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Various studies and industrial experiences suggest that a plant's condition can severely affect its end-product quality and economics. Knowledge of plant's current health thus becomes important for optimal control. A real-time monitoring system would check plant health continuously and controller would adopt the most suitable strategy accordingly. Minimal cost solution was attempted in this research to achieve maximum possible monitoring results. A distributed monitoring system was developed employing 8-bit microcontrollers for signal acquisition, processing, and communication on Controller Area Network bus and Internet. A novel strategy for effective communication was developed to achieve reduced traffic under peer-to-peer paradigm. The system provided results on dynamic web pages using HTTP, Telnet, and FTP servers. Machine-to-Mobile feature was added to the system so that a microcontroller may send automatic text messages (SMS) to designated mobile phones. The developed system's performance was evaluated through a range of applications.
Date of Conference: 8-11 Jan. 2007