Barix Control and Monitoring Platform Improves Operations and Enables Business Intelligence for Miami Car Wash

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, November 13, 2017 — While robust enough for mission-critical automation, control and monitoring by customers ranging from large public utilities to multi-tenant residences, the affordability and versatility of the Barix Barionet family of programmable, IP-based I/O devices makes them equally ideal for smaller commercial applications. At Miami Car Wash in London, Ontario, Canada, four distinct Barionet-powered programs are enabling cost-saving efficiencies and delivering valuable insights for the family-owned business.

Miami Car Wash operates three different types of services across two locations – a six-bay self-service wash, where customers use the company’s equipment to hand-wash their own vehicles; a full-service wash, where staff perform washing, detailing and waxing; and a touchless automatic car wash, which customers drive their vehicles through.

The company deployed a variety of Barionet-based applications to provide greater operational visibility while solving or preventing an array of specific problems. “Until we started using Barionet, we had very limited information we could use to track our business trends,” said Kevin McKinnon, facilities manager at Miami Car Wash. “Our previous mechanisms were crude and inaccurate, and could not be accessed remotely. We also lacked the level of automation we needed to avoid climate-related issues and run our equipment efficiently. Barionet has made a huge difference to our business.”

Miami Car Wash’s Barionet-enabled monitoring and control systems now include:

  • A Barionet 50 device at the self-serve wash location provides thermal management to avoid costly damage and safety issues. Monitoring 16 temperature sensors on a 1-Wire bus, the Barionet controls the pulsing rate of water through the hoses to prevent freeze-ups, and enables balancing of the location’s in-floor heating system to prevent dangerous icing over of the surface. The unit also turns the boiler on and off in accordance with peak times, conserving energy usage.
  • A Barionet 100 unit, also at the self-serve wash, records customer counts and cycle times, storing the transactions in the Barionet device’s flash memory. The management team can then remotely access and visualize the data, enabling them to identify usage patterns and forecast revenues. The Barionet program also automatically alerts staff to potential problems – for example, if one wash bay is constantly unused but others have lineups, that bay may have an issue such as a coin jam.
  • A Barionet 50 program at the full-serve station enables operators to optimize the run time of the vehicle dryer. A quick push of the start button instructs Barionet to turn the dryer off as soon as one car has passed the connected photo eye, while a longer push allows two cars to pass through. The result is reduced energy consumption and unnecessary noise from the loud machinery, which would previously run for 15 seconds or more after the last car before timing out.
  • Motivated by bugs in its pay-station software, the touchless wash uses a Barionet 50 to monitor wait times at the point-of-sale (POS) terminal, as well as wash cycle times. Leveraging a presence-of-customer signal from the POS and an “in use” signal from the wash equipment, the Barionet can notify staff if a customer has been stuck at the POS despite the wash being available.

McKinnon continues to develop additional Barionet applications, and praises the devices’ rich features and remote accessibility. “I really enjoy working on the Barionet platform,” he said. “I particularly like the built-in web server, and that I’m able to bring JavaScript, the JQuery library, HTML and all of my graphics onto it so I can remotely display all of the data that I collect. Barix’s ABCL programming language is also very clear and straightforward to work with.” Barix Barionet I/O controllers are also available in versions supporting Linux-based programming including Lua, Linux and C++.

Ultimately, it is the business value enabled by the Barionet devices that counts most, and McKinnon again speaks highly of the platform. “The Barionet platform has enabled simple but valuable tools that make managing our business much easier, and allow us to do so remotely without always being there,” he explained. “Overall, it’s given us business intelligence that we just didn’t have before.”