Ubisense Researches Manufacturers’ Understanding of IoT
A recent report conducted by Ubisense has provided insight into the use of the internet of things (IoT) in manufacturing.
It has become apparent that some manufacturers are yet to realise the true potential of IoT as an asset to their operations.
“The report highlights short-term disillusion rather than long-term disinterest,” says Steven Manifold, chief marketing officer at Ubisense.
“Sadly, global manufacturers failed to trust IoT’s potential at a time when they needed it most. And that is for IoT solutions providers to fix with real, proven examples of where IoT works best so that this lost year doesn’t turn into a much longer-term lost opportunity for manufacturing.”
The report also looks at reasons why some manufacturers have not yet adopted a strategy that utilises IoT.
“Too often, IoT is positioned as a futuristic promise somewhere on the digital horizon, and for many, this just doesn’t resonate with their current, very real challenges when it comes to assembly processes,” says Manifold.
Ubisense’s research shows that “43% of manufacturers reveal they don’t understand the value it brings to assembly operation.”
Overall, roughly a third of manufacturers say their running capacity has decreased over the past year, which may have been affected by the inability of IoT to make a “transition from intention to adoption in 2020.”
The study also shows an unusual correlation between the percentage of manufacturers that wish they could improve their processes and those that see the value in the IoT.
“[Despite] 74% of respondents agreeing that they would like to see reduced cycle times in their assembly processes, fewer decision-makers are seeing the link between IoT and this competitive advantage,” says Ubisense.
“Only 63% make that connection now, compared to 70% a year previously, and a similar downward trend was seen across other proposed benefits too.”
Some companies have expressed disinterest in IoT, believing it is unlikely to provide a significant ROI or feeling their processes are too unique for an IoT solution.
However, almost half of manufacturers feel they are missing out on an IoT solution, from which other companies are benefitting, which may suggest a larger uptake of IoT in the future.
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.