Location Sensing Partnership Offers New Take on Digital Twin

Location Sensing Partnership Offers New Take on Digital Twin

Quuppa introduced me to its unique location sensing technology at Hannover last April and I wrote about it here.

Today’s announcement concerns a partnership with Ubisense Group plc, a market leader in enterprise location intelligence solutions, as part of Ubisense’s strategy to integrate leading location and identification technologies with its open and sensor-agnostic SmartSpace software platform, enabling customers to create a truly enterprise-wide digital twin along the entire value chain of critical manufacturing activities.

Many of the world’s major manufacturers benefit from Ubisense SmartSpace systems which create a real-time, operational digital twin and use it to change factory behavior based on the locations of tools, people and work-in-progress. SmartSpace allows customers to integrate a broad range of sensing capabilities to address different use cases and a wide range of ROIs, and leverage existing location technology they may already be using. By working with Quuppa to support applications where the Quuppa Intelligent Locating System offers the best ROI, Ubisense also expects to extend the reach of SmartSpace further into the logistics, construction and healthcare markets.

Quuppa utilizes a unique combination of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and the Angle of Arrival (AoA) methodology, as well as advanced location algorithms that have been developed over the course of more than 15 years, to calculate highly accurate, real-time indoor positioning, even in the most demanding environments. The low-power system is a reliable, highly-customisable, scalable and cost-efficient solution for providing an accurate “dot on the map.” The Quuppa solution provides another powerful source of information to drive location-aware applications within Ubisense’s SmartSpace platform. It complements the many sensors already integrated with SmartSpace, including Ubisense’s own market-leading UWB location systems (Dimension 4 and AngleID), other third-party location sensors, third-party passive RFID tag readers, and barcode systems.

Dr. Andy Ward, CTO at Ubisense, said: “One of the key benefits of our SmartSpace platform is the ability to integrate a wide range of data sources to facilitate building sensor-rich, industrial-scale systems, allowing us to propose the right location sensor technology for each application. We’re looking forward to seeing powerful additional use cases develop as customers explore our joint capabilities with Quuppa.”

Thomas Hasselman, chief marketing officer at Quuppa, said: “The Quuppa Ecosystem—now more than 90 partners strong—continues to flourish, bringing the power of highly accurate, reliable and scalable location services to a growing number of companies across a variety of industries through our commitment to BLE technology. In partnering with Ubisense, we are delivering new opportunities to SmartSpace customers that are using location as a business driver.”

Location Sensing Partnership Offers New Take on Digital Twin

Intelligent Sensor Grid Powering Digitized Commerce at the Edge

Successful digitalization requires data. Data, in turn, originates often from sensors. The Industrial Internet of Things runs on this data providing a valuable use case of tying a manufacturing enterprise together from supply chain through customer experience.

Mahesh Veerina, CEO of Cloudleaf, walked me through an application based on his company’s technology that indeed ties a supply chain in the pharma industry together. Start with sensors on approximately 5,000 pallets. Each meshes via sub-MHz unlicensed radios through 30 intelligent gateways reporting 16 million data points. Cloudleaf’s SaaS software gathers the data, performs the analytics, then feeds custom dashboards for different roles at the customer’s company. Oh, and continuous learning through Artificial Intelligence (AI) creates a virtuous cycle that constantly improves the system.

The return on investment (ROI)? Estimated at between $70 million and $100 million.

Cloudleaf has announced the next generation of its patented Sensor Fabric, the IoT-at-scale solution that optimizes management of distributed assets throughout any enterprise value chain.

Cloudleaf’s next-generation Sensor Fabric maintains an intelligent grid at the edge for global commerce, making digitization a reality for enterprise customers and value chain partners. Its easy-to-deploy intelligent sensors, gateways and cloud technologies minimize costs and maximize quality, efficiency and reporting standards. At the same time, Cloudleaf’s patented solution generates a continuous stream of increasingly predictive data that enables an enterprise to monitor, measure and manage distributed assets –– on the ground and on the fly. Key enhancements include:

• Comparative multi-location movement history maximizes yield and improves asset utilization.

• Lifecycle tracking optimizes business processes, managing dwell times, cycle times, asset condition changes and other variables.

• Value Loss analytics measure inefficiencies in asset handling, storage and usage.

• Path Modeling provides compliance tracking, monitoring and reporting.

• Next-gen control center enables on-the-fly deployment, calibration, and management of Sensor Fabric, with easy to use web and mobile dashboards.

Unlike products that occasionally add new features and functionalities, Sensor Fabric essentially upgrades itself. Tens-of-millions-per-day messaging sparks multiplier machine learning. The result is agile and actionable insights in virtually any industrial process. The longer Sensor Fabric is deployed, the smarter the industrial process is.

“We are extremely gratified by the extraordinary market acceptance that Cloudleaf is achieving,” said Veerina. “More and more extended enterprises in a wide range of industries are asking Cloudleaf to help them achieve the kinds of efficiencies and ROI that our current customers are gaining. In the very near future, we expect to begin announcing the addition of a number of industry leaders –– including internationally known household names – to our rapidly growing customer base.”

Location Sensing Partnership Offers New Take on Digital Twin

Low Cost Wireless Solutions for the Automation Markets

The “Wireless Wars” are long over. We just don’t hear much about wireless sensor networks anymore. They work. People use them. However, one of the dreams of these included the thought of spreading low-cost sensors around the plant so that managers, operators, and engineers could have more knowledge of the status of the plant.

Dave Smith (CEO) and Chuck Micallef (CMO), a couple of gentlemen I’ve known for years, stopped me at the ARC Forum a few weeks ago to tell me about a new, lower cost wireless sensor system.

Wireless Industrial Networks (WIN) announced a cost-effective wireless process sensing and condition-based monitoring solution. The wireless products include a Gateway, Universal Transmitter and selection of measurement sensors. WIN’s wireless solutions are designed to change the way the industry thinks about industrial wireless.

The products are simple to select, easy to use and have a significantly lower price than most other alternatives. Wireless applications are easier to justify and faster to start-up than wired. The communication transmission is industry standard 900 MHz, is license free, and has a range of 5,280 feet. The self-configuring communication network is “plug & play” and will be working in minutes rather than hours and requires no prior wireless experience. The complete price for a single measurement starts at just $1,300.00!

“Our products are designed to address the general purpose, condition-based monitoring applications which make up a large percentage of all automation applications,” says Smith, CEO and Owner of WIN. “Our cost-effective wireless solutions give you everything you need and nothing that you don’t! Not all applications require expensive explosion-proof devices so why pay for what you don’t need? Our customers want simple, easy-to-use, cost-effective wireless measurement solutions to address the ever-increasing need for additional measurement without the high engineering and wiring cost.”

The WIN wireless solution consist of 4 items:

  1. Wireless Gateway – a small, lightweight, 900 MHz communication gateway with standard Ethernet output and supports 200+ transmitters located 5,280 feet away.
  2. Universal Wireless Transmitter – battery (replaceable) powered transmitter accepts up to 3 universal sensor inputs, mix of any sensor measurement types, 900 MHz, IEEE 802.15.4 standard radio, frequency-hopping, auto configure and AES 128-bit industry standard encryption in a small light-weight NEMA 4x enclosure.
  3. Sensors – a complete line of measurement sensors using our V-Bus patented technology uniquely characterizes each sensor with a pre-programing calibration curve eliminating the need for on-site calibration, Sensors include temperature, pressure, 4-20 mA, current voltage, humidity/temperature, dual temperature, vibration, discrete, proximity and more.
  4. DataManager and Web Dashboard – these PC-based software applications are included with the gateway and provide a clear, simple to understand status of all network sensors and is an intuitive navigation tool used to access sensor details and measurement history. Features include: scaled engineering unit, alarm settings, bright easy-to-see measurement status indicators, measurement groups, email/text message for alerts and more.

Common applications include: motor temperature and current draw, pump vibration, bearing vibration or temperature monitoring, conveyor vibration monitoring, exhaust and cooling tower fan monitoring, filter monitoring and many more. The products are flexible and reliable.

Location Sensing Partnership Offers New Take on Digital Twin

Swift Sensors Launches Cloud Wireless Sensor System

Imagine what you could know about your plant or factory if you could get many more sensors around the area. This was the dream behind the development of robust wireless sensor networks for industrial and manufacturing applications.

Here is a new entrant bearing much promise. Swift Sensors Inc. debuted Dec. 8 as an Industrial IoT company providing a cloud-based wireless sensor system for industrial and commercial applications. The company fundamentally replaces a hodge-podge of manual processes and disparate sensors with a low-cost, unified sensor system delivering real-time actionable data — dramatically transforming business process efficiency and reliability. Swift Sensors technology monitors temperature, humidity, vibration, motion, activity, location, electric voltage and current. 

“Businesses are frequently limited in their ability to efficiently monitor critical equipment and processes because of expensive, manual traditional systems. Swift Sensors extends the reach and efficiency of sensor monitoring, while offering new opportunities to enhance performance using analytics and optimization,” said Sam Cece, CEO of Swift Sensors. “Our low-cost, instant deployment allows businesses to rapidly adapt to regulatory compliance initiatives and commence predictive maintenance programs.”

Swift Sensors released its cloud wireless sensor system after 18 months of development and successful deployment with various customers, including Kraft Heinz, Sysco Foods, and McDonalds.

“We deployed hundreds of wireless sensors from Swift Sensors to upgrade our existing sensors and automate our manual monitoring processes. My team now focuses their time on important daily tasks rather than manually checking temperatures or equipment status.  We’ve saved hundreds of hours in productivity during the past year and improved operations,” said William Thacker, Engineering Supervisor at the Kraft Heinz Company.

Swift Sensor’s next generation cloud wireless sensor system includes customizable real-time monitoring, alerts and analytics. The company’s mission is to improve business efficiency and reliability by making actionable data and analytics globally accessible; providing businesses a way to actively avoid disasters rather than passively waiting to remedy costly failures.

A variety of industrial, commercial and service businesses can now take advantage of Swift Sensors affordable, scalable sensor system, integrating their sensor data across multiple areas for maximum impact. Sample sectors include:

  1. Food chain (including FSMA compliance)
  2. Transportation
  3. Restaurants
  4. Industrial
  5. IT Data Centers
  6. Research & Development
  7. Power

Low Cost & Scalable, with Actionable Data

Swift Sensors gives companies a cost-effective way to accelerate a broad range of business goals:

  • Companies place the Swift Sensors plug and play matchbook-size wireless sensors wherever they would like to capture data and insights from their physical environment.
  • The sensors transmit the relevant data via either Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or RF to a Swift Sensors Bridge, a small appliance that connects the sensors to the secure Swift Sensors Cloud using Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and/or cellular communication.
  • Administrators then utilize the Swift Sensors web-based dashboard to configure the sensor system for data monitoring and analysis from any location.

Authorized company employees use the cloud-based dashboard to access sensor data and, based on their role, sophisticated analytics using their desktop and mobile devices. Businesses can create reports and send notifications via email/SMS/phone call based on customizable thresholds.

Pricing and Availability

The Swift Sensors Cloud Wireless Sensor System is available immediately. Individual sensor and bridge appliance pricing start at $79 and $349, respectively, with a low monthly cloud subscription fee for access to the Swift Sensors Dashboard with an unlimited number of users.

Swift Sensors Founding Team

Swift Sensors was founded in May 2015 and began development immediately. The three founders are Dean Drako – Executive Chairman, Sam Cece – CEO,  and Dr. Kelly Jones – CTO.

Dean Drako has founded and run several successful companies. He is best known as former president and CEO of Barracuda Networks, which he founded to solve the spam and email security problem, growing the company from a concept to become a cloud and IT security industry leader with more than $200 million in annual sales, 1000 employees, and 150,000 customers.

Sam Cece was previously CEO of Virtual Bridges and CloudTools, acquired by Nimboxx and SolarWinds respectively. As CEO of StrongMail Systems, he expanded the company’s initial customer base to hundreds of business customers; StrongMail was named to the 2012 Forrester Wave Report shortlist.  

Kelly Jones was Engineering VP for Virtual Bridges/Cloudtools. Previously, he was a Director at Dell, managing technology teams supporting the majority of Dell’s operational public cloud environment and accounted for 80% of Dell’s SaaS revenue. Jones was also: VP of technology for Message One, acquired by Dell, meeting all delivery dates and achieving 99.999% service availability; founder of PANACYA, acquired by Research in Motion; and Chief Security Scientist for Computer Associates Int’l.

Magnetic Kit Encoders Feature Multi-Turn Range with No Need for Backup Batteries

Magnetic Kit Encoders Feature Multi-Turn Range with No Need for Backup Batteries

This post regarding magnetic encoders is not my typical news. I met with the company at Automation Fair a couple of weeks ago. It’s the newest thing I’ve heard in encoders in a while. Thought I’d pass it along for all you servo engineers and business development managers out there.

positalphoto1-kitencoderpositalPOSITAL’s new family of kit encoders provide the manufacturers of servomotors and other machinery with rugged, accurate and cost-efficient tools for building rotary position measurements into their products. The new kit encoders are based on POSITAL’s self-contained magnetic rotary encoders. Now however, the core components of these instruments are available as separate assemblies that can be readily integrated into other products.

The POSITAL kit encoder components offer a number of advantages over the rotation measuring devices that have traditionally been used with servomotors and rotating equipment. Compared to resolvers, they are more accurate and offer multi-turn measurement capabilities. They also provide digital outputs instead of the analog signals produced by resolvers. While POSITAL’s magnetic encoder technology provides slightly less precision than the best optical disk encoders, it is less costly, less vulnerable to contamination from oil or dust and more resistant to shock and vibration. POSITAL encoders also provide an all-electronic multi-turn absolute position measuring capability that evaluates the full absolute angular position, including the total number of shaft rotations. The rotation counter is powered by the company’s well-proven Wiegand-effect energy harvesting technology so that rotation counts are always accurate, even if the rotations occur when external power is unavailable. This system eliminates the need for backup batteries or for the geared optical disks used in some products.

positolphoto2-kitencoder-renderingPOSITAL magnetic kit encoders are easy to incorporate into normal manufacturing processes since they don’t require extra-precision, near-cleanroom assembly conditions. A built-in self-calibration capability can compensate for small sensor-to-shaft alignment errors. The electronic components, including Hall-effect sensors, a 32-bit microprocessor and the Wiegand-wire energy harvesting system, are packaged in a convenient 36 mm diameter, 24.2mm deep unit. For servomotors with magnetic brakes, a special magnetic shield has been developed to isolate the magnetic pickups of the measurement system from the external magnetic fields.

The resolution of the new POSITAL kit encoders is 17 bit, with an accuracy of better than + 0.1°. The operating temperature range is -40 to +105 °C. These devices are available with a variety of non-proprietary communications protocols, including BISS, SSI and RS485-based protocols.

POSITAL is a supplier of advanced industrial position sensors used in a wide variety of motion control and safety systems. The company is also an innovator in product design and manufacturing processes and a pioneer of Industry 4.0 (Industrial Internet of Things/IIoT), offering customers the benefits of built-to-order products combined with the price advantages of mass-production. POSITAL is a member of the international FRABA group, whose history dates back to 1918, when its predecessor, Franz Baumgartner elektrische Apparate GmbH, was established in Cologne, Germany to manufacture relays. Since then, the company has played a trendsetting role in the development of rotary encoders, inclinometers and other sensor products. POSITAL has a global reach with subsidiaries in Europe, North America and Asia – and sales and distribution partners around the world.

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