Value-add from Industrial IoT requires specialist competence

One aspect of the trend towards industrial digitalisation that actually has proven some merit is remote asset management.

 

This implies outfitting equipment with a combination of instrumentation and communications capabilities that facilitate the collection of operational and environmental data relevant for the given asset. For existing equipment, this requires a gateway connecting the equipment and supporting the relevant means of communication, be it cellular for mobile equipment or cabled for stationary.

Data Respons Solutions was given the opportunity to play an important role in the journey towards digitalisation for a leading industrial corporation by hosting a large global fleet of installed mobile mechanical machinery. Key elements in moving forward has, in addition to our proven ability to deliver embedded hardware, been the capacity to work with the complex software required to make this a safe, secure and reliable solution for the industry partner. Not only does this require competence at the low level software, but the ability to interface the solution all the way up to popular cloud service platforms like Amazon Web Services.

Choose the right technology early

For more than three decades, Data Respons has together with technology partners designed and industrialised dozens of embedded systems with highly varying requirements for performance, cost and robustness. This has given us considerable insight into picking the right technology for any given customer case. When this insight is applied at an early stage, considerable cost savings can be obtained and at the same time reduce the risk for missing time to market.

Failed projects are often caused by applying a too narrow perspective on the system, for instance, only focusing on details at the hardware level and missing out on the more and more important software aspects. As a solution vendor with deep insight in software, we are able to close in on a hardware platform that satisfies both the short and long term needs of the software that the system will run on.

 

 

“Future embedded systems will likely be required to have two-way authentication mechanisms in order to be commissioned to Platform As A Service providers like AWS IoT cloud”.

 

 

 

Don’t miss out on security

A lot of attention is currently drawn towards the lacking or even absent security features typically found in embedded systems. Getting security right implies establishing a solid chain of trust, starting at the hardware level and boot loader, going all the way up the software stack including the communication protocol with cloud systems.

Future embedded systems will likely be required to have two-way authentication mechanisms in order to be commissioned to Platform As A Service providers like AWS IoT cloud. Typically, this trust must be anchored in secure hardware resources on the embedded device. Picking the right mechanisms and integrating these with software, thus tying together the chain of trust, is a challenging task requiring insight into the security aspects at every level of the solution offered.

Pay attention to regulatory considerations

Global deployment of embedded systems carries regulatory issues complicated by the common use of cellular and WiFi / Bluetooth connectivity. While the EU has a common regulatory framework, several countries has specific requirements for certification of equipment. The processes needed to obtain all necessary certificates at a global level is complex, costly and time consuming. Data Respons, in cooperation with technology partners, employ the competence needed to reduce time, cost and risk related to regulatory processes and in this capacity adds significant value in the industrialisation of an embedded system.