Kiss Zoltán - Export Manager - Endrich Bauelemente Vertriebs GmbH
E-IoT hardware and software ecosystem to support IOT development and convert conventional equipment into connected SMART devices - Part 1
21 April 2022
A major challenge industry faces today is the digitalization of conventional processes, extending machinery with low power, feature rich microcontroller-based electronics to collect sensor readings, and forward data to a Cloud Database by using some kind of (wireless) communication technology. Like this, it is possible to convert conventional devices to connected (SMART) devices, which report their operational and environmental parameters into Cloud Database making possible to support cost-savings, simplicity and operational safety. Smart features of devices support predictive maintenance, optimize energy consumption, and support remote monitoring. Our E-IOT eco-system helps to enter this industry by offering hardware and software service evaluation platform to developers of such IOT devices as well as offer ready solution to convert conventional into “smart” devices.
Endrich GmbH - a leading electronics component distributor and design-in house - has developed an online sensor network infrastructure, where each hardware components belong to manufacturers represented by the company.
This series of technical writing is meant to give the readers a closer look at to Endrich’s IoT platform and ecosystem, offering a possible cooperation between IoT developers and the leading component distributor on the field of “smart devices”.
The beginning of the processing chain - like in a real-world application - consists of sensors detecting and measuring different environmental an operational parameter, which are processed all the way to cloud database storage and visual data representation at the end. There is a sophisticated gateway in between, which collects the sensor readings, pre-processes these data and sends it through a wireless (LPWA) communication channel to a cloud-based database service, where it can be displayed after processing, or used for any purpose appropriate for a given task.
The industrial expectations towards the complete infrastructure are high and diverse, including device installation and maintenance cost minimization, requiring many years of battery lifetime, high utilization of technological resources, what – by all means- can only be supported by competent component suppliers, having the professional background and the willingness to provide development support and services.
Endrich's E-IoT concept is meant to implement this structure and provide hardware and software solutions to our partners in multiple levels. Endrich has started to develop - as the first step- an special Single Board Computer extended with sensing and communication capabilities to offer a basic hardware solution for an IoT endpoint. This Sensor & Communication IoT SBC and the various accessories developed around it form a hardware platform, which together with the cloud-based background network software infrastructure offer a fully working concept of a general IoT solution, and it has been exhibited on national and international expos and conferences in 2020-2021.
The IoT ecosystem cannot exist without software services. Although our SBC can communicate through several protocols (MQTT, UDP etc.) to well-known database providers such as Microsoft’s Azure, we thought simplicity is a major factor, therefore we created our own Endrich Software Ecosystem, the Endrich Cloud DB system and the Data Visualization Gateway. These services thus can be offered free of cost to our customers to make their development work easier.
The E-IoT ecosystem is intended to be used as a demo system for boosting IoT related component sales at first, but we are targeting a second - and on long term even more important – stage: to use this ecosystem as an evaluation platform of customer driven product development. With the E-IoT SBC in focus one can develop customized functions on an extension board and using the Endrich Cloud System and the Visualization gateway all functions of a finished product can be realized, developed and tested.
The SBC can also be used as a finished product, with the help of it, user can connect conventional devices to the Internet, making them SMART devices. In order to demonstrate the usage of this system, we have converted one of the finished products of a company of the Endrich group to a smart device. EuroLighting GmbH, Endrich’s sister company produces a UVC based air purifier in order to support protection against airborne viruses and bacteria through cleaning the air of the public area. These air purifiers have a vulnerable UVC light engine, a HEPA filter and a fan, which all can tear off offering no more adequate protection. Service network would cost fortune if one wanted to offer 100% service time and continuous operation. Adding smart features such as remote monitoring and automatic reporting of UVC intensity, wind speed through the filter and rotation speed of the fan, the predictive maintenance can be planned at much lower cost level. As an extra feature - involving the E-IoT extension kit- the air quality of the public area can also be monitored. Environmental parameters such as the ambient temperature, the ambient light conditions, CO2 concentration and the air particle concentration also could be checked real-time on a mobile device.
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