How and where is the sensor produced data used most safely?
When the total price of a low current radio and a MEMS based accelerometer drops down to a few euros, they can be placed almost anywhere. And large amounts of data can be collected from them, which can be accessed by a machine or a vehicle driver almost in real time. In an industrial environment this means that matters influencing work safety can be tracked very precisely, while preventing problems. Sensors can measure in addition to acceleration for example temperatures, humidity and pressure. But in what kind of technical ecosystem would it be wise to place the sensors?
Intelligent IoT- sensor network is the solution
We start building sensor systems always with the basic thought, that the sensors form their own, intelligent wireless IoT network, where the power consumption has been optimised as small as possible, and where the data is processed for the downstream use as close as possible to the data's place of origin. Thus useless data transferring in the wireless network is avoided, because it always consumes power and often unnecessarily. If need be, gathered data can be sent to the cloud, where data can be analysed and further refined and where based on demand, tailored reports and alerts can be created. Building an intelligent IoT network is not entirely trivial. There must be investment especially in algorithm development in order to efficiently utilise the sensors and the data produced by them.
In practice it is possible to form a direct connection from the cloud to a single sensor. Problems might be formed from the large power consumption of a single sensor device as well as information security - direct connection from a sensor to the cloud always enables information leaks. In industrial solutions neither one of the preceding is acceptable, and per se, the information security risks have to be considered already in the definition phase of the system. An intelligent IoT network can offer better information security than the open sensors operating in the cloud interface because most of the data communication takes place inside the network. Connection to the public network takes place centred, through a common, secured data bus of the network.
Integration of wireless sensors offers information security and accumulator autonomy
On the whole, in intelligent IoT network solutions it is about information secure, power efficient optimisation of the joint functioning between sensors and information network, which can achieve a single sensor even a few year's accumulator durability. This requires correctly designed utilisation of the computing power of the sensor processors and careful planning of radiocommunications. Additionally it is possible to continue the batteries' operating life with different methods of power quarrying but these techniques are not yet efficient enough to produce all the electricity demanded by the sensors and networks.
Previously described solutions unite in Lewel's SeeMore™ concept, based on which we develop future's IoT solutions. Except that the future is already here. We make it every day.
Engineering Manager, Technology & Solutions
IoT gives tools for crossing the traditional field borders
”In the Industrial Internet – Business Revolution programme, funding will be provided to projects in which digitalisation is utilised for developing new services and business models to aim at international growth. The programme aims to renew the business operations of companies through the Industrial Internet and encourage companies from different fields to engage in new kinds of cooperation.” (Tekes bulletin, 27.11.2014)
As was earlier believed, Tekes’ new programmes supporting digitalisation encourage the Finnish technology sector to invest in Industrial Internet and health technology. Besides the technology choices, a more significant message from Tekes’ direction is: Collaborate! Benefit from the strenghts of each other.
Surely Tekes – fundings have always attached a collaboration element, especially subcontracting from SMEs have received special treatment when the funding decisions were being made. But each applicant for the fundings knows that the cooperation has rarely yielded new technology – at least there was a chance to work together.
And it is known that the funding does not alone solve anything, even though it is certainly needed. More important is to find those solutions and ideas, which form the support for creating something new. Industrial Internet, IoT, is at the moment one of the most fascinating springboards for new products and services, which are crossing the traditional field borders.
Examples of these could be a car that monitors the passengers’ (and especially the driver’s) health, or a boat that orders fuel by itself as it approached the harbor. A traditional shipyard company or a car factory still know how to make top quality vehicles for land and sea, but for the possibilities brought by IoT its view might be too narrow. And there is no need to try to broaden it alone, because there are companies for which a broad view is a commonplace.
Interdisciplinary innovations’ strength would be that each company could utilise their very own competences and the result of the collaboration would be a lot more than the sum of its parts. I wish for all the Finnish companies developing technology and engineering to quickly commence brainstorming to open the views: what all could be achieved by combining our strengths and competences? Close your eyes, turn around and open them again – what can be seen? There is reason to seize it. The right moment is today.
Lewel Group Finland Oy
This was originally published in CEO blog of Technology Industries 12.11.2014 and in Debatti of Kauppalehti 12.11.2014
Subcontracting fair of Industrial Internet
Tampere Subcontracting Fair held in mid-September gathered together the most important representatives of Finland’s Industry for three days. There were nearly 17,000 participants, over thousand exhibitors, and most significantly: no less than 120 foreign exhibitors had arrived to the event. Tampere’s fair will be noticed in the world. Policy-makers and educational institution representatives were present and the spirit of the event was very positive – something interesting is happening!
In this year’s fair, Lewel Group’s principal theme was Industrial Internet, Internet of Things. The subject is a real hot potato, because the technology is already here – but what is it used for?
We presented our own solution in Tampere. Lewel Group’s IoT –competence is also internationally top class and our seeMore – concept intended for industrial clients was a target of strong interest in the fair. We illustrated the possibilities it provides for easy and fast testing of technology. From the standpoint of industrial companies this opens up truly large opportunities when the new technology’s time-to-market clearly shortens. Additionally, a new opportunity is opened to get access to such data, which was not previously even known to be existent.
IoT is very current everywhere, not just in Finland. Throughout October, Tekes is launching several Industrial Internet related programmes, which total financial investments of tens of millions of euros.The general objective of the programmes is the increasing of digitality with the help of Industrial Internet and 5G networks. German goverment’s Industry 4.0 project initiated in 2012 refers to the fourth industrial revolution, in which we currently live. Industry 4.0 was the principal theme of Hannover’s industrial fair in the spring, and the development continues. Lewel Group is at the core of this development.
Why the client chooses us?
Lewel’s role in the Industrial Internet is to help the client company to build efficient and functioning IoT - solutions. With the help of our seeMore – concept we can offer wireless sensor network environments, which form IoT - intelligent networks with mobile devices and back offices. Intelligent networks’ purpose is to lower the clients’ thresholds to go try and build their own IoT – ecosystems and thus based business models. We want to help our clients to find their own place in the global market and to succeed in there.
Wanted: Finland’s most marketing-oriented engineer
The mere competence and technical giftedness of the engineers is no longer enough. In Finland, we painfully recognize our weaknesses in sales and marketing – in comparison to the technological competence and ability to innovate. In Tampere’s fair, there was a seminar organized to promote marketing strategy, and in there was announced a competition to find Finland’s most marketing-oriented engineer. The competition is organized for the third time by MTL ry and Teknologiateollisuus ry, where Martti Alahuhta from Kone’s board of directors presides the jury. The purpose of the competition is to stir the Finnish engineers to realize, that even a good invention does not sell itself, that they have to know how to sell it. Do you know the most marketing-oriented engineer? Report!
More information about the Tekes programs here.
Also see the Tekes – video from Tampere fair, speakers include Finpro’s Lasse Baldauf, Aalto University’s Jukka Tuomi and Lewel Group’s Aleksi Ukkola.
Older Blog Posts
Blog - September 12.2014
Blog - June 18.2014
Blog - June 06.2014
Blog - April 16.2014
Blog - March 11.2014
Blog - December 19.2013
Blog - November 28.2013
Blog - October 18.2013
Blog - October 11.2013
Blog - September 27.2013