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How IoT Keeps Mine Workers Breathing Underground

Illustration: © IoT For AllUnderground mines are large industrial operations and prime for IoT adoption, especially where safety is concerned. Mines are often in remote geographic locations. While an open-pit mine, even a large one, can be inspected by drones and other straightforward methods, underground mines are dark, complex, and …

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The State of Indoor Positioning and Asset Tracking Using BLE and LoRa

Illustration: © IoT For AllThe indoor positioning and asset tracking space remains the wild west despite many companies working towards developing a robust, cost-effective, scalable solution. BLE, WiFi, Ultra Wide Band, RFID, and Ultrasonic, to name a few, have been used in the past to develop Indoor Positioning and Asset …

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Asset Tracking in Factories: Where Innovation and Asset Management Meet

Illustration: © IoT For AllThe ways that factories can benefit from IoT are numerous. One of the biggest facets of IoT that will benefit factories is asset tracking. From tracking tools and parts to tracking people, there is a myriad of ways for factories to take advantage of asset tracking. …

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Asset Tracking with Google Cloud Platform

Illustration: © IoT For All

Asset tracking is a common use case for IoT solutions. When a company has high-value assets that can be misplaced or stolen, it only makes sense to attach relatively low-value IoT devices to them to track their every move. In this article, we’ll review …

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How to Leverage IoT to Protect Your Workers

Illustration: © IoT For AllWorkers in construction, agriculture and manufacturing are reported to have the highest incident rates, according to the 2018 research of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Medical expenses for work-related injuries are scoring millions of dollars each year. In recent years, businesses have increasingly opted for industrial …

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Challenges of Asset Tracking in the Consumer Space | Steve Klinkner, VP of Engineering at Tile

#IoTMakers E056Listen on Apple Podcast  |  Listen on Spotify  |  Listen on Google PodcastsIn this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, we sat down with Steve Klinkner, VP of Engineering at Tile, to talk about asset tracking and associated technologies in the consumer IoT space.Steve Klinkner joined Tile after …

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12 Industrial IoT Companies You Should Know

As the industrial IoT market continues to expand at rapid rates, companies across the world are reaping the benefits. Utilizing this growing network of tools and systems, businesses have been able to prevent costly downtime, decrease product development costs, enhance customer engagement and satisfaction and acquire and implement intelligent data for strategic planning purposes. 

The potential benefits are seemingly endless, and the list of organizations that are embracing this industrial revolution is continuing to grow, so let’s highlight some of the main IIoT companies you need to know for a number of the most common IIoT use cases.

IIoT Use Cases

Predictive Maintenance

One of the leading use cases for IIoT is predictive maintenance. Imagine being able to predict and prevent machine failures before they occur. Think of all of the costs and downtime that could be avoided with strategic maintenance that’s implemented at key intervals to maintain uninterrupted production. Relying on advanced analytics to identify and eliminate potential issues, IIoT has been a game-changer in the equipment monitoring sector. 

  • Augury – For Augury, machine health is the mission driving their IIoT technology. Monitoring over 70,000 machines, Augury is helping companies identify and uncover blind spots in their maintenance practices and empower businesses with vital information so they can be proactive in diagnosing and repairing equipment before reaching a point of failure. Like other IIoT companies, Augury employs artificial intelligence to run complex algorithms that compare machine signals across a vast network to predict malfunctions and provide actionable alerts when issues are detected.
  • Uptake – Uptake IIoT technology has been implemented in an expansive range of industries including mining, energy, agriculture, construction and beyond. Utilizing data extracted from machine sensors and maintenance reports, Uptake’s machine learning algorithms are able to analyze and interpret complex information to identify anomalies in standard equipment operation and foresee upcoming failures. This predictive data allows companies and operators to prevent costly malfunctions before they occur.
  • C3 IoT – C3 Predictive Maintenance is helping foresee asset failures in equipment across a wide variety of industry sectors including aircraft systems, oil extraction sites, substation machinery and more. With their broad suite of IIoT tools, C3 is able to utilize failure prediction algorithms to assess potential threats in real-time. These advanced diagnostics and projections can then be visualized, allowing for the ability to track machine performance over time and improve strategic planning in the future. 

Asset Tracking and Monitoring

Another area where IIoT is making waves revolves around asset tracking and monitoring. In today’s modern age, information is key and there’s an increasing demand for digital data that allow companies to track and monitor assets in real-time. Here are some of the industry leaders who are leveraging IIoT to provide powerful information to businesses of all sizes. 

  • Roambee – Using a robust system of automated smart sensors and cloud data analytics, Roambee offers companies the ability to track shipments and inventory on the fly, with access to real-time location and condition reports across a global network. This enhanced visibility provides businesses the chance to track and monitor their assets with ease and helps create a truly digital supply chain.
  • Konux – Artificial intelligence and IIoT sensors integrate seamlessly in the KONUX system to make insights more readily available for companies. Primarily employed in the rail industry, KONUX IIoT systems pull critical information from a wide range of source points to help track and monitor assets for optimal utilization. When used to monitor railway switches, the KONUX system is able to track and analyze asset usage 24/7, and this information can then be used to streamline maintenance protocols, implement quality checks and predict product conditions into the future.
  • ShooftechBy essentially creating “smart” assets, Shooftech is capitalizing on IIoT to revolutionize the logistics sector. With their innovative wireless technology, Shooftech is able to transmit data across a vast cloud network to provide low-cost and scalable asset tracking and monitoring to businesses large and small. 

Smart Grid

Relying on a network of smart meters, substations, transmission lines and more, the Smart Grid is essentially the modern evolution of a standard electric grid. It can be used to remotely track and monitor everything from energy usage and traffic congestion to power surges and extreme weather events. It’s being utilized to restore electricity during outages, optimize energy usage, eliminate waste and better implement power generation systems for businesses and homeowners. Many companies have developed innovative tools to leverage the powerful offerings of the Smart Grid. Below are some key players in this space.

  • Landis + GyrLandis+Gyr provides energy management solutions to utility companies across the globe. With an advanced metering infrastructure and industry-leading smart grid technology, Landis+Gyr has helped more than 3,500 businesses reduce energy costs, monitor and streamline their usage, integrate renewable technology and more. 
  • AclaraAclara is helping companies implement smarts meters, sensors and controls and harness the power of the Smart Grid. Partnering with more than 1,000 gas, water and electrical utilities world-wide, Aclara provides software and hardware solutions to create a comprehensive communications network that provides companies with the information needed to streamline their systems and better utilize vital resources. 
  • Itron – “Cut public lighting energy use by 30 percent over 10 years”. This is just one of Itron’s visionary goals for the city of Paris, and it’s using the power of the Smart Grid to turn this vision into a reality. Itron is helping cities and companies optimize their water and energy use, while also positioning them to better recover in the event of a natural disaster. Employed in more than 100 countries, Itron is working to create smart cities that can track, forecast and optimize their utilities in hopes of limiting waste and providing more efficient and effective power solutions. 

Fleet Management

Fleet management in the age of IoT revolves around automated systems and processes to streamline trip planning, minimize downed vehicles, plan and execute maintenance operations and much more. As the integration of smart devices in vehicles become more of an industry standard, and as automated driving becomes more prevalent in cars and trucks, it’s no wonder that we’ve seen a rapid expansion of the IoT fleet management market. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the big names who’ve played a part in shaping the modern fleet management landscape.

  • Fleetmatics – Owned by Verizon, Fleetmatic offers a host of smart tools to monitor and manage fleet vehicles. They provide advanced GPS tracking software that works with smart hardware to visualize vehicle locations and communicate delays in real-time. This information can then be used to optimize routes, limit fuel costs and analyze fleet performance over time.
  • Omnitracs – Omnitracs provides a comprehensive platform of fleet tracking tools that help companies manage trips, maximize cargo capacity, customize forms and travel plans and more. These tools can be leveraged to enhance fleet safety, improve efficiency, monitor drivers and assets and ensure continued compliance with regulatory standards.
  • Samsara – Samsara has a number of fleet management solutions ranging from cellular gateways and dashcams to wireless sensors and a robust mobile app. With an emphasis on safety, efficiency and quality, Samsara tools not only help track and monitor drivers and vehicles in real-time, but they can be used to reduce operating costs and expand fleet size by forecasting optimal vehicle usage.

Written by Bryan Rosenberger, Director of Operations, R and R manufacturing
Source: IoT For All

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Sustainability Process Blueprint

Illustration: © IoT For All

Good business and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand with sustainability as Wall Street investors elevate the value of companies that demonstrate improving environmental and social governance performance. Essentially, what’s good for the environment is also good for consumers and the bottom line.

But because technology is changing the way companies integrate sustainability into their business strategies, the tool with which progress in this area has traditionally been measured—the sustainability scorecard—may no longer be the right one for the job.

IoT and analytics enable an innovative approach to a sustainability scorecard by using IoT devices to remotely monitor, measure and catalog quantifiable metrics around energy, air and water relevant to sustainability. We define it as the sustainability process blueprint approach.

Keep reading to find out why the scorecard falls short, and how a different approach can actually be more indicative of your company’s progress on the road to sustainability.

Where the Sustainability Scorecard Falls Short  

Sustainability information is important to both investors and customers, but few environmental sustainability reporting mechanisms (and corporate social responsibility scorecards in general) provide specific and accurate information about a company’s sustainability practices. In general, scorecards provide a qualitative view of performance, evaluating the level of commitment in terms of broad categories like company culture and engagement, corporate vision and strategic planning. In other words, are you fostering effective corporate governance and including the right decision-makers on your team to make real progress? (Here’s an example of a sustainability scorecard that rates corporate progress with broad brushstrokes.)

In addition, legacy scorecards measure progress only at a specific point in time. That limits the notion of success to the evaluation of a single moment and leaves little room for characterizing and analyzing a company’s ongoing efforts in a useful way.

This traditional approach to sustainability reporting may help outsiders to understand the mindset of corporate governance, but it does little to provide the support needed by investors and consumers to trust that leaders’ intentions are, in fact, coming to fruition. Both this lack of transparency and the sustainability scorecard’s static method of reporting leave much to be desired from a credibility standpoint.

The New Scorecard: The Sustainability Process Blueprint     

Why just talk about strategies your company is implementing to improve when you could be providing data around actual improvements?   The sustainability process blueprint employs a dynamic approach focusing on key metrics from which remotely monitored data is measured and cataloged in a format that provides insight as well as the ability to benchmark progress towards goals and objectives and comparisons to peers.  Sensor data and analytics provide the framework to offer visual understanding, context and perspective of progress towards sustainability.

The sustainability process blueprint approach answers three key questions about your commitment to sustainability: 1) Do you have a plan, or blueprint, for improving your sustainability over time? 2) Are your sustainability efforts actually having an impact? 3) How are you performing in comparison to other companies in your industry?

This approach is possible using the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT sensors allow you to measure almost every aspect of your business environment, facility and operations around the clock, from energy usage to water and air quality to leakage detection and more. (See these seven metrics for ideas about what your company could measure with regard to sustainability.) The granular data you collect—and that your IoT analytics platform helps you analyze—leads to better sustainability reporting for several reasons:

  1. It offers a more dynamic approach to sustainability than traditional scorecards. Forget about “point in time” assessments. Now you have actual data that can be examined over time. This data acts as a feedback mechanism, allowing you to actually “see” the impact of your efforts.
  2. It offers more details than legacy scorecards. Instead of viewing sustainability from general, high-level perspectives, you can see it from the ground-up—how much energy even a single piece of equipment actually uses, for example, or the actual levels of volatile organic compounds present in your building’s air.  
  3. It allows you to perform data analysis for the purpose of devising smart sustainability strategies. Otherwise “invisible” building characteristics can be transformed into quantifiable data points that can be used in a statistical or analytical model for context. For instance, strategies can be implemented to directly address equipment using excess energy, or the root causes of air pollution.
  4. It allows you to benchmark your company’s performance against others in your industry. Benchmarking can help you see if you’re moving in the right direction and on the right initiatives. It can also highlight specific areas for improvement going forward.

A process blueprint represents a new approach to sustainability reporting: one that produces a quantitative, metric-specific and dynamic process showing your progress toward the ultimate goal of sustainability.

Source: IoT For All

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Expert Predictions: LPWAN and IoT In 2020

Illustration: © IoT For All

With the continued maturation of low power wide area networks (LPWANs) and the Internet of Things (IoT), here are my predictions for the coming year:

Prediction 1:

LPWAN and IoT devices deployed in 2020 under a traditional connectivity model will represent less than ten percent.

A connectivity business model (that is, paying X dollars per month for each device connected to a network) is the most familiar business model in the communications industry. However, the majority of enterprise and volume use cases for the IoT are moving to other business models. The driving factors behind these alternative business models are:

  • SLA requirements
  • Access and ownership of data
  • Demand for complete solutions
  • Edge requirements

Prediction 2:

Asset tracking will be the “key app” for LPWAN

The highest-volume use cases in 2019 fell into the smart building and smart metering vertical markets. New asset tracking systems enabled by new indoor solutions, along with the improved return on investment (ROI) of indoor/outdoor solutions with much lower device and infrastructure costs, will start to drive significant volume in 2020, moving asset tracking ahead of other use cases.

Prediction 3:

Half of all enterprise deployments will deploy on-premises LPWAN network solutions at the edge before moving to Cloud-based network solutions

The driving factors behind on-premises and edge solution requirements are:

  • Ease of deployment with LPWAN
  • Data/network security
  • Critical low latency edge decision making
  • Availability or quality of backhaul
  • Interfacing with existing on-premises systems

If you look at this history of technology adoption, you’ll see that it is typical for enterprises to own new solutions end-to-end before starting to contract components of the system out to the ecosystem for SLA improvements or cost reduction. One historic example of this is in data storage: most companies started with on-premises data storage before moving to the Cloud. Hybrid solutions that offer both edge/Cloud options and transition between them will win the majority share of volume.

Prediction 4:

Satellite will play a significant role in LPWAN going forward

There is a flurry of activity in the satellite space. This is driven by small, lightweight satellite designs and new low-cost deployment services. In addition to traditional players, there are approximately 20 new start-ups in the low-cost low Earth orbit (LEO) space, all with designs for satellites that are about the size of a basketball. Companies in this sector are projecting that worldwide coverage is attainable for a cost of approximately $20-25 million, making it very cost-competitive compared to traditional tower deployment models in use today.  

Prediction 5:

Large Cloud providers will start to play a major role in LPWAN

Mobile operators, cable operators, semiconductor companies, telecommunication equipment providers, enterprise solution providers, start-ups and new market entrants have been the primary drivers of the LPWAN market to date. Major Cloud providers have realized that the critical way to access IoT data and volumes is to offer and abstract the complexities of wireless connectivity and device hardware. 

Source: IoT For All