Enterprises seeking smart, connected ecosystems need to consider numerous factors and options for each component of the solution stack. From device options to software, network connectivity foundation, and deployment services, during the evaluation phase, enterprises must weigh price points, features, connectivity, ongoing maintenance, battery life, value, and scalability to drive additional use cases.
This boils down to seeking enterprise-grade options appropriate for enterprise-level deployments. Regarding devices, there is a myriad of options, and enterprises struggle with where to start. To help simplify the process, we’ve identified six key features worth considering.
Flexible, Resilient, and Scalable for Multiple Use Cases
Choosing scalable, extendable devices helps organizations deploy systems for one application today, then expand the solution for future use cases of tomorrow by connecting more endpoints as needed. Delivering upon this scalability is the MQflex, a LoRaWAN®- certified multi-sensor device that enables enterprises to increase use cases with simplicity, dependability, and speed. Its dynamic capabilities and design enable a range of unique, proven applications to suit diverse business needs while meeting requirements for enterprise-grade deployments via tested hardware designed with reliable, resilient properties.
The MQflex can support up to nine different use cases. It is configurable to sense temperature, humidity, acceleration, water leak detection, push button activity, and more. The IP65-rated Connect Bracket, an optional accessory for the MQflex, drives use case validation further by expanding the device’s capabilities.
A convenient auxiliary connector on the bracket supports a variety of wired probe-style sensors (e.g., -80°C temperature probe and water leak rope) and can be leveraged for extending spot leak detection, zone-level detection, and in some cases, chemical leak detection. Moreover, the Connect Bracket supports multiple mounting options providing enterprises with added flexibility.
Customers can also accelerate their time to market with the MQflex, whether to capture sensor data for a new IoT implementation or to expand upon existing IoT solutions at the push of a button. It’s drastically less complex than the overhead of stitching together a solution with numerous dedicated sensors for varying use cases. And, where some devices can only be configured and upgraded locally and physically with a wire connection, the Flex allows for both scalable remote configuration and firmware upgrades.
Enterprises gain peace of mind, flexibility, and control with automated firmware upgrade over-the-air (FUOTA) updates via LoRaWAN, rendering superior performance and ongoing security enhancements. On the contrary, competitor devices often require manual upgrades necessitating programming devices, and specialty on-site technicians/IT teams – all of which lead to a laundry list of additional expenses.
Further, the sleek, compact, and lightweight design of the multi-sensor device makes it a cost-effective solution to collect data remotely and trigger threshold-driven events, like malfunctioning refrigeration or HVAC units. It can also enable enterprises to meet food safety and compliance standards or monitor and minimize energy consumption for reduced costs.
Price-optimized, it delivers a quick-to-market solution that supports any business model, from use-case validation through mass implementation. It is vital for industries like food services or hospitality with massive, multi-state, multi-locations to sprawling campuses inherent in manufacturing or life sciences, for example.
Lasting, Sustainable Battery Life
Long battery life further poises the MQflex as a sustainable, lucrative option. With edge processing and filtering capabilities, the MQflex provides low latency and extended battery life, which, depending on the use case(s), can last for up to eight years on a single, replaceable battery.
Reliable, timely data transmission is another benefit of the MQflex and impacts battery life. “Confirmed messages,” a LoRaWAN-enabled feature, ensures the network server acknowledges messages. These messages, combined with edge processing, maximize battery life by conserving the device’s energy during steady state operations, while ensuring meaningful changes report quickly and without failure. If not received, the Flex will retransmit the message until it is acknowledged – making for consistent message delivery to customer applications.
The battery-optimized nature of the Flex is a stark contrast to devices that are typically lower quality, lower capacity batteries with short lifespans. Moreover, popular devices lack customizable parameters and bear limited downlink configurability, with no specific means of remotely programming reporting/report on change. The MQflex, however, allows remote configurations, supporting any reported changes. Although not optimal, it can be customized to operate on a predetermined frequency/when it’s time to transmit – which may reduce battery life. It also allows users to leverage a mix of purely periodic messages and change triggered messages, depending on their preferences.
Flexible Mounting Options
Because of the complex nature of enterprise-grade deployments, a value-added benefit of the Flex is versatile mounting options. The mounting options for the Flex can accommodate dynamic ecosystems, as the device is designed for installation anywhere needed. It can attach to a wall or floor using an adhesive backing, a screw mounting kit, or a magnetic mounting bracket for metal refrigerated spaces.
When no magnetic surface is available, or to further protect the device from falling if dislodged, the bracket can also be secured via zip tie or a stainless-steel ball chain to internal racks or hooks. Comparatively, most other devices are commonly self-install, meaning whoever is purchasing the device will have to install it themselves with limited support, learning how to configure and set up the device independently. Lastly, other devices in the market don’t usually include mounting hardware for sensors, leaving the burden on the user.
Wide Temperature Operating Range
The Flex supports an expansive temperature operating range, from -40°C to +60°C, to provide up-to-the-second data in dynamic, thermosensitive ecosystems. For enterprises that have multiple sites, franchises, and locations, like quick service food restaurants or convenience stores, for example, this capability is vital to respond quickly when conditions change, helping to limit waste, reduce costs, and enhance liability protocols by tracking the temperature of goods, environmental conditions, and assets. It also automates the logging process, foregoing the need for staff to perform tedious, manual data recording in spreadsheets or bulky, dense binders.
The ability to penetrate through dense materials and metal walls in walk-in refrigeration units and freezers, for example, ensures the accuracy of temperature data. When temperatures deviate from predefined thresholds, alerts are sent to store managers and staff - upholding food safety and compliance standards and safeguarding operations while preempting costly food spoilage.
Withstanding harsh, highly regulated environments, the Flex helps ensure specific thresholds are met for operational continuity within research laboratories, hospitals, warehouses, and more. The wide temperature operating capabilities of the device can be attributed to its UL-listed, IP65-rated enclosure, and FDA-approved plastics, as these certifications ensure enterprises can leverage the device in harsh environments to maintain industry-specific compliance and meet regulatory requirements.
Tackle Enterprise-Grade Deployments
Engineered in-house by MachineQ, a Comcast Company, the MQflex checks all the boxes necessary to tackle enterprise-grade deployments at scale. The device accommodates a wide range of industries, deployment environments, ecosystems, and applications.
Backed by the power of Comcast, MachineQ provides quick-to-market, seamless end-to-end network connectivity and powerful, robust deployment services. Nationwide, Comcast Business provides complete lifecycle technology and infrastructure management services using a technology-agnostic approach.
Gain all the hardware, software, connectivity, deployment services, maintenance, and ongoing support for your IoT project journey, simplifying implementation and removing the burden form internal IT teams. With MachineQ, enterprises of all industries benefit from rapid deployment, ongoing assistance including day-two support, and significant cost savings – all under a single investment.
With the MQflex, all devices are provisioned before shipping, whereas other devices are self-install and require a “DIY” approach. Pre-provisions allow painless, hassle-free onboarding in a fraction of the time of other competitor devices. And, all Flex devices are locatable using MachineQ's Indoor Assset Tracking platform via MQinsights, designed to visualize asset location data, provision hardware, manage floor plans, and more. On the contrary, competitor devices often fall victim to haphazard static labeling procedures during setup, where the device’s initial “set location” is error-prone, causing problematic issues post-installation.
Proven Speed-to-Market and Scale with MachineQ
With so many devices available in the market, seeking proven, enterprise-grade options is critical for success, evident in the case of a global quick-service restaurant brand. In partnership with MachineQ, they deployed a temperature monitoring solution to automate manual temperature logging processes and streamline food safety and compliance reporting protocols.
They found rapid-fire, unprecedented deployment at scale - exceeding 100,000 MQflex devices deployed across its nationwide stores. And, with a concrete foundation leveraging the LoRaWAN network connectivity platform, the client is looking to add more Flex devices to power additional use cases.
Deliver upon your enterprise-wide requirements, expedite your time to market, and support your unique sensing needs via the MQflex. Available in two models – MQflex 4s and MQflex 9s – drive lasting value with flexible, purpose-built devices that accommodate your evolving demands for today and whatever tomorrow may hold.