From sensor to human and back!

In an interview: Fanny Seifert, ELCO Industrial Automation

As a system integrator in a networked world, SYS TEC electronic cooperates with several partners. In our interview series we present the partners and their know-how.

Fanny Seifert from our partner ELCO Industrie Automation talks about Industrial IoT, the challenges and economic advantages of IIoT and the cooperation with SYS TEC electronic:

What is IIoT?

I understand the Industrial Internet of Things as a possibility to network the most different "things" in industry such as machines, measuring instruments, components, sensors, finished products etc. and also people with each other via the Internet in order to generate individual added value.

How can communication between humans and machines be successful?

It is very important to involve people with their knowledge and experience. The data must not only go from the sensor to the cloud, but to the human and back.

On the one hand a translator is needed who understands the languages of the machines and prepares them for humans, e.g. a platform like the IoTHub, which translates the language of the machines for humans, and vice versa. On the other hand, a medium is needed through which machine and man can communicate. Industrial apps, for example, which people can use to interact with the machine on a tablet or smartphone that almost everyone now carries with them, are suitable for this purpose.

In doing so, it is important that these translators and media can be adapted individually for each application, i.e. for each machine and each person.

With the right tools, it's easy.

To what extent does IIoT contribute to value creation?

Thanks to the IIoT option, companies gain more transparency about their processes, can identify optimization potential and design these processes more efficiently. In addition, networking allows processes to be automated, saving resources and simplifying processes. In some cases, the new added value created by IIoT can become completely new "digital products" in their own right. In the end, IIoT can save costs or generate more revenue.

The production at SYS TEC electronic is a great example: With the help of Wirepas technology, employees can monitor the temperature and humidity in their production, which is critical for the manufacture of their products. This they can do even from a distance and over a long period of time. So they notice in time if, e.g., the air conditioner fails. As a result, the SYS TEC electronic team can react quickly and avoid production stoppages or rejects due to high or low temperatures.

What are the challenges at IIoT?

In my experience, two challenges often play an important role.

On the one hand, these "things" that you want to network with each other usually speak different "languages". In a production hall, for example, it is often the case that there are different machines with different control systems and different protocols. The width ranges from old to completely new. This heterogeneity must be reconciled and homogenized so that "things" can communicate with each other and with people in one language and through one medium.

On the other hand, the topic of security plays an important role in many cases. If all "things" are networked via the "Internet", many have concerns that unauthorized persons may gain access to these data. Appropriate mechanisms and technologies must reduce this risk to a minimum. The cloud does not always have to be the storage location of choice; it is often sufficient for the data to be available locally, stored on a local computer and only accessible via the local plant network. Furthermore, modern encryption technologies can be used, for example, to secure data transmission and protect it from unauthorized access.

Where does the data for industrial apps come from?

As mentioned above, these can be the most diverse data sources. Be it the control systems of the machines, the environmental data measured by sensors, existing systems such as databases, MES systems, etc., components that are tracked with the help of RFID, or even the knowledge of people that is digitally recorded. For example, experienced machine operators usually know best the quirks of the machines and how they can easily fix them.

But there are so many other data sources. The use cases and associated data sources are very diverse. This is very exciting to experience when working in the field of IIoT.

What are the advantages of the cooperation between ELCO and SYS TEC electronic?

The advantages are obvious: The hardware solutions from SYS TEC electronic are the basis of a powerful edge level including the connection of fieldbuses and the preprocessing or compression of data. ELCO's solutions are used for cross-location and cross-system networking of production data and determination of key figures. We are thus in a position to serve the entire IIoT layer model technologically and thus not only offer customers holistic solutions, but also implement new applications, e.g. on the basis of Wirepas.

We both have made it our task to homogenize data from different sources and to make it available to other systems for further processing. Specialized know-how, openness and a common goal make up the charm of our partnership.

Joint customers benefit from a convincing unit for the IIoT: the sysWORXX CTR-700 from SYS TEC electronic with the IoT hub from ELCO.

SYS TEC electronic and ELCO Industrie Automation at the sps ipc drives in Nuremberg:

You can experience a demonstration of ELCO and SYS TEC electronic solutions at the sps ips drives trade fair in Nuremberg from 27 to 29 November 2018.

SYS TEC electronic:
Hall 5, Booth 440

ELCO Industrial Automation:
Hall 6, Booth 163 | Hall 10.1, Booth 630

Your Salesteam from SYS TEC electronic

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