Case Study

Losant + Magchecks

Magchecks Ltd. built its system to monitor explosives magazines (free-standing containers built for explosives) and transmit notifications and scheduled security check-ins, including details of battery level, door open too long, armed/disarmed status, and tamper attempts. For Magchecks Ltd. and its customers, the Losant Enterprise IoT platform performs amid stringent requirements to receive, deliver and display data securely and in the individualized manner owners need and in compliance with Canadian standards.

Danger sign on metal gates


Located in Calgary, AB Canada, Magchecks Ltd. is a software and hardware company that serves customers in seismic, mining, demolition, avalanche control, law enforcement, and other fields that utilize industrial explosives. Canada's Federal Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) requires that such assets be secured and monitored. Leveraging its owner's significant explosives industry experience, Magchecks Ltd. designed a remote monitoring system specifically for explosives.

The Problem

The explosives magazines of Magchecks Ltd.'s customers are located in extremely remote areas, beyond available power supply and where winter temperatures reach -40°C. Ensuring remote power supply for collecting and sending data while working within low transmit power safety guidelines presents a compound challenge.

The Briefing

An explosives magazine is similar to a bank vault with reinforced walls and a heavy door with high-security locks. To monitor door activity — the system's primary job — Magchecks Ltd. utilizes a modem mounted within a NEMA 4x-rated box with a solar panel on the outside for battery charging. It is paired with an interior BLE component to generate a signal when the door is opened.

The system continuously monitors, detects, and notifies the storage magazine owner of conditions on set schedules. Standards require that systems check-in and report status at least once every 24 hours. Magchecks Ltd. customers have the option of receiving packets at 6- or 12-hour intervals. In addition, Canada ERD safety guidelines limit monitoring systems at 40mW transmit power. With 3G and 4G data connections operating near or above 100mW, a basic challenge is the sourcing of hardware with enough power to run the system without introducing too much RF power to the process.

In the typical course of operation, NFC cards or FOBS identify authorized users accessing the explosives magazine. NFC data, along with device state data, feeds the IoT platform, which generates events such as an open door signal, battery level reading, or armed status report, and the platform begins sending text messages via Twilio to 3 contacts via contact loop until one or more responds. Another connectivity configuration based on locale and conditions may utilize a Globalstar one-way satellite SBD modem to send data to the platform, with solar-charged cold-weather batteries powering the modem. Magchecks Ltd. cites the Losant platform's sturdy display dashboard feature and individual logon capability as essential. Assurance that clients receive and view only their data is critical to security and confidentiality. Losant's assistance with HEX to BIN to DEC data translation and overall adaptability of the platform's templates and function nodes also contribute to system effectiveness and ease of use.

Magchecks dashboard in the Losant Platform

“We knew our monitoring system would need to be remote, resilient, secure and able to send notifications and display data on a proprietary basis. Key strengths that attracted us to Losant are its sturdy display dashboard, adaptable rules engine and individual logon capability ensuring individualized data access.”

Stewart McCallum


The Results

Customers receive timely reports and event notifications and satisfactorily meet their responsibility of monitoring explosives magazines in compliance with the Canadian ERD. Customers can trust the quality and confidentiality of their data.

The Next Objective

Magchecks is interested in utilizing Losant's assistance in helping customers retain and retrieve historical monitoring data as proof of regulatory compliance.

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