A journey towards the future - it´s the change and the journey itself that create the excitement. PAGE 2
ENDS C TR
TECHNICAL NEWS AND TRENDS FROM PREVAS
The intelligent bicycle lock. Lock and unlock with an app. PAGE 6
Scrumptious development for jam and chocolate fillings used in ice cream, baked goods and confectioneries. PAGE 3
IT SHOULD BE EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT TO DO WHEN AN ACCIDENT OCCURS! Uddeholm digitalizes emergency management binders. Page 4
NANOFIBERS CAPTURE SOLAR ENERGY! Innovative technology for solar cells. Page 12
AUTONOMOUS ROBOTS PROVIDE THE MARKET WITH A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY. Logistics solutions for smart industries. Page 15
Ovens that communicates, gathering data and offering services and products direct to the customers. A total solution for connected products. Page 8
A JOURNEY INTO THE FUTURE IT WAS 6.29 when I boarded the night train at Lund Cen-
tral Station and my thoughts were naturally drawn to this thing with travel. For some trips, we just want to sleep thEDITORIAL rough them, or arrive at our destination as soon as possible. For other trips, we’re on board for the experience, enjoyment and to immerse ourselves in our new surroundings, and perhaps even to overcome challenges. The digitalized journey we are on now is such a journey that I really want to experience, dealing with the challenges that arise along the way. What’s nice about this journey is that you can begin at various places and there is no ultimate goal. Instead you’re constantly moving forward while being dependent on what is going on around you. It’s the change and the journey itself that create the excitement. Taking in the recent societal trends in behavior, economics and not the least tech trends, it becomes a complex combination of opportunities and threats for businesses and other organizations. It’s sufficiently complex that no one can master all aspects on their own. This entails that networking, finding smart combinations of solutions and being innovative become factors for success – what we call being smart. Smart industries create sustainable and effective solutions with digitalization. Take a look at the case studies from ASM Foods and Robotize, for example. Smart products can be anything from intelligent rat traps to the nanotechnology in solar cells, and many exciting cases have been described. Smart services is a rapidly growing field – seeing complete chains of both technology and value, and then tying them together with smart services for customers. This creates a long-term relationship with the customers and creates added value. Read the article about Hounö for a story that is both inspiring and educational. I hope our articles can be like a journey, one that both inspires and perhaps even challenges. It’s also fun that our customer magazine Tech Trends celebrates 10 years. And I also hope that you can utilize the trends to your benefit, and that your journey in digitalization is an engaging one. For us, it’s an experience that we would really like to share with you. ×
// Johan Strid CEO PREVAS AB
AUTOMATIC PRODUCTION REPORTING Prevas’ solution Mikon gathers, interprets, distributes and reports data from oil and gas production for OMV in Norway. The system will also provide additional calculations that are required for OMV’s reporting. This to ensure that data for decision-making is available around the clock, 365 days a year.
AGREEMENT ENTERED WITH SCATEC SOLAR ASA Scatec Solar decided on the cloud-based solution Infor EAM for ensuring optimal availability and performance for its worldwide facilities, and has now entered an agreement with Prevas for global implementation of the solution. Work began at two of their facilities this autumn and the solution will be rolled out to their other facilities consecutively over the coming years. Scatec Solar is an integrated solar power producer that supplies inexpensive and sustainable energy all over the world.
SIMPLE CONNECT Prevas Simple Connect is a unified solution with extra layers of logic for administering users, devices, rights, pairing and security. The solution makes it possible to easily connect together several products and then move the completed unit from installation and production to the endcustomer’s site without involving users. You can read more about the solution in the article on our collaboration with Hounö on Page 8.
TECH TRENDS 1O YEARS Prevas customer magazine celebrates 10 years and we want to celebrate by presenting a number with extra many articles. This issue of Tech Trends is packed with inspiring articles and exciting areas where Prevas works.
Innovation for Growth Prevas has approximately 600 employees and is the primary supplier and development partner for many leading companies in the energy, automotive, defense, life science, telecom and manufacturing industries.If you do not want to receive Tech Trends from us, you can decline at any time by sending an email to email@example.com.
2 / Innovation for Growth
CASE 2016 and Prevas was responsible for the entire delivery, in other words, for the new processing equipment. “ASM Foods contacted us because they wanted to add an additional filling line,” says Henric Persson, business unit manager at Prevas. “They also wanted to modify certain parts of their process so they could more flexibly utilize their capacity.” The actual modification consisted of a new buffer tank with higher capacity and a new keg filler that could comply with the new customer’s requirements for packaging in 5-kilo and 25-kilo kegs. The existing processing equipment was complemented with new, automated valve matrices that increase flexibility in the installation. PREVAS BROADENING ITS RANGE OF SOLUTIONS FOR THE PROCESSING INDUSTRIES When Prevas takes comprehensive responsibility in a project, they coordinate all activities and are responsible for all external suppliers, enabling the customer to focus on ordinary operations. Prevas’ delivery consists of turnkey installations – designed based on customers’ requirements, tested and commissioned.
TASTEFUL DEVELOPMENT To satisfy requirements from a strategically important customer, ASM Foods modified its processing installation. Prevas was responsible for all aspects of the project and delivered a turnkey installation – designed based on the customer’s needs, tested and commissioned. ASM Foods produces ingredients for the grocery industry, primarily jam and chocolate fillings for ice cream, bakery goods and confectioneries. The company has about 150 employees at two plants in Mjölby – one plant for water-based products and one for fat-based. The company began during the 1930s and has been owned since 2013 by Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest producer of chocolate. There are customers all over the world and they place stringent demands on the company’s products – they must always maintain the same color, consistency and taste. Delivery precision is also highly prioritized, as well as flexibility and short lead times. “Our operations are fully tailored to customer orders,” says Bengt Nehrman, production developer at ASM Foods. “Customers receive ten-day delivery service and we seldom know what production will be like two weeks into the future. This is also our niche, as a fast and flexible supplier.” ADAPTATION FOR NEW PRODUCT ASM Foods operates in a branch where demand can quickly shift, although it is unusual that a situation arises in which an individual product can motivate major investments in the processing installation. But a few years ago, there was a case in which strategic considerations and an unequivocal directive from the owner had to be complied with. The project started in
“We work to effectively minimize disturbances to customers’ production environments and we take full responsibility for all activities in the projects,” says Henric Persson. “Because we can deliver comprehensive solutions, we become involved in projects earlier, which gives us better understanding of customers’ operations and needs.” OPERATORS AS THE STARTING POINT The modifications were completed in the autumn of 2016 and ASM Foods is now working with the new customer’s requirements for special packaging. The process is fully automated, and monitored and controlled in real-time by the company’s operators. “A basic requirement is that all component parts in our process are comprehensible and user friendly for our operators,” says Bengt Nehrman. “From what I’ve seen, they’re satisfied, and they are continuing to submit suggestions for improvements as well as participating in optimization of the process.” From Prevas’ side, several different skills have been involved in the project, with participation by project managers, process engineers, process designers, procurement managers, electrical engineers and automation engineers. With ASM having signed support agreements with Prevas to ensure reliable operation in their plants, collaboration is continuing. “Prevas has demonstrated both their expertise and trustworthiness in the project,” says Bengt Nehrman. “They’ve also contributed with experience and improvement suggestions based on what they have done previously on several similar projects. We’re very happy with what they’ve accomplished, both when it comes to work with the software and the design of our process.” × For more information contact:
henric.persson@ prevas.se +46 40 691 95 23
BUSINESS UNIT MANAGER PREVAS SWEDEN
Innovation for Growth /
UDDEHOLM DIGITALIZES EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BINDERS With help from Prevas, steelmaker Uddeholm has developed an emergency management app for use in the event of emergencies. Uddeholm’s head of safety Mathias Hedlund and CEO Johnny Sjöström called a meeting to discuss the alternatives for digitalizing the company’s emergency management binders. The main problem was that these binders were so widely distributed that keeping all copies up to date – with regard to temporary vacation staff, people who had left the company, telephone lists, etc. – was exceedingly difficult. “We had a very rudimentary outline in a text document that we used as a basis for discussion about what should be included in an app and which functions we wanted to have.” After bouncing their ideas off each other, they quickly arrived at an initial structure. They put considerable effort into everything, from the safety aspects to user friendliness, and by summer they had a beta version. After a period of testing, the system was deployed during November and December 2017. “The idea was for the managers and supervisors at Uddeholm to have the information in their company phones, so we discussed the options for adding value to the system,” says Patrik Olsson Bichis, digitalization expert at Prevas.
INTEGRATED INTO UDDEHOLM’S ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM Once the frameworks were set, Prevas developer Tobias Jansson, began with the actual development. The only technical requirement was that the solution could be easily plugged into Uddeholm’s underlying administrative system. Because it was also developed by Prevas, this did not entail any greater problems. “In consultation with Mathias and with his views on function and appearance, we developed the app in .NET and with the Aurelia framework, in other words, modern web technology,” says Tobias. “We wanted to produce a test site as quickly as possible so we could test the system with fictive data.”
An emergency management app by definition may not be overly complex or otherwise difficult to use. If there is a fire, the last thing you need is a question about your login details. You want to know exactly what you should do, here and now.
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The app initially included static lists of measures, but more dynamic functions were added at an early stage. The user receives step-by-step support for how he or she is to react based on the type of incident, including instructions on what is to be reported when calling emergency services, who should be contacted and in which order. Everything is documented in a log. “The actual information flow was important to us,” says Mathias. “When incidents occur, there can be both incorrect and conflicting information. Here we get a quick overview of what has happened and who has done what.” An emergency management app by definition may not be overly complex or otherwise difficult to use. If there is a fire, the last thing you need is a question about your login details. You want to know exactly what you should do, here and now. For a more serious incident, Uddeholm’s emergency management team can be reached directly when the incident is registered in the app. Concerned management staff can also be inserted into the flow so that the information goes to those who need it. DIRECT AND CONCRETE SUPPORT DURING ONGOING INCIDENTS Tobias emphasizes that the emergency management app is not a reporting tool, but rather a form of support during ongoing incidents. When someone triggers an alarm, the chat log opens with concrete information about who should do what and with a map of the relevant area. “The app is for Uddeholm employees and it is their reporting that initiates actions in the event of emergencies,” Tobias explains. “In a next stage, we may utilize the smart factory in a more advanced manner with automatic alarms, for example.” For Tobias, with his background in IT, it was both useful and essential with the support and industry experience that his colleagues at Prevas could provide. The safety approach that is so important for a heavy industrial company like Uddeholm is nothing natural or obvious for an IT agency. “You also have to keep in mind that a little startup company would probably never have come in at Uddeholm, even if they was able to resolve the problem from a purely technical standpoint,” says Tobias. “This is why the breadth of knowledge of several staff members in combination with acquired experience is so important for Prevas.” Since its introduction, quite a few adjustments have been made in the app, such as the capability to see who is logged in. When there is an alarm in the middle of the night, it can be good to know who is informed and aware of the incident. In conjunction with an incident, an SMS text message is also sent out to those concerned. The message contains a link for activating the app that the recipient can tap instead of responding. “It has to be easy to do the right thing,” says Mathias. “We closely collaborate with Prevas and have an open dialog; they listen to our opinions. I’m no programmer but I had a good idea of what we wanted, and they knew what was practical to include in the app and how to implement it. It’s all been a very positive experience.” ×
For more information contact:
Patrik Olsson Bichis Patrik.OlssonBichis@ prevas.se +46 72 511 73 06
SPECIALIST DIGITALISERING PREVAS SWEDEN
Innovation for Growth /
ANTITHEFT BICYCLE PARKING
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It is not every day that an 82-year-old approaches Prevas for assistance in realizing an idea in electronics. But Erling Nielsen from Horsens did exactly that. It just happened to be an idea based on a Cloud solution. But you can’t exactly say that Erling Nielsen is new to electronics. He spent six decades working in and with the Danish electronics industry. Nielsen’s ambition is to create secure bicycle parking for city centers. This means bike parking racks where expensive bicycles can be left with peace of mind. The bicycle parking racks will be equipped with heavy duty chains that can effectively protect customers’ bicycles. The locks to the 10 mm chains are unlocked with an app on the customer’s smartphone. ”You use an app to see where there is an available bike rack. You go to the rack, where the lock will open. Then you stick the chain through the frame and the wheel and into the lock. We use a heavy 10 mm galvanized steel chain. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to steal the bicycle,” says Nielsen. Cyclists who may have paid DKK 10,000 or even DKK 25,000 for specialized bicycles can therefore feel secure when leaving their bicycles in the city. ”Cylock offers something unique. Many people have had the idea of using digital bicycle locks that are attached to the bicycle. This has shown itself to be rather impractical. Cylock offers a parking rack that holds onto the bicycle. It’s a new idea,” says Henrik Thomsen, Project Sales Manager for Prevas. He has been involved in the project from Prevas’ side. The solution of having bicycle racks where the bicycles are locked up tight is also an advantage for the provider, which would typically be a municipality or transportation authority. The system will keep track of who has parked their bicycles, and this will help to avoid a big accumulation of old, worn-out, and potentially stolen bicycles. COVERING THE ENTIRE CHAIN Prevas has fully developed the software for the bicycle racks, the software for the servers that function as the heart of the system, and the app that will be used by bicycle owners when they park their bicycles. ”It’s exciting for us to get the opportunity to be involved at every level from the bicycle rack, up in the cloud, and then back to the app used by bicycle owners. It’s not just a system that functions between smartphones and the cloud. We are also developing software for the bicycle racks where the bicycles are parked. We are covering the entire chain. That is our strong point,” says Thomsen. ”The system presents high demands for data security. Of course, we can’t allow a system where someone can suddenly unlock your bike and ride away with it,” says Thomsen. ”In the long term, a payment system will also be incorporated to generate revenue for the system owner. This also requires a secure payment solution. Even if it might sound simple, it means a lot of requirements for data security,” says Thomsen. For Erling Nielsen, Prevas was the obvious choice for this task.
”I’ve known Prevas for a long time and have seen the company tackle similar tasks with outstanding results. They also have a large existing customer base, which instills confidence in their ability to solve new tasks,” he says. TRAILERS AND CANOES Erling Nielsen has several ideas about how the Cylock system can be used for applications other than bicycles. It could be used to secure vehicle trailers. It could also be used for boat rentals, such as on the Gudenåen river. ”For canoe rentals, you need to maintain an overview of where each canoe is located, how long it’s been out, and who has used it,” says Nielsen. ”Our first priority is to get the bicycle project up and running. The other things can come after that. People are also welcome to get in touch if they have other ideas about what this type of locking system can be used for.” Erling Nielsen has two partners for the Cylock project: Horsodan Elektronik in Horsens and Software Developer Mik Achton-Boel. DEFERRING RETIREMENT Erling Nielsen could have actually retired at the age of 72 when he sold the company Instruments in 2008. But even at age 82 he just can’t stop starting new projects. He can often be found in his workshop, where he develops and builds his products. ”I feel great, and this is not the only project that I have underway,” he laughs. Nielsen has been involved in the Danish electronics industry since the 1950s. He was employed building televisions at the Arena factory in Horsens, among other things. He sees significant differences in the way electronics were produced back then and how they are developed today. ”Because today’s electronics have become so complicated, all the people involved in a development project are small pieces in a larger picture. You have to have a whole series of experts in many different areas. Back when we were making televisions at the Arena factory, things were much different. Although a color television is an intricate device, our engineers were familiar with every single piece of the television.” ”It was interesting to know something about the entire product. Today, it’s a completely different world,” he says. ×
För mer information kontakta:
henrik.thomsen@ prevas.dk +45 29 26 92 04
PROJECT SALES MANAGER PREVAS DANMARK
Innovation for Growth /
PREVAS SIMPL CREATES VALU MANUFACTURE 8 / Innovation for Growth
PREVAS / TECH TRENDS
LE CONNECT UE FOR OVEN ER HOUNÃ– Innovation for Growth /
A close collaboration between visionary oven manufacturer HounĂś, Design People, and Prevas has now resulted in a complete solution where end customersâ€™ ovens are connected to the cloud and all its benefits, and which also enables many other products to be brought into the same solution. A single solution where things start talking to each other, where you can pick up aggregated consumption summaries for the whole kitchen, and where preventive service covers not only one product, but ensures that the whole kitchen is functioning smoothly. 10 / Innovation for Growth
PREVAS / TECH TRENDS
Prevas and Hounö have been working together in close collaboration for a long time on developing hardware, embedded software, Linux/Android, web solutions and production testing, i.e. in virtually all disciplines across the field of electronics and software development. The vision for this newer project was a dream of offering access to products, gathering data and offering services and products direct to the customer. This included, among other things, preventive maintenance, software updates, error reporting and statistical data. A COMMUNICATION DREAM BECOMES REALITY Previously, Prevas had worked on a new communications infrastructure called Prevas Simple Connect, based on a mix of existing solutions around the MQTT protocol together with a layer of business logic developed by Prevas. MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) is the current standard for IoT communication and offers a lightweight protocol suitable for resource-limited systems, based on a publish/subscriber model. The protocol overcomes challenges regarding NAT (Network Address Translation) and different address domains with the client establishing the connection and being kept open. If the product is on the customer’s own network behind routers and firewalls, it can still be reached without requiring any special setup of the customer network infrastructure or VPN connections provided that a standard port (such as 80) is open through the network. Prevas has contributed by taking it one step further and defining clients as well as devices and users. This separation is useful, as devices must be identified on the network using serial numbers, for example, whereas users are often known by their email address. Prevas Simple Connect works to make device pairing as simple as possible and makes it possible to move this part from setup and production to the end user installation without user involvement. Finally, Prevas Simple Connect also makes it possible to create a user and device group hierarchy in which one group can access a number of devices that are hidden from another group, but in terms of inheritance, parent groups can access the devices in child groups. Prevas Simple Connect are so much more than just an implementation of MQTT. It is a comprehensive solution with an extra layer of logic for managing users, devices,
rights, pairing and security. THE SECRET BEHIND THE SUCCESS Hounö initiated a collaboration with Design People, who are consultants and experts in innovation and design. They contributed by clarifying present and future customer needs by involving customers and stakeholders in the process. The clear goal was to uncover which customer experiences create value. Through their work, Design People and Hounö have uncovered a whole range of services and patterns of use that together define the Let’s Cook cloud solution from Hounö. Prevas participated throughout the process and has been the technological sparring partner regarding possible technical solutions, and, toward the end, Prevas implemented the solution with regard to Prevas Simple Connect as infrastructure and AngularJS for front-end development. The Let’s Cook cloud solution has now launched. The most important ingredients in this cocktail are a visionary customer, a design partner who can steer the innovative process toward the interests of the customer, and a development partner that covers the full spectrum of necessary technological skills to realize such a solution from device to cloud. It is not enough to simply be web developers, embedded software experts or hardware developers: all aspects must be covered in order to deliver the complete solution. Collaborations are the key to success! FUTURE PLANS AND NEW PROJECTS Hounö’s parent company, Middleby, is planning to extend this solution to its affiliates with Middleby Connect. A solution where the end customer can not only connect their ovens to the cloud with all the benefits that come with it, but can also connect to many of the other Middleby products in the same solution. A single solution where things start talking to each other, where you can pick up aggregated consumption summaries for the whole kitchen, and where preventive service covers not only one product, but ensures that the whole kitchen is functioning smoothly. For Prevas, it´s really exciting to be their partner and develop a total solution for connected products. We can see that more of our existing and new customers are starting to consider similar initiatives where they begin by testing some smaller proofs of concept. Using existing prototype boards and Prevas Simple Connect,
we bring their products to the cloud and then develop a simple product portal where ideas can be tested within their own organization and at customers. In any case, it can be difficult to trust in a business case study, and sometimes it’s about daring to take the leap. Do it wholeheartedly, with passion, and do it together with people who know how it’s done and can provide support with the necessary skills along the way. ×
For more information contact:
Søren W. Mathiasen soren.mathiasen@ prevas.dk +45 20 99 76 01
VICE PRESIDENT SALES & MARKETING, PREVAS DENMARK
Innovation for Growth /
INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR SOLAR CELLS Sol Voltaics AB was established in 2008 as a spinoff from Lund University’s world-leading nanotech research and is active in the rapidly growing market for solar energy. The company is developing new and innovative technology that enables solar panel manufacturers to increase the efficiency of their solar cells. Prevas has been involved since the university days and is now a strategic partner for Sol Voltaics. The company is still at the technical development stage, and with the help of research allocations and risk capital, is working to develop the equipment for manufacturing nanofibers. Until 2014, all development activities were conducted at the university, with a staff of about 20, but there are now approximately 60 persons carrying development forward in the company’s wellequipped premises – a green cleantech company with robust and secure software. “In 2014, there was considerable pressure to get the equipment in our new facility operable as soon as possible, which led to bringing in Prevas early on,” says Dr Luke Hankin, senior engineering manager at Sol Voltaics. “We went into the project with a lot to do but with limited resources, so the flexibility they were able to provide was a big help. We could receive the support we needed exactly when we needed it.” ADVANCED NANOTECHNOLOGY The process for manufacturing nanofibers begins with a metal melt and particles being created through evaporation. This is
followed by a number of steps during which the particles are rounded off and sorted by size. When they finally reach the reactor, nanofiber growth is begun under high temperature along with substances such as TMGa and AsH3. The produced fibers consist of gallium arsenide (GaAs), with each fiber being a solar cell that produces electrical current when exposed to sunlight. The nanofibers are thereafter sampled, saved and sent on for further processing. The control system for the process above is produced by National Instruments LabVIEW, and Prevas works continuously with updates and optimization of the present system, with everything involving technological development at the leading edge. The selection of LabVIEW was absolutely critical according to Björn, since it also gives Sol Voltaics the capability to adjust and modify. “Producing these fibers is an advanced process, involving reactive gases, high temperatures and flows with high precision,” says Björn. “It requires an automated control system to regulate the process. This is a time-critical control system we developed ourselves in which we’ve been able to utilize our high-volume experience in industry and automation. We’ve also arranged workshops on industry applications at which we’ve engaged a number of automation experts at Prevas.” Björn emphasizes the importance of adapting the developed solution to actual needs, not based on the technology’s capabilities but rather on Sol Voltaics’ need for an appropriate solution, a technological solution adapted to the end-customer. Prevas’ collective experience from major industries with both hardware and software was also a decisive parameter for Sol Voltaics in choosing them as a collaborative partner.
“THE SUN PROVIDES A CONTINUOUS SOURCE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY THAT WILL NOT BE EXHAUSTED DURING THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.”
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In the next process, the nanofibers attain the correct orientation through a chemical process before being applied in a thin film. The film is thereafter treated in a number of steps that include electrical contacts being applied that enable transfer of the generated current.
“As with all startups, speed-to-market is critical,” says Luke. “Prevas is a supplier that provides the sophisticated control systems we need, quickly, cost-effectively and in a responsive manner. All this, in combination with their strong focus on confidentiality, was decisive when we chose them as a partner.”
“This thin film cell has been developed to be more sensitive to the sun’s blue light spectrum, but transparent for the red part of the spectrum,” Luke explains. “The film can subsequently be used on a solar panel with silicon cells, with the film placed above these.”
“There will be substantial demand in the market for solar panels that are not only highly efficient, but that are also aesthetically pleasing,” says Dr Arno Stassen, director of product marketing at Sol Voltaics. “Roofs will not just be excellent sources of electricity, they will also be very attractive.” ×
EXCITING PLANS FOR THE FUTURE Sol Voltaics plans to have its first product on the market in 2020. This product – SolFilm – can either be produced as a module solely containing GaAs nanofibers as the active material, or placed above silicon cells, for example. In the aforementioned case, efficiency is comparable to high-performance silicon modules. The efficiency of the tandem modules can be over 25 percent (often considered to be the practical limit for silicon modules) and potentially increase to values just under 30 percent during the next few years.
For more information contact:
bjorn.penten@ prevas.se +46 40 691 95 90
SALES MANAGER PREVAS SWEDEN
THE GAME CHANGER IN WIRELESS COVERAGE We take our mobile coverage for granted and can be very irritated when it does not meet our expectations – or even worse – when there is no coverage at all. A company that ensures that we can continue our conversations even in tunnels and other difficult environments is Maven Wireless, which in collaboration with Prevas, is developing the next generation’s distributed antenna system. The DAS product Maven Wireless is developing provides solutions for establishing mobile coverage beyond the reach of base stations. Typical examples are highway and rail tunnels, subways, arenas and other building complexes that require a separate solution for indoor coverage. When the company encountered needs for additional resources in digital design, Prevas was contacted. They were already familiar with Prevas from earlier consulting contacts. “Maven Wireless said that they wanted to have us as a strategic partner and resource for design of digital boards,” says Mikael Hamberg, senior engineer for electronics design at Prevas. “We’ve primarily contributed with schema diagrams, board layouts and some simulation work on high-speed interfaces.”
The field of indoor coverage is rapidly growing, due in part to the new generations of standards having continuously increased in frequency – from 2G, 3G, 4G and so forth. The higher frequencies have more difficulty in penetrating the different types of construction materials, such as concrete. Moreover, new construction materials and solutions produce additional obstacles for the radio signals in forcing their way through. “Examples of this are window panes, which previously only consisted of glass,” says Fredrik. “These days they often incorporate foil as protection against radiation, which is pure death for radio signals and makes coverage indoors catastrophically bad. This has further driven the need for indoor coverage solutions.” Distributed antenna systems are often used indoors. Base stations are more expensive and provide better capacity, but if it is “only” coverage that is needed, it is enough with a more cost-effective DAS system. Moreover, DAS is a multi-operator system while the base stations are operator-dependent, which means that a specific base station is required for each operator. If four operators have coverage at the same location, four base stations are needed. “For Prevas, work began with the schema diagram for what we call the master unit,” Mikael explains, “in other words, the unit that is connected to the base station.”
Innovation for Growth /
CASE > In the master unit there is a frequency-specific radio board
that connects in the radio signals from the base station. Signal processing is conducted both in the remote and base units; the master unit receives radio signals from the base station and converts them into digital form. “In the remote unit’s digital domain, we’ve developed algorithms for linearizing our power amplifiers, which makes the unit’s power consumption several times lower than with a traditional system,” Fredrik explains. “This in turn means that we’ve also significantly lowered the weight.” The distributed remote units are compact and weigh less than 25 kilos. They can consequently be classified as “one-man-lift” – something that no other supplier can offer. In addition, the system consumes very little power, which means less generated heat, and subsequently, no need for cooling fans. “Fanless remote installations are important in tunnel coverage, for example, where fans are always to be avoided,” says Fredrik. “Sending personnel down to clean or replace fans in dirty and hazardous environments such as train tunnels is complicated. We are one of the few companies with a solution like this in combination with several bands in the high frequency class.” Mikael emphasizes that Prevas has not supplied solutions or knowledge that Maven Wireless lacks; they have highly skilled designers but simply lacked certain resources. The companies closely collaborate in development, with Prevas being exactly the strategic partner Maven Wireless was looking for. “We’ve come incredibly far since the first meeting thanks to our experienced layout people, such as Magnus Lövgren, who joined the project around October/November to lay out the master node’s digital board,” says Mikael. “Once he had created the layout for the various parts for intermediate storage of date and memory, Prevas’ EMC expert Thomas Bergkvist could move on with simulation of the interfaces.” The capability to utilize experts from different offices around the country is an important factor, with Prevas being able to draw upon its entire network to find the right expertise. Everything still looked good after the final simulations, and at the beginning of the year, the first master digital board went into production. For Maven Wireless, it is a matter of beefing up various areas, especially in the manufacturing of special boards and in production, which is not continuous but has occasional peaks. With Prevas’ resources, it is easy and efficient to bring in a skilled consultant as needed, eliminating the need for Maven Wireless to maintain permanent staff to handle these peaks.
For more information contact:
johan.bergsten@ prevas.se +46 18 56 27 10
CONSULTANT MANAGER PREVAS SWEDEN
14 / Innovation for Growth
“Prevas is a strong partner in this type of development project,” says Fredrik in closing. “This is our first big job together, but there will be more. We’ll have new peaks in the future and it is Prevas we will turn to when we do. This is a long-term collaborative arrangement.” ×
PREVAS / TECH TRENDS
LOGISTICS FOR SMART FACTORIES
GoPal is a concrete example of how Industry 4.0 is contributing to the development of smart factories. In collaboration with Prevas, the Danish company Robotize has developed autonomous logistics robots with functions otherwise unmatched in the global marketplace. Robotize is a young and forward-looking company that was just recently founded in June of 2016 but with a clear vision about the solution they wanted to develop: Autonomous robots – or self-driving vehicles – for internal logistics handling of EUR pallets. They began searching for software developers and looked at various technical solutions as early as within the idea stage. The next step was to employ an industrial designer, and it was then that they initiated discussions with Prevas and business development manager, Nikolaj Hanson. Could Prevas perhaps lend a hand with the development? “We showed a schematic to Nikolaj of what we wanted to do,” says Anders Pjetursson, CEO for Robotize. “I don’t really think he had all that much faith in the development of a mobile logistics robot, but he was naturally willing to help out.” Even if Anders had previously worked with both Prevas and Nikolaj and things had always gone smoothly, the idea from the beginning was only to use Prevas for certain parts of the product development. “We wanted to do everything ourselves at first, but we soon realized that it’s far more efficient to engage the best of the people you have around you,” says Anders. At the same time, it’s naturally important that you have the core product expertise.
This is how Prevas came into the picture in continued planning. They sat down together to sort out the challenges and opportunities – with several improvements as a result. Once Anders and his colleagues had obtained better and digital documentation, work accelerated. By January of 2017, they already had a first operable prototype of the GoPal robot. “Nikolaj couldn’t believe his eyes,” says Anders with a laugh. “From the prototype stage, all that was left was to push on, and things continued to go very quickly.” When a GoPal is installed in a storage area or warehouse, it maps its surroundings, surfaces and objects, with LIDAR as it moves around. All data is stored in a central database where it can be combined with other information. “This is a major advantage with GoPal since other commercial systems require steering, programming and updating,” Nikolaj explains. If something new turns up in the surroundings, other systems come to a stop, while GoPal gathers the necessary information itself and updates for all other units as well via the main computer. This is a unique strength, something not even the large, global leaders can offer.” The information in the main computer is not just used to prevent collisions and find the best routes, it is also used to determine which unit will pick up when and where, and it prioritizes movements to optimize logistics handling. The database can be connected to the parent warehouse management system (WMS), which Nikolaj says makes it a truly smart Industry 4.0 system. Robotize has put considerable effort into the safety aspects of GoPal’s various functions. They now have a safe solution
and Nikolaj has audited the documentation alongside development activities. Three GoPal robots are already in service. Commercialization has begun and there is a very illustrative video at their website that demonstrates the robot’s capabilities. (www.robotize.com) “Safety and security, this is a critical area,” says Nikolaj. “Pallets can weigh up to a on and this puts stringent demands on the system that’ll be moving them.” Without correctly addressing the safety aspects, nothing can work, according to Nikolaj. It is fine and well to talk about smart factories, but without proper safety, it is just talk. Once the safety issues have been resolved, there are many smart solutions that can be connected together as a comprehensive system for enterprise resource planning (ERP). “The biggest advantage is naturally in cutting costs since GoPal can do its job more flexibly, and above all, more quickly than with traditional forklifts,” says Nikolaj. Moreover, GoPal works both safely and around the clock.” “These are exciting times and we never know what tomorrow will bring,” says Anders in closing. “But what we do know is that it has been very good to work with Prevas and this is something we’ll be continuing with.” ×
For more information contact:
henrik.moller@ prevas.dk +45 29 49 92 02
PRESIDENT PREVAS DENMARK
Innovation for Growth /
THE INTELLIGENT RAT TRAP Advances in digitization pave the way for non-toxic pest control in the smart cities of the future. With assistance from Prevas in Denmark, Arctic Systems have developed an intelligent rat trap that streamlines and optimizes pest control—without using any poison. Advances in digitization and technology are constantly providing new opportunities for innovation, optimization, and new business models. These advances also provide solutions to previously challenging problems. Our cities are experiencing the biggest numbers of rodents ever, and thanks to digital solutions, Rune Barslund and Alistair Morton have developed the concept behind Arctic Systems’ Smart city platform, and the IoT-enabled rat trap RATMO. In our modern society, we can now operate effective pest control without using any poison AI FOR STREAMLINING AND INSIGHT Arctic System’s RATMO device is placed on the users’ own rat traps. Using sensory technology, RATMO collects data about the use of the trap. The user gets a complete overview of the data collected, which concerns the location and timings of the rat activity, as well as which areas require intervention. The platform is supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning, which automatically starts to analyze the data generated by RATMO. Data such as capture areas, capture times, temperature at the time of capture, time of year, bait, etc. gives the user more information about the rat’s behavior, allowing the user to be better informed in the future when preparing their own pest control strategies. The user has full access to the administration system with live updates on rat activity, and can plan service routes and have a complete overview of the rat activity 24/7. The user is equipped with an app with a map and location address, which clearly shows which traps need servicing. The robust RATMO is designed to withstand rough handling while retaining its ability to monitor and report back to the system. Arctic Systems believe that reliability is one of the most important factors for the user. That’s why the unit has been tested to the same drop test standard used by the US Army. No more pointless drives out to intact traps, which means only sending out resources when required. This benefits the user’s finances and, of course, the environment, as RATMO is 100% non-toxic. PREVAS COLLABORATION PARTNER Arctic Systems contacted Prevas for help with the product development of a prototype they had been working on for some time. The concept had been validated but lacked the final lift to upscale the production to larger quantities.
8 INNOVATION FOR GROWTH
When Prevas was assigned the task, the concept was reviewed with Arctic Systems, and the necessary amendments and adjustments were made wherever a weakness or deficiency was found. For example, the entire back-end system was moved from a proprietary solution to IBM’s Bluemix/Watson cloudplatform, which could easily scale a solution of just a few hundred units to several hundred thousand units. Meanwhile, typically forgotten essential and important details, such as quick and easy production tests and logistics management of RATMO, were added. The communication architecture was retained, as the choice of GSM/GPRS as carrier service made sense for RATMO. It provides the greatest possible coverage across the entire country, ahead of other technologies, such as Lora and Sigfox. The controller part was replaced with a Prevas ultra-low power processor platform, which is based on the Cypress’ SoC family, providing excellent flexibility and a high level of re-use. As a result, Prevas was ready with the first product range in the space of just a few months. Prevas has an in-depth knowledge of this platform, which meant focus could remain on RATMO’s requirement for low power consumption. “We chose Prevas as our development partner because with their extensive knowledge of embedded and Internet of Things solutions, they were the obvious partner to take our idea to the next phase. This clearly proved to be a great choice,” says Rune Barslund, CEO Arctic Systems. INTERNET OF THINGS-PLATFORM The IoT part of RATMO is already out in two other IoT designs that Prevas is currently working on. The flexible setup of the platform means you can easily switch transmission technology between BlueTooth (BLE), LoRa, Sigfox, WiFi, or GSM/ GPRS/LTE. “We are delighted this project has demonstrated the success of our general IoT platform strategy. With our generic IoT building blocks, time and risk from idea For more infomation to product have been contact: minimized,” says Henrik Alex Poulsen, Senior Møller Project Manager for henrik.moller@ prevas.dk Prevas in Denmark, +45 29 49 92 02 who was in charge of the project. × PRESIDENT PREVAS DENMARK