Abacus Guardian FAQs
Q: There seem to be a lot of great features on Abacus Guardian. Is it expensive?
A: Abacus Guardian prices are very competitive with radio sensor transmitters starting around £44. This makes an affordable solution for supermarkets, restaurants, deli’s etc whereas other systems are priced out of this market. Having said that, the Abacus Guardian system has been designed with all the features required by healthcare and pharmaceutical customers to meet their stringent regulations and audit trails.
Q: How do we set up Abacus Guardian in our existing old building?
A: Easily, the system can be truly wireless. The battery powered sensors talk via radio to the 3G hubs and the hubs talk directly to the internet via the 3G network. This enables the system to be powered up and running in minutes with no installation costs. Just place the sensors in position, power up the hub and log in from any computer. If required, however, there are hubs which can send data via Ethernet to the internet through the local network. This is a ‘one way’ communication with no security issues. There are also sensors which can be hardwired straight to the hubs if required.
Q: What happens when we have to upgrade our computers to a new operating system?
A: The Abacus Guardian system is totally ‘software free’. There is no need to load any software onto a computer on site nor are any ‘apps’ required to view the data on tablets or phones. As soon as it is switched on the user can log in with their password and view their sensors. Any device with an internet browser can be used to log in from anywhere in the world. The web interface has been designed with large, clear, icons to link between pages and help the user on smaller touch screens.
Q: Is it going to cost us more to add users when we want more staff to view the system?
A: Absolutely not. There are no hidden costs for access to the data. The monthly tariff covers as many users as required; who can log in as often as they wish. In addition there is a live display (called ‘Alarm Console’) which can be run permanently on a screen and will show the latest readings and alarm states for the sensors; updated every ten minutes.
Q: What about security of data?
A: The Abacus Guardian server system has been written by a software developer with 25 years experience in security systems at the major telecommunications R&D centre in the UK. We have therefore incorporated the best security protocols available to protect the system and data.
Q: I have portable equipment to monitor, can Abacus Guardian cope with this?
A: Yes, there are no set up restrictions between our T1 hubs and wireless sensors. An Abacus Guardian sensor can roam from hub to hub and it’s information will be transmitted back to the server by any hub within range. As the hubs can be AC or DC powered it is therefore possible to graph the temperature of a sensor on a pallet from it’s start position in the factory, through it’s distribution to the end user. At each point the system identifies the hub transmitting the information and therefore the location of the pallet in a mobile or static environment.
Q: It is critcal that we take action on alarms to protect our stock. What happens if the engineer doesn’t respond?
A: High and low alarms can be set to go out to as many email addresses and SMS numbers as required. If there has been no acknowledgement to the alarm on the system, it is possible to repeat the alarm messages and escalate it to different contacts as time periods pass by.
Q: We close one of our coldstores for cleaning on a Thursday morning and our vans don’t run at weekends. Will we get nuisance alarms during these downtimes?
A: No. Contacts and alarm blackouts can be scheduled so that different contacts will receive emails on different days or no alarms will be sent during defrost/cleaning days or on days where equipment is not in use.
Q: How do we view the data that is stored?
A: The information from the site can be accessed from anywhere in the world through a standard internet browser. With just the click of a button the information can be viewed, graphed, printed and archived. No apps or software are required.
Q: What about alarms?
A: The server monitors all inputs for alarm conditions. Alarm messages are sent to specified mobile phones or email addresses. Messages can be sent as soon as alarm conditions occur and at set time delays after the alarm has occurred. Users can acknowledge receipt of the alarm online. Local alarm signals can also be activated by the system as can calls to land lines.
Q: How can I find the correct sensors for my application?
A: For temperature monitoring applications there are cost effective wireless and wired sensors available already on the Abacus Guardian system. For other parameters, Abacus have over 20 years experience designing and specifying industrial measuring systems. Our engineers can assist you in selecting and purchasing the correct sensors to make your required measurements to the accuracy you require.
Q: How many inpouts can a hub handle?
A: The wireless T1 hubs for the Abacus Guardian system will accept data from any Abacus Guardian wireless sensor that is in range. This can lead to the hub reporting back for between 1 and 60 sensors.
Q: How many alarms can be set?
A: Normally two alarm points can be set per input. These can be set to high or low alarms with adjustable time delays.
Q: How can I tell whether action has been taken when an alarm occurs?
A: The administrator can setup alarms so that they require to be acknowledged and so that explanations or actions have to be typed in to the system, against each alarm, for permanent record. A further delay can then result in an email or text to other staff such as supervisors or managers.
Q: How easy is it to install Abacus Guardian on site?
A: The system is set up on-line and the temperature sensors are wireless so, for a temperature monitoring system, once the hubs and sensors are positioned and powered there is no moredisruption on site. There is no need to connect to the site’s network or to load custom software. Our staff are available to assist with the setup as required.
Q: Will the software work if I change my computer in the future?
A: The system does not require special software and there is no need to worry about multiple user licences. Access, by authorised users, can be obtained on any device with an internet browser. As features are added to the online software you will automatically benefit from the free updates just by logging on.
Q: How does the system get the data to the web server?
A: The 3G hubs have internal data sim cards and communicate to the web server via the mobile phone network. This has the security advantage that it does not need to be integrated into the site’s own computer network and saves significant installation wiring costs. It also means the hubs can be used in mobile and remote applications as well as on large sites.
Q: Who can access the data?
A: Anyone given a user ID and password by the administrator can access to the level set up by the administrator. Each user has a unique identity and password so all access to the system and alterations to setup can be logged.