Page 1

MCI (P) 028/07/2016 | ISSN 0219/5615 | PPS 1561/06/2013 (022960)

UNDERSTANDING SAFETY MEASUREMENTS WITH IOT pg 8

HOW TO HELP INDUSTRIAL OPERATIONS WITH IOT pg 14

FORGING A INTELLIGENT FACTORY AUTOMATION WITH IOT pg 18

BRIGHT IOT FUTURE WITH

ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES

pg 10


interoperability

CONTENTS

ADDRESSING IIOT CHALLENGES THROUGH PROTOCOL CONVERSION Internet 06 The of Things (IoT) is changing many sectors and offers many varied opportunities. BY JEFF THORNTON RED LION CONTROLS

safety

MEASUREMENT POSSIBILITIES WITH IOT interviewed 08 IAA Jeremy Ang, product marketing manager, Fluke on the company’s approach to IoT in instrumentation and measurement. BY MARK JOHNSTON

design and test

FORGING A BRIGHT IOT FUTURE WITH ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES AND DESIGN AND TEST SOLUTIONS The Internet of Things (IoT) is evolving at a rapid pace, presenting opportunities for instrumentation and measurement companies.

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BY MARTHA ZEMEDE KEYSIGHT TECHNOLOGIES

industrial operations

factory automation

HOW CAN IOT HELP MY INDUSTRIAL OPERATIONS?

INTELLIGENT FACTORY AUTOMATION WITH IOT

If the objective of automated industrial systems was to reduce human errors, the use of IoT systems is to improve productivity by making data available at all touch points.

14

BY KENNY YEO FROST & SULLIVAN

IAA interviewed Voo Chung Mong from Mitsubishi Electric on industrial IoT and how it is impacting the company’s business.

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BY MARK JOHNSTON

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IOT INSIGHTS


editor’s note

The Internet of Things (IoT) is going from strength to strength, pushing ahead with new solutions and applications. IoT holds great potential to change how we interact with machines on a day to day basis. As new advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and wireless technology (eg: 5G telecommunications) move ahead we should start to see new applications that were previously not possible or prohibitively expensive. According the a new market research report ‘IoT Sensors Market by Type (Pressure, Temperature, Humidity, Magnetometer, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Inertial, Image), Network Technology (Wired & Wireless), Vertical (Consumer IoT, Commercial IoT, Industrial IoT), and Region - Global Forecast to 2022,’ published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach US$ 38.41 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 42.08 percent between 2016 and 2022. The major factors driving the growth of the IoT sensors market include development of cheaper, smarter, and smaller sensors, growing market for smart devices and wearables, need for real-time computing of applications, increase in demand for IoT sensors in various applications, supportive government initiatives, deployment of IPv6, and role of sensor fusion concept in the IoT sensors market. The market for pressure sensors is expected to hold major share during the forecast period. This is mainly because their wide usage in a variety of applications including medical applications, smart cities, wearable, environmental monitoring devices, remote sensing, industrial automation, air speed, air sampling, and leak detection. Various applications of industrial automation, transportation, healthcare, and consumer electronics need constant tracking and analysing which is mostly done with the help of pressure sensors. Sensors are increasingly being demanded in APAC owing to the growing demand for automotive and increasing focus of the region towards the IoT platform. Asia-Pacific is a major market for various sectors such as consumer electronic devices and appliances, automobiles, and healthcare among others. Moreover, the Asia-Pacific region is one of the potential markets for the industrial and consumer IoT verticals as countries such as China, India, and Australia among others are actively trying to strengthen the IoT platform. It is because of such developments that IAA released this supplement which focuses on different elements of IoT and its impact on established industrial sectors. Mark Johnston

Assistant Editor

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IOT INSIGHTS

MCI (P) 028/ 07/2016 | ISSN 0219/5615 | PPS 1561/06/2013 (022960)

FEELING THE IMPACT OF CONNECTED THINGS

UNDERSTANDING SAFETY MEASUREMENTS WITH IOT pg 8

HOW TO HELP INDUSTRIAL OPERATIONS WITH IOT pg 14

FORGING A INTELLIGENT FACTORY AUTOMATION WITH IOT pg 18

BRIGHT

IOT FUTURE WITH ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES

pg 10

Covers3.indd 7

23/8/16 7:13 pm

MANAGING DIRECTOR Kenneth Tan EDITORIAL ASSISTANT EDITOR Mark Andrew Johnston markandrewjohnston@ epl.com.sg EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sharifah Zainon sharifah@epl.com.sg CREATIVE GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Jef Pimentel jefferypimentel@epl.com.sg Zu Teo zuteo@epl.com.sg ADVERTISING SENIOR SALES MANAGER Derick Chia derickchia@epl.com.sg ASSISTANT SALES MANAGER Soni Bhatnagar soni@epl.com.sg CIRCULATION CIRCULATION EXECUTIVE Janice Lee janicelee@epl.com.sg CONTRIBUTORS MARTHA ZEMEDE KENNY YEO JEFF THORNTON

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interoperability

ADDRESSING IIOT

CHALLENGES THROUGH PROTOCOL CONVERSION The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing many sectors and offers many varied opportunities. BY JEFF THORNTON, DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, RED LION CONTROLS

T

he Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic in the press today that is stealing many headlines. The reason for all this attention comes from the rapid growth expected in the IoT world. According to Berg Insight, the number of wireless IoT devices in automation networks is now forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.2 percent to reach 43.5 million by 2020. The reason for all this attention comes from the rapid growth expected in the IoT world. According to Berg Insight, the number of wireless IoT devices in automation networks is now forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.2 percent to reach 43.5 million by 2020. However, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is more of a near-term reality, and many industrial firms are striving to take advantage of its benefits. There are many different terms for IIoT, including Industry 4.0. and the Connected Factory. Whatever you choose to call it, how can you take steps to ‘get in the game’ with IIoT? THE CHALLENGE — IIOT READINESS One might wonder how to get started with IIoT, especially when you look out at your organisation and see equipment from different manufacturers that is 5, 10 or 20 years old (or more). How can you solve the challenges of being IIoT ‘ready’ when you use legacy devices to operate many of your processes? Replacing equipment is not an option because of cost and integration time. You need to find a way

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IOT INSIGHTS

to not only protect your existing investment, but also make it compatible with more modern equipment. This may seem to some like a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario.

Protocol conversion can help you integrate PLCs, PCs and SCADA systems to collect and process data in real-time to control devices and applications that directly affect operations. THE ANSWER — PROTOCOL CONVERSION Protocol conversion is a key first step in solving the multi-vendor and legacy equipment challenge. Wikipedia describes a protocol converter as a device used to convert a standard or proprietary protocol of one device to the protocol suitable for the other device or tools to achieve the interoperability. There can be many different devices on a manufacturing floor, with each one having its own protocol, so organisations can have a situation where you need to handle several different protocols in order to gather data. The ability to provide protocol conversion in a Human Machine Interface (HMI) or other automation products across a multi-vendor environment is a great way to connect several different devices, with different protocols, and be able to aggregate that data collection.


Simon Shokry, Cairo, cairo, sn

Industrial IoT is set to transform many industries.

Protocol conversion allows you to collect data from different devices and different protocols and translate those in a centralised device so that you can collect and compile data from all over the factory floor. Then, you can turn this information and data into useable, trend-related information and reports that help you to make informed decisions and do effective planning of your resources. Some refer to this as the mining and displaying of data for actionable intelligence, which gives you real-time visibility to help make operations more efficient. CONNECT — SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE You can benefit from bringing new and legacy equipment together on the same network. Some of the newer equipment on the factory floor may be ‘Ethernet ready’ while older equipment may use a serial connection and a legacy protocol specific to that vendor. By integrating different devices (and getting legacy devices talking with newer devices) you can get disparate equipment to communicate across multi-vendor environments. Industrial environments are embracing newer communication infrastructures such as cellular M2M, Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, fibre and Power over Ethernet. These communication technologies help deliver and enable higher-bandwidth applications that bring more information and intelligence to manufacturing environments.

MONITOR — USING DATA TO VISUALISE PROCESSES Protocol conversion is also important for monitoring processes – collecting and analysing data to develop more efficient operations and reduce downtime. In particular, when protocol conversion is implemented in multi-vendor environments, customers can leverage visual management solutions to display Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be used for tracking, assessing and analysing manufacturing processes. These performance measurements are commonly used to evaluate success in relation to goals and objectives. While KPIs tend to vary by organisation, common examples of KPIs in manufacturing include: count (good or bad), reject ratio, rate, target, Takt time, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and downtime. CONTROL — INCREASING OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES Protocol conversion can help you integrate PLCs, PCs and SCADA systems to collect and process data in real-time to control devices and applications that directly affect operations. Exercising control over operations could mean such things as having the ability to turn legacy serial-connected equipment on or off, or open or close valves regardless of location. In conclusion, addressing IIoT challenges through protocol conversion enables organisations to improve productivity and increase operational efficiencies through real-time device connection and data processing. With protocol conversion, you can get all of your devices — both legacy and new — communicating to provide a holistic environment view that allows you to plan more effectively and take action. By enabling disparate devices to communicate, you can now connect, monitor and control operations from a single platform. This type of data-driven monitoring and decision-making will get you on your way to IIoT readiness.


industrial operations

MEASUREMENT POSSIBILITIES WITH IOT IAA interviewed Jeremy Ang, product marketing manager (ADT/Key Verticals), industrial group, Fluke Southeast Asia on the company’s approach to the Internet of Things (IoT) in instrumentation and measurement. BY MARK JOHNSTON

IAA: How have you been leveraging Cloud technology and wireless technology to develop new solutions?

F

luke has been in the industry for more than 65 years, where their tools are used widely in the industry. The instrumentation sector has been going through changes because of the introduction of new technologies, especially in regards to wireless and the Cloud. The company’s aim is “to connect tools, data, and people together,” as Jeremy Ang, product marketing manager, Fluke Southeast Asia remarked.

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IOT INSIGHTS

JEREMY ANG (JA): The feedback we get is that a lot of people face challenges in finding the root cause of a problem, fast. They are also interested in predictive maintenance, but they are not sure where to start. In order to start predictive maintenance, they need to collect the data before they can plot a trend. Our Fluke Connect platform allows us to collect this data and perform some analysis. The technician or the engineer will use the tool to take daily measurements and beside looking at the reading, they can also upload it to the Cloud, which makes it


accessible from any computer with a web browser. With this data saved in the Cloud, further analysis can be done by joining all this data together, enabling engineers to predict the performance of the machine.

IAA: Does an engineer have to physically measure the data or is there a sensor that transmits data to a server? JA: There still needs to be an engineer available to measure electrical signals. What we have improved upon is the process by which we acquire those readings and analyse them. We are now in a better position to read the relationship between data. What will change is the way

people do maintenance. Fluke Connect makes the process a lot easier, saving time and resources. It puts the engineer in a better position to measure and see the relationship between voltage change, current, and frequency. This enables the problem to be seen faster and as such troubleshooting is made simplier.

need to leverage on new technology to help them see and remedy the problem. Wireless connectivity and our Fluke Connect platform allow us to do that.

IAA: What other capabilities does Fluke Connect have? JA: It enables us to see readings

IAA: How do you innovate around the IoT trend? JA: We want to solve the problem fast. The world is getting impatient so we are constantly looking for better and more efficient ways of doing something. When we talk about risk recovery, the boss tends to get impatient. He wants a fast recovery. In order to do that the engineers

with mobile devices and it makes reporting very fast. It also allows us to get help easily. For example, if the consultant is based in Germany, but I am in Singapore, and I face a problem that I cannot solve, then I can connect via VoIP. I can turn on the video and show him the connection and with Fluke Connect he can also see the data, so the problem can be solved very quickly.

Fluke Connect enables measurements to be taken on instruments and then read and analysed on computers or mobile devices.

IOT INSIGHTS

9


design and test

FORGING A BRIGHT IOT FUTURE WITH

ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES AND DESIGN AND TEST SOLUTIONS The Internet of Things (IoT) is evolving at a rapid pace, presenting opportunities for instrumentation and measurement companies. BY MARTHA ZEMEDE, KEYSIGHT TECHNOLOGIES

T

hrough the years, the definition of the Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved from applications able to track and count everything, to the anytime, anyplace, with anything and anyone, connectivity of literally billions of things. Those things, or IoT devices, will encompass all aspects of everyday life in a vast network of applications from smart homes, connected cars and wearable devices to industrial applications covering energy systems, agriculture, mining, transportation, healthcare and more. As the applications have expanded, so too has the potential scale of IoT implementations. By some estimates, there will be anywhere from 15 to 50 billion connected things by 2020 alone, many of which will utilise cloud storage and be remotely controlled via the Internet. Of course, making this scenario a reality will depend on the availability of enabling technology and absolutely reliable connectivity, designed in from the start and well tested all along the product lifecycle. WHAT IS DRIVING THE IOT? A key reason for all of the projected growth in the IoT these days is emerging applications and

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IOT INSIGHTS

services in both the consumer and industrial market segments. In the consumer space, a key driver is convenience. Here, applications such as wearables and home automation make the consumer’s life much more comfortable and everyday tasks much easier by controlling the electronic devices from one place. In the industrial sector, healthcare, energy, agricultural and smart cities areas, efficiency improvements, cost reduction, and improved health and safety are major factors driving the IoT. The connected car is another burgeoning application as it is literally laying the groundwork for the driverless car. Modern automotive manufacturers are already actively working on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication for traffic management and safety applications. Vehicleto-infrastructure (V2I) communication is also being developed for such applications as signal violation alert, intersection collision avoidance, and toll collection. All of these applications and services rely on networks of sensors and actuators, often linked by radio. Covering such a wide range of applications, in various environments and serving diverse requirements, means that no


single radio technology can effectively address the needs of the evolving IoT industry. ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES If recent trends continue, only some devices will use wired connections — USB, Ethernet, fibre — and a majority of IoT things will rely on wireless technology. This will range from NearField Communication (NFC) for mobile payments, to geosynchronous satellites for unattended remote weather stations, and everything in between: Bluetooth, wireless LAN (WLAN), ZigBee, point-to-point radio, cellular, and more. The network will need to cope with all kinds of unique devices with different communication requirements. At one end will be simple wireless devices such as battery-powered sensors and actuators that will transmit very little data while operating unattended for several years. At the other end of the spectrum will be mission-critical services and devices that require constant, reliable and super-secure connections. Key to uniquely identifying each device is a vast IP address space. Because the IPv4 addressing space is too limited, currently

requiring the use of concentrators (eg: routers and gateways), the end-to-end use of IPv6 addressing is a key enabler for IoT devices. With its virtually unlimited address space, IPv6 allows unique addressing of billions of devices. Server/cloud-based big-data analytics and machine learning are central to the majority of IoT business models. IoT devices at the end nodes connect to the cloud or server for intelligence and analytics. Some connect directly, but often via gateways (Figure 1). Gateways aggregate traffic from lower power networks onto higher capacity LANs and WANs. They typically include greater power supply and computing resources than end-nodes (things). Edge or fog applications running in gateways offload processing from both cloud and end-node sensors and actuators. End-nodes are often designed to have a long battery life, necessitating the efficient use of embedded computers and radio transmission. Intelligent threshold triggers in gateway applications make traffic more efficient by passing actionable information to central cloud servers. Gateways interface with the cloud and endnodes via a heterogeneous mix of wireless

Figure 1: There are many pathways and gateways that can and will be used to provide access to the cloud. IOT INSIGHTS

11


Figure 2: The expected operating range of an IoT devices has a direct influence on which connection technologies are able for it to use.

technologies, both cellular and non-cellular. Radio interfaces address varying application needs depending on coverage, latency, throughput, energy efficiency, and cost. As an example, some home-automation applications use smartphones as a gateway node. The almost ubiquitous availability of Wi-Fi makes it the first choice for many IoT applications. When Wi-Fi links are unavailable, cellular protocols are frequently used. In wearable applications, Bluetooth is often used. NFC is the natural choice when security is aided by proximity. ZigBee, Z-Wave and Thread offer robust, low-power mesh networks for home automation and smart energy devices. Figure 2 shows an example of IoT technologies grouped by operating range. Many formats are available for short-range connections between devices and gateways, but standards are also quickly forming and evolving to support the connectivity of new devices into the IoT ecosystem. To date, there are more than 60 legacy and new RF formats in use for M2M and IoT–related applications. Some of the more popular formats include Bluetooth, WLAN and cellular, while others like ZigBee and Thread, have emerged to fill a

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IOT INSIGHTS

need in specific niche markets. A lot of innovation is happening in Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks. For applications with low data rates and low duty cycles, LPWA extends battery life, reduces cost and offers improved link budgets compared with currently deployed cellular formats. LPWA systems such as LoRa and SIGFOX are being rolled out nationally in some countries using lightly licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Anticipating strong growth in low power M2M applications, 3GPP Radio Access Network (RAN) working groups are developing cellular protocols to support LPWA in licensed spectrum. 3GPP Rel-12 introduced a new low-complexity device category (Cat-0) for LTE Machine-TypeCommunication (MTC). Cat-0 improves efficiency for low data-rate applications as a stepping stone to more significant advances. 3GPP Rel-13 includes: • Enhanced-MTC (eMTC) Cat-M1; a 1.4MHz bandwidth optimisation of LTE. • Extended Coverage GPRS (EC-GPRS); utilising retransmission and other protocol updates to achieve improved link budget. • Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) also referred to


as Cat-M2; a new radio format optimised for LPWA applications. Some companies have opted to develop their own proprietary solutions as a way to improve their time to market. This approach; however, is likely to fall out of favour because the globalisation of markets is driving device communication away from proprietary designs and towards standardised solutions. EXPLORING SOLUTIONS FOR DESIGN AND TEST Just as critical as enabling technologies are the solutions utilised for design and test of IoT devices. Creating seamless connectivity across the entire ecosystem — devices, infrastructure, cloud, remote applications, post processing,

Figure 3: Keysight’s Advanced Design System (ADS) software is helping to solve design challenges for IoT applications.

services — starts with the ability to create better designs, utilise increasingly realistic simulations, and perform meaningful and cost-effective testing. This becomes all the more difficult given the challenges design engineers in the IoT face. For example, as the IoT becomes more pervasive, design engineers will have to work harder to maximise power efficiency, manage electro-thermal effects, and deal with greater electromagnetic coupling that results when designs become more compact. Additional hurdles will include evaluation and selection of the best

technology mix (eg: GaAs, GaN, SiGe/Si/SOI, CMOS), as well as, integration of subsystems and verification of performance relative to industry standards. And, as design complexity increases, circuit simulation becomes more difficult. Overcoming these challenges requires electronic design automation software for designing and simulating new IoT devices that is specifically able to address the challenges inherent in communication systems (Figure 3). The ideal solution should allow a new device to be simulated early in the development process and allow system architects and algorithm developers the freedom to innovate the PHY layer of wireless communications systems. It should also include virtual measurement tools that can be attached to nodes in the simulation to provide a view of expected performance. ZigBee, point-to-point radio, cellular, and more. As the design moves from simulation to realisation, actual device modules can be substituted into the simulation, with real measurements or hardware-in-the-loop replacing virtual tools. Doing so allows developers to compare simulated and actual performance. Beyond IoT device design and simulation, the next step is to measure and analyse the devices. When choosing a test instrument for this purpose, typical selection criteria should include performance specifications, measurement speed, physical footprint, configuration scalability, and cost (upfront and ongoing). No single solution will be best for all needs. CONCLUSION As the number of deployed IoT devices explodes into the billions, ensuring reliable connectivity will become essential. While many of today’s emerging enabling technologies will be critical to supporting the IoT ecosystem as it expands, it will fall to design and test solutions to ensure that any IoT devices designed are done so from the very beginning to allow reliable connectivity. Together, those enabling technologies and design and test solutions are helping to forge the Internet of things — today and into the future.

IOT INSIGHTS

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industrial operations

HOW CAN IOT HELP

MY INDUSTRIAL OPERATIONS? If the objective of automated industrial systems was to reduce human errors, the use of IoT systems is to improve productivity by making data available at all touch points. BY KENNY YEO, SENIOR INDUSTRY ANALYST, FROST & SULLIVAN

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IOT INSIGHTS

market has the potential to grow dramatically in Asia Pacific on the back of these outcomes.

Martin Litkei, Budapest, Budapest, bt

T

echnology is changing the way consumers buy. Increasingly, purchases are made through digital platforms and people want personalised products to be delivered quickly and efficiently. Manufacturers and logistics providers are keen to stay ahead but some are struggling to keep up. Keeping costs low, reducing lead time and inventory, improving planning and fulfilment capabilities are stretching their limits. Today, senior managers struggle to get a clear picture of their lines’ operational status, especially across multiple locations. Most production lines have localised sensors for control on the factory floor and detecting anomalies for rectification, but because these systems are not connected, consolidated operational data often still has to be collated manually. Through industrial IoT systems, sensors can be connected and data collection unified, no longer confined to isolated centres. Multiple parts of a plant and supporting infrastructure will be ‘sensorised’ to support autonomous data sharing across different lines and facilities to optimise operations and delivery schedules. Besides improving efficiency and optimising operations, industrial IoT connected systems have the potential to change the way manufacturers and industrial companies run their business. Frost & Sullivan predicts that this nascent

FAST GROWING IOT OPPORTUNITIES LED BY INDUSTRIAL SECTORS The industrial segment has the potential to drive IoT with 68 percent of total spending coming from logistics, transportation and industrial by 2020. Frost & Sullivan predicts that the Asia Pacific market is expected to grow almost five times from 2015 to 2020. China will be the largest market for Industrial IoT with almost half of the total market, followed by Japan and South Korea. POSITIVE OUTCOMES THAT HELP MY BUSINESS Through its varied capabilities, industrial IoT technology can improve a company’s operations, helping them make the most of what they have. Here are the top outcomes that can be achieved


through the implementation of IoT in an industrial facility: New Business Models Change The Way Business Is Delivered Sensors embedded into products and machinery provide information on its exact movements and interactions. This precise quantification coupled with predictive analytics, leads to the ability of selling Industrial outcomes as a service. This has the potential to drive revenue growth by changing business models, increase customer satisfaction and cultivate closer business relationships. For example, Rolls-Royce has been selling their airplane engine as a service for some time now. Commonly known as Power by the Hour, the engine is provided as a service with servicing and maintenance included, charged by flight hours. This provides additional revenue streams for servicing, parts and maintenance, while creating a business case that gels directly with their customers’ business objectives. Improve Efficiency Through The Availability Of Real Time Information Leveraging data from sensors provides senior managers with a real-time picture of their plant

operations, even across disparate facilities. This enables real-time decision-making to optimise inefficiencies, as well as identify and eliminate bottlenecks. Reduce Downtime And Maximise Revenue Through Predictive Decision Making For many industrial applications like process manufacturing or oil and gas, uninterrupted uptime is crucial for profitability and safety as facilities run year-round 24-hours a day. Reducing unscheduled down-time will save owners from potential lost revenue and increase productivity through effective deployment of resources and manpower. Identify Historical Patterns To Shape Future Decision Making The maturity of analytics now enables historical datasets to be analysed and patterns identified. These identified patterns can help shape future decision making. An increased volume of available information enables managers to better predict and optimise their activities. IoT can help improve operational visibility: from a historical view of information to a real-time one, and further to predictive IOT INSIGHTS

15


analysis through remote monitoring providing three views of their operations. HOW DO I GET STARTED? Starting on an industrial IoT project does not mean disrupting your operations or retiring functional equipment. The aim of any undertaking should be to work with existing infrastructure to maximise your investment while improving productivity. A trial project should not make changes to the production workflow, but rather gathers data for analytics to identify areas where efficiency gains can be made. This approach minimises any potential disruption to the production line. Out of the myriad possible use cases, Frost & Sullivan findings show that the following three choices for your first industrial IoT trial can deliver quick Return-On-Investment (ROI) to your operations by leveraging data: 1. Analysing past operational data for optimisation The first step can start without making any changes to lines or equipment. It involves moving data in batches from legacy non IoT-capable devices into an industrial IoT platform. Analysis of historical data can offer senior managers insights into the health of their machines, where tweaks can be made to improve efficiency and processes without investing to retrofit machines or install hardware at this point. 2. Real-time visibility through remote monitoring The next step involves installing sensors into machines and connecting equipment. This enables remote monitoring functionality which allows for real-time visibility of operational processes across multiple locations, allowing for immediate notification of problems and lowering the cost of any rectification. 3. Moving to predictive maintenance The application of analytics to historical and real-time data will then enable

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IOT INSIGHTS

predictive maintenance. The IoT platform will now be able to predict and notify managers when components are at risk of malfunction so that pre-emptive maintenance can be conducted. Possible problems can be identified early, helping to reduce unscheduled downtime to keep operations running smoothly. WHY DO I NEED TO MAKE THE FIRST STEP TO BEGIN A TRIAL? We already observe this trend occurring among consumers today. Manufacturing flexibility — where a line can easily produce customised products — will thus become more crucial. Flexible manufacturing enabled by industrial IoT systems offers a way to enhance competitiveness, gain new opportunities and re-shore production. Today, the convergence of enabling technologies makes this a perfect time to conduct a trial: • Ever smaller and cheaper sensors and IoT enabled devices • Emergence of cloud with cost effective storage, computing and networking on-demand • Ubiquitous connectivity and mobile applications • Big data analytics

Frost & Sullivan has identified ‘Personalisation and Customisation’ as an emerging social megatrend where consumers progressively place an increasing emphasis on personalised products. Industrial companies are now able to utilise low-cost sensors and telecommunications to connect to today’s complete industrial IoT cloud platforms on-demand, with flexible pricing and low-risk. With clear examples of positive business and operational outcomes, Frost & Sullivan recommends starting from where you are, conduct a trial project to reduce waste and improve efficiency, and take the first step to regain your competitive edge.


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factory automation

INTELLIGENT FACTORY AUTOMATION WITH IOT IAA interviewed Voo Chung Mong, deputy GM, industrial automation department, factory automation and industrial division, Mitsubishi Electric Asia on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is impacting the company’s business. BY MARK JOHNSTON

T

he Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is changing the face of factory automation, not just in Asia, but across the world. Industry 4.0 is a term that was pushed by the German government, but has since caught on in many other countries and regions. Whether

one uses Industrial IoT, Industry 4.0, or Smart Factory, they are very much related terms. Advantages stem from the ability of Industrial IoT to stimulate manufacturing innovation and boast industrial GDP growth while also improving resilience during an economic crises. Mitsubishi Electric’s approach to the Smart Factory is its FA integrated solution; e-F@ctory. This solution aims to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) while streamlining production operations. Mr Voo explands further:

IAA: Could you tell us more about Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory solution?

productivity, by having vertical data integration from shop floor to enterprise.

IAA: Is Singapore an important market for your smart factory solution? VCM: Yes. Singapore has always been the pioneering country for new technology. Many businesses use Singapore as a springboard for new solutions, including in the automation sector.

IAA: Does Mitsubishi have any concerns about IoT and what are some of the challenges in implementing such solutions?

VOO CHUNG MONG (VCM): Our e-F@ctory solution, which is designed for the connected factory, has been available since 2003. Initially we targeted this solution for the Japanese market. For the past few years we are putting in a lot of focus to expand overseas. An e-F@ctory-based plant incorporates a system that is capable of addressing various issues by collecting shop floor data such as production performance, operating performance and quality information from production equipment and devices directly and in real time, and directly interfacing with an enterprise’s database. The e-F@ctory platform improves quality, work schedules, and

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IOT INSIGHTS

VCM: We have years of experience with our e-F@ctory solution, which we have just introduced to Southeast Asia. We are in the process of forming a taskforce to promote the solution. The major challenge is awareness. While most have heard of IoT, there are a lot of


people that are still learning what IoT is all about, and how it can benefit them. As such, part of our strategy is to educate potential users about IoT and to build an ecosystem for this technology.

IAA: Are any of your customers asking for IoT or is this something you are adding as a value add? VCM: A few of our customers have started to ask about the possibility of implementing IoT in their factories. On the corporate front, we decided late last year to promote e-F@ctory strongly in overseas markets leveraging on our vast experiences in Japan.

IAA: What are some concerns your customers have raised regarding this technology? VCM: One of the main

IAA: Are you selling a solution or a product? VCM: We are working with a few partners to form an ecosystem. There are some well publicised ones, such as Microsoft and Cisco. We have collaborated with Microsoft in Japan in regards to their Cloud platform. We have also set up the e-F@ctory alliance, which is analliance of our partners. We cannot do IoT alone, so building strong partnerships is an important step in establishing ourselves as a major player in the industrial IoT space. The e-F@ctory and the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) together unify more than 3,000 partners covering a wide range of functionalities to build smart manufacturing applications.

IAA: What has the reception been like for the e-F@ctory?

VCM: It is still in the early stage. We have good adoption rates in Japan, the US, and in Europe. The automotive sector in Japan has been using our e-F@ctory solution for over 10 years. So far in ASEAN, the reception has been very encouraging judging from the feedback inquiries we received.

IAA: What are the main benefits of IoT for your company and your customers? VCM: We have a strong advantage in regards to the ASEAN countries because we already have a strong installed base within these countries. Going forward we will continue to build on this installed base while looking for new opportunities along the way. We expect IoT implementation will benefit our customers and contribute greatly to our business turnover in years to come.

concerns centres around project implementation. They may not know the size of the project, or how much they need to invest in such a project. Another concern centres on security, especially if they want to adopt cloud computing. They may not know what cyber security they require for the project.

The company’s iQ Platform is the enabling hardware for its e‑F@ctory concept. e‑F@ctory aims to improve quality, work schedules, and productivity, by having vertical data integration from shop floor to enterprise. IOT INSIGHTS

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FLUKE SOUTH EAST ASIA PTE LTD

20

IFM ELECTRONIC PTE LTD

1

KEYSIGHT TECHNOLOGIES SINGAPORE (SALES) PTE LTD

IFC

MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC ASIA PTE LTD

BC

SPHERE EXHIBITS PTE LTD (BUILDTECH ASIA 2016)

3

SPHERE EXHIBITS PTE LTD (FACILITIES MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS EXPO 2017)

5

TERRAPINN PTE LTD (THE IOT SHOW ASIA 2016)

IBC

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IAA IoT Insights 2016  
IAA IoT Insights 2016  
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