Enabling Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

At SPS IPC Drives 2018, Nurnberg, Advantech showcased its latest Industrial IoT Solutions and Solution Ready Packages aimed at Enabling the Digital Transformation in Manufacturing.

di Andrea Baty

Advantech showcased its latest solution-ready packages (SRP) technologies and industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions co-created with its partners at the SPS IPC Drives exhibition held in Nuremberg, Germany, The so-called “4C concept”: Collect, Connect, Compute, Create – was among them, as a collection of demos connected to the situation room present at the booth to show how the data from the field can be easily aggregated, analyzed and displayed.
Recently Advantech introduced new features for WISE-PaaS 3.0 and shared a number of IoT solution ready packages (SRPs), based on WISE-PaaS, developed with numerous co-creation partners. Since WISE-PaaS launched in 2014, Advantech has continued its integration and improved connectivity with open source communities. Our IoT software modules are developed to create operational cloud platform services oriented around the commercial value generated by data acquisition. Data-driven innovation has thus become the main target for our WISE-PaaS evolution.”

Process Visualization of OEE in Manufacturing
Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) is an increasingly important KPI in today’s production environments. Advantech provides its customers with a one-stop solution, integrating all the different steps from raw data collection through to creating meaningful KPI data.
​Advantech offers I/O interface solutions for wired and wireless data recovery, using a variety of transmission media and protocols. The Wi-Fi connected WISE series used for the demo offer a flexible selection of remote I/O configurations creating digital data that can be shared via Modbus, MQTT or REST​.

Equipment Interface and Control ​
For equipment and machine builders, saving space and reducing maintenance costs are major motivators of innovation and optimization in machine design.​
This demo at Advantech’s booth combined automation control, motion control and vision inspection within a single system, eliminating integration effort and increasing reliability. The system additionally provides direct connection of an industrial monitor acting as a local HMI, with data also available to the enterprise level via standard protocols and interfaces.​
EtherCAT, used in this demo, is just one of several fieldbus connectivity options offered across a range of Advantech edge and communication products, with flexible protocol conversion provided by simple user configuration. The demonstration also leveraged CODESYS soft PLC capabilities, PoE switches and Advantechs WebAccess SCADA solution. ​

Wireless Sensing
Often in industrial environments, potentially useful data is not recovered into IT or OT systems because the cost of recovering the information outweighs its value.​​
Wireless sensor networks can provide a significantly lower cost of recovery by eliminating the necessity to lay cables, meaning that a large proportion of these previously stranded data points can be made accessible to the enterprise.​​ Advantech presented a range of local and wide area wireless sensing solutions built upon a variety of wireless technologies. Besides enhancements to the existing Wzzard local area mesh system, also on show was the newly launched WISE-4471 NB-IoT sensing node, which has already completed validation on Vodafones NB-IoT network in Ireland, and is being validated in other European countries as the networks roll out.
Finally Advantech has further expanded its line of wireless products with the launch of the WISE-6610 LoRaWAN gateway and Wzzard LRPv2 LoRaWAN node. Suitable for both public and private LoraWAN deployments, the underlying wireless technology offers an effective solution enabling users to have better control and management for applications in remote areas (e.g., for flood monitoring) and harsh environments (e.g., extreme temperatures, high humidity) overcoming the challenge of distance, thereby maximizing monitoring efficiency and overall productivity.

Supporting Manufacturers’ Digital Transformation
Industry 4.0 is now up and running and the results are beginning to take shape. Most companies are in a stage between strategy, definition & orientation through Proof of Concepts and change management and large scale implementation. In these stages we will experience challenges what need to be addressed, like Data ownership, data context, avoid to create data silos and to have one version of the data. But also the connection with the (legacy) equipment and machines, (cyber) security and (wireless) infrastructure are topics to define very carefully. Also once the implementation has been finalized and the first results are coming in, how to manage the application now and in the nearby future supporting maximum flexibility and maintainability – both hardware, software and infrastructure. This requires the help of experienced and domain focused partners.
As Global IoT Enabler, Advantech has created a working model in order to bring the best domain focus knowledge & technologies to the customer by setting up a dedicated partner network. This approach is called Co-Creation.