Schneider Electric, WaterForce launch smart farm solution
The new cloud-based smart farm solution was built on Microsoft Azure and Azure IoT technologies
Schneider Electric, which specializes in energy management and automation solutions, has worked with New Zealand provider of water management and irrigation solutions WaterForce to develop a cloud-based industrial internet of things (IIoT) mobile control solution to drive smart farm technologies.
Schneider Electric said the new IIoT solution was built on Microsoft Azure and Azure IoT platforms, which enables farmers to operate irrigation pivots with greater agility and efficiency.
With Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxureTM architecture, WaterForce developed a cloud-based IIoT solution to allow farmers to monitor and control irrigation pumps and pivots from their computer, tablet or smartphone.
EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled system architecture and platform. “EcoStruxure simplifies the integration between the connected products, edge control, and apps and analytics, to provide an innovative solution that responds to the specific needs of these farmers,” said Rob McGreevy, VP of information, operations and asset management at Schneider Electric.
“Every day I adjust my pivots and pumps for a variety of reasons – shifts in the wind, rain levels, crop requirements or local regulations,” said Craig Blackburn, farm manager of Blackhills Farm, “Now I can monitor and control my irrigation system easily from my mobile phone, saving me hours of time not spent driving around the farm. With information at my fingertips, my farm is more productive, water and energy costs are lower and crop yields higher.”
“Most farms are not built to handle large software installations,” said Ron McFetridge, director of WaterForce. “Using a lightweight, cloud solution with mobile capabilities has been key to expanding IoT capabilities to these farms. By leveraging our relationship with Schneider Electric, we can focus on our core business – effective water management – knowing that the information management, analytics and automation side is covered.”
WaterForce’s new IIoT solution integrates multiple components of Schneider Electric’s software and hardware product portfolio, including cloud and mobility solutions, HMI/SCADA, variable speed drives and soft starters. The solution is built using Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, which includes a collection of integrated enterprise tools including devices, software, cloud, data and analytics.
This cloud-based IIoT irrigation control solution is provided through WaterForce, and is currently available in New Zealand.