Case Study 1: Industry
Where can the new Industry 4.0 toolbox be used to improve your industrial processes?
Measure, Analyze, Optimize
Do you have areas of your plant that you would like to monitor, but the cost is prohibitive?
Maybe environmental monitoring, such as PM2.5, VOC’s, noise or other pollutants on the boundary line? How about water leaks in remote locations or vulnerable areas that would result in significant damage if undetected? We can provide a wide range of solid-state, low energy wireless sensors that be rapidly deployed as a standalone system or integrated into existing process systems.
Data Collection & Visualization
Is all the information that you need to manage your process connected and accessible?
Some of the most interesting projects we have executed involved helping our customers combine existing data collection systems, such as PLC’s or analyzers, then re-presenting this data though a new interface or dashboard. Having the ability to examine multiple data sources together or giving data access to non-operational personnel has resulted in unexpected and significant opportunities for operational or safety improvement. Notification to off-site personnel of problems through SMS, email or messaging services is an additional feature available as required.
Enhanced Emergency Response
This is a specialist, but very important area that will remain firmly under the control of traditional process control systems but has the ability to be improved though additional sensing or though giving improved access to data under emergency conditions. Just one example of this is the addition of a remote environmental monitoring system that can inform emergency responders about wind speed, direction or other external or process related conditions that could assist in dealing safety with an emergency situation.
Predictive Maintenance & Asset Protection
This is the cutting-edge of Industry 4.0, where both existing and augmented data are being combined and analyzed to allow engineers to determine the optimum maintenance interval for their equipment. Sensors measuring multiple signal types such as vibration, pressure, temperature and sound are connected to determine a baseline operational fingerprint. Deviations from that baseline can characterize the maintenance requirements, moving away from time-based to need-based schedule can significantly reduce risk of equipment failure and reduce unnecessary costs.
Case Study 2: Smart City
Regulation changes around the world are focusing on the improvement of air quality, particularly in areas of dense populations. There have been significant improvements in low power air particle measurement technology that it’s now being deployed on very large scale in a number of leading countries. Connected together with LPWAN technologies these sensor networks are providing real time air quality data, over a very wide area, to government agencies, NGO interest groups and industry. When combined with other sensors data such as temperature, VOC’s, humidity it can provide a powerful, low cost tool to target areas for improvement. Water systems are also being monitored both for usage, to detect leaks on public systems, and for quality to monitor drinking water for example.
Retrofitting technology into an existing office building can be prohibitively expensive, with many good initiatives failing because of the cost of installation. The use of LPWAN technology and battery powered sensors provides the opportunity for the same functionality, but without the cost, complication and disruption of installing wires. Energy saving options are available for monitoring of lighting, heating and air conditioning systems. Indoor air quality sensors such as particles, CO and CO2 have been installed to enhance personnel safety and productivity.
Industrial IoT technology has many applications related to improving safety in cities. Wireless parking sensors can be installed within hours, without digging up the road, to save time finding a space, or to monitor illegal parking outside a school for instance. Wireless E-paper displays which can be updated instantly from a remote location can be used to display warning messages or to highlight temporary dangers such as construction work. Public safety devices such as defibrillators can be monitored to ensure they are available for use when needed.
Case Study 3: Agriculture
Data Augmented Agriculture
With the use of a local environmental monitoring station it is possible to collect more accurate information to improve decision making. Nothing will replace a farmer’s tacit knowledge, however providing more data on soil conditions, UV radiation, irrigation water conditions and many other specialist parameters such as leaf moisture can all be used to help with crop yield improvements and cost effective operations particularly for high value crops such as wine grapes, tobacco and tea. Additional data collection has also proven to be of value for very large areas, such as golf courses, where irrigation can be controlled on a needs basis, rather than on a fixed time basis resulting in reduced costs and improvements in course conditioning. All of this monitoring can now be done with fully wireless sensors and LPWAN networking technologies enabling rapid, low-cost system implementation.
Case Study 4: Energy & Utilities
Energy – Monitoring and Analysis
The days of manual on-site meter readings, for gas, water or power are numbered. Apart from the immediate efficiency savings of being able to access utility metering data remotely, and in real-time, having access to this data also enables analysis to improve service delivery or for the remote identification of faults or emergencies. Water systems can be monitored in remote locations, distribution systems monitored for leaks. We have even installed accelerometers to electricity poles to alert in the event of an accident, or damage due to adverse weather.