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Grid Connect Team

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AutoMower - Grid Connect Has A New Team Member

Jul 1, 2022 8:14:00 AM / by Grid Connect Team

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A metallic and electronic addition to the Grid Connect family.

 

Automower 1.2

 

Grid Connect has a new member joining the team, but this member is not a person, it’s a machine.

The Husqvarna AutoMower 435X AWD can be seen maintaining the lawns at the Naperville offices. A high performance and multi-capable robotic lawn mower, The AutoMo

wer 435X

will keep the Grid Connect grounds looking pristine with minimal human operation required. But why did Grid decide on this particular machine? What problems does the AutoMower 435X solve, and what are its capabilities? And, perhaps most importantly, what are we going to call it?

 

Why the AutoMower?

 

Automower 3.2

The AutoMower 453X came to Grid Connect through a collaboration with Oak Grove Gardeners, in order to test the technology of this brand-new robotic mower model. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can it do?

 

No bigger than a car tire, the AutoMower 453X fits in nearly any home, and can mow a nearly one acre lawn in just 100 minutes. Safety is also paramount with lawn mowers, so the AutoMower comes with sensors designed to stop the blades when picked up or tilted. 

Automower 5

Designed for even the most demanding backyard lawn, the AutoMower 453X comes with all-wheel drive and a pivoting rear body. This allows it to manage tight corners and inclines as steep as 35 degrees. The Automower 453X also comes standard with exclusive patented technology, including GPS-assisted navigation, automatic passage handling and electric height adjustment.

 

The mower also comes equipped with AutoMower Intelligent Mapping (AIM) technology, allowing the device to create a virtual map of your lawn. With this, the AutoMower 453X can integrate with the user’s smartphone via the AutoMower Connect app. This lets them create custom work areas, with separate cutting heights and schedules, and even stay-out zones, protecting precious gardens and keeping the machine away from dangerous terrain. The AutoMower Connect app also allows for real-time tracking of the mower as well, and for the user to direct the AutoMower 45

3X with voice commands to their Amazon Alexa or Google Home digital assistant. 

Automower 2.2

Energy efficiency is key to the design of the AutoMower 453X. Battery powered, there’s no gas emissions or fumes usually associated with lawn mowers. Additionally, the mower comes programmed with low battery detection. It can even use that in conjunction with its AIM technology to return itself to its charging port as needed.

 

Above all, the AutoMower 453X is built for the long haul, with maximum durability in mind. Ultrasonic sensor technology helps the mower detect obstacles in order to avoid impacts and minimize damage. The front bumper is made of rubber as well, built to manage collisions even with rocks and trees. The AutoMower 453X also comes weather resistant, and can perform perfectly even on a rainy day. On top of all this, it comes with a code-protected anti-theft alarm, making sure it will stay where it’s supposed to.

 

Give the AutoMower a name!

The top 5 names suggested by our team were: 

  • Lil' Mo
  • MowBot
  • Blade Runner
  • Mowbi-Lawn Kenobi
  • G.O.A.T (GridConnect Omnipotent Automatic Trimmer)


We then took it to our loyal customers for their input and final vote. 
The winning name of our new team member is .... 

MowBot 

welcome to the team MowBot

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New ‘universal translator’ for industrial communications

Jun 6, 2022 9:00:00 AM / by Grid Connect Team posted in IIoT, Industrial IoT, IoT, IoT devices

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Grid-Connect_logo

 

 

Grid Connect, Inc. and Real Time Automation® (RTA®) have partnered to bring original equipment makers a new embedded module that serves as a universal translator for enabling serial devices (RS-232, 422, 485, SPI, I2C) to communicate via protocols such as EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, PROFINET, BACnet/IP and others. OEMs also gain the capability to push data from plant-floor and field devices to analytical and business applications via OPC UA and MQTT.

GRID32_tilted_no-labelGrid-32_logo (1)

 

 

 

 

To develop the highly integrated, compact module (33mm x 23mm x 3mm), ​we combined ​RTA's​ protocol stacks with our know-how of hardware and IIoT.Grid32_paperclip

The module offers device makers a quick-to-market, affordable and simple solution for adding a full array of industrial protocols to any new or legacy device a manufacturer uses. If an OEM’s device is interacting with the factory in, say, Modbus, the module enables the equipment maker’s device to communicate in a next-gen protocol like PROFINET. The array of protocols is no longer out of reach for device makers that may be manufacturing a lower volume of new products or facing prohibitively high costs for converting legacy products.

Learn more

Read full press release here or at the following sites:

 

About Real Time Automation, Inc.

Established in 1989, Real Time Automation, Inc., is based in Wisconsin and specializes in making easy-to-use connectivity products, source code protocol stacks 

and OEM solutions for use by control engineers on factory floors everywhere.  Learn more

 

About Grid Connect, Inc.

Naperville, Ill.-based Grid Connect, Inc. is an ISO 9001:2015 company and has been a leader in the embedded and networking marketplace for more than 20 years. Grid Connect’s products range from custom OEM smart devices and security controllers to bridges, switches, and diagnostics tools. Along with the products Grid Connect makes, the company also distributes and supports complementary products from other high-quality technology makers. Learn more

 

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The First Step of Product Development is Proof of Concept

Jun 3, 2022 8:00:00 AM / by Grid Connect Team posted in product development

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product planning board

 

Going from a good idea to a product can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Testing the idea by creating a proof of concept saves time and reduces waste, providing opportunities to optimize the idea and patch bugs.

 

Learn more about the process and variables in developing a proof of concept from Adam Justice and Cristian Codreanu's article on machinedesign.com.

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Machine Design Logo

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How to pick your communication protocol

Jun 2, 2022 9:59:21 AM / by Grid Connect Team posted in IIoT, Industrial IoT, IoT, networking protocol, protocol

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image-world_communication

 

There are so many options that exist to connect to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). How does a business choose between them?

  • Wi-Fi
  • LoRaWAN
  • Bluetooth
  • NB-IoT


Many factors can influence this decision, from the necessary bandwidth, to existing infrastructure, to security concerns. Letting the application determine the best protocol results in optimal for connectivity solutions, whether operating farming equipment, or shipping supplies, to conflict zones.

For more information, Adam Justice and Cristian Codreanu of Grid Connect provide their expertise in the following article on machinedesign.com. 

Read MoreMachine Design Logo

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Webinar : CAN Bus Diagnostics – Practical CAN troubleshooting

May 27, 2022 9:48:00 AM / by Grid Connect Team posted in CAN, CAN networks, CANbus, Events, Webinar

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Diagnosing CAN bus problems can be challenging. Even so, with a little practice and the right tools you don’t have to be highly technical to perform basic diagnostics on a CAN bus network.

 

 

Date : Monday, June 27, 2022

Time : 10:30 AM CT  (8:30 AM PT)

Register Now

 

This webinar will provide practical examples of troubleshooting a CAN network. It will cover the following topics:

 

Why You Should Attend

  • Troubleshooting common CAN bus failures
  • Troubleshooting the CAN Protocol using PCAN-USB and PCAN-VIEW
  • Advanced Troubleshooting with a Handheld CAN Bus Diagnostics Unit
  • Question & Answer

 

Meet the host

Gary_Headshot

 

Gary Marrs

Solutions Architect
Grid Connect 

 

Register Now

 

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Webinar : CAN Bus Data Logging – Your Data, Your Way

May 20, 2022 10:15:00 AM / by Grid Connect Team posted in CAN, CAN networks, CANbus, Events, Webinar

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CSS Electronics and Grid Connect invite you to join us for our free webinar where you will learn how CAN Bus data logging can be made easy. 

 

Gridconnect_RGB-1 css-electronics-logo (1)

 

View Recording

Logging CAN data and processing the data has never been easier, more flexible and interoperable than it is with the CANedge series of CAN Bus data loggers from CSS Electronics.   Process your data using 100% free and open source software with no monthly fees!   Join CSS Electronics and Grid Connect for this free webinar which will introduce the power and flexibility of CAN data logging your way! This webinar will cover the following topics:

 

Why You Should Attend

  • The CANedge series - key features & use cases
  • Configuring your CANedge & managing log files - locally and remotely
  • Processing and visualizing your CAN bus data
  • Get your questions answered by experts

 

Meet the experts

Rick_R_photo Martin_Falch

Rick Rockershousen

Vice President at Grid Connect

Martin Falch

Co-Owner at CSS Electronics

 

Register Now

 

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PEAK System CEO on future of CAN bus

Oct 25, 2021 9:43:52 PM / by Grid Connect Team posted in CAN FD, CANbus, Classic CAN, Interviews

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As a company that specializes in the CAN (Controller Area Network) fieldbus, PEAK-System has a clear view of the CAN horizon. Since the company’s launch in 1999, PEAK has been a leading provider of hardware, software, and services for mobile and industrial communications.

Peak Founder and CEO Uwe Wilhelm shared his thoughts with us on the future of the CAN networking protocol, including his view of classic CAN and CAN-FD.

Spoiler alert: The reports of classic CAN’s death are greatly exaggerated!

 

Q: What are your thoughts on this industry sampling of CAN market share projections into 2027?

 

Source: Cognitive Market Research. Request sample or purchase report.

Answer:

CAN FD is the current choice in the automotive sector. The new CAN-XL will certainly be added as a second, new CAN bus standard, with a different usage approach, and classic CAN is still the standard in automation technology and mechanical engineering, though it's gradually being replaced by CAN-FD.

Whether and when there will also be a change to CAN FD cannot really be foreseen.

With its CANopen FD, the CiA (CAN in Automation) group of international users and manufacturers created a standard years ago that is unfortunately not properly accepted in practice. We hope that this will change in the next 1-2 years. There are currently few certified CANopen FD products to buy and customers mostly use the proven CANopen based on the CAN2.0 protocol for new systems. The classic CAN is hard to think of in electronics development. 

Regardless of the area, the proportion is constantly increasing. Whether in medical technology or in consumer devices such as washing machines or air conditioning systems, simple sensor / actuator connections can be implemented quickly and inexpensively. A huge selection of components can be used, and operating systems such as Linux have included the CAN protocol as an integral part of their distributions for years.

 

Q. When do you think FD shipments will overtake classic CAN, and are there any advance preparations or considerations?

Answer:

Classic CAN (2.0a / b) will probably always be justified and will remain with us for many years to come. In some applications, the CAN-FD simply doesn't make sense. If you don't really need the increased transmission rate and the larger user data, the standard CAN remains the right choice. It's robust, easy to implement, and inexpensive. 

Likewise, the classic CAN networks, through the CAN transceivers you use, can also cover very low speeds and also support longer CAN networks where it is not about speed but about robustness and network length.

 

Q. What are some industrial examples of CAN usage?

Answer:

Today, CAN is actually used in all technical devices, regardless of the industry. 

  • Agricultural technology
  • Construction machines
  • Robotics of all kinds
  • Medical technology
  • Wind turbines
  • Military vehicles and systems (also known as MilCAN)
  • Planes (CANaerospace)
  • Submarines
  • Satellite systems

You will also find CAN in many niche applications, like the latest planetarium projection systems. We have been working for 15 years with a leading company in this market. 

Of course, the automotive sector is a major user of CAN networking and the most well-known CAN applications are in vehicles—trucks, cars, buses, and trains. The simple network topology and the EMC (ElectroMagnetic Compatibility) safe transmission method are certainly the decisive factors here. 

Likewise, almost every microcontroller family today has derivatives that have integrated one or more CAN buses. There are sensors and actuators from all areas that use CAN, as well as dozens of hardware and software tools for the PC to develop these applications quickly and inexpensively.

 

Q. Let’s shift to PEAK-System—Can you share any new product development plans or product launches?

Answer:

PEAK-System is currently finishing the last work on a new product range to offer service tools for marine applications following the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) standard. Based on CAN, this standard sets the requirements for a serial data communications network to interconnect marine electronic equipment on vessels, creating the ability to share data, including commands and status, with other compatible equipment over a single channel.

We are also developing solutions under the J1939 open standard for networking and communication in the commercial vehicle sector, focused on the networking of the powertrain. The J1939 protocol, from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), is a set of standards that define how electronic control units (ECUs) communicate via the CAN bus in heavy-duty vehicles.

We hopefully can begin selling the new Diagnostic Tools in the first quarter of 2022.

Q. How would you describe the relationship between PEAK-System and Grid Connect?

Grid Connect Founder Mike Justice and PEAK Founder Uwe Wilhelm

Grid Connect President Mike Justice (left) with PEAK-System CEO Uwe Wilhelm (right)

Answer:

PEAK-System and Grid Connect have been working very closely together for many years. We still know each other from the days when Grid Connect was still Synergetic.

Mike Justice and I met for the first time in March 1998 at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, and from then on we always had contact and worked on joint projects together.

Products such as the DeviceNet Detective (first and second generation), which are based on our diagnostic devices, are, for example, only available exclusively from Grid Connect.

Adam (CEO Adam Justice) and Mike (President and Founder Mike Justice) are two reliable business partners, especially in the current situation with the shortage of materials, where we have experienced the importance of our cooperation.

Q. Any final comments about the changes in the automotive industry and development of self-driving vehicles? Will CAN continue to play a role?

Answer:

The number of sensors and the resulting amount of data in current vehicles is increasing from year to year. The security-relevant systems require more and more bandwidth to transmit the information required for this system. CAN and especially CAN-FD are certain to play a not insignificant role. Likewise, the new CAN XL standard will certainly be an enrichment to self-driving cars and will continue to support the whole thing with its new features.

IP-based networks are also used, but simply cannot replace the classic CAN here. The simple connection of sensors and actuators is too great an advantage with CAN that an IP network cannot replace. The main reason is the network topology and costs per node.

For more about PEAK-System

Get a fascinating look at PEAK-System in one of the great videos on the company’s YouTube channel, which starts with footage of Mr. Wilhelm driving his vintage Volkswagen in the scenic German countryside. We highly recommend viewing it for a better understanding of PEAK-System products and capabilities.

 

For more about CAN

The Controller Area Network (CAN) was created in 1983 by Robert Bosch GmbH to provide synchronous communication between processors in automobile systems. While the automotive industry has been a key sector for CAN networking, as the market research above shows, its use has expanded to a variety of industrial and consumer products and processes.

CAN products available from Grid Connect

PEAK-System company website

Development of the CAN bus

About CAN FD

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The Smart Power Cord instantly links legacy industrial machines to the cloud

Dec 18, 2020 12:17:55 PM / by Grid Connect Team posted in monitoring

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Grid Connect's ConnectSense Smart Power Cord creates a link between equipment makers, owners and operators, their legacy machines and the cloud.


Grid Connect, Inc. has a new ConnectSense® Smart Power Cord that turns non-networked machines like commercial kitchen appliances, industrial pumps and healthcare equipment into IoT devices that stream operational data as it happens to machine makers, owners and operators, so they can predict maintenance, track usage and manage energy consumption.Smart Cord (1500x1500)

“As an example, a beverage-machine maker or owner could connect to the internet with the Smart Power Cord and learn how many drinks, and of what size, employees are making; owners can even see which sizes are filled the most or learn when the unit was last cleaned,” said Gary Marrs, solutions architect at Grid Connect. “If you’re an engineering manager, CIO or anyone in an organization trying to securely collect data on a legacy device, this is a quick, cost-effective method that’ll reap outsized returns.”

Grid Connect supplies its industrial-grade, UL- and RoHS-certified Smart Power Cord with a cloud-based application that machine builders and operators can use to monitor an unlimited number and array of remote devices such as ovens, espresso machines, motors and EKG equipment. Plugging in and setting up the Smart Power Cord takes approximately five minutes. Once a machine is plugged into The ConnectSense smart AC power cord and connected to Wi-Fi, machine makers and operators receive emails or texts about data such as voltage consumption, operating temperature and excessive loads. Users can also enable settings via the cord to remotely shut down a machine. Using an API, Grid Connect can securely link data from the Smart Power Cord to other critical software systems of interest to machine operators.

iot-enable-furnace-3aAccording to Marrs, equipment manufacturers and product marketing managers who want insights from the field about their products can plug in the Smart Power Cord and begin streaming data to perform predictive maintenance, track usage or even build a better product.

“Equipment-leasing companies are another excellent use case for the Smart Power Cord,” adds Marrs “Owners can monitor their equipment use and ensure that it is being properly maintained.”

The Smart Power Cord network interfaces include Wi-Fi (802.11bg) and comes in several standard models, including 15, 20 and 30 amps and accommodating input voltage ranging from 100 AC to 240 AC. Smart Power Cord pricing starts at $129.95. To purchase the cord or schedule a demonstration, visit http://devices.connectsense.com/plug-and-play-remote-machine-monitoring-news/

About Grid Connect, Inc.
Naperville, Ill.-based Grid Connect Inc. is an ISO 9001:2015 company and has been a leader in the embedded and networking marketplace for more than 20 years. Grid Connect’s products range from smart devices, including its ConnectSense branded smart power cord, and security controllers to bridges, switches and diagnostics tools. Along with the products Grid Connect makes, the company also distributes and supports complementary products from other high-quality technology makers. Learn more at https://www.gridconnect.com/

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FREE Webinar : How To Build A Better PROFIBUS Network Using ComBricks

Sep 10, 2020 9:57:43 AM / by Grid Connect Team posted in ComBricks, Events, PROFIBUS, Webinar

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Join us for our free webinar on How To Build A Better PROFIBUS Network Using ComBricks.


Date
:
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020Register Now

Time : 10:30 AM CT (8:30 AM PT)

 

In this 1 hour session we will examine traditional PROFIBUS network design and look at modern alternatives to improve reliability and predictability while reducing downtime.

 

Course Agenda

  • Traditional PROFIBUS Network Design
  • How repeaters/segmentation help network reliability
  • Challenges from highly segmented networks
  • Measuring networks for preventative maintenance or troubleshooting
  • ComBricks overview
  • Example of new network designs
  • Example of a retrofit of an existing network
  • ComBricks Demo
  • Q&A

 

Presented By : 

Rick_headshot_tealbackground

Rick Rockershousen

Vice President of Sales at Grid Connect

Register Now

 

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FREE Webinar : How To Cloud-Enable Any Product - Quickly And Securely

Sep 9, 2020 4:01:38 PM / by Grid Connect Team posted in Events, Industrial IoT, IoT cloud, IoT devices, IoT-enabled device, Smart Devices, smart products, smart tech, smart technology, Webinar

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Join us for our free webinar and learn how you can quickly upgrade your product with an IoT solution.


Date
:
Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020Register Now

Time : 10:30 AM CT (8:30 AM PT)

 

In this 1-hour session you will learn about some of the pitfalls to developing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. We will discuss how using off-the-shelf solutions can yield quick and powerful results. In particular we will review the ConnectSense Smart Power cord and how you can simply plug your product into an IoT solution.

 

Why You Should Attend

  • Add IoT capability to your enterprise applications
  • Quick IoT solutions for beta or qualification testing
  • IoT-enable your legacy products
  • Get your questions answered by experts

 

Presented By : Guest Speaker :
Gary_Headshot Adam_Headshot(2)

Gary Marrs

Solutions Architect at Grid Connect

Adam Justice

CEO at Grid Connect

 

Register early, seats are limited!

Register Now

 

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