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Low Cost Automation and Data Collection Market?


Would you pay for mobile access to equipment controls, automation, and data  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. I am developing a low cost solution that would allow craft distilleries (of all sizes) to add or integrate existing controls and automation and be able to use their phone or any other web browser. Is this something craft distillers would be interested in?

    • Yes
      4
    • No
      2
    • I'm not sure, I don't understand the question.
      0


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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi!

I want to give my opinion if you are interested.

1) for the US market, it is required to comply with the conditions of fire safety requirements, in particular, hot alcohol and electricity are very dangerous. This falls under the zoning: C1D2. Therefore, any electronics that do not have a UL listing requires special permission and inspections and examinations. Therefore, all electronics "not UL listing" can only be used by small manufactures "for themselves" and at their own peril and risk. Therefore, your electronics cannot be applied (and sold) to large alcohol factories.

2) As my experience shows, and the experience of homemade forums in other countries, "smart electronics" is needed only by those who develop new moonshine stills and columns. A lot of data from the column allows you to better understand the processes inside. But the real work of the equipment requires very simple solutions, for example Danfoss valves that do not use electricity at all and evaporative type thermometers with remote sensors. You will not be able to control the column only from the phone screen 🙂 because anyway, some of the people must be on duty near your equipment during its operation. Heating alcohol is a dangerous process.

All fashionable new technologies 🙂 are very expensive and not always useful. I am a conservative in this regard - many people on various forums have made similar "control from the phone" equipment, but none of them has received much sales. These themes come up periodically and die just as quickly.

3) the process of distillation of alcohol takes place using "phase transitions". This is a natural stabilization process, very well studied and understood. You do not need to manage this process, it goes on as usual, and you just need to understand when it will start and when it can be completed. The operator of the column learns this in a couple of distillations and then does not require a lot of data about the temperature inside the column. The distillation process is quite simple and straight

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There are already a number of low cost and even “free” open source solutions for controlling mashing and fermenting processes - so 2/3 of the “problem” have already been solved.  Many of these platforms can be easily used to allow for monitoring of the still as well.  Plenty of folks here already using them.

You’ll find that many here, and in the industry in general, are strongly against remote still control, because it enables reckless behaviors, that when go bad, impact all of us from a liability, regulatory, and scrutiny perspective.

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13 minutes ago, Silk City Distillers said:

You’ll find that many here, and in the industry in general, are strongly against remote still control, because it enables reckless behaviors, that when go bad, impact all of us from a liability, regulatory, and scrutiny perspective.

I completely agree!

I have been in Automated Control and Embedded Systems for over 20 years, and I am a "very trained pessimist" when it comes to electronics and automation applications.

In addition, all developers of "remote control" for some reason forget that Wi-FI does not have a guaranteed data delivery, and is very dependent on the level of external interference. (Especially from spark interference) And the Internet Protocol TCP/IP itself does not guarantee the delivery time of the data packet at all, does not guarantee the delivery of the data packet itself, does not guarantee the sequence of the network data packets.

There are a lot of errors when transferring data, so no one in their right mind would make a real-time control system based on the Web that does not guarantee anything.

 

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