A convergence of forces over the last few years – proliferation of connected sensors, low cost computing and storage, and vastly improved data analytics – has seen an explosion in the opportunities for ‘internet of things’ or IoT. Almost every business and industry sector is looking at how this technology can benefit them – ranging from healthcare and agriculture to financial services, mining, manufacturing, production, and transportation.
In order to validate some of the ideas, real-world experimental platforms can help to understand the real benefits of IoT in certain practical situations. That’s why the IoT Solutions World Congress taking place in Barcelona this October has an annual feature where it showcases 10-11 IoT testbeds providing practical examples of how the internet could change the way how certain products are produced and how to effectively manage resources and businesses that could provide real transformations in the way things are done, to have a positive impact on output and the economy.
The conference organizers have announced the first four projects that will form part of the testbeds area of the congress. These are
- a submersible transformer inspection robot designed for oil and gas platforms
- a fully connected and sensorized work environment that dramatically improves worker safety
- a predictive analytics platform that can wipe out downtime in factories
- a solution that allows the remote management of boats capable of informing in real time about ship status, water leaks or un expected presence in the ship.
ABB’s ‘submersible transformer inspection robot’ encompasses VR driven remotely operated inspection robots able to operate in highly hazardous transformer environments. Today, inspection of the internal transformer environment for damage or routine maintenance in oil and gas platforms is only made possible by draining the oil from the transformer tank. This comes with significant health risks to the maintenance technician due to the exposure to highly toxic environments, as well as punitive downtime and inspection costs, and environmental hazards when draining to oil. This new solution reduces significantly these risks.
Worker safety is also at the core of Wipro and IBM’s connected workforce safety and operations project. The solution features an edge layer including a variety of sensors integrated into wearables (such as helmets, watches, eyewear and vests), instrumented heavy equipment, gateways and access points; a platform layer that consists of device management and data analytics capabilities; and an enterprise tier that provides business applications and dashboards for an operations command center and emergency response teams. The testbed improves worker safety, workforce productivity, and helps reduce corporate risk by integrating smart wearables with smart infrastructure, while utilizing cognitive learning abilities.
Unexpected downtime is one of the key issues that factories worldwide face and a joint project by PTC, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, National Instruments, OSIsoft and Flowserve makes use of predictive analytics to reduce it. Exemplified through a Flowserve pump demo, this testbed will showcase how sensors providing data such as temperature, pressure, flow and vibration is processed at the edge allowing real-time detection of any anomaly changes in the performance of the pump. The demo also shows how augmented reality can then help troubleshooting and repairing directly on-site.
The last of the first batch of testbeds to be showcased this year is the connected over seas project by Vodafone, Hiruteknova, TST and Rodman. It offers customers a complete sensorical solution for their boats. An application and sensors installed on the boat will allow customers to know the state of their boat at any time and from anywhere and get information about battery status, water leaks and danger of sinking, temperature or even unexpected presence on board and provide full control of the ship.
The congress will feature 10-11 testbeds over a dedicated area of 500 sq. m., enabling visitors to experience the advanced and innovative solutions that could potentially benefit their organizations. Richard Soley, executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium, said, “Gatherings like the Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC) bring together the best and the brightest to share experiences. Papers and videos are one thing, but there’s nothing like face-to-face conversations to understand both good ideas and missteps in IIoT implementation. And IoTSWC is the only event to prominently feature testbeds, real running systems, at the center of it all.”
The IoT Solutions World Congress takes place from the 3-5 October at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via venue. For more information and registration, click here.
[Image: A Rodman boat, to be used as part of the connected over seas project]