6 things to consider when going wireless in harsh industries

What It Takes To Go Wireless In Harsh Industry – 6 things to consider

What are the success factors within wireless connectivity for industrial applications? What do you need to consider when building your perfect IoT solution, including industrial mesh? Unfortunately, there is no “one connectivity solution fits all” but considering below 6 factors will help you on the way.  

When choosing wireless technology for your smart product there are critical design elements that require consideration. Classification, radio disturbances, legislations, certifications and security are just some of the key areas that need to be addressed. There are physical restrictions when it comes to getting the shortest latency, highest throughput and largest data rate at the lowest cost and it is of unparalleled importance to choose the correct solutions for your application. 

 

1. Low power consumption

Can battery powered mesh networks be a competitive advantage for you? 

Some wireless connectivity solutions can run on battery powered sensors for years. This is only possible if the wireless connectivity consumes a minimal amount of power by having the radio on the chip in sleep mode as much as possible.

Wireless connectivity solutions that can run on battery powered sensors are usually a huge benefit for retrofitting brown field equipment. The power is usually designed so that it just covers the need from the machine and not allowing any wireless technology to piggyback on the power source. For green field equipment it is possible to decrease the installation cost if the sensors are running on battery, hence the need for wiring is costly and making the system inflexible for changes.

 

2. Reliability and robustness

Is interference keeping you sleepless at nights? 

The reliability of the wireless connectivity is crucial to get a well functioning and power efficient wireless sensor network. If data packets are lost on the way in the network, the packet needs to be re-transmitted which increases the number of data redundancy in the network – congesting the network  by resending packets instead of sending new ones. The radio needs to be turned on more often to address all data packets and therefore, directly resulting in an increased power consumption.

 

3. Firmware over the air updates “FOTA”

Change your software in running mode?

If you plan to update your connectivity technology or application firmware when the products are out in the field, it is worth checking that the selected connectivity technology offers “FOTA”. It is also important to have a FOTA functionality that does not drain the battery if the mesh network runs on battery power. This can cause unnecessary needs to replace the battery just because the FOTA feature was insufficient.  

 

4. Data rate

What amount of data are you going to transmit in your network?

Depending on your specific needs, the wireless connectivity solution to choose may vary. If you want to transmit small data packets with, for instance, temperature values on a regular basis, low power wireless mesh is the perfect choice for you. But, if you want to stream video there will be better technologies than low power wireless mesh.

 

5. Commissioning and multi-platform support

What is the perfect way to interact with your products?

Interacting wirelessly with your devices via a smartphone is beneficial during, for instance, commissioning. If you don’t need a specially developed tool for commissioning and use your phone instead, it is possible to hand over system installation to a person without knowledge in wireless connectivity.

 

6. Scalability

What size of the network are you going to build? 

The complexity in a mesh network increases with the number of nodes. The nodes need to be synced to transmit on the exact same time slot, otherwise the network will sync out. The data flow in the network goes up with more nodes collecting data. Therefore it is important to have an ultra reliability in large mesh networks to avoid data packet re-transmissions.

 

Whitepaper - How wireless mesh disrupts harsh industries

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Predictive maintenance - a strong trend at Hannover Messe

New solutions for Predictive Maintenance – a strong trend at Hannover Messe

I guess that few have missed the trend of industry 4.0 and after years of prediction many hyped ideas for futuristic factories are turning into reality. At the Hannover Messe in April we were inspired by the speed of innovation in the industry and especially of the strong trend towards techniques to predict the future failure points of machine components.

It is not a big surprise that the top three technologies trending on the Hannover Fair was 5G, IOT and Cloud. However, new solutions for Predictive Maintenance is an upcoming trend and more and more companies are taking the next step to positioning themselves within this field.

We at LumenRadio love Predictive Maintenance, not only because of the cost effectiveness that it implies, but also the need for large scale meshing wireless sensor networks. Interconnection and the ability for devices to connect and communicate with each other is an important prerequisite for the development of the next industrial revolution. The connectivity technology is the base for reliable predictive maintenance solutions and it will more and more set the framework for future product performance.

Imagine if countless different sensors could be mounted wirelessly anywhere in a harsh industrial environment. All connected to each other in a perfectly applied meshed network, running on batteries or energy harvesting technology. Then picture yourself that the wireless connection is even more reliable and robust in comparison to wired solutions and that the power consumption is as low as a few micro amperes. This scenario is not fictive anymore. Technology from LumenRadio makes it possible to install sensors anywhere in a super easy way, but also retrofit already installed sensors. Wireless = Effortless.

We believe that Predictive Maintenance will be a requirement in future Industrial applications. That is why now is the perfect time to start implementing the wireless technology needed to succeed in the next industrial revolution. Smart Predictive Maintenance is still considered an up-and-coming trend, which opens up possibilities for companies to out-run the competition and differentiate their product offer.

The installation of wireless sensors is predicted to grow at an exponential rate over the next few years, Industrial sensor networks being a big part of this growth. Are you considering wireless predictive maintenance or want to know more about why choosing the right wireless technology will be crucial for your future success?

Please contact me.

Christian Sahlin
Mobile: +46 (0)703 40890
E-mail: christian.sahlin@lumenradio.com

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Low energy mesh: The new industrial era

I guess nobody has missed that LumenRadio recently not only outperformed the competition, but also set a new standard for low energy mesh technology. Let us explain in detail what this means for Industry 4.0 and what incredible benefit it may entail for your business.

Real-time condition monitoring of critical equipment is a rule rather than an exception. At the same time less critical functions are disregarded due to cost or complexity aspects. However, sudden failure of these unmonitored assets might cause major damages to equipment, unplanned shutdowns or slowdowns with large expenses as a result. Actually, it is the installation of wireless sensor networks that is predicted to grow at an exponential rate over the next few years and among the fastest-growing sensor types are the simple temperature sensors*.

Many of you reading this are probably familiar with the tough requirements that need to be fulfilled to receive IP, IECEx and ATEX-certification for industrial devices. These certifications defines the essential health and safety requirements and conformity assessment procedures to be applied so that critical applications are protected in demanding environments.

 

Zero-wire sensor solutions

After these devices are installed and put in operation in Hazardous Locations, they must not be opened or affected – hence changing batteries after a few years in operation is not an option. You don’t want to put anything at risk in an explosive atmosphere and the products need to be designed to withstand extremely harsh conditions during its complete life cycle. This is one of the main benefit with having wireless products running in industrial applications; eliminating the need of changing batteries through the whole lifecycle. A technology which solves this problem is in strong demand and by some it’s considered a dream – we just made it a reality.

By releasing improved ultra-low energy consumption for battery operated solutions, we made it possible for industrial players to break new ground and take the next step within zero-wire sensor solutions.

 

Low energy mesh for sensor technology

MiraOS v2.1 enables ultra-low energy consumption for battery operated solutions. The current consumption for meshing nodes is now reduced to less than 16uA, which enables more than 15 years operation in routing mode from an AA-sized battery.

MiraOS enables low-powered sensor technology to become smart and connected through large-scale wireless mesh networks. Finally, product manufacturers can get an ultra-reliable and Future-Proof wireless solution with the most resilient technology on the market – justifiable for a much broader range of equipment. Decreased energy consumption means that sensors and devices can be designed for industrial requirements running on small batteries for a complete product lifecycle. Another main driver of low energy mesh technology in battery powered devices is retrofit. Industrial machines are retrofitted with wireless sensors to attain lower installation cost, lower product costs and to have an increased service life of the product.

Low-power radio technology is a fundamental requirement in the design of communication protocol for wireless sensor networks. Only by doing that we can achieve autonomous sensor networks that are flexible and can be installed at low cost.

We have said it before – choosing the right wireless connectivity technology will be crucial for the future success of your business, so don’t settle for mediocre standards.

 

If you are interested in learning more about wireless technologies for predictive maintenance, please contact:

 

Christian Sahlin
christian.sahlin@lumenradio.com
+46 (0) 703 40 89 00

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Industry 4.0 | Creating self-predicting electric drives with ABB and Ericsson

LumenRadio is excited to start collaborating with ABB, KTH, Ericsson and Imagimob to tackle the Industry 4.0 vision of Self-predicting, inter-communicating electric drives.

The project is coordinated by KTH (Royal Institiute of Technology) and involves a number of industrial partners (ABB AB, Ericsson AB, Imagimob AB and LumenRadio AB) with competences in electric power, artificial intelligence and communication systems in order to build a value chain that completes each other’s core competence and business.

 

Improving energy efficiency
As a continuation of the Vinnova-financed feasibility study “Smart current sensor for a network of electric drives”, this project aims to realize a proof of concept of a new way of achieving industrial process reliability by using wireless mesh connectivity, smart electric drives and Edge AI.

In broad terms the project outcome shall improve energy efficiency and reduce down-time of industrial processes by focusing on increased intelligence, inter-communication capabilities and autonomous operation of electric drives in an industrial process.

 

Cutting edge predictive maintenance
It is expected that achieving a proof of concept will show the possibility of performing condition monitoring and predictive maintenance of winding insulation ageing in the drive control board. By using new predictive maintenance algorithms based on artificial intelligence in combination with wireless mesh inter-drive connectivity information does not have to be sent to a higher cloud to be processed. This aspect is important when talking about autonomous electric drives.

Finally, it is an honor for LumenRadio receiving this opportunity to show the greatness of wireless mesh in the quest for self-sensing and self-monitoring electric drives.

Sincerely,

Christian Sahlin

Niclas Norlén, Christian Sahlin and Peter Lindkvist

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Industrial connectivity - a trend at Hannover Messe 2018

Connectivity at HANNOVER MESSE

Wireless connectivity for Industrial applications was a hot topic at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018 and it is pretty obvious why – the foundation for the digitalization of the manufacturing industry is reliable wireless communication and this is where it all begins.

 

I’m back from the the world’s leading trade show for industrial technology – the center-of-gravity for the ongoing Industry 4.0 movement and it is clear the next industrial revolution is here.

 

Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 was, as expected, the focus of many of the large industry companies and I would say that connectivity was one of the most used words at the tradeshow.

Many large industrial companies and manufacturers are today either already presenting wireless solutions or looking at radio communication as a solution for upgrading their products and services. Now they realize the importance of building their digital solutions on a solid foundation and reliable wireless communication stacks are more important than ever.

 

The rapid change in the Industry

For a long time the consumer products have driven the innovation and technology development in the market but that is definitely about to change. The industrial actors require high standards and with their challenging technical requirements such as extreme low power consumption, accurate time synchronization, edge computing and ultra robustness they are setting the agenda for the future. With that said, I think that LumenRadio’s Mira solution is very well positioned for realizing all the opportunities that IIoT and Industry 4.0 represent.

 

Condition based monitoring

What many industrial companies now are realising, is that the right wireless connectivity solution is even more reliable and robust in comparison to traditional wired solutions. Wireless connectivity means simplified installation, lower installation costs, increased flexibility and scalability. And with countless different wireless sensors in meshed network, running on battery power or through energy harvesting technology, predictive maintenance will be applied more widely than ever.

 

Choosing the right technology

The ability to wirelessly collect and process large amount of data will boost your digital manufacturing offer. But as we all know, once an industrial company has chosen a certain technical platform it becomes very hard to change. From our experience we know that it is a tough decision to make, and that the wireless connectivity technology that you choose will be crucial for future success.

 

I am proud to present MiraOS for harsh industrial applications, as it offers many unique features tailored for IoT and Industry 4.0. Are you interested in knowing more about our patented technologies, operating system or radio modules for Future-Proof wireless connectivity, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Predictive-Maintenance

Take predictive maintenance to the next level!

Many manufacturers are today looking at the possibilities of implementing predictive maintenance and embracing digitalisation. With this post we want to explain the importance of choosing a wireless connectivity that can take your predictive maintenance solutions to the next level!

Already in the 1950s the concept “condition-based monitoring”, CBM, was introduced in the industry to predict impending failures early enough to save components and over time the concept predictive maintenance has evolved. However, the final target is still to determine the condition of a machine and detect problems before they cause downtime. To me, the big difference between condition based monitoring and predictive maintenance is the amount of gathered data and how the data is used. Simply – The more historical condition based data that is available, the better and more accurate predictive maintenance can be done.

High installation costs

It’s easy to see the beauty in predictive maintenance and one may wonder why the method is not used everywhere when the advantages over planned maintenance are so significant. The simple answer is because of high installation costs. When the decreased maintenance cost is less than the increased installation cost the willingness to invest in new systems is very low.

Until now, wired sensor has been the only reliable alternative but it entails disadvantages such as purchasing of expensive cables, hours of installation work and limitation in scalability.  Not to mention all the instruments equipped with diagnostics about the process that is unused because of the difficulties it implies to install wired connections in the field. I could go on but I guess you got the point.

The right wireless technology

Now imagine if countless different sensors could be mounted wirelessly anywhere in a harsh industrial environment. All connected to each other in a perfectly applied meshed network,  running on battery or energy harvesting technology. Then picture yourself that the wireless connection is even more reliable and robust in comparison to wired solutions.

With LumenRadio’s Cognitive coexisting technology in combination with a meshed network and firmware-over the air updates (FOTA) this scenario is not fictive anymore but rather the reality of today.

With Future-Proof radio technology predictive maintenance will be applied more widely than ever. For the end customer, this means easier installation, lower installation cost, increased flexibility and scalability but also improved profitability as the service life of the machine will be optimally managed.

It is the ability to collect and process large amount of information that will boost your manufacturing. With wireless technology more sensors can be connected gathering more data for your decisions. More connected sensors implies a higher demand for interference management. This is why choosing the right wireless connectivity technology will be crucial for the future success of your business, so don’t settle for mediocre standards.

If there is anything else you’d like to know regarding wireless technologies for predictive maintenance, you can always contact me directly:

Christian Sahlin

International Sales manager

E: christian.sahlin@lumenradio.com

T: +46 (0) 703 40 89 00

 

Remember to also check out our Whitepaper – Future Proof with Wireless standards, which will give you an overview on the standards that are relevant to consider related to wireless communication and give you guidance and knowledge in choosing a wireless IoT standard.

 

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IoT focus at Elmia Subcontractor

Meet us in Jönköping next week! Elmia Subcontractor is Northern Europe’s leading trade fair for product development and purchasing within the manufacturing industry and this year there is an IoT focus.

Since the digital and connected aspects of a product is becoming more and more important, Elmia Subcontractor is launching IoT technology and service providers as a new exhibitor group. At a special area called Subcontractor IoT Arena the best examples of products and services on the market today will be showcased and we are happy to announce that Swegon’s wireless climate control system New WISE will be a part of the exhibition. Come and learn more about this unique IoT enabled HVAC system and how it has enabled Swegon to leap-frog the competition.  

On Wednesday November 15th you will find LumenRadio at the Pop-Up Expo just next to the Subcontractor IoT Arena, helping visitors to get a better understanding of opportunities and challenges with wireless connectivity and how wireless connected products can give you a competitive advantage. Come by and get inspired!

Meet us there:

Pop-up Expo – November 15

Come and talk about all aspects of wireless and Future-Proof connectivity – find us in booth D05:30/26.

On stage in the IoT Arena – November 15

Our CEO Alexander Hellström will guide you through the 7 vital steps to take when launching an IoT solution – the presentation will be given both at 10:40 AM and 2:20 PM.

Product showcase in the IoT Arena  – November 14-17

Swegon’s New WISE is on display during the entire tradeshow.

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Micro Gateways for collecting KPI data from the factory floor

By: Erik Orrskog – LumenRadio & Erik Halvordsson – HMS Labs

The Industrial Internet of Things means that data will need to be transferred from industrial devices to IT systems, often using some kind of edge gateway as a translator. But how do you get the information from the devices to the edge gateway in an easy and cost-efficient way? Micro-gateways could be the answer.

HMS Labs and LumenRadio recently finished a joint concept study that aims to demonstrate how existing industrial sensors and IO devices can be connected directly to an IoT platform using wireless communication and a new type of gateway which we call micro-gateways.

Such applications are today only implemented in large scale facilities using wires. The proposed system and involved technologies help to bring the cost and complexity down to a level where it is possible to install this also on smaller production sites. This was not possible until now since the technologies involved (IoT platform, MIRA protocol, edge gateways) were not commercially available.

For more information and the full paper please go to the following link: 

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