set foot in the high-tech markets in the domestic commercial field and logistics field, such as Symbol, unitech and CASIO, forming a relatively fierce buyer's market.

This undoubtedly provides a lot of convenience for logistics companies: easy to buy, easy to maintain, easy to upgrade, and enjoy convenient after-sales service.

Continuously miniaturization, intelligence, and multi-functional development

After the company purchases the equipment, the operator can quickly master the use, without special training or hiring professionals in this field.

With the promotion of bar code technology, the proportion of general-purpose commodity bar codes has been increasing year by year, and the application of logistics bar codes has become more and more extensive. All this has provided sufficient data sources for logistics companies to ensure the smooth use of portable data acquisition systems.

At present, there are dozens of portable data collectors on the domestic market, with different performance and specifications, and prices that are confusing to users. It is better to know which one to buy.

For example, a portable data collector that also uses a 16-bit CPU will have similar performance and code compatibility, similar memory, display, and scanner configurations. When technical support and services are not much different, then for most users, Why spend thousands of dollars on prices that can be purchased for a few thousand dollars?

Entry-level data collector requirements

There are many factors that affect the design of data collectors, including the functional requirements of power line types (single or multi-phase) and public systems (residential or industrial). However, in general, there are three common categories of data collectors: entry level, intermediate level, and advanced level. This article will separately outline these three data collectors and discuss the data processing and system resource requirements that need to be considered when selecting a microcontroller for a data collector.

Entry-level data collector

The entry-level data collector, as its name suggests, can meet relatively basic system requirements. Single-phase power lines (usually used with residential electricity meters) are usually supported to collect data from automatic meter reading systems (AMR) or new smart meter data with digital output. The collected data is usually stored in the flash memory of the collector system (built-in or external to the microcontroller itself), and the centralized data is transmitted to the upstream network at a predetermined time through the selected communication interface.

Entry-level data collectors usually perform a certain amount of preliminary data processing before passing information to the upstream network. For example, by using a small amount of data sampled and paired with a time record, the data collector can report the power usage for a specific period of time, ranging from a few minutes to a week or a month; it can also be filtered according to different time intervals and Ways to classify and store data. This will help the power company to analyze the trend of power usage in detail. The granularity of data will be refined to individual users, and dynamic adjustments can be made to achieve more reasonable power distribution. After configuration, the data collector can also monitor the downstream operation of the electronic meter. If the meter parameters change, the reporting interval exceeds the tolerance, or a fault or abnormal data is detected, the data collector will implement software intelligence, promptly report an alarm, and provide the maintenance team with the information needed for remote repair.

The transmission mode of smart grids may vary from place to place, so it may be necessary to expand the basic feature set as required by local regulations. According to the location of the data collector, RS-485, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), or Power Line Communication (PLC) can be used for data transmission, and infrared or RS-485 can be used for external control. Many developers do not custom design for each region or market, but adopt a "one size fits all" approach to build system support for all possible transmission methods (but not all transmission methods are used simultaneously). This approach may bring economies of scale in manufacturing, but at the same time it may place more demands on the microcontroller.

How to configure a microcontroller for entry-level data collectors, the general functional requirements of the design. Assume that the device collects data from multiple UART ports and supports a variety of basic functions, including input acquisition, data storage, communications, and maintenance. The design should include a real-time clock (RTC) to provide time-stamped data and real-time power quality. Optional analog-to-digital converter (ADC) checked, and optional SPI interface for use with external memory or external device communications such as wireless transmission RF modules.

 

Equipment upgrade

Compared to entry-level data collectors, intermediate and advanced data collectors have a wider range of functions. The difference between high level and medium level is usually CPU speed. In other words, advanced data collectors generally require faster CPU speeds, which are critical to microcontroller configuration.

Advanced data collectors are typically used in more complex residential settings and three-phase industrial applications. The higher the computing requirements, the higher the CPU performance requirements. Above 200MHz is usually the best choice. The advanced data collector also has more advanced communication and control functions such as Ethernet and Wi-Fi, an LCD interface for interactive display, and a USB host for local data download. These new features require more flash and system memory and require a real-time operating system (RTOS).

Compared to the entire system, the data collector may be an insignificant small component, but it performs an important task of improving the intelligence of the grid. In addition to collecting data from the electronic meter pool, the data collector can also be configured for a variety of utility operations: checking transmission quality, monitoring power usage data, providing event data records, and reporting system failures. Whether it is an entry-level, mid-range, or advanced data collector, choosing the right 32-bit microcontroller simplifies development steps and design a cost-effective solution. When selecting a microcontroller, engineers should consider on-chip resources and other design considerations such as device reliability (temperature and humidity range, data retention, current fast transient reliability, anti-static, etc.), system-level component integration, Differentiating functions (such as data encryption), of course, price factors.