Measurement data acquisition using remote monitoring via WWAN/LTE


Remote monitoring enables centralised online monitoring and analysis of measurement data acquired decentrally. It can also be used to remotely set up and configure devices. Data transfer does not need to access sensitive networks (IT security), but instead takes place via separate mobile phone and encrypted VPN connections.

Remote monitoring of distant plants

Remote monitoring is a way of tracking from a distance the online status of installations. Measurement data is securely transmitted via an encrypted mobile phone connection and analysed, visualised and archived centrally or remotely away from the site of data acquisition. The mobile phone connection can also be used to set up and configure measurement devices and channels. In conjunction with a GPS receiver, it is also possible to perform GPS time synchronisation and tracking of mobile measurement applications.

Remote monitoring for different applications

The Delphin concept enables remote monitoring to be achieved in its Expert series measurement devices as all-in-one solutions without the need for any external additional equipment. Cabling is unnecessary (e.g. direct connection via LAN between PC and measurement device).

Typical applications are:

  • Monitoring of measurement data from remote locations
  • Remote monitoring for Industry 4.0 systems
  • Monitoring of mobile applications
  • Alarm management for remote and unstaffed sites

Encrypted VPN connection via WWAN/LTE

Remote monitoring does not use networks that are critical for the security of company business and production. Wireless Wide Area Networks (WWAN) such as 3G and LTE are ideal for data transmission. Delphin recommends securing data traffic via an encrypted VPN tunnel (Virtual Private Network) from an external provider.

VPN client in the measurement device: Expert measuring devices come pre-equipped with a mobile modem/router, a slot for the SIM card and an Open-VPN client for the VPN connection.

VPN client in a PC/laptop: A PC/laptop as a remote station can be equipped with an open source Open-VPN-GU in just a few clicks by following step-by-step instructions.

Mobile radio and VPN service: Required are a SIM card from a mobile phone provider and a VPN service. When configuring the VPN service, certificates are set up in the remote peers to uniquely identify participants.

Encrypted VPN tunnel: Finally, a transport route between an Expert measurement device and a PC/laptop has secure end-to-end encryption via a virtual VPN tunnel.

Practical example of remote monitoring with alarm management

A service provider uses remote monitoring to monitor the plant vibrations in a refinery in the Netherlands. An Expert Vibro measurement device records 10 ksamples per second using 16 measurement channels. The acquired data undergoes monitoring with an LTE module at selected intervals and then transmitted to a control centre as required. Online data visualisation and online analysis of the measurement data is performed with time delays of just milliseconds. 

If preset threshold values are exceeded in the vibration data, operators in the control centre automatically receive an alert text message via Expert Vibro’s alarm management function. The LTE connection enables instant and automated intervention in the process when required.

Additional option: Remote monitoring combined with GPS functions

In conjunction with an optional GPS antenna, the Expert measurement device can also perform GPS functions:
Tracking of mobile measurement applications: The measurement device is equipped with a GPS receiver and is capable of storing GPS data for mobile applications in addition to remote monitoring, e.g. to enable a coordinate system and route to be documented.

GPS time synchronisation: In stationary or mobile applications without timers, GPS time synchronisation takes place via the GPS antenna. Different signals can then be acquired synchronously, or multiple measuring stations can be synchronised.

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