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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Become IoT ready with connected fixtures

Today, smart lighting and connected fixtures is on every luminaire manufacturers agenda and a quick time-to-market solution to become “IoT ready” is crucial in order to retain or create your competitive advantage. But how do you get smart and rid yourself of  connectivity panic?

 

10 years ago we discussed how and when the LED was going to be used and adopted by the market and many of us were surprised how fast the LED revolution happened. The revolution we see now is within connected fixtures and not only is smart lighting a strong trend for achieving sustainable buildings and energy efficient cities, but today, luminaires in general are expected to be able to do more than just turn on and off.  But the most pressing question regards how fast these new features can be implemented.

 

The LED revolution happened fast and this coming lighting revolution will progress even more rapidly – there is no time to waste. A quick time-to-market solution, to have your luminaires become IoT ready, is crucial in order to retain or create your competitive advantage. But how do you add value to your fixtures and have them become IoT ready now, without having the in-house capabilities and knowledge it takes to develop your own reliable radio communication solution? The answer to this problem is one of the “ready-made” products for easy integration on the market. But the fact is that an IoT implementation is a big change and it requires future possibilities and business development needs to be weighed in in the decision making. So how do you combine rapid time to market and the option to do future developments?

 

With Lumenradio’s AirGlow, your fixtures will be IoT ready in a matter of minutes. But the main gain, which separates AirGlow from other wireless lighting controls, is that AirGlow has unique scaling abilities; it allows for light control of individual rooms but also the possibility to scale and allow for building wide control – all using the same product. This means that you can have your fixtures IoT ready in an instant, and still keep the options open for future developments and expand your offer further on – enabling even more ways to save energy and creating a better tomorrow.

 

Compared to other solutions, in almost every case, you have to choose between either a ready-made product for light control of individual rooms or an operating system for building wide control. With AirGlow you don’t have to choose – you get both options!  

 

Want to know more about this unique scalability and how AirGlow with minimum effort gives you maximum possibilities? Stay tuned for next blogpost or visit us at Lux Live (booth K11) to see AirGlow in real life and stop by for a “Coffee and connectivity” chat.

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Let’s add some real Edge to the Edge

– A trend report from IoT Solution World Congress (IoT SWC) Barcelona.

What are the tech giants discussing, what is the IoT technology of tomorrow and what are the main takeaways from one of the leading  IoT industry events? Our CTO Niclas Norlén gives you his thoughts and reflections of IoTSWC 2018.

At this year’s edition of IoTSWC the trend was quite clear and even stronger than last years edition – all the actions happens on the Edge of the network. Today we are seeing the tech giants Microsoft and Google fighting for attention for their Edge technologies, whilst a few years ago the battle were rather about their Cloud technologies.

The intensified investments in Edge technology does not come as a surprise. For example the chip giant Arm predicts to have shipped 1 trillion IoT chips within a 20 year period. The majority of the ARM chips are used in applications at the Edge, in everything from sensors to gateways.

 

Crunching data at the Edge

So why this enormous investment and this massive amount of IoT chips prediction by ARM? I think it can be explained by just mentioning one of the cases I heard about at the congress;  The elevator manufacturer Schindler have 1.5M elevators connected on a global basis, each generating 2.5G of data every day. You can do the math but the conclusion is that there is an overwhelming amount of data that needs to be crunched every day.

Now ask yourself:
Where is the best place to crunch all this data? In the cloud, sending the data through a Telco? Or locally at the Edge with low latency and thus no cost for sending data to the cloud (which for Schindler would be a significant cost…)?

Well you’re right, the majority of all data has to stay at the Edge. And this is the reason why the “Cloud” giants as Microsoft and Google are making significant investments into what they call Edge technology. They are on a mission to make it easy to crunch data and send the data that brings value to the cloud. And all this data is generated by sensors many times having an ARM core.

The tech giants have extended their offering now not only covering operating systems and technology for the Cloud but also offering for the Edge gateway that normally has the processing power required for those operating systems.

 

A missing piece in the puzzle

But wait, there is a missing piece in the three piece puzzle Edge device (sensor) – Edge gateway – Cloud. This piece is one of the most important ones and the very foundation of IoT.

You need an operating system for the ever so constrained devices, devices which are is the very source for all data; an operating system for the sensors and actuators. In those constrained devices we often see the low cost CPU’s, the majority of those from ARM with the prediction of 1 trillion of devices within 20 years. Those CPU’s have very limited resources compared to the CPU’s in the Edge gateways. An operating system for those devices must have a very small footprint yet provide an easy way to develop an application for processing of sensor data.


The IoT tech giants offering stops at the Edge gateway today – the device with significant processing power that connects the sensors and actuators to the cloud. But even further to the left in the picture you have the real Edge devices that is the very source of the data – the majority of all devices are found here, the temp sensors, presence sensors and vibration sensors to mention a few.

 

Retrofit demands Zero Wires

But there is more needed from the operating system for the constrained Edge devices. There is a strong trend in retrofitting sensors and actuators especially within Smart buildings, driven by green legislations, and Industrial Sensors networks, driven by predictive maintenance. Two industries that got much attention at IoT SWC, having separate focus tracks at the congress. For this retrofitting to become cost efficient the devices needs to be Zero Wire, i.e. either battery powered or powered by energy harvesting technologies. This means that energy efficient hardware and an operating system providing an energy efficient connectivity and data processing (i.e. Edge Computing) is a must.

In our product strategy the retrofitting trend is one of the main driving force. Our R&D focus to stay on the cutting Edge of technology developing our ultra low energy operating system and an ultra reliable communication stack for constrained devices.

Leaving IoT SWC I’m even more confident that we are on the right path adding some real Edge to the Edge.

 

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How to start your IoT initiative – solve your tangible problem!

Starting your IoT journey is as exciting as it is overwhelming. Digitalization is booming, but there is still a big gap in the information to be found and many companies are left irresolute. In all of this confusion, the most important issue is often forgotten; before you start your journey, you need to know where to start it.

 

Start with a tangible problem
Our most important recommendation of all (which is the foundation of every successful IoT solution) is ”Start with a tangible problem!”.

Today a lot of companies are asking “What’s your strategy when it comes to digitalization of your business?” or “What does your future IoT solution look like?”. Our recommendation is to wait with those questions. Instead, start where there are real problems.

If you start with a tangible problem, you will have a solid business case to rely on early in the project, and you will also face less internal resistance with the rest of your team. If your team understands the benefits of the IoT initiative, they will be more eager to start up the development journey. For example, let’s say you have problems with high installation costs; everybody in your organisation understands that this is an issue. If you decide to address this issue in your solution, you will have a solid business case and a motivated team.

The key in every IoT initiative is to not create problems – instead, focus on solving real ones. You can’t always predict what kind of needs your customers will have until you roll out your product in the field, so why spend resources on creating solutions that may not even be useful? Don’t worry, there will be room for improvements later on. Identify your tangible problem and build a business case around it where you clearly can see benefits such as reduced cost, reduced downtime, increased utilization rate, less time spent on support/installation, energy savings, etc.

So we ask again, what’s your problem?

 

New guide released
Now you know where to start, but how do you go from there? Luckily, we have years of experience in reliable connectivity and helping big companies in their IoT development. It is our goal to provide you with the knowledge needed to fully benefit from the possibilities of IoT, and that is why we have created a guide called 7 steps to launching a successful IoT solution.

Download our free guide today to get valuable insight in the process and technology. 

We hope that you, once you have read these 7 steps, feel confident that your IoT journey will be a success story!

 

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Low Energy Mesh – an unofficial world record?

Reduced energy consumption in wireless connectivity is a strong demand in many industries. LumenRadio’s focus in perfecting wireless has led to unique results within low energy mesh. Having wireless products running on the same battery through the whole lifecycle is a demand which could, by some, be considered a dream – we just made it a reality.

 

For manufacturers within HVAC, Building Automation or Industrial Sensor Networks, the main drivers of low energy mesh technology in battery powered devices is retrofit. Old buildings need to be retrofitted with modern technology to meet the requirements within energy efficient buildings, and industrial machines needs to go Zero Wires to attain lower installation cost, lower product costs and to have a increased service life of the product.  

 

At LumenRadio this has been a focus for our R&D department for some time. When we launched the MiraOS v2.0 in April we were proud of the results within low power mesh but today, five months later, we are even more proud since we have reduced the energy consumption even further in the MiraOS v2.1. We have not only outperformed the competition, but also set a new standard for low energy mesh 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. And a leaf node on a coin cell battery can easily last for 10 years. This consumption is calculated when sending a 160B data message every minute. This low energy consumption gives manufacturers the possibility to significantly lower their product- and/or their maintenance costs either by reducing battery size or having long maintenance intervals of the sensors.   

 

Meshing mode Leaf node
Coin cell battery 3 years 10 years
AA-sized battery 15 years* 15 years*

*Battery life will be limited to 15 years due to the self-discharge rate of batteries.

 

No other wireless technology can today match our ultra low energy mesh offer. Some have succeeded with 5 years of battery life when you have a 5 minute interval on your data collection, but we have gone far beyond that. In fact, with MiraOS, the only limitation is the pure shelf-life of the battery; as of today’s specifications, no AA-sized battery can last longer than 15 years, due to self-discharge. So, when the lifespan of batteries increases, we will gladly accept the challenge and provide you with an even longer running time! We call our dedicated low energy focus Zero Wire technologyTM.  

 

As shown above, this is significantly better than any other competing wireless technology. And in fact, the best possible with today’s batteries. Could it be a new unofficial world record? We think so.

 

 

Want to know more about our technology? See our collection of Whitepapers and guides here:   

 

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Visit from Lithuanias ministry 2018

Innovation in focus for Lithuania’s minister of economy

Last week, we had a noble visit from Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation, Virginijus Sinkevičius. Together with three colleagues they came to Sweden to seek lessons on innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

Lithuania is focused on offering a dynamic and innovative business environment and many international companies are currently assembling quality research and innovation teams in the country. The country has a strong and committed governmental support for R&D and a longstanding focus on developing highly educated talents.

 

The purpose of Mr Sinkevičius visit was to meet some of the leading Swedish technology companies to better understand the trends as well as look at partnership opportunities. We at LumenRadio are proud to be chosen for a visit together with leading companies in Stockholm and Gothenburg, together with Nasdaq and Volvo Trucks.

 

LumenRadio’s research and development department was in focus during the visit and Michael Karlsson, R&D Manager, explained:

“We are always looking to further strengthen our position when it comes to technology leadership and innovation. It was an honor meeting with Mr Sinkevičius and his team to talk about the future of IoT and hear about their initiatives within our field of technology. It really helps in getting a picture of what possibilities we have.”    

 

We are most impressed with the long-term vision, competence and passion LumenRadio team demonstrates. The IoT market is expanding rapidly and this company is well positioned to take a lead in secure wireless communication. Lithuania has a lot to offer in embedded software and hardware engineering fields, and we hope to partner in the future.”

said Virginijus Sinkevičius, who has been the minister of economy since 2017.

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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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DMXmesh™ – “the best invention since sliced bread”

The best invention since sliced bread – that was the most common reaction we got when we showcased DMXmeshTM at Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt in April. Sliced bread – the saviour of every hectic morning and every 1:00 a.m. snack craving – is an honorable analogy. Above all else, it’s an accurate one. But to understand the background for all these comments we have to back up some years.

 

When I first entered the professional lighting industry about one and a half decade ago, wireless DMX systems already existed – and had been existing for some time. The systems of those days were generally based on standard radio technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth. The systems of those days where not very reliable and they were also cumbersome to set up and use – you basically needed a IT technician and an RF engineer to set up a system that would work for a live show.

 

Challenging Status Quo

10 years ago LumenRadio was founded – one of the first steps taken in the vision of changing the lighting industry. Our first task was to make wireless lighting controls reliable, frequency friendly and – last but not least – user friendly. A lot has happened since then. LumenRadio products has been so reliable and easy to set up and easy to use so they have conquered the entertainment industry – Coachella Music Festival, Eurovision Song Contest, Stadium tours, block buster movie sets, you name it… We’re the only wireless company winning five innovation awards in the lighting industry; whereof three consecutive years and two the same year – so we are used to challenging the status quo and push the boundaries for what’s possible.

 

What does all of that has to do with DMXmesh?

With DMXmesh we’re taking user friendliness to a new level. Up until now, when doing architectural and architainment lighting installations the installer had to perform site surveys for measuring signal strengths since wireless DMX systems has been in a star topology – one transmitter and many receivers. This has also lead to a lot of time being spent on calculating where to place repeaters, using directional antennas, doing cell planning, etc, etc.

Façade lighting before DMXmesh

Façade lighting before DMXmesh

 

At LumenRadio we believed this could be done in a much easier way, removing the need for all this work. And we could bring the knowledge of mesh networking to the lighting industry – resulting in our patent pending DMXmesh technology. With DMXmesh, all receivers and DMXmesh enabled fixtures will help forward the lighting control data in a collaborative manner, meaning no more need for site surveys. The installer just has to make sure that any one receiver always has wireless range to at least one other fixture – the DMXmesh technology will do the rest.

Façade lighting with DMXmesh

Façade lighting with DMXmesh

No need for manual configuration

DMXmesh is fully automated mesh network with multi-path redundancy, meaning that the signal will flow every possible path through the network simultaneously, making it extremely robust.

Combined with our patented cognitive coexistence technology the need for cell planning is also eliminated – the system will automatically select the available frequencies when they are available – no manual configuration needed, and no extra expensive hardware to support multiple frequency bands is needed, just as simple as plug-n-light.

 

What about the sliced bread?

The time for installation and wireless commissioning is greatly reduced for architectural and architainment illumination, no more site surveys or complicated planning for the wireless DMX distribution. The high barriers for wireless light control of yesterday will be a memory from the past. The DMXmesh technology will let you focus on what is important; illumination, not on DMX distribution. Obviously, our trade show booth visitors weren’t just buttering up – it’s the best invention since sliced bread. And I’m proud that we at LumenRadio once again will change the professional lighting industry.

 

DMXmesh products

The first products to hit the market, by the end of the year, with support for DMXmesh are our brand-new radio module TimoTwoTM and the end-user product MoonLiteTM. Both MoonLite and TimoTwo also features support for Bluetooth connectivity to our smartphone app CRMX Toolbox for device management configuration, and software updates.

 

Michael Karlsson R&D Manager

Michael Karlsson, R&D Manager

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LumenRadio celebrates 10 years of reliable wireless connectivity

2018 marks the 10-year anniversary for LumenRadio. We’ve accomplished a lot in one short decade, and there is without a doubt more to come.

 

The light-bulb moment

In the middle of the night, while driving on an empty highway, LumenRadio’s founder Niclas Norlén couldn’t help but notice all the street lights. They we’re blasting at full capacity, even though there were no other cars in sight. This was a true light-bulb moment (pun intended) for Norlén who realized that lighting could (and should) be made smart – and so he did.

After the initial idea formed back in 2008, LumenRadio quickly became the wireless partner in professional lighting. Our wireless DMX technology was requested at numerous occasions; from festivals and Hollywood productions to royal weddings and architainment illuminations.

 

Exploring new possibilities

This proven versatility and the successful results generated a great deal of confidence in the LumenRadio team, and we humbly decided to become the wireless partner in even greater areas. Thus, entering the world of IoT.

With the new Mira module, LumenRadio’s patented reliable connectivity reached new customers and enabled even more companies to connect their surroundings. In 2016 Swegon launched their new wireless climate control system built on LumenRadio’s technology, and it proved to be just as reliable in this area as in professional lighting.

 

Frequencies and coexistence

We are witnessing a massive increase of wirelessly connected things. In fact, we have been for a while. With these congestions in the frequency spectrum, you need to find a way through the frequency noise of today, as well as adapt to the congestions of tomorrow. Otherwise; no communication.

The LumenRadio Cognitive Coexistence technology works like a weather forecaster; predicting on a millisecond basis how the frequency spectrum will be utilized going forward.

Adaptation to a new reality is the key ingredient of being future-proof, and we have been practicing this for a decade.

 

The wireless future

When it comes to technology, the accelerating expansion of possibilities semes to surpass the expansion of the universe itself. With over 75 billion devices predicted to be connected by 2025, reliable and Future-Proof connectivity has never been more important. This is what makes us so passionate about what we do, and we always aim to expand and improve. With our trademarked Cognitive Coexistence (and our equally trademarked humble confidence), we believe that with LumenRadio in the mix, 2018 will be a pivotal year for the technology of the future.

 

Niclas Norlén at the celebrations at Prolight and sound 2018

“It has been an amazing 10 years! I’m so thankful to the people I’m working with that makes LumenRadio such a great company. When I started I was convinced that wireless technology could change the world and to see that we keep developing and perfecting a technology that revolutionizes industry after industry is just fantastic” says Niclas Norlén, founder and CTO of LumenRadio.

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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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