These days, many business-critical activities are happening at the edge, and without the ability to monitor critical assets you quickly lose track of the overall operational status. In today’s blog post, we will explore a recent use case at Bouchaine Vineyards, using the Cisco Catalyst IR1101 Rugged Series Router, Cisco Edge Intelligence, and IoT Operations Dashboard to monitor distributed industrial assets. Bouchaine has a number of distributed power and battery assets for its critical production infrastructure, and it needed a unified solution to improve the performance and reliability of these assets. We’ll show how our partner World Wide Technology (WWT) with Principal Solutions Architect Chandler Heath enabled this solution by harnessing Cisco Edge Intelligence for Bouchaine Vineyards.


The challenge of making wine in California

You might be familiar with Bouchaine Vineyards from a previous feature that discussed vineyard monitoring and sustainability improvements. If not, a quick refresher: With 104 acres in California’s Napa Valley, Bouchaine is a leading producer of sustainably farmed chardonnay and pinot noir.

Erik Goodmanson, director of Operations at Bouchaine, discussed some of the challenges being faced: “In today’s winemaking environment, it’s not enough to simply grow great grapes and then do our best in the winery. We have to be prepared for the challenges that arise throughout the year, but most especially at harvest time. This is when we see power outages due to extreme heat and occasional wildfires. If we can stay ahead of those challenges, or at least be prepared for them, that helps set us up for a successful vintage. The monitoring that Cisco Edge Intelligence provides helps us sleep a little better at night during the hectic harvest season.“

Several wineries use generator infrastructures to help to mitigate the effects of blackouts, but the power fluctuation can sometimes be a more damaging event. Without consistent power, specialized equipment will accumulate damage over time—including the key systems for the production of wine. To help diagnose and respond to these issues, WWT deployed Edge Intelligence along with a full observability stack to provide a complete monitoring solution.

Cisco Edge Intelligence provides a cloud-managed edge compute solution, which allows customers to deploy and manage an optimized software package at the edge. Using our standard Edge Intelligence industrial connectors, critical assets become key data sets within the central monitoring infrastructure.

Configure and scale your deployment through our integrated IoT Operations Dashboard ecosystem.


Innovating with an industry-standard tool: PLC-connected industrial equipment plus Edge Intelligence

While these power problems might be more relevant in California, there are industry-standard approaches to help mitigate the issues. The power infrastructure being monitored by Bouchaine is supported by industry-leading, revenue-grade metering coupled with a Cisco Catalyst IR1101. WWT streamed the data to Edge Intelligence and provided a record of sag and surge events on the electrical grid. Using this data, combined with data from the solar array and batteries being monitored in the field, WWT helped Bouchaine to understand when power outages will occur. These insights will help reduce maintenance and ultimately the cost of product loss resulting from these events. Edge Intelligence provides the platform for normalization and sampling of this distributed edge data through data logics and allows WWT to send it to its desired cloud platforms for visualization and performance monitoring.

Figure 1 Power Monitoring Dashboard by WWT: data from Edge Intelligence and Catalyst IR1101

Edge Intelligence can also provide the ability to instantly execute actions at the edge—no cloud connection required (local actions). In this scenario, Bouchaine could utilize its edge data to coordinate power infrastructure actions based on thresholds detected at the edge—rather than waiting on a cloud back end and losing precious time in a power surge or sag.

Figure 2 IR1101 deployed in the field with Edge Intelligence sending data to monitor battery infrastructure


Critical infrastructure management without the headaches

By using an Edge Intelligence data logic, deployed at the edge, WWT can create a framework that allows Bouchaine to understand when its power infrastructure is at risk or in need of maintenance. Instead of sending team members to remote locations, now Bouchaine can take advantage of a central monitoring infrastructure. Additionally, Bouchaine can take actions once certain power anomalies are detected, and backup generators can be enabled to respond to unstable power. This ability allows for cost savings and mitigates potential lost product.

WWT has implemented a solution that addresses the key concerns of Bouchaine’s critical infrastructure, and Cisco has provided the backbone of that solution through our Cisco Catalyst IR1101 and Edge Intelligence products.


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Andrew Nolan

Engineering Product Manager

Industrial IoT