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Case study: Energy transparent machines cut consumption by one-third

By IoT Now Magazine

A few weeks ago the World Climate Conference was held to discuss sustainability targets for lower energy consumption and less pollution. Few organisations have embraced the goals but Festo, at its Scharnhausen Technology Plant in Germany, has already shown its support for them in the Industrie 4.0, energy efficient, IoT-enabled factory

Energy efficiency often starts from the ground up in manufacturing environments and, for Festo, a major decision was to develop an energy efficiency module that is a plug-and-work solution for the pneumatic circuit as a whole. The module is able to summarise, evaluate and analyse data by using artificial intelligence (AI). The data collected can therefore be pre-processed inside the unit and/or completely transferred into a cloud. A decentralised automation platform usually collects data from different Festo devices and combines them on a valve terminal with Codesys controller on board.

In the Festo Technology Plant at Scharnhausen, this type of installation has been retrofitted to all older machines since 2015 – and is a must for all new machines. The target was to make them energy transparent and to optimise air and current consumption by dedicated switching-on and off cycles depending on several criteria – thus avoiding that energy peaks are just added without any benefit, or leakage causing high extra cost. Data had been fed via object linking and embedding (OLE) for process control (OPC) unified architecture (UA) into the on-site manufacturing execution (ME) system from SAP by its plant connection module (PCo), and further to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with SAP HANA cloud. Now the new solutions allow – in conjunction with other actions taken like solar panels or re-use concepts for heat – saving of up to one-third of energy compared to the old plant. Amortisation is expected to be around two years.

In the latest use cases, the data from such energy efficiency modules is brought via OPC-UA and a Festo CPX-IoT Gateway to cloud or IoT platforms like Siemens MindSphere or Rockwell Factory Talk. Festo also provides its own cloud for deeper analytics of all its pneumatic and electric drive components and mechatronic sub-systems as a long-term target. Data is also fed into SAP HANA, Festo’s on-site option in the Scharnhausen factory.

The required apps are developed by Festo, and in the case of external cloud providers, are then installed in the MindSphere environment (using Siemens MindConnect LIB) or the Rockwell Device Analytics (via Shelby Appliance or Team ONE tools). The app for the Festo energy efficiency module inside these clouds or IoT environments allows easy visualisation, quicker set-up and parametrisation of the product and online visualisation during machine run-time. The data analytics support advanced diagnostic and condition monitoring concepts and could lead into predictive maintenance systems by combining data from different sources inside the cloud.

Today, a cloud based visualisation makes many things easier, but a high degree of expertise and IT knowledge is needed to make the devices communicate to clouds offered by the market today. In total, the Festo energy efficiency module reduces energy cost, and […]

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How to use Industrie 4.0 to drive the production of the future

By IoT Now Magazine

Eberhard Klotz is the head of the Industrie 4.0 campaign at Festo, a supplier of automation technology and industrial training and education programmes. In this article he discusses the company’s activities in IoT, its view of production of the future, benefits for original equipment makers (OEMs) and end-users and partners in industrial markets with Matt Wilkins, a senior analyst of IoT Research at Strategy Analytics

Matt Wilkins: Industrie 4.0 is a key aspect of the implementation of the Internet of Things in the industrial market, what does Industrie 4.0 mean to Festo?

Eberhard Klotz: At Festo we view Industrie 4.0 as the process through which we get to the production of the future. Festo has a holistic view of the changes in the production world, considers different perspectives and, in addition to technology, also takes other key points into account, such as the interaction between man and machine, and the issue of training.

Eberhard Klotz, Head of the Industrie 4.0 campaign at Festo

The real and virtual world are growing increasingly closer: modern information and communication technologies are merging with industrial processes, increasingly changing the production landscape and the interaction with individual customers.

Industry 4.0 brings together various activities under one umbrella and describes the change that is imposing new requirements on production systems, machines and people in many areas. Festo is part of the Industrie 4.0 steering team that includes government ministries, several official bodies, along with Siemens, Bosch, SAP and Deutsche Telekom.

MW: What does production of the future look like?

EK: The first thing is that production systems will be fully connected. There will be intelligent, selfregulating and self-controlling components for plug-and-produce. Production plants will be highly flexible, allow for economical manufacturing of small batch sizes, fast balancing of the workload in a production network – including logistics, and fast adjustment to the orders in hand.

Matt Wilkins, Strategy Analytics

Finally, there will be comprehensive condition monitoring which helps to avoid or reduce downtime and optimises maintenance procedures and mobile maintenance. Essentially the faster we can be aware of an issue and analyse it, the faster we can implement a repair before a minor issue becomes a major one. Digital twins and a virtual set-up of a smart factory also allow pattern matching and detecting random errors, thus optimising downtime as well as process optimisation online.

MW: If Industrie 4.0 is the process which takes us to the production of the future, that must surely require a constant focus on refining and developing?

EK: Festo has been at the forefront of factory automation for many years. The research department helps shape the production systems of the future. So it is looking at mechatronics, the latest simulation technologies, microsystem technology and intelligent components for Industrie 4.0. In our view innovation management creates the necessary framework to turn good ideas, knowledge and technology into successful commercial products.

Our research activities include the ENTOC (Engineering Tool Chain for Efficient and Iterative Development of Smart Factories) research project, where the aim is to significantly reduce the time taken and complexity […]

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Mobile tariffs are in a continual state of change, as providers reshape and repackage mobile offers, says Strategy Analytics

By Zenobia Hegde

Mobile tariffs are in a continual state of change, as providers reshape and repackage mobile offers. Coupled with the sheer breadth and depth of information that these offers create, service providers, regulators and consumers struggle to compare, rank or benchmark different propositions and average price points.

The Teligen division of Strategy Analytics has been tracking this pricing minefield globally for over twenty years, within its OECD Mobile Voice Price Benchmarking Service. The quarterly-updated Excel-based system incorporates the internationally acknowledged OECD methodology, and is based on the top two providers across 36 countries.

In an extension to this already comprehensive coverage, it has now launched a premium version of the service, which includes additional providers in five European markets; France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, as well as in the US, to cover providers with at least 80% combined market share (typically 4-6 providers per country).

Analysis of the extended coverage within these six markets shows that for a user making 100 calls a month (just over 180 minutes), sending 140 text messages, and using 2GB data can save, on average, over USD PPP 200 a year, depending on choice of provider. The graph below shows how costs in these extended markets compare for this basket.

Source: OECD Mobile Voice Premium Service, November 2017 (custom country & provider selection)

“Italian provider Tre is an example of where major cost savings can be found. It is currently offering an incredibly competitive tariff – ALL-IN Start, which gives users 500 minutes, 500 texts and 5GB of data a month for €5, with a six month promotional offer of 4G LTE speed at no extra cost (thereafter €1 per month). Without the 4G option, this works out at just under USD PPP 80 per year.

This is half the cost of the cheapest offer from WIND, which merged with Tre in 2016, and over 75% cheaper than its closest priced competitor, TIM. Of course, it is important to look at the specifics of each offer and consider it in the context of the specific usage profile, but in any event, this represents a significant cost saving” stated Josie Sephton, director of Strategy Analytics’ Price Benchmarking division, Teligen.

According to Angela Toal, senior tariff analyst with Teligen “while the Italian example is especially dramatic, large differences in costs can be found in other countries. The new Premium service gives access to much more in-depth coverage of providers in selected markets, allowing for a much greater insight into what the key competitors are really up to”

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Healthcare Cloud Computing Market Revenue Will Reach $25.7 Billion By 2024, Says Esticast Research and Consulting

By abhishek

As per the report “Healthcare Cloud Computing Market By Service models, (Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) By Pricing models, (Spot pricing or subscription model, Pay-as-you-go model), Estimation & forecast, 2016 – 2024.” The global healthcare cloud computing market was valued at $4.9 billion in 2016, and is projected to reach $25.7 billion by 2024, growing at […]

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IoT Remote Monitoring

By IoT Now Magazine

The transformation from products to services has the potential to move enterprises from being providers of products to becoming service providers. At the same time, organizations can switch from one-time sale revenue to recurring monthly revenues for the services they provide.

With analyst firm IDC reporting that manufacturers want to capture upwards of 30% of their revenues from services in the future, there’s a clear direction of travel towards servitization. However, the fire and forget products of today will have to radically alter to fit this model. They must become fully connected and integrated into the wider IoT ecosystem, sharing their data and delivering powerful business value. This evolution is explored in greater depth in the PTC whitepaper: Service Transformation: Evolving Your Service Business in the Era of Internet of Things.

PTC explores how everything from domestic washing machines to cars, heavy plant, healthcare equipment and factory machines will be connected and disseminating data for analysis. However, it is the higher value equipment, such as mining equipment, that has the strongest initial business case.

Specialised areas of the market have a high potential for success. Even though equipment can be dispersed across geographies, it is relatively small in volume. In addition, that equipment is valuable and tends to present a substantial cost in capex for its owner. Finally, the cost also makes it easier to extract savings and efficiencies that make an investment in IoT viable and attractive.

4 Reasons Remote Monitoring is Your Best Move to Better Service

Download and read this new e-book today to discover how the right remote monitoring solution can deliver:

Bottom line benefits through more effective and efficient service
Top line growth based on service business innovation and improved customer satisfaction
A risk-free way to start your IoT journey
An attractive ROI

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New Efficiencies More Important Than Ever In Manufacturing

By IntelligentHQ

New Efficiencies More Important Than Ever In Manufacturing

New Efficiencies More Important Than Ever In Manufacturing

The pace of change in manufacturing today is faster than it ever has been before. The world has seen three industrial revolutions already; first, when textile manufacturers in 18th century Britain mechanized production, second, when Henry Ford created the assembly line in manufacturing automobiles, and third, when automation and computers were first introduced into factories. Technology during these shifts advanced along a linear path. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the introduction of cyber physical systems, is advancing at an exponential rate.

Technology is moving rapidly and manufacturers are investing heavily because they know that finding new efficiencies will be the only way to stay competitive in the future. The industry is shifting from finding efficiencies by cutting down labor costs (and moving as much as possible to cheaper labor markets), toward a world where highly-skilled workers and highly-automated factories guided by IoT will have the competitive edge. The latest industrial revolution means providing higher quality components at lower prices, while talent and technology will give manufacturers their edge.

Image source: Forbes

When it comes to metrology, new equipment and software are unlocking new capabilities in coordinate measuring machines. Automated coordinate measuring machines, 3D laser scanners, real-time data collection, and software that can predict equipment collisions and adjust errors are all becoming a reality on shop floors across the globe. It’s probably time that you update your CMM measuring machine if you want to keep your technology competitive. In the race to build higher quality components to compete with both lower-cost labor markets and economies like Japan and Germany (which have a lead on automation), North American shops will have to take a close look at their metrology equipment.

Coordinate measuring machines are the cornerstone of your Quality Assurance department and you need technology that’s not just highly accurate but also efficient. While coordinate measuring machines themselves are not very different today than they were ten years ago, new software and equipment has made major strides. Here are just some of the updates you may want to consider, available from metrologists like Canadian Measurement Metrology (CMM):

Multi-sensor Coordinate Measuring Machines – There’s more to today’s coordinate measuring machines that just touch-trigger probes. Touch-trigger probes are precise but slow, but now metrologists use laser scanners in conjunction with touch probes to drastically speed things up and even make automated measurement possible.

Polyworks – Polyworks received a 2017 software update that introduces a suite of new capabilities to speed up your QA process. It’s based on “control-centric reviewing workflow,” which means rapid data collection and real-time collision analysis. It can help you introduce one of the core design principles of Industry 4.0: decentralized decision-making. Ask about Polyworks and software training at metrology shops like CMM for more details.

3D Laser Scanners – 3D laser scanners provide fast, precise measurements and can be used on a portable arm, on a coordinate measuring machine, or on their own. They come in two basic types: lasers scanners and structured light scanners. While laser scanners use guided laser beams to calculate distance, structured light scanners measure using projected patterns of light with a camera.

With these tools, you can bring your shop to a new level of accuracy and efficiency. Speed up inspections and guarantee higher quality components.

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Cristiano R. Amon named president of Qualcomm

By Zenobia Hegde

Qualcomm Incorporated announced Cristiano R. Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president of QCT, has been promoted to president of Qualcomm Incorporated, effective January 4, 2018. In his new role, Amon will formulate and drive key strategies for growing the company in both Qualcomm’s core businesses, as well as new business opportunities. Amon will also continue to lead the QCT business, reporting to Steve Mollenkopf, chief executive officer of Qualcomm Incorporated.

“Cristiano’s unique mix of business, engineering and operational skills and experience make him ideally suited to continue driving Qualcomm’s technology and leadership positions across mobile, IoT, automotive, edge computing and networking – and lead the transition to 5G,” said Steve Mollenkopf, chief executive officer of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Amon joined Qualcomm in 1995 as an engineer and has subsequently held numerous business and technical leadership roles. Prior to Qualcomm, Amon served as the chief technical officer of Vésper, a wireless operator in Brazil and held positions at NEC, Ericsson and Velocom Inc. Amon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from UNICAMP – Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

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SixDomainChain Foundation Launches IoT Blockchain Commercialization Initiative: SDChain

By IoT – Internet of Things

SixDomainChain Foundation, a Singapore-based IoT blockchain organization, recently announces the launch of SDChain Initiative to serve East Asian IoT markets with innovative blockchain 4.0 technology. SDChain, an IoT blockchain commercialization initiative, aims to create a partnership ecosystem of sharing trustable IoT digital assets generated from devices, that integrates international standards of IoT six-domain model and […]

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SOTI extends Android Enterprise on Zebra devices

By Zenobia Hegde

Over the past decade, SOTI and Zebra have had a long partnership working together to meet the enterprise mobility needs of organisations worldwide.

In 2013, Motorola Solutions announced the end of development of their Mobility Services Platforms (MSP) management solution, and selected SOTI MobiControl as the approved EMM solution for their devices. Why? Because SOTI’s industry-leading ability to manage Windows Mobile/CE and Android devices is unmatched; and as Motorola Solutions introduced their first Android devices, SOTI MobiControl naturally was the first EMM solution to support them as their partner of choice, says Shash Anand, vice president, Strategic Alliances at SOTI.

When Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise Business was acquired by Zebra Technologies in 2014, SOTI continued this strong partnership with Zebra—and SOTI MobiControl is still the only EMM solution that Zebra officially resells.

Today, SOTI once again solidifies this decade-long partnership through the release of an update to the SOTI MobiControl Android Enterprise agent that includes support for Zebra management capabilities including:

Provisioning of Mobility Extensions (Mx) to manage Zebra device-specific settings
Over-the-air (OTA) deployment of Zebra operating system (OS) updates
SOTI MobiControl agent persistence when a Zebra device is enterprise reset

For any IT Director/Manager tasked with the responsibility to maintain Android devices across the enterprise, this release is game-changing: it marks the first time any Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution is able to support OS updates and agent persistence on Zebra Android devices managed using Android Enterprise capabilities.

What does this mean for organisations?

Since Google first introduced Android Enterprise (formerly known as Android for Work) in February of 2015 as a framework for standardizing the management of Android devices, it has quickly become the preferred method for many organizations to manage their Android devices.

Android Enterprise’s broad management capabilities, including the ability to separate personal and work data on personally-enabled devices and integration with Google Play services for app distribution, were able to address the majority of the management and security requirements of organizations. But for many organisations, the majority was not enough.

Organizations that rely on business-critical mobility have business-critical line-of-business (LOB) apps running on work devices such as those offered by Zebra. Imagine being a retailer who uses an app on a handheld that scans for prices. What if that app stopped working after an update to the device’s OS? The downtime and loss of business could be significant.

When many of your core business tasks are dependent on mobile technology, the ability to control OS updates and automatically retain management of all devices (some possibly unmanned) after OS updates becomes paramount.

Currently, such capabilities are not available through Android Enterprise. With the latest update to its Android Enterprise agent, SOTI MobiControl becomes the first EMM solution in the industry to bridge this gap on Zebra Android devices.

Which Zebra devices can take advantage of the new enhancements to the SOTI MobiControl Android Enterprise agent?

Most Zebra devices outfitted with Android N or greater running the SOTI MobiControl Android Enterprise agent 13.4, build 1485 or higher will support the new features. The agent is available on Google Play and can be download from SOTI’s OEM downloads page by selecting “Android Enterprise” in the Manufacturer drop-down list.

To […]

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China Mobile selects Spirent for mobile core network validation

By Zenobia Hegde

Spirent Communications, the in mobility infrastructure testing, announced that China Mobile has selected Spirent’s Landslide test platform to accelerate validation of mobile core network functions. Landslide will execute key validation tests used by China Mobile to evaluate core network vendors and verify the performance of new core, IMS, and Diameter network functions before they go live. With support for the latest LTE, 5G and IoT standards, Landslide will enable China Mobile to launch new mobile core network functions and next generation services with unprecedented speed and quality.

The Landslide test platform accelerates validation testing by emulating an unmatched, comprehensive set of core network functions, base stations and mobile devices. The platform uses these emulated functions to evaluate the performance and functionality of new network functions in lab environments.

To accurately reflect real-world conditions, Landslide can emulate millions of mobile subscribers and tens of thousands of 2G, 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi base stations. The platform also emulates next generation services including eMTC (Enhanced Machine-Type Communication), cellular IoT and B-TrunC (Broadband Trunked Communication). Landslide supports emerging 4.5/5G network standards and offers both physical and virtual test platforms, ensuring a smooth path towards NFV (network function virtualisation) and 5G.

“Spirent Communications is working closely with operators and standards organisations in China to satisfy their specific testing needs,” said Yang Lei, East Asia Sales Development manager for the Lifecycle Service Assurance segment at Spirent Communications.

“This collaboration, combined with our support for the latest 5G and IoT standards, allows us to automate complex validation testing of next generation mobile core network functions. We’re pleased that China Mobile has selected Landslide and look forward to working together to accelerate the launch of high-quality network functions and cutting-edge services.”

Landslide is part of Spirent’s Lifecycle Service Assurance suite for automating testing and assurance workflows across the service lifecycle, including network validation, service testing and operational assurance workflows.

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