One thing I want to monitor in Samsara’s numbers is the revenue they are getting from non-Fleet operations.
I’m a techie guy, and I was having a hard time visualizing the physical components that Samsara uses to attach to their Customer’s equipment, and it was a barrier to thinking about exactly what Samsara does. So I decided to find out.
In order to really visualize what Samsara does to monitor non-Fleet equipment, a few ground concepts are needed:
- A “PLC” ("Programmable Logic Controller) is a specialized computer board that serves as a physical interface (via ports you attach computer cables to) between a piece of equipment and a computer network. Programmable logic controller - Wikipedia
- Samsara has a piece of gear called an “Industrial Gateway” that gets data from the PLC and relays it to the Samsara Cloud
- Some equipment doesn’t have a PLC; to monitor this equipment you can simply attach one or more Samsara sensor/monitors to it. They have sensors that track temperature and/or how much the equipment is vibrating and/or location etc. These sensors attach wirelessly to a Samsara Industrial Gateway
So in a nutshell, here is how you get data from your equipment (Air Conditioners, Manufacturing equipment, Water Treatment equipment etc.) up into the Samsara Cloud:
- Mount a Industrial Gateway securely to something and power it up
- The Industrial Gateway automatically dials into the Samsara Cloud via cellular
- (I’m guessing) set up userids, passwords, permissions etc. and verify you can login from your workstation or phone or whatever
- Connect stuff (equipment via PLC and/or offline equipment with attached Samsara sensor/monitors) to the Industrial Gateway
- Data is now getting uploaded into Samsara Cloud
- Login and work with the data: set up dashboards, alerts, do trend analysis etc.
Oh, and BTW once you are logged in to the PLC via your workstation over the cloud, in addition to monitoring your equipment you can actually control it! Which is why the Industrial Gateway is also referred to as an Industrial Controller.
Here’s a neat example of a PLC use case involving a company whose products I use personally:
Some other fun links for the gearheads:
These demonstrate the scope of what their non-Fleet stuff can do: