Increase in productivity and reduction of maintenance costs – these are the main two drivers for companies to use IoT in an industrial setting, as the Industry of Things World Survey Report 2016 found out.
A way to achieve such competitive advantages is to network your production machinery. Using cloud services to centrally monitor and maintain machines gives companies a competitive edge and makes them fit for the future.
Machine management platforms
Networking machines – how does it work? If companies connect their devices via a mobile network to online management platforms, they can monitor and control the machines remotely via cloud. Right at or in the device installed sensors collect data and a gateway sends them to the cloud platform, where they will be visualised and analysed, says Dr. Alexander Lautz, senior vice president M2M at Deutsche Telekom.
So, users are able to see their machine’s status at a glance and can monitor them closely. Additionally, thresholds can be set for different scores; if one sensor’s data exceeds it, a predefined person gets alarmed. If desired, the data can also be fed into local systems using an API, so automated enterprise programs can react to warnings and adjust performance as needed.
Monitoring and predictive maintenance
There are plenty of benefits: The main ones are to reduce downtime and maintenance costs. With precisely this goal, German manufacturer for special lift trucks, Hubtex, uses the online management platform “Cloud of Things” by Deutsche Telekom. The German ICT service provider’s SaaS based solution enables the remote monitoring and control of equipment. Another company that uses the “Cloud of Things” is CERTUSS, a leading maker of steam generators.
His industrial machines produce water vapour for extremely diverse applications, such as engine testing, humidifying air condition units, hotel laundry operations, cosmetics production, and even cooking sausages for the meat industry. Those linked to the management platform are monitored for around 60 parameters, such as steam pressure, water levels, and temperature and combustion conditions.
Furthermore, the analysis of the data enables predictive maintenance. “CERTUSS uses the Cloud of Things data analytics to do forward-looking maintenance according to the interpreted information from devices”, said Thomas Hamacher, chief technical officer at CERTUSS. That means service crews don’t have to make maintenance visits at regular intervals. Instead, they only have to be on location when truly necessary, what saves considerable time and costs.
Research and development
These cost savings benefit user and manufacturer of the machines likewise. But CERTUSS can gain another advantage from the “Cloud of Things”: Because the company can track closely the performance of their generators under actual production conditions, they can adjust the devices optimally to the customer’s needs and extricate important findings to develop even better machines in the future.
To make the IoT journey for companies easier, Deutsche Telekom offers entry-level solutions. A “Cloud of Things Pilot Package” contains, at a fixed price, individually tailored hardware and software to connect machines and to read out measuring data, to show users the true potential of what’s possible.
Security issues and privacy concerns get often named by companies as the biggest challenges for implementing networking machines – after all, both sensitive company and customer data need to be saved and processed in the cloud.
Deutsche Telekom addresses the issue of security with encrypted communications technology, its reliable networks, and highly secure ISO-certified German data centres that offer IT availability of 99.999%. Additionally, strict German data protection laws safeguard customer privacy.
The author of this blog is Dr. Alexander Lautz, senior vice president M2M at Deutsche Telekom.
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