Appropriate environmental conditions are necessary for optimum plant growth, improved crop yields, and efficient use of water and other resources. Today, advances in sensors, actuators, data acquirement modules and gateway technology, both in hardware and software, have enabled distributed implementation of sensor and control action over sensor/actuator networks. By automating the data acquisition process of the variables that govern plant growth, greenhouse monitoring can be performed efficiently and with minimal human intervention.

One of Lanner’s partners in the Netherlands is HPS Industrial, a specialist distributor focusing on industrial and rack-mounted network platforms. While HPS Industrial had already been purchasing from Lanner for some time, a new need arose with one of their customers for a rugged networking and control system to be used in commercial greenhouses.

The Challenge

Modern greenhouse automation includes many subsystems, for example climate management, fertilization management, waste water treatment systems and so on. These systems are not only designed to help growers maximize crop yields, but also help with water conservation and energy savings. These subsystems need to be connected to monitor conditions within the greenhouses and operate the climate control systems remotely.

The Solution

The LEC-3031 series, with a rugged fanless design, clear LED indicators, and robust wiring, provides stable and reliable connectivity between local sensors, actuators and remote or central control systems. As a DIN rail-mountable device, it is also well-suited for deployment in automation, factories, and agriculture.

Lanner’s LEC-3031 provides up to 8 serial ports with ESD and surge protection and up to 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports with magnetic isolation protection to connect various devices and controllers, and collect and transfer their data to a remote control center. The process parameters, data display, remote control, system testing, event alert and system configuration can all be controlled using a standard Web browser or SCADA software on a remote workstation.

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The Result

Lanner’s solution is now in use in commercial greenhouse space in the Netherlands, and demand for the LEC-3031 is continuing apace thanks to its reliability and flexibility in network deployment. HPS and their client are delighted with the performance of the product, and are continuing to expand its use in their operations.

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