Blackbox Systems have been providing manufacturers with insights into their energy usage for years. They reached out to us on LinkedIn after seeing a post about a similar system we'd developed, asking whether creating a custom interface for their monitoring system would be possible.
Previously, they had relied on the interface that came with the devices used to monitor energy usage, and whilst this was a great system, some of their customers had been asking for more bespoke and tailored dashboards to give them the information they were after at-a-glance.
Treating the initial version of the platform as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) we worked alongside Blackbox Systems and one of their clients to prototype the interface for a dashboard that would be useful for them.
Once the prototype was signed off, we were challenged with providing a solution that would allow the existing monitoring devices to report their data to our server in order to be able to present this on the dashboard.
Whilst the devices themselves unfortunately didn't support an API, they did support FTP file uploading - so we created a back-end server that both served the interface and managed the database for the platform, as well as hosting an FTP server for the devices to upload the data files to.
Once we were receiving data we were then able to pull this through onto the dashboard, which features a filterable energy usage graph, target and warning level notifications for each device and a kWh cost target to show the factory whether it was saving money that month.
The interface is configurable between daily, monthly or any period of dates, and can show nighttime or daytime only values, as well as data from specific times of the day.