u‑blox, a globalprovider of wireless and positioning modules and chips, announced that its SARA cellular module series will provide wireless connectivity for a new end-to-end platform for Industry 4.0. With the platform, developed by Italian-based Iomote, businesses will be able to easily connect existing machines to the cloud to increase efficiency and augment their service offering. Iomote will present its new solution in a series of workshops that started in the Microsoft House in Milan this month.
The centerpiece of the platform is Iomote’s smart, programmable X400 gateway, which adds cloud connectivity to virtually any industrial application.
Iomote offers also a handy web dashboard for the IIoT system administrators: MyMote. MyMote is used to manage operations such as provisioning, remote software upgrades of devices on the field, system notifications, and many others.
Telemetry data on the other hand are sent directly to Microsoft Azure and are exclusively available to the customer, without third parties involved.
Industrial IoT solutions require real-time, bi-directional connectivity between the device and the cloud. Ensuring continuous connectivity was paramount for this application. “We tested our X400 in remote areas where the cellular signal was very weak and unstable, and the overall performance was robust thanks to the u-blox SARA cellular modules it uses,” says Claudio Carnevali, CEO of Iomote.
Flexibility was another factor in Iomote’s decision to work with the u-blox solution. “Form factor and pin-to-pin compatibility between 2G, 3G, and 4G variants of the SARA cellular module mean that customers have the possibility to choose their cellular communication technology. We really benefit from the possibility of tailoring the technology each customer’s needs,” he says. “In the end, regardless of the cellular technology used, our customers can rely on the u-blox module to send messages flawlessly to the cloud.”
The Iomote platform is designed to enable Industry 4.0 applications in a broad range of vertical markets. To facilitate customisation for individual applications, the X400 gateway includes two processors. Connectivity, security, and over-the-air programming (OTA), which provide the backbone for industrial IoT applications, are handled on the Iomote core processor.
Customer applications are run on the separate application processor, which is programmable using the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE). Field applications can be created in a matter of hours by leveraging the Arduino IDE and the abundance of libraries and software that are readily available.
“We’re excited about the new Iomote industrial IoT platform because we believe it will strongly contribute to growing the industrial IoT ecosystem, giving rise to more and more smart connected devices,” says Patty Felts, principal product manager, Cellular, at u-blox. “And we are convinced that customers in Europe will appreciate our most recent addition to the u-blox SARA cellular module family, the SARA‑R412M with quad-band 2G fallback, to smoothen the transition toward low-power wide-area LTE cellular networks for industrial applications.”