Huawei: manufacturing the right prescriptions
The advanced technological age of the Internet of Things (IoT) is here and continues to bring great opportunities across a number of industries. IoT is destined to benefit the global economy in a variety of different ways. We can expect enormous growth in the year ahead with the number of connected things due to reach 8.4 billion by the end of 2017.
For the manufacturing industry in particular, IoT has huge potential. Increasingly manufacturers are implementing networks of sensors to collect data and then using technologies such as big data analytics to understand the data collected and machine learning algorithms to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look. These evaluations are able to provide valuable insights into operations across the business, including predicting maintenance before equipment breaks and tracking products as they move throughout the supply chain.
One specific sector within manufacturing that can benefit from IoT is the pharmaceutical industry. With technology quickly advancing the manufacturing of drugs and other medicines for patients, IoT is able to accelerate this by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of processes.
For example, a factor that does stand out for the pharmaceutical industry is the need to document everything for compliance reasons. IoT has the potential to improve this process dramatically by cutting out the paperwork, as equipment will be connected.
In addition to this, as the industry moves towards outcome-based and diagnostic-focused therapies, IoT provides the ability to capture data and complex processes, allowing manufacturers to leverage intelligent data and insights. This allows manufacturers to gain better visibility of the business and to easily extract data for analysis if an issue arises.
To make IoT processes much smoother and ensure deployment is successful, implementing a cloud platform to support it is vital. An effective cloud solution provides a strong foundation for IoT and also improves system reliability and ensures service continuity. It also enables dynamic and agile scalability when needed for the rapid roll-out of new IT services.
Taking the right prescription
One pharmaceutical organisation that was able to improve its business through the use of cloud computing was China Pharmaceutical Group (China Pharm), the largest pharmaceutical group in China.
Even though it had one of the industry’s most-advanced IT platforms, China Pharm decided to build a cloud-based platform to support the requirements of IT planning for the next five to ten years, especially important with the growth of IoT. In the first phase, China Pharm planned to build a dynamic and scalable mail resource pool platform that would include the legacy Coremail system to offer mail services for approximately 60,000 employees in the Group and it’s subsidiaries.
Huawei was able to integrate the legacy of the VMware platform, create a unified operating platform and also a unified management platform to enable the group to centrally manage resources, build disaster recovery systems and also extend its business systems.
With cloud computing in place, the potential for IoT is greater than ever for China Pharm. It’s time for other pharmaceutical manufacturers to follow suit so they can successfully implement IoT, improve efficiency and better manage manufacturing operations.
By Karabet Krikorian, Head of WEU IoT & Industry 4.0 Solution Innovation, WEU Solutions Management, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd
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Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
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).
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
“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.