mioty: The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT Connectivity

industrial iot connectivity

BehrTech Blog

mioty - The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT Connectivity

The adoption of communication technologies in manufacturing has evolved over several decades, with protocols such as Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, and Profinet continuing to serve as a backbone for time-sensitive automation and control applications. Today however, the increasing prevalence of sensors connected via the industrial internet of things (IIoT) to provide information for data-driven applications like predictive maintenance are now driving the need for a complementary communications infrastructure.

What is needed is wireless instrumentation that can be retrofitted without interrupting functioning processes while satisfying demanding industrial requirements. Recognized for their unique advantages in terms of range, power, and costs, Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) will soon become the standard industrial IoT connectivity infrastructure covering the entire facility and supporting a multitude of uses cases, from simple temperature monitoring in the manufacturing plant to condition monitoring, energy consumption tracking, and worker safety.

IIoT Sensor Networks on the Factory Floor

The manufacturing sector is constantly looking for innovative approaches to increase productivity and reduce costs. Installation of numerous sensors on shop floors provides informative data about the status of critical asset and machinery, as well as the production environment, to improve control over plant operations. For example, air pressure sensors help monitor and maintain optimal pressure levels to prevent dust infiltration in the manufacturing facility, thereby securing product quality in pharmaceutical and microelectronics industries. Vibration sensors recording excessive movement of motors and pumps may suggest possible mounting defects, shaft misalignment, and bearing wear that require proactive responses. Ultimately, the potential for IIoT in manufacturing facilities is boundless.

Coupled with a powerful analytics platform, sensor networks provide inputs that enable condition monitoring and analysis of past equipment failures to detect causes and anticipate fault probability. This enables planning around predictive maintenance and timely replenishment of spare parts based on asset condition to minimize costly downtime and production losses. Unnecessary manual inspection of various machinery components can also be eliminated, saving labor costs.

While industrial Ethernet and classical fieldbus technologies are best suited for real-time automation and process control, they can be cost-prohibitive and too cumbersome when connecting huge numbers of sensors for remote monitoring to the cloud. Thanks to ease of installation and expansion, wireless industrial IoT connectivity solutions have been increasingly implemented in production environments to provide an additional layer for efficient sensor communication. Industry-grade robustness, the ability to integrate massive end-points across the entire factory, network longevity, low power requirements, and cost-efficiency are leading requirements for wireless networks.

Low Power Wide Area Networks

Industrial IoT Connectivity
Figure 1: LPWAN fuels massive sensor data to the cloud for analytics and informed decision-making

Incorporating a family of technologies that utilize sub-GHz bands (e.g. 868MHz in Europe and 915MHz in North America) to transmit low-throughput messages, LPWAN can support the communication of vast battery-operated sensor arrays over long distances. Most traditional LPWA networks operate in the unlicensed ISM (industrial, scientific, and medical) bands, with the exception of a few cellular-based LPWA technologies such as Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT).

LPWAN addresses major drawbacks of short-range radio technologies (e.g. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) and cellular connectivity in large-scale IIoT deployments. With a range varying from a few to more than 10 km and deep indoor penetration, LPWAN enables effective sensor communication in remote and underground industrial complexes, and fills other cellular coverage gaps. For example, sensors can be installed at previously unfeasible and challenging positions, or even in hazardous areas. A battery life of more than 10 years considerably simplifies battery replacement and recharging.

Less complex waveforms of LPWAN technologies reduce transceiver design complexity, allowing for comparatively low device costs. Wide area coverage in combination with one-hop star topology reduces the requirement for expensive infrastructure (i.e. gateway) and power consumption of endpoints, as opposed to mesh topology in short-range networks with their relaying functionality. Thanks to low device and infrastructure costs along with low subscription fees, LPWAN can be deployed at a fraction of the capital and operating expenditures of wireless alternatives.

A Critical Examination of Existing LPWAN: Quality-of-Service and Standardization

Existing LPWA networks, however, have their downsides, too. Quality-of-Service problems and the lack of standardization encountered by the majority of unlicensed solutions threaten to limit their industrial application, where carrier-grade reliability is a prerequisite.

Operating in the increasingly congested ISM bands, unlicensed LPWA networks expose interference vulnerability and co-existing weaknesses. Technologies employing an ultra-narrow band technique like Sigfox utilize a very long transmission time of about 6 seconds. The chance that another system also sends telegrams at the same time is relatively high, thus increasing the probability of collision and loss of data. Considering the high electromagnetic interference in factory settings, this can greatly diminish network performance. Long on-air time also has a significant impact on power consumption and imposes higher battery requirements. In addition, the number of transmissions is also limited by duty cycle regulations that defined the relationship between on-air time and silent time.

Industrial IoT Connectivity
Figure 2: Long transmission (“on air”) time makes data highly susceptible to interference

LoRa adopts a spread spectrum modulation scheme to increase data rate and shorten on-air time. During a transmission, the system changes the frequency, resulting in a frequency ramp that occupies much broader bandwidth compared to a narrow band approach. In real-world installations, LoRa networks are very sensitive to interference caused by their own system. Increased traffic within a LoRa network causes an overlay of different telegrams, making it impossible for the receiver to separate them, thereby leading to data loss. Consequently, overall system capacity is confined and system scalability is limited. The use of different spreading factors resulting in different frequency ramps aims to achieve higher network capacity, but introduces other negative effects like different range and data rate for different spreading factors. This requires more effort for network management.

The existence of many proprietary protocols in a fragmented unlicensed LPWAN landscape introduces another major concern for businesses. Proprietary technology such as LoRa entails the problem of vendor lock-in that restricts customers’ innovation capability and flexible reaction to future technological changes. In general, the lack of standardization poses a significant barrier to worldwide IIoT scalability due to reliability and interoperability issues.

Using licensed spectrum, cellular LPWAN like NB-IoT surpass the co-existence and standardization problems experienced by unlicensed counterparts, offering higher quality-of-service. However, it is worth noticing that NB-IoT entails comparatively higher device costs, lower power efficiency, and insufficient coverage (“white spots”) typical of all cellular and operator-based networks. The additional requirement of SIM cards with data volume limits makes these systems more complex and more expensive to deploy and contrary to common perception, cellular technologies do not offer a worldwide solution for IIoT or M2M communication. 

A global standard for robust LPWAN in industrial applications

Answering the call for industrial-grade, worldwide interoperable LPWAN, mioty which leverages Telegram Splitting – Ultra Narrow Band (TS-UNB) technology, has been developed and approved as a global ETSI standard for low throughput networks (TS 103 357). Employing a unique communication method wherein transmission of a telegram (data packet) is divided into short radio-bursts (sub-packets), mioty satisfies other critical network features in IIoT deployments:

  • Robustness and Quality-of-Service: Due to very short “on air” time of sub-packets, interference and collision probability are considerably reduced, guaranteeing high network robustness, even in the congested license-free spectrum. Signal strength through physical interference like concrete walls, steel, and rebar obstructions typical in complex industrial settings, is also maximized. Low-bandwidth and short channel occupation make the system extremely “friendly” to other co-existing radio networks. Forward error correction further enables successful data retrieval even if up to 50 percent of sub-packets are lost during transmission.
  • High scalability: Providing maximum spectral efficiency, LPWA networks using mioty can scale to handle up to 1.5 million daily messages from thousands of sensors in a single network, without degrading range and connection quality.
  • Worldwide compatibility and vendor-independent protocol: As an open standard, accepted worldwide, the protocol can be supported on a global scale and implemented on any commodity, off-the-shelf hardware. The standardized protocol offers end users better investment security and trouble-free, companywide deployments across their global facilities.
Industrial IoT Connectivity
Figure 3: mioty reduces interferer collision probability and maximizes spectral efficiency

Outlook – A New Spectrum of Industrial IoT Use Cases 

Adding carrier-grade robustness, scalability, and compatibility to established long-range, low-power and low-cost attributes of LPWAN, the new industrial IoT connectivity standard mioty, unlocks multiple use cases in manufacturing settings beyond industrial automation:

  • Factory-wide environmental sensors including air pressure, temperature, and humidity, can be deployed to monitor and control optimal ambient conditions for various processes like painting, gluing and drying, etc.
  • Health parameters and operating surroundings of innumerable remote assets (e.g. motors, valves, pumps, tanks, etc.) can be effectively tracked to curtail manual tasks and enable predictive maintenance leveraging analytical models.
  • Wearables transmitting workers’ health and activity status, coupled with environmental sensors (e.g. gas, heat, air quality, etc.), can identify “out-of-tolerance” incidents to enhance worker safety.
  • Energy consumption across various areas of the production complex can be monitored with wireless smart meters to detect power waste sources and improve energy efficiency.
  • Digitized management of critical building facilities (e.g. elevators, smoke detectors, intrusion alarms, etc.) enhances security and safety.

As we look ahead, robust industrial IoT connectivity technologies that meet the new ETSI TS-UNB Standard are poised to add a new IIoT infrastructure for cost-efficient, reliable sensor communication in factory settings.

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Posted on

IoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected Mine

BehrTech BlogIoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected MineDriven by intensifying challenges of the volatile commodity market, declining ore grades, rising energy costs and extreme operating conditions, the ability to leverage reliable and flexible communication systems is growing in importance. Leading mine operations have already started on a digital transformation, as they

Get Next-Gen Industrial IoT Connectivity

Contact a MYTHINGS™ Platform Expert for more information or to book a demo.

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

IoT Monitoring

BehrTech Blog

The Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT Network

Your IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It's important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  

A robust and scalable wireless technology, proper network planning and testing, and an optimal architecture are critical to a well-functioning network. However, unexpected issues including interference, changes in the environment, hardware and software problems, batteries running out etc., can impact your network. You need a solution that can monitor the network for problems and if a problem occurs, can alert your team in real time.

At a minimum, a good IoT monitoring solution consists of two elements:

  1. Configurable thresholds that warn you of a potential issue.
  2. Real-time alerts sent to your team in the event of one of these thresholds being reached.

Configurable Thresholds

A good IoT monitoring system includes thresholds that you can set to inform your team of activity that might bear investigating. Useful thresholds include the following:

Signal Level – Part of planning and testing is determining the level at which your gateway might stop receiving signals from a sensor. It's useful to set a threshold that warns you if the signal strength is getting close to this level. For example, if you know that your gateway stops receiving signals around -135 dBm, you could configure a threshold of -125 dBm (10 dBm above this level). If the system detects a signal level below this, then an alarm is triggered, and you can investigate.

Signal Level Drops Below an Acceptable Limit – While it's important to know if the received signal has dropped below a certain level, it's also helpful to find out if the signal strength from a sensor has dropped from one message to the next, as this could indicate an issue.

Missed Messages – Perhaps the gateway has stopped receiving messages for a short interval before receiving them again. There could be some unexpected interference or maybe a sensor has malfunctioned. In either case, it's important to know as quickly as possible to ensure that you are not missing important data. Once you identify that there is a problem, you can locate and troubleshoot the sensor.

Messages Are No Longer Being Sent – Maybe a sensor has stopped transmitting messages altogether or for a sustained period of time. For example, perhaps a sensor is supposed to send data every 10 minutes and it has suffered a battery failure. You could set a threshold of 30 minutes. If the 30 minutes have elapsed with no messages, an alert is triggered, and your team can investigate.

Real Time Alerts

Equally important to the thresholds themselves are the ways in which the alerts are sent to your team. While there are many ways to send messages, email and MQTT represent two good options.

Email is still a key method of communication in the enterprise and timely emails help ensure that you are able to act on it immediately.

MQTT is a standard messaging protocol for IoT offering lightweight communication between the gateway and the consumers of the data and it remains an excellent way to receive data in real time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a robust and stable wireless sensor network helps your IT and OT teams sleep peacefully.  Even the best networks, however, can suffer problems from time to time. Having a solution that is capable of monitoring your network for issues and provides proactive real-time alerting to your team when problems occur helps to keep minor issues from becoming big problems.

The BehrTech wireless IoT management platform - MYTHINGS Central includes a number of plugins that extend system functionality. In addition to plugins providing connectivity to platforms such as AWS, Cumulocity, and Losant, MYTHINGS Central also includes the BehrTech Network Monitoring and Alarm Service to alert you of potential issues before they become problems.  

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Posted on

IoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected Mine

BehrTech BlogIoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected MineDriven by intensifying challenges of the volatile commodity market, declining ore grades, rising energy costs and extreme operating conditions, the ability to leverage reliable and flexible communication systems is growing in importance. Leading mine operations have already started on a digital transformation, as they

Get Next-Gen Wireless Connectivity for IoT Monitoring

Contact a MYTHINGS™ Platform Expert for more information or to book a demo.

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

IoT applications in sports

BehrTech Blog

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

The developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing potential injuries to creating personalized fan experiences, the sports industry is drastically changing for coaches, players and fans alike.

Here are 3 game changing IoT applications in sports.

Athlete Performance

Sports technology giants are installing IoT-powered sensors in footwear, apparel and equipment to help ensure both athlete health and safety as well as enhanced training and player development.

Smart Apparel

Smart apparel is ushering in the next frontier of performance training. With connected coaching, sensor-laden clothes use real-time data to correct biomechanics, boost fitness, optimize training and recovery and even correct player form, technique and timing.

For example, Athos, a Redwood City based startup, serves elite athletes and military with connected apparel sporting electromyography (EMG) sensors to capture muscle behavior. Data is delivered in real time via Bluetooth to a smart device to help athletes and coaches cue muscle activations, evaluate movement progression and monitor the accumulation of stress on muscles throughout training.

Smart Footwear

Equipped with gyroscope, accelerometer and pressure sensors, smart shoes can analyze running style, measure strain, impact and balance and make suggestions that support training goals. This in-depth data not only helps optimize performance, but also prevent injury.

For example, Seoul startup 3L Labs, has developed a fitness tracking device that aims to detect health problems early on. The smart shoes, called FootLogger, make use of the biometric data gathered from the athlete to send suggestions on how to improve gait, diagnose potential diseases, and improve athletic performance. It has eight sensors paired with one accelerometer to aid in recording the athlete’s exercise habits. The smart shoes can also help with patient rehabilitation, particularly for spinal or nervous system concerns, and can be used to spot early symptoms of arthritis and dementia as well.

Smart Equipment

The global smart sports equipment market size is expected to be valued at $12.0 billion by 2026. Whether it’s a basketball, baseball bat, golf club or helmet, sports equipment enabled with wireless IoT sensors are helping athletes and coaches to monitor, track, analyze, and improve performance as well as provide enhanced health and safety. 

For example, Babolat's smart racket is equipped with a piezoelectric sensor affixed to the handle to measure changes in pressure, acceleration, strain, or force by converting them to an electrical charge. Armed with this hardware and Babolat's algorithms, the racket keeps track of how many forehands, backhands, serves, and overheads the player hits as well as the amount of racket head speed being generated. The motion of the racket is analyzed to tell whether the player is hitting slice, topspin, or flat strokes. The racket also uses vibration feedback to indicate where on the string bed the player has made contact with the ball.

Facility Management

Another critical IoT application in sports is facility and venue management. One of the biggest day-to-day responsibilities for sports facilities and venues involves keeping spaces clean, comfortable, safe, and attractive. There are numerous IoT technologies that can help streamline these tasks as well as reduce associated costs.

For example, people counting data combined with presence detection data can pinpoint areas that are frequently used and those that are not like washrooms, concession stand lineups, entrances and exits and of course seats to better manage disinfection and cleaning schedules. With the help of wireless IoT sensors, facility managers can also proactively monitor when consumable supplies like hand sanitizer, paper towels, toilet paper and hand soap are running low at entrances and in washrooms for effective inventory management and timely replenishment. Likewise, stadiums can use IoT-based smart bin technology to enhance waste management, sending real-time data to facility managers on the garbage levels of bins for timely removal.

Paramount in fan comfort as well as operational expenses and sustainability, energy management can now be easily optimized with the help of environmental sensors that monitor temperature, lighting and refrigeration. This critical environmental data can identify the key energy consumption drivers and provide a 360° view of energy consumption patterns, abnormal energy consumptions by faulty devices if any, and under-used or over-used infrastructure and wasted resources. Likewise, air quality sensors can be used to ensure proper ventilation in crowded stadiums.

Fan Experiences

With an $8 billion market size, sports organizations are now realizing that improving their fan experience with innovative technologies has become a necessity for their growth and existence while competing with digital entertainment systems that are keeping the younger generations at home.

State-of-the-art smart stadiums are being built to drastically improve fan experiences and increase game attendance. Wireless sensors provide fans with a wealth of information from parking availability, bathroom and concession lines, seat upgrades, special offers and more. Fans receive personalized experiences through digital displays or downloadable apps with directions to quicky find available parking spaces, shorter concession lines, their seats, the nearest/least-busy exit and the closest washroom.

In addition to smart navigation, stadiums are also increasing comfort and fan engagement with the use of in-seat smart devices and augmented reality. For example, smart tablets are available at seats to order food, merchandise, share insights about the game and even create automated photos and videos of fans during the key moments of the game. Even more impressively, AR technology like GlassUp’s Smart AR glasses help fans see the live and historical stats of any player you focus your glasses on during the game.

Wrapping Up

Today’s wireless IoT applications in sports have the potential to enhance the stadium experience by making it more personalized, convenient, and engaging as well as help improve critical aspects of business operations. In order to capitalize on all of the benefits, sports organizations should consider these guiding principles in order to maximize the power and benefits of IoT: harnessing the power of data, thinking in an agile manner, and looking at the entire fan experience from end-to-end.

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

mioty: The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT Connectivity

BehrTech Blogmioty – The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT ConnectivityThe adoption of communication technologies in manufacturing has evolved over several decades, with protocols such as Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, and Profinet continuing to serve as a backbone for time-sensitive automation and control applications. Today however, the increasing prevalence of sensors connected via the industrial internet of things

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Get Next-Gen Wireless IoT Connectivity

Contact a MYTHINGS™ Platform Expert for more information or to book a demo.

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

Smart Museums

BehrTech Blog

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

While we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion dollars to the US economy and generated approximately 850 million visitors in 2019. The significant public interest in maintaining these historic and cultural centers and the increasing demand for creating new and innovative experiences has pushed museum facility managers and curators to adopt various IoT applications. Thanks to the availability and broad spectrum of wireless IoT sensors, these organizations are able to ensure the safety and proper preservation of artworks as well as create more dynamic visitor experiences.

Here are 6 ways smart museums and galleries are using IoT.

1. Artifact Preservation

Historical artifacts are extremely sensitive to even minor fluctuations in humidity, temperature and light. Prolonged exposure to moisture, high temperatures as well as sunlight and fluorescent light can lead to a variety of problems, such as shrinking, warping, decay, fading and discoloration. Prior to the availability of IoT sensors, monitoring ambient conditions was a manual and laborious task. Museum administrators had no clear recourse for improving control systems and making timely adjustments, putting these priceless artifacts at risk for damage.

By integrating IoT sensors into storage and display architectures, museums are now able to collect and analyze critical environmental data such as temperature, humidity and lighting in real time. This data enables staff to adjust the humidity, temperature and lighting of exhibits with precision, helping to cut operation costs, reduce the frequency of restoration projects and protect valuable artifacts.

2. Leak Detection

Whether it is a leaking air conditioner, condensation, groundwater or local plumbing, water damage can have a devastating and costly impact on museums and galleries.

Leak detection solutions notify facility managers at the very first sign of a leak allowing them to take remedial action. For example, water leak sensing cables can be placed on pipes in walls near display areas, or around the perimeter of an especially sensitive area. Spot leak sensors can be used in the top of drop-in ceiling tiles to provide early warning of water leaks coming from pipes, upper floors, or the roof to ensure quick intervention and avoid flooding throughout the gallery or exhibit.

3. Artifact Management and Security

More than 50,000 pieces of artwork are stolen each year around the world and the black market for stolen art is valued at between $6 billion and $8 billion annually. Given many of these pieces are valued at millions of dollars, some even priceless, museum security is of utmost importance. IoT offers multiple ways to help with museum security.

Access Control

In smart museums, IoT sensors attached to windows, doors and artifact display cases can immediately alert museum security upon opening and closing to detect and prevent intrusive incidents. Movement and vibration sensors can also be placed in and around works of art that send an alert, silent or otherwise if they’re touched, signalling to museum employees that there may be a theft in progress. 

Individual Article Tracking 

IoT sensors enabled with near-field communication and Bluetooth Low Energy beacons can track pieces of art wherever they go and provide critical data on their condition. Tied to larger museum networks, this offers the possibility of real-time status monitoring and change detection to help prevent theft.

Occupancy Sensing

Presence detection sensors can help museum guards secure a building after closing, sending real-time irregular movement alerts directly to the main security center for immediate action.

4. Interactive Exhibits

There are more than 35,000 museums in the U.S., so to ensure high attendance numbers, an increase in memberships and more revenue, artists and exhibitors must bring something unique to the table. With the help of IoT devices, artists, museums, and galleries are finding new ways to make their exhibits more interactive from collecting virtual objects, to helping visitors plan out personalized exhibit routes with interactive maps and even enabling artists to create unique installations and experiences.  

For example, new media artist Matt Roberts, uses technology to create a sound experience within the museum space by sampling oceanic currents to provide data that modulates the sounds. The data is transmitted to his exhibit from nearby buoys using IoT-linked weather monitors.

IoT has also been used to create interactive exhibits and events through wearable technologies. For example, the Children's Museum of Houston launched a spy-themed scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt uses passive low-frequency RFID technology linked to players' wristbands, which is able to track participants' progress, location and repeat visits.

5. Visitor Behaviour

From the standpoint of visitors, the attractiveness of the exhibition depends on two characteristics: uniqueness of exhibits and popularity of artists. Presence detection sensors can help curators better understand which areas of the gallery receive the most viewers and which artworks attract the most of attention. These sensors provide real-time data around dwell times within the different rooms as well as specific artworks, providing insight into the interest level of the curated exhibit. Likewise, wireless IoT sensors that measure visitor respiration rate and resting heart rate from a distance, can indicate a physical response to certain artworks. Do visitors’ heartbeat increase when looking at this installation? This information can be used to fuel novel, adaptive and engaging museum experiences.

6. Guest Comfort

As with any business attracting and hosting visitors, ensuring the health, safety and comfort of guests is paramount. Using IoT sensors for Indoor Environmental Quality monitoring is key to ensuring these spaces have clean air to breathe and the ambient temperature, light and noise quality is optimal for visitor comfort.

Likewise, with the help of wireless IoT sensors, museum staff can proactively monitor when consumable supplies such as hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towel and toilet paper are running low to ensure timely replenishment.

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Posted on

IoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected Mine

BehrTech BlogIoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected MineDriven by intensifying challenges of the volatile commodity market, declining ore grades, rising energy costs and extreme operating conditions, the ability to leverage reliable and flexible communication systems is growing in importance. Leading mine operations have already started on a digital transformation, as they

Get Next-Gen Wireless IoT Connectivity for Smart Museums

Contact a MYTHINGS™ Platform Expert for more information or to book a demo.

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

IoT ROI

BehrTech Blog

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business case for IIoT deployment and evaluating available technology options: cost.

Cost is a very tricky element as it transcends the immediate investment to incorporate other expenses along the lifespan of an IIoT network. In this regard, Total-Cost-of-Ownership (TCO) is a more accurate metric to rely on than the mere capital expenditure (CapEx). The TCO equation comprises of multiple elements which can be broadly grouped into two umbrella categories – the one-time upfront investment for designing, building and setting up an IIoT wireless architecture; and recurring costs for operating and maintaining it.

The IIoT wireless technology that you settle on is likely to impact each of the upfront and recurring TCO elements. As such, the right connectivity decision can help you effectively keep costs down to streamline IoT ROI. Note that the TCO variables explained in this guide focuses only on the RF communication network without considering the costs of the cloud and other application platforms.

UPFRONT INVESTMENT

Many companies often regard capital expenses on procuring IIoT devices and network infrastructure as the major slice of upfront investment. With this thinking, you are bypassing other important upfront costs that aren’t immediately tangible, which could erode your margins. Device development, network design, as well as installation and integration costs are TCO elements often overlooked when building and installing an IIoT network.

Device Development and Prototyping

In industrial environments, sensor devices must comply with very specific and rigorous requirements to ensure operational reliability and safety. For example, there can be hundreds of temperature sensor types available just with the precision level needed. Often times, it is extremely challenging, if not impossible to find a commercially available connected device that can fulfill all of your industrial specifications. That’s why an IIoT project often starts with device prototyping.

A prototype is developed using off-the-shelf components like RF modules, microcontrollers, sensing units, antennas, PCB boards, etc. Atop hardware design and mechanical engineering is firmware and application development alongside testing and certification. RF solutions with compatible plug-and-play rapid prototyping tools can greatly simplify and accelerate the development process to save your engineering costs. An example of such tools is the mikroBUS add-on board standard supported by a growing portfolio of more than 600 click boards. MikroBus-compliant clickables can be easily mixed and matched with each other to develop a tailor-made prototype in a straightforward and efficient manner.

Key Takeaway: Accelerate development with plug-and-play rapid prototyping tools (e.g. mikroBUS-standard click boards)

Network Design and Planning

Once you have your IIoT devices available, you’ll need to plan the layout of your wireless network. There are a number of aspects to be considered – how many devices and base stations are required, where they should be installed for optimal RF signals, how to power the devices and so on. Network design costs increase with the number of end devices and supporting infrastructure like base stations and repeaters, as well as the configuration and optimization complexity. The connectivity choice largely influences these elements.

Mesh networks based on short-range wireless technologies generally require much more configuration effort, compared to long-range networks with a star topology. For a mesh solution, you need to ensure devices are distributed densely enough for signals to propagate properly. On top of that, potential failures of strategically placed devices with heavy relaying traffic through them can shut down a major part of the network. In use cases requiring vast coverage and huge network capacity, it can be extremely challenging to plan and optimize the communication path of each mesh device.

Key Takeway: Simplify planning and configuration with a star topology network and minimize infrastructure requirements with long-range, scalable wireless technology.

CapEx / Hardware Procurement

Capital expenditure for hardware procurement is probably the most tangible TCO element. The physical network infrastructure commonly includes sensing devices, base stations/access points, repeaters (if applicable), antennas and any cabling needed. Again, your RF decision directly impacts the amount of equipment needed and thus, your CapEx.

As a general rule, the less supporting infrastructure like base stations and repeaters involved, the less expenditure on hardware, software licensing and cabling runs. Wireless solutions with long range and excellent penetration capability require fewer base stations to cover a vast, structurally dense industrial or commercial campus. Likewise, a robust radio link and large network capacity allow an individual base station to effectively support massive sensors without performance degradation.

On the device side, technologies like Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) have comparatively lower transceiver costs thanks to a simplified RF design. To best manage device costs as your IIoT network grows, it is important to opt for an industry-standard, software-driven wireless technology that doesn’t tie you down to a specific chipset vendor. Standardized technologies fuel global adoption and cross-vendor support, thereby reducing hardware prices and ensuring a sustainable supply of compatible components in the long run.

Key Takeaway: Ensure cross-vendor support with open-standard, software-driven RF connectivity and minimize infrastructure requirements with robust, long-range and scalable wireless technology.

Installation and Integration

The installation cost is proportional to how complex it is to set up the network and whether there is any production downtime involved. With highly retrofittable solutions, you can circumvent expensive shutdowns of the manufacturing line during installation. Low-power RF technologies with battery-operated end devices also help streamline installation complexity by eliminating the hassle of power wiring.

Besides the physical setup, you should also consider the integrability of your IIoT network into existing application systems and IT environment. Harnessing business values from digital architecture requires seamless data sharing across operational systems to derive and execute actionable insights. The more straightforward it is to transfer data to your chosen backend, the less training and labor resource required for IT setup and configuration. RESTful APIs and open source messaging protocols like MQTT and CoAP are powerful tools for a painless and straightforward integration.

Key Takeway: Avoid power wiring with battery-operated devices and simplify IT integration with an API-driven network architecture.

Reoccurring Operational Expenses

Operational expenses encompass ongoing costs associated with the day-to-day administration of your IIoT network. Over the network lifecycle, effective management of OpEx is critical to minimize the emergence of unexpected overhead that threatens to slow down IoT ROI and cut profits. Overall, there are three major OpEx as follows.

Network Management

Having your network up and running is not a one-time task; it requires ongoing management effort. Device on- and off-boarding, report generation, data backup, troubleshooting, firmware and security updates are just a few examples. Labor costs for network management depend on the scale of your IIoT deployment – typically the number of end devices and supporting infrastructure. Since the number of end devices is often fixed to your IIoT use cases, choosing a wireless technology that requires minimal supporting infrastructure (e.g. base stations, routers) is what you can do to simplify network management. As your IIoT network scales, a dedicated, API-driven network management tool for convenient administration and management of the entire data chain will also be necessary to keep costs and complexity in control.

Key Takeaway: Leverage a dedicated network management tool for simple and effective remote administration and troubleshooting

Device Connectivity

Each RF wireless solution has its own pricing model, yet there are a few key points to bear in mind regarding the cost of connecting your IIoT devices. First, public wireless services offered by mobile and other types of network operators often impose monthly access fees on top of data plans or subscription costs. While you don’t need to pay for base stations when using public networks, over time these ongoing access fees can easily outweigh the upfront infrastructure investment of private networks.

Second, it is important to align the connectivity cost of each device with its actual data usage. Often times, an IIoT sensor uses as little as tens of kilobytes per month. Many cellular data plans, on the other hand, start from megabyte-lower limits. This means you have to pay for more than what you actually need. Finally, connectivity costs reflect the cost of the respective wireless spectrum. Technologies operating in the licensed spectrum are inevitably associated with higher data transmission fees compared to those in the license-free spectrum.

Key Takeaway: Avoid ongoing access fees of public wireless services, align data costs with the actual usage and consider RF solutions operating in the license-free spectrum.

Maintenance

Battery replacement and recharge are a daunting maintenance task, especially when your IIoT network starts to scale to hundreds or even thousands of end devices. As such, opting for energy efficient RF connectivity that enables multi-year battery life, drastically reduces manual interventions and battery procurement. This results in massive savings on maintenance and power expenses.

Key Takeaway: Reduce manual interventions and battery costs with low-power connectivity.

Wrapping Up

Despite the vast heterogeneity in IIoT projects and use cases, the TCO elements of an IIoT network examined in this guide are applicable across industries and verticals. Having a clear understanding of potential cost factors will help you better anticipate IoT ROI and justify the long-term business case of your initiative. When designing an IIoT architecture, choosing the right wireless connectivity can enable significant upfront savings while helping streamline operational expenses over the network lifecycle. As a general rule, make sure you go for a solution with:

  • An industry standard technology to circumvent vendor lock-in problems and keep hardware costs effectively low.
  • Star topology and high scalability to minimize infrastructure requirements, simplify network design, planning and management, and accelerate IoT ROI by addressing multiple use cases with a unified architecture.
  • High power efficiency to avoid the hassle of power wiring while lowering maintenance costs.
  • Easy integration into your existing application systems and a dedicated network management tool to lower setup and management overhead.

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

mioty: The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT Connectivity

BehrTech Blogmioty – The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT ConnectivityThe adoption of communication technologies in manufacturing has evolved over several decades, with protocols such as Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, and Profinet continuing to serve as a backbone for time-sensitive automation and control applications. Today however, the increasing prevalence of sensors connected via the industrial internet of things

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Streamline IoT ROI with MYTHINGS Wireless Connectivity

Contact a MYTHINGS™ Platform Expert for more information or to book a demo.

IoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected Mine

IoT in Mining

BehrTech Blog

IoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected Mine

Driven by intensifying challenges of the volatile commodity market, declining ore grades, rising energy costs and extreme operating conditions, the ability to leverage reliable and flexible communication systems is growing in importance. Leading mine operations have already started on a digital transformation, as they look to create the ‘Connected Mine.’ Building on the necessary communications required for everyday workings of the mine with layers of applications and systems leveraging massive scale IoT sensor networks, the future of mining is certainly safer, smarter and far more productive. In fact, the World Economic Forum forecasts that $425 billion of value will be added to the industry over the next five years through digitalization.

Here are 5 ways IoT in mining can improve safety, ensure efficient loads, reduce operational delays and provide real-time data for intelligent decision-making.

1. Asset Tracking, Remote Diagnostics & Predictive Maintenance

As an asset-intensive industry, mining entails a wide-array of equipment from drills, excavators, diggers and conveyors to pumps, motors and fans, which are widely dispersed both above and underground. Wireless IoT sensors that monitor and track critical asset parameters such as pressure, vibration, flow rate and temperature as well as engine telemetry boxes, enable real-time remote diagnostics, troubleshooting and asset tracking across the entire mine. In combination with analytical models, corrective maintenance and procurement of spare parts can be effectively planned to prevent asset downtime and help companies stay ahead of expensive production losses.

2. Emission and Groundwater Level Monitoring

Diesel exhaust emitted from underground excavating equipment and drilling machines contain toxic gases and fine particles that present serious health risks. With the adoption of stationary and mobile gas detectors, as well as particle sensors, emission levels and threshold limit values can be effectively controlled to sustain a secure working environment that complies with safety standards.

Chemical residues from mining operations threaten to contaminate groundwater and incur serious environmental issues. With data from level sensors, mining operators can keep track of real-time changes in groundwater levels at mine shafts, especially during rainfalls. Timely and effective pumping can be performed to prevent excessive inflows, thus avoiding contamination and underground flooding.

3. After-blast Monitoring

Following a blast to open up a new site within the mine, the area is often filled with toxic fumes and debris. Waiting hours to ensure blast fumes completely clear out can lead to costly operational downtime. Having a wireless environmental monitoring system in place, operators and miners can stay informed when an area is safe enough to resume work. Unnecessary wait times can be cut down, thereby enabling a faster turnaround after blasts and increasing productivity.

4. Wearable-based Event Reporting & Rock Bolt Monitoring

As mines are renowned to be among the most dangerous working environments with high risk of explosions, equipment accidents and toxic exposure, ensuring miners’ health and safety has always remained a big challenge. With the help of IoT wearables, miners’ health status and working environment (i.e. temperature, humidity, radiation, noise and gas levels) can now be tracked in real-time. Managers are immediately notified of fatigue, exhaustion, and “out-of-tolerance” incidents experienced by their workers, while miners will receive timely warnings in the event of potential hazards. Similarly, sensors monitoring seismic activities in underground mines can be installed on rock bolts to effectively assess their integrity and reduce fatal risk of ground falls.

5. Ventilation-on-Demand (VoD)

Ventilation can account for 30-40% of energy consumption in underground mines. Supporting implementation of VoD systems, IoT sensors can be leveraged to constantly monitor air quality and air flows at different areas in the mine for remote adjustment of the fan speed. Transmitting data from occupancy sensors or worker registration data from NFC tags also ensures that ventilation is activated in work zones where miners are present. This results in significant energy savings, thereby remarkably reducing operational costs and environmental footprint.

Wireless Connectivity for the Connected Mine

While connectivity is key to harvesting large-scale data in the “connected mine,” remote location, extreme depths, confined spaces, and non-symmetric mine topology introduce the most hostile condition for data communication. Wired networks have limited range, are expensive and highly vulnerable to the physical impact caused by in-pit operations of mining equipment. Cellular and short-range solutions such as Wi-Fi fail to deliver sufficient coverage and reliable signals in underground and hard-to-reach sprawling mines.

Geared for low-bandwidth, low computing end nodes, third-generation Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) offer highly power-efficient and affordable IoT connectivity in complex and remote industrial environments. No current wireless classes can beat LPWAN when it comes to battery life, device and connectivity costs, and ease of implementation. As the name implies, LPWAN nodes are designed to operate on independent batteries for years, rather than days as with other wireless solutions. They can also transmit over many kilometers while providing deep penetration capability to connect devices at hard-to-reach indoor and underground locations, making it the ideal technology for enabling IoT in mining.

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

mioty: The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT Connectivity

BehrTech Blogmioty – The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT ConnectivityThe adoption of communication technologies in manufacturing has evolved over several decades, with protocols such as Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, and Profinet continuing to serve as a backbone for time-sensitive automation and control applications. Today however, the increasing prevalence of sensors connected via the industrial internet of things

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Next-Gen Wireless Connectivity for IoT in Mining

Contact a MYTHINGS™ Platform Expert for more information or to book a demo.

4 Major Consequences of Unreliable Industrial IoT Connectivity

Industrial IoT Connectivity

BehrTech Blog

4 Major Consequences of Unreliable Industrial IoT Connectivity

Pervasive wireless connectivity is a major driving force behind the IoT revolution and a fundamental building block in its architecture. In Industrial IoT, network reliability is a top priority. Because industrial applications are often mission-critical, failing to get the message through, particularly in times of emergency, can result in costly and even disastrous consequences. Unfortunately, not all wireless connectivity options are created equal, so selecting the right technology for your use case, is paramount to the long-term success of your IoT project and the realization of IoT’s innumerable benefits. Without it, organizations lack the necessary visibility into existing processes, equipment and production that empowers strategic decision-making.

Here are 4 major consequences of unreliable IoT connectivity in industrial environments.

Industrial IoT Connectivity

1. Unplanned Downtime

According to the Vanson Bourne Research Study, roughly 82 percent of companies that have experienced unplanned downtime over the past three years, have experienced outages that lasted an average of four hours costing an estimated two million dollars. Eighty percent of companies recognize that IoT can eliminate this unplanned downtime, and zero unplanned downtime is now the number one priority for 72% of organizations.

Wireless IoT sensors can capture and communicate many key health and operational metrics like pressure, vibration, temperature, humidity, and voltage of machines and equipment across an entire industrial complex. When there is a disruption to connectivity and data communication, you lose visibility into current production processes and asset performance. Likewise, the analytical models that proactively predict impending issues and schedule demand-based inspection and reparation are no longer accurate, putting your organization at risk of costly unplanned downtime.

2. Worker Safety

An estimated 13,455,000 workers in manufacturing industries are at risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that the top three leading causes of work-related injuries in the U.S. are: overexertion; slips, trips and falls; and contact with objects and equipment. Together, these account for more than 84% of all nonfatal accidents on the job. As a result, many organizations have adopted wireless IoT technologies to prevent incidents before they occur. For example, IoT wearables that track personal health parameters or that are equipped with sensing capabilities such as fall detection can alert safety control centers in real-time when an accident occurs or when a worker’s personal health data reaches a certain level. This allows managers to initiate an immediate emergency response or advise workers to take breaks in the case of overexertion. Similarly, sensors that measure critical ambient conditions such as atmospheric gases, radiation, heat and humidity can notify workers immediately when dangerous thresholds are encroaching for quick evacuation. Without reliable connectivity, these real-time data flows come to a grinding halt, putting your workers health and safety in jeopardy.   

3. Product Quality

Another significant issue with unreliable industrial IoT connectivity is quality control. Using wireless IoT sensors to monitor and control production equipment has become paramount to the quality of manufactured goods. Technicians are constantly using this data to recalibrate equipment and optimize production lines to ensure consistent process parameters and eliminate time-wasting inefficiencies. Likewise, monitoring and controlling ambient conditions like temperature and humidity plays a significant role in product quality and safety across the entire supply chain, particularity in the pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. Disruptions to connectivity and data accessibility can derail your production, increase product waste and ultimately impact your customer relationships.

4. Increased Costs

The flow of timely and accurate IoT data gives actionable insights that drive change, particularly when it comes to cutting costs. From lowering overall maintenance costs with predictive maintenance principles and increasing worker safety and productivity to identifying and resolving bottlenecks in production and reducing energy consumption and fuel consumption, there are numerous ways that IoT can improve your bottom line. Unreliable IoT connectivity not only disrupts these cost cutting initiatives but can also put your overall IoT investment at risk. This makes choosing the right technology critical to avoid an expensive rip and replace migration.

Wrapping Up

The IoT value chain essentially starts with data accessibility and choosing the right industrial IoT connectivity solution will ultimately impact the success of your IoT initiative. There’s a plethora of wireless technologies in the market, but not all of them can keep up with the demanding industrial environments. Long-range, deep penetration and high interference immunity of the radio link are key to reliable data communications over large industrial campuses. Also, you’ll want to have a unified communications solution that can extract data from existing industrial networks and support a new layer of granular, battery-operated sensor networks for complete operational visibility. In this context, low power consumption and massive network scalability are other critical wireless criteria not to overlook.

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Posted on

IoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected Mine

BehrTech BlogIoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected MineDriven by intensifying challenges of the volatile commodity market, declining ore grades, rising energy costs and extreme operating conditions, the ability to leverage reliable and flexible communication systems is growing in importance. Leading mine operations have already started on a digital transformation, as they

Get Reliable and Scalable Industrial IoT Connectivity with MYTHINGS

Smart Retail: 8 Innovative Examples of IoT in Retail

Smart Retail

BehrTech Blog

Smart Retail: 8 Innovative Examples of IoT in Retail

The retail landscape has experienced a seismic shift with the evolution of IoT. With 70% of retailers confident that IoT will significantly impact how they do business in the future, it’s no surprise that the IoT in retail market size is expected to reach USD 182.04 billion by 2028.

Consumer habits, high pressure on delivery services, buyers' mistrust in online purchases or lack of tech fluency are all factors that hold sellers back in an environment they could otherwise be thriving in. From revenue growth, cost reductions and business process optimizations, smart retail promises to overcome these challenges to deliver retailers and their customers with unprecedented benefits.

Here are 8 innovative use cases of IoT in retail.

1. Facility Management        

One of the biggest day-to-day responsibilities for retailers involves keeping the store area clean, comfortable, safe, and attractive. There are numerous IoT technologies that can help streamline these tasks as well as reduce associated costs.

For example, people counting data combined with presence detection data can pinpoint areas that are frequently used and those that are not like instore washrooms and change rooms to better manage disinfection and cleaning schedules. With the help of wireless IoT sensors, facility managers can also proactively monitor when consumable supplies are running low at entrances and throughout the store for effective inventory management and timely replenishment.

Paramount in customer comfort as well as operational expenses and sustainability, energy management can now be easily optimized with the help of environmental sensors that monitor temperature, lighting, ventilation and refrigeration. This critical environmental data can identify the key energy consumption drivers and provide a 360° view of energy consumption patterns, abnormal energy consumptions by faulty devices if any, and under-used or over-used infrastructure and wasted resources.

2. Traffic Control

 Since the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers are required to enforce new restrictions on the number of visitors in their space to ensure compliance with government social distancing regulations. People counting systems can help track the number of people entering or exiting any given space in real-time and alert facility managers when their capacity threshold has been met.

3. Buyer Behavior Tracking

Occupancy sensors can provide essential data about store traffic patterns and dwell times in specific product areas. This data can help retailers better plan in-store merchandising and guided selling through more effective display setups, aisle layouts and space allotment. This data can also be used to monitor checkout line wait times to provide better customer service with more staffing or additional self-checkouts.

4. Supply Chain & Logistics

IoT provides unprecedented inventory visibility across shelves, transit and warehouses to help retailers enhance efficiencies, reduce costs and ensure superior customer experience. Connected sensors can track items from “floor to store.” There are a variety of IoT sensors that can provide a coherent stream of real-time data on the exact location of an item, how long it took to move between different phases of the SCM lifecycle and even how fast a specific delivery truck is moving. This helps identify bottle necks, allow for contingency planning and determine alternative routes to speed up delivery. It also helps suppliers, manufacturers and distribution centers better prepare to receive goods, which reduces handling times, ensures the efficient processing of material and increases the precision of delivery forecasts for vendors and customers.

5. Cold Chain Monitoring

Perishable food spoilage and deterioration in the retail grocery industry results in a significant loss of profitability, with grocers on average losing $70 million annually to spoilage alone. Environmental sensors can track ambient conditions like temperature, humidity, air quality, light intensity and other environmental factors inside a storage facility, cargo container, delivery vehicle or in-store to protect perishable goods, ensure optimal freshness and reduce waste.

6. Asset Tracking

Beyond the supply chain, wireless IoT sensors can be used to track on-site assets like shopping carts and baskets. From costly theft to time-consuming retrieval, shopping carts can be an expensive headache for retailers. In fact, shopping carts cost stores anywhere from $75 to $250 each which makes ensuring they stay put in and in good shape critical. IoT sensors can help pinpoint the location of wandering carts as well as activate automatic locking systems on the wheels when a cart has gone too far. This not only prevents theft, but also ensures there are always enough carts for customers entering the store.

7. Personalized Shopping

IoT devices are also being used to personalize shopping experiences. For example, Bluetooth Beacons can send alerts in real-time to a smartphone based on a customer’s location proximity. Such alerts can prompt a potential passerby to go into a store and take advantage of the offer and let in-store customers know of personalized discounts, special events, or other reminders. This location data can also be used to prompt customized messages on nearby digital displays or to dispatch sales associates to areas where customers are lingering, improving the overall customer experience.

8. Smart Shelves

Another innovative examples of IoT in retail are smart shelves. Retailers spend a lot of time and energy focused on keeping track of items to ensure they’re never out-of-stock, and ensuring items aren’t misplaced on various shelves. Smart Shelves automate both of these tasks, while simultaneously detecting potential theft. Smart shelves fitted with weight sensors and RFID tags can scan products on both display and stock shelves to inform employees when items are running low or when items are incorrectly placed on a shelf. This not only saves time, but also eliminates manual errors that cause overstocking and shortages.

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Posted on

IoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected Mine

BehrTech BlogIoT in Mining: 5 Ways IoT is Driving the Connected MineDriven by intensifying challenges of the volatile commodity market, declining ore grades, rising energy costs and extreme operating conditions, the ability to leverage reliable and flexible communication systems is growing in importance. Leading mine operations have already started on a digital transformation, as they

Get Next-Gen Wireless Connectivity for Smart Retail

The History of IoT and Wireless Connectivity

History of IoT

BehrTech Blog

The History of IoT and Wireless Connectivity

Heralded as the foundational technology for breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, robotics and other critical technology advances, IoT is ranked as the most important technology initiative by senior executives. When you think about the Internet of Things (IoT), what do you picture? Perhaps a smart thermostat, a connected car, or even one of the innumerable use cases taking over the industrial sector. Having now entered the region of $1 trillion as an industry, the rapid growth of IoT has left many wondering where this revolution came from.

Here is a brief history of IoT and its critical counterpart wireless connectivity.

History of IoT

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

mioty: The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT Connectivity

BehrTech Blogmioty – The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT ConnectivityThe adoption of communication technologies in manufacturing has evolved over several decades, with protocols such as Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, and Profinet continuing to serve as a backbone for time-sensitive automation and control applications. Today however, the increasing prevalence of sensors connected via the industrial internet of things

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Get Next-Gen LPWAN with MYTHINGS Wireless Connectivity

The Impact of Private 5G and LPWAN – An Interview with WIN Connectivity

Private 5G and LPWAN

BehrTech Blog

The Impact of Private 5G and LPWAN on IoT

An Interview with Tim Dentry, CTO of WIN Connectivity

1. Tell us about WIN Connectivity. What is your focus and vision? What are your solutions? 

WIN Connectivity is a connectivity systems integrator and managed service provider. Specifically, we provide connectivity solutions oriented around IoT use cases that often utilize wireless media for mission accomplishment. For example, we provide in-building and external networking solutions in healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing and logistics, retail, and commercial real estate (smart buildings solutions). Our solutions encompass wired (fiber-to-the-edge) as well as wireless (neutral host carrier 5G, private 5G/cellular and LPWAN connectivity). We engage as either a Design-Build-Transfer model or using our Connectivity-as-a-Service, which is a Design-Build-Operate model that allows enterprises to consume our solution as a recurring operating cost (OpEx) rather than a CapEx model (or a blend of both, as the customer requires). 

2. How do you see the wireless technology landscape today? What are the biggest challenges?

The wireless landscape today is exciting, especially with the advancements of CBRS/private 5G, as well as proliferation of new and better LPWAN solutions such as mioty.  The US FCC making 6GHz available is also very exciting as it allows enterprises to harness more over-the-air power and bandwidth without having to get licensed.  While some might think that cellular wireless and LPWAN are mutually exclusive, they can actually work together to create a powerful IoT architecture.  Each of these solutions can be leveraged to build an overall IoT connectivity solution that ensures IoT adopters are able to realize the success criteria of their use cases.

Ensuring that the cost of the network does not outweigh the benefits of the network solution is one of the biggest challenges in today's wireless technology landscape. Additionally, understanding the IoT technology itself in addition to connectivity and security, can be difficult and that’s where WIN Connectivity excels.  We make sense of the technology, security and availability requirements that cross multiple groups within an enterprise, whether it is cybersecurity, infrastructure and data governance. 

3. What value does LPWAN bring to IoT deployments?

LPWAN is a tried and true method for connecting IoT devices over long distances and challenging morphology. LPWAN ensures that massive IoT use cases can be realized because of the resilience of the radio systems and the frequency band.  Moreover, while industry experts discuss the IoT implications of cellular, such as 5G mmWave and CBRS, the reality is that the IoT system manufacturers must factor in the cost for a widely deployed IoT sensor to connect to those networks, or the manufacturers themselves must come up to speed.  With LPWAN, device manufacturers and IoT developers can already take advantage of this. If you think of this in the terms of the Gartner Hype Cycle, LPWAN is poised to accelerate out of the Trough of Disillusionment into the Slope of Enlightenment in less than two years, while 5G’s application for IoT is 5-10 years.  Additionally, unlicensed LPWAN does not require carrier/licensed spectrum (NB-IoT, LTE-M, etc) and thus makes it more efficient and affordable for enterprises who want to invest in IoT. 

4. How can LPWAN and 5G work together in Industry 4.0?

As mentioned, LPWAN and 5G, especially private 5G in the CBRS band,  can actually work together to create a powerful IoT architecture. This is particularly true in challenging environments where great distances often mean that a terrestrial backhaul adds additional cost and complexity in order to get LPWAN generated data from the gateway to an edge compute resource or the cloud.  Private 5G provides cost-effective, reliable over-the-air QoS for massive IoT data.   

5. What Industry 4.0 applications would benefit most from a private 5G and LPWAN connectivity solution?

Industry 4.0 applications that blend the concept of critical IoT and massive IoT to achieve business outcomes.  As an example, a manufacturing facility that is incorporating precise indoor localization and asset tracking, work environment monitoring (workplace safety), predictive maintenance for robotics and automation solutions and autonomous entities that require ultra-low latency to make real time decisions from massive amounts of collected data.  One of my favorite application areas for providing a layered connectivity approach using private 5G and LPWAN is connected farming.  Connected farming relies on sensors deployed over a large geographical area, and often these areas are themselves “not connected.”  Private 5G ensures that real-time or critical IoT apps combine, security and safety in growth farms and pastures, as well as inventory control for the upstream, midstream and distribution stages of farming. All of these use cases require a layered, accretive approach to communications.   

6. What are your predictions for advanced wireless networking in the next 3-5 years?

Private 5G will emerge as a natural alternative to enterprise wireless as the ecosystem becomes more compatible with the technology.  Meaning, as more vendors deploy devices with chipsets that natively support private 5G, you will see more deployments at scale.  Costs for the radio systems will drive downward, similar to what has happened with Wi-Fi, and the complexity to deploy these private 5G systems will also simplify and become truly more software-defined.  Finally, I believe that the industry will start to rationalize roaming seamlessly from public to private 5G networks, but this will require a significant amount of coordination in from the carriers and private network providers. 

Private 5G and LPWAN

Tim Dentry

CTO, WIN Connectivity

Tim is the WIN Connectivity CTO, bringing 20+ years of leadership experience in a variety of technology sectors, including Cloud Architecture and Operations, Cybersecurity, Network Infrastructure and Wireless.  His roles have included engineering, design, quality assurance, application development and infrastructure.  Tim has worked in both established communications companies such as MCI and Nokia (Lucent) and has also been a part of multiple early-stage startups such as Edgewater Networks, taking products from the design phase all the way to implementation and ongoing lifecycle management. Tim provides support for the broader WIN team by focusing on key areas such as technology evolution and selection, product development and design, as well as OSS/BSS and back-office solutions. Tim brings to WIN the experience of leveraging cloud infrastructure to deploy WIN’s technology solutions and is responsible for the lifecycle support of all of WIN’s technology offerings including Connectivity-as-a-Service. Tim is proud to have served in the Marine Corps for fourteen years, and is a graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

 

Subscribe to Our Monthly Blog Roundup

Posted on

mioty: The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT Connectivity

BehrTech Blogmioty – The Answer to Robust Industrial IoT ConnectivityThe adoption of communication technologies in manufacturing has evolved over several decades, with protocols such as Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, and Profinet continuing to serve as a backbone for time-sensitive automation and control applications. Today however, the increasing prevalence of sensors connected via the industrial internet of things

Posted on

The Importance of a Good IoT Monitoring and Alarm System

BehrTech BlogThe Importance of a Good Monitoring and Alarm System for your IoT NetworkYour IoT network may have hundreds or even thousands of end devices (sensors) with each sensor sending messages on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure that sensors are getting to the gateway in a timely manner.  A robust and scalable

Posted on

3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in Sports

BehrTech Blog3 Game-Changing IoT Applications in SportsThe developments and successes of IoT are already widely touted throughout industrial and commercial environments as well as smart cities. However, the presence of IoT applications in sports has also led to the creation of innovative technologies that could revolutionize the entire industry. From shaping game strategy and analyzing

Posted on

Smart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and Galleries

BehrTech BlogSmart Museums: 6 Artful IoT Applications for Museums and GalleriesWhile we often think of the Internet of Things has having a heavy presence in commercial and industrial environments, it also has reached widespread adoption in various public institutions like museums and art galleries. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contributed 50 billion

Posted on

IoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity Choice

BehrTech BlogIoT ROI: The Impact of Your Wireless Connectivity ChoiceThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is weaving its way into almost every industry today, disrupting the way businesses and manufacturers have operated. All hype aside, embarking on an IIoT initiative is challenging. There is one thing all executives and decision-makers consider when justifying the business

Get Next-Gen LPWAN with MYTHINGS Wireless Connectivity