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IoT @ MWC 2017 Day Three: 5G in Manufacturing, Device Management, and Data Mediation

by Gina Luk | Mar 01, 2017

Day Three of Mobile World Congress 2017 kicked off with announcements covering IoT device management trials, 5G in IoT manufacturing, SAP Cloud Platform enhancements, and ThingPark X.

Singtel and Ericsson presented the Assured+ connected device solution at the show, an IoT ecosystem for operators, networks, and devices, supporting consumer applications including eldercare, connected cars, and other emerging IoT applications. Ericsson stated that today, most devices, such as wearables, connected cars and smart home sensors are managed through specific applications which are typically closed. However, through a user friendly interface, Assured+ will give consumers a complete overview of all connected personal, automotive and home devices, which can be controlled both in the home and outside. Assured+ is capable of connecting devices across 3G/4G, NB-IoT and LTE Cat-M technologies. Trials of the system will begin in Q3 21017 for Singtel mobile subscribers. We like the notion of a single platform through which the consumer can manage multiple devices, however we suspect challenges will lie ahead in gaining support for opening up applications for specific devices so as they can be managed by a separate platform.

Ericsson also announced the signing of a collaborative agreement with Comau (the industrial automation product, systems and services company) to explore the potential of 5G in smart manufacturing. The collaboration aims to prove the benefits of IoT solutions in industrial automation, by leveraging 5G, IoT platforms, cloud and big data solutions, to enable increased competitiveness and efficiency for smart manufacturing, maintenance and quality control. Aside from demonstrating the potential in manufacturing, the two companies are aiming to create a research community where Comau and Ericsson’s customers, academia, public authorities and other stakeholders can collaborate to boost ideas and share resources to showcase the benefits of IoT solutions in different applications. Ericsson cited 5G benefits such as capacity, reliability and security to enable remote control and monitoring of processes, in addition to analytics solutions that will be able to aid manufacturing through prediction of faults and threats before they occur. Strategy Analytics believes the potential for fault prediction should not be underestimated in the manufacturing vertical, as it can deliver financial benefits through a pre-emptive rather than reactive approach, i.e.: conducting insight-driven maintenance rather than being faced with taking a production line offline to fix a damaged machine.

IoT in Manufacturing

Source: Comau

VMware and HARMAN announced a collaboration to deliver simplified and specialized IoT solutions to enterprise customers in the industrial, retail, automotive, and utility vertical markets. Under the terms of the collaboration, HARMAN’s portfolio of over-the-air (OTA) software updates, sensors, gateways and analytics services will be integrated into VMware’s IoT solution, which the two companies hope will help deploy, secure, manage and monitor IoT infrastructure in the enterprise to streamline vertical-specific use cases. A number of vertical market use case examples were highlighted, including retail (understanding in-store shopper behaviour and enhancing floor navigation paths), and industrial (enabled factory automation and management, including predictive maintenance using vibration sensor analysis).

SAP announced the expansion of its SAP Cloud Platform (formerly known as SAP HANA Cloud Platform), with a set of new business services including the SAP Cloud Platform IoT service (in beta), which aims to integrate IoT services with the SAP Streaming Analytics service for faster processing of streaming data, and SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services (formerly known as Altiscale) which offers Hadoop in the cloud to provide the foundation for big data applications. SAP believes the new additions will address critical business needs to power IoT scenarios, accelerate big data projects and enable machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. SAP commented that the platform creates digital differentiation by connecting a rapidly growing number of smart devices and machines with people and processes to achieve superior business outcomes.

Actility announced the launch of its ThingPark X data mediation and transformation platform, which extends the ThingPark IoT platform by allowing data from any device connected to a ThingPark-powered network to be aggregated, transformed, analysed and exposed to applications by standard APIs or delivered onward to third party cloud platforms. As part of the announcement, Actility announced the first deployment of ThingPark X, which will see RS Components combining LoRa sensors with ThingPark X data connectors and IBM’s Watson IoT Platform and Maximo Asset Management software, to enable predictive maintenance and process optimisation in their Nuneaton, England warehouse. RS Components commented that the initiative has the potential to deliver significant financial savings through the application of predictive maintenance to optimise performance and uptime, along with big data to improve productivity and efficiency. With RS shipping over 44,000 packages a day as part of a portfolio in excess of 500,000 products, efficiency and productivity are critical factors to the business.

A full round up of the highlights from Mobile World Congress 2017 will soon be published by the Strategy Analytics IoT Strategies service for clients.

For the Mobile Workforce day two @ MWC 2017 blog, please click here.

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