May 16, 2020

Collaborative R&D project will enhance Scotland's global sensor capabilities

R&D
scotland
global sensor
R&D
Nell Walker
4 min
Collaborative R&D project will enhance Scotland's global sensor capabilities
A groundbreaking new collaborative research and development project will place Scotland at the forefront of the £7 billion global sensors and imag...

A groundbreaking new collaborative research and development project will place Scotland at the forefront of the £7 billion global sensors and imaging systems market, deliver significant economic growth, and onshore 41 highly skilled research and manufacturing jobs from Asia.

The initiative - the first of its kind in Scotland and backed by Scottish Enterprise and CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensors and Imaging Systems - will bring together companies and organisations to collaborate on the production of materials integral to manufacturing a variety of goods that use sensors, ranging from asthma inhalers to infrared cameras.

Four companies - Cascade Technologies (lead company partner), Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global (CSTG), Gas Sensing Solutions Ltd (GSS), Amethyst Research Ltd - and the Research Division of Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering at The University of Glasgow will combine their expertise in different aspects of manufacturing next-generation sensing technologies to produce a wide range of products for different end markets. The project will also see high performance III-V infrared detector specialist, Amethyst Research Ltd, continue to locate its operations in Scotland to gain access to Europe.

Aiming to cumulatively boost turnover for the businesses by £135 million over the next 10 years, and cut production costs by up to 50%, the project will give them a critical competitive edge in the global mid-IR sensors1 market. The project is expected to deliver £56 million to the Scottish economy over the next 10 years.

Dr Lena Wilson, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “This ground breaking project is further evidence of Scotland’s global competitiveness. The companies involved are great examples of the innovative supply chain in Scotland, highlighting why we continue to be an attractive location for technology manufacturing investment.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “This project is an excellent example of how collaborative working can support the development of advanced manufacturing technologies, boosting productivity and driving growth. Innovation Centres have a unique role to play in engaging with businesses to identify new solutions and we would like to see more of these types of projects develop in the future.”

The project will provide the organisations with access to III-V semiconductors2, allowing the companies involved to create cutting-edge, quality mid-IR sensors in high volumes with greater sensitivity, lower cost, reduced energy use and a longer lifespan than existing products. These can be employed in a wealth of applications including: gas analysers, methane sensors, distributed feedback lasers3 and a vast array of industrial processes.

Working at locations across central Scotland, each company will bring expertise in the growth of these materials and play an important collaborative role in the supply chain. The businesses will then take the materials and produce a variety of different products relevant to their specific end markets – none of them will compete with each other.

Bringing significant production capability back to the UK, access to these materials and the technology used to produce them will help to develop Scotland’s technical skills in advanced sensors and imaging systems. This will also allow further innovation and breakthroughs with the materials through continuing collaborative research and the sharing of expertise

Combined with the dozens of indigenous companies which could make use of the facility and Glasgow’s academic landscape, the project presents a globally unique proposition for manufacturing mid-IR sensor devices.

The project is supported with almost £6 million in funding over the next three years, comprising £2.8 million from the companies participating, £2.6 million from Scottish Enterprise’s collaborative R&D support and £241,000 plus capital equipment provided by CENSIS.

Ian Reid, Chief Executive of CENSIS, said: “This project will have a momentous impact on Scottish industry and is a game-changer for collaborative R&D. Not only will it underpin the development of Scotland’s sensors and imaging sector, which already accounts for £2.6 billion in annual revenues, but it will also provide the academic community with access to cutting edge technology; allowing further innovation and collaboration.

“Scotland has the potential to be at the forefront of the global sensors and imaging systems sector, and this project could make that a reality. We have the opportunity to innovate continually from the design and growth of the materials, right through to the wide variety of products which can be manufactured and their extensive applications.

“Collaboration between these companies and the academic community will put both of these groups at the forefront of global trends and in a unique position to access new markets, ultimately creating a globally competitive supply chain of businesses.”

 

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Jun 17, 2021

Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router

Siemens
5G
IIoT
Data
3 min
Siemens’ first industrial 5G router, the Scalancer MUM856-1, is now available and will revolutionise the concept of remote control in industry

Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age. 

 

Siemens Enables 5G IIoT

The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). 

Siemens presents its first industrial 5G router.
Siemens presents the Scalance MUM856-1.

The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.

 

Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance

 

  • Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
  • The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
  • A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
  • Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites

 

5G Now

“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.

 

Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said. 

 

Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future

Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’ 

 

And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.

 

The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.

 

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