MICA.network: 20 partner companies won in a single year
This year's Hannover Messe Trade Fair will see the MICA.network look back on its one-year anniversary while simultaneously offering openings for additional interested companies. The network recently won new partners from Germany as well as abroad. The network has already received a considerable inflow since its founding in the wake of the HANNOVER MESSE 2016 and now numbers 20 companies from the areas of IT system integration, hardware and software development and sale, as well as IoT solution providers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The participating companies use the MICA.network to exchange experiences, cooperate on complex tasks and present in-house solutions using the MICA.
"This type of cooperation is very valuable for all the companies and customers involved, since it permits the best expertise to be pooled for each individual case," says Stefan Olding, Managing Director of HARTING Deutschland. Olding says the cooperation has resonated well and that plans call for it to be stepped up. "HARTING is currently holding talks with numerous other interested companies in Germany and beyond," he says.
Sensor data and “digital twin” as basis of condition monitoring
A few of the current 25 specific applications from the MICA.network will be shown live at the HARTING stand in Hall 11 (stand C15). In addition to energy management, applications in the field of condition monitoring are being emphasized, i.e. state monitoring based on sensor data and mapping machines as a "digital twin". The MICA.network partner companies particularly value the robustness of the MICA – which features IP67 protection – in this area.
"This allows us to capture data in the field in the simplest of ways without any location-based restrictions," explains Guido Kaupmann, Managing Director of SDI Innovation, one of the exhibiting companies. SDI advises clients on the selection of suitable MES providers and uses MICA as an open platform to operate corresponding software applications. The company Com-Tac goes a step further, and has developed condition monitoring over wireless LPN low power networks. Using this technology, sensor data can be read wirelessly over long distances. Consequently, the Swiss quickly converted the MICA into the LoRa Base Station. Com-Tac will demonstrate this live at the HARTING stand (Hall 11, C15) over distributed temperature and light sensors.
SALT AND PEPPER also builds on the MICA platform for its condition monitoring system. As a retrofit solution, it can already be integrated into existing systems and carries out the recording, processing, evaluation and visualisation of state data. These state data enable an assessment of overall plant efficiency (OEE) to be made. The solution is presented by the early network partner at the HARTING stand in conjunction with a VR (Virtual Reality) application. Nemetris is another innovative player in the MICA.network which uses MICA as a platform for its IoT framework. With Nemetris Smart Industry Apps on the MICA, data are recorded and processed where they arise, and visualized in a dashboard.
MICA reliably monitors plant operation
Cloud-based applications will undoubtedly be looked into by anyone who wants to not just visualize the state of a machine, but rather predict it. To this end, the company Assystem Germany demonstrates how process data from the field bus are transferred to the Microsoft Azure Cloud using the MICA. "In Azure Machine Learning, the normal, error-free behavior of the system is learnt in order to constantly monitor plant operation on the basis of this information, to identify trends and deviations, and finally to appropriately notify the operator", explains Benno Lüdicke, Team manager SmartFactories Solutions at Assystem, regarding the function of the live application.
Network partner Akquinet will also be demonstrating at the booth, using the example of temperature monitoring to show how sensor data and cloud-based services can be used to implement remote monitoring and preventive maintenance. Network partners and customers both appreciate the openness of MICA in offering the free choice of preferred cloud operators. In addition to the various cloud applications with MICA at the HARTING booth, interested visitors can also discover other MICA applications in Hall 7 at Microsoft and T-System as well as at the AWS (Amazon) stand in the open-air area.
IT security a central topic
For many customers, the Cloud is associated with IT security. The MICA.network partners have also recognized this and have made it another area of particular focus. "Networking can mean that security functions depend on data that is provided by a foreign system. The stability and reliability of this communication then has a decisive influence on the security of systems," explains Assystem’s Benno Lüdicke. The company generates hazard-tree, risk-tree, and error-tree analyzes for customers and offers measures to ensure functional security. Karlsruhe-based Krumedia has also committed itself to the protection of data and offers an add-on solution for MICA. The solution employs state-of-the-art encryption technologies that ensure the confidentiality, availability and integrity of the data to be transmitted.