How do alarms work in mobile devices

Derdack DE

Mobile real-time alerting for faster troubleshooting and maintenance

Maintaining machines is an incredibly important task. And it makes sense to repair a machine before it fails completely. In reactive maintenance scenarios, the speed of response is key. As soon as a problem is identified, it is essential to communicate with the right engineer as reliably and quickly as possible. Ideally, the machine is directly connected to the responsible team of mobile technicians and can tell them what exactly happened and what needs to be repaired. The idea is to transmit every relevant PLC alarm in real time to the mobile devices of the maintenance engineers.

Link your PLCs with your engineers

Most machines are nowadays controlled and managed by a PLC - “programmable logic controller”. Industrial networks connect PLCs with MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) or SCADA systems (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition), for example using the S7 protocol.

Since Derdack Enterprise Alert, our high-performance alerting and incident response software, “understands” the S7 protocol, it can retrieve all data including alarms from PLCs and thus connect maintenance teams in real time to all machines in the production hall. Any relevant PLC alarm can be retrieved, filtered and configured to result in a real-time alarm notification process. Such an alerting process is managed fully automatically by Enterprise Alert and includes the identification of the responsible team, the review of the team members on duty, the selection of the correct communication channels, the alarm output and the tracking of the confirmation as well as an escalation procedure in the event of a lack of reaction.

PLC alarm on mobile devices

Derdack Enterprise Alert also comes with a convenient, native mobile app. Such a mobile app is a powerful tool and superior to conventional alarm methods such as SMS. In this app, maintenance technicians can see in real time who has reacted and who has accepted which alarm or maintenance order. One click is enough to acknowledge an alarm. This type of uncomplicated and transparent acknowledgment is not possible (or very cumbersome) for SMS alarms. No further communication is required to search for available team members or to acknowledge. Later shifts can easily see what happened in the previous shifts and what work was completed. One-click communication capabilities help engineers connect with each other to solve problems together.

Enterprise Alert offers:

  • Automated real-time notifications to maintenance teams
  • Notifications only to active staff on duty
  • Simplified shift management
  • Integrated duty scheduling for automatic shift handover
  • Easiest acknowledgment
  • Real-time transparency of acknowledgments and troubleshooting progress

A central element is the secure mobile application, which is available for iOS and Android and is used for alarm / work management, incident-related communication and solution management.

S7 protocol for PLC connectivity

Derdack Enterprise connects directly to your PLCs via the S7 protocol and can query thousands of PLCs. Alternatively, you can integrate your MES or SCADA system. Read more about our integration of the S7 protocol here.


Automated mobile maintenance alarms lead to a much faster reaction to any malfunction or even interruption of production or machine operations. This shortens the average response time considerably. With Enterprise Alert, maintenance alerts are always forwarded to the right staff on duty.

Small, medium and large companies today are equally looking for the best approach to implement “Industry 4.0” initiatives and find suitable solutions. This is not about a “buzzword”, because the real added value must come first. Operational excellence can be a goal and a gradual approach may be appropriate. Since Enterprise Alert integrates seamlessly and effortlessly into the existing infrastructure, it is a simple and fast path to better operational processes and a component of the intelligent and automated factory. The simplification and automation of previously manual processes results in a faster return on investment.