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CSIRO is investigating how to lower the barrier to entry for Australian Manufacturers to adopt IoT, enabling them to understand their operations in greater detail enhancing safety and productivity.

Secure Intelligent IoT for Digital Manufacturing

CSIRO is carrying out research into intelligent IoT system prototypes with integrated and customised cybersecurity to benefit small and medium-sized manufacturers. This product can be envisioned as a modular starter kit for digitalisation.

The kit comprises:

  • a variety of low power wireless sensing devices that can be assigned to any physical object
  • battery-powered infrastructure relay beacons; and
  • a gateway

Complementing this hardware are additional services for smartphones and the cloud, including:

  • device configuration services
  • system design and testing services
  • data streaming and data management services; and
  • analytics services

This Secure Intelligent IoT for Digital Manufacturing product combines two crucial features for companies starting out on an Industry 4.0 technology journey.

  • Firstly, out of the box IoT security and fault tolerance
  • Secondly, our use of low power "intelligent devices" combining sensor, communication and AI@edge functionality. These Embedded Intelligence Platform (EIP) devices employ proven CSIRO technologies.

Designed to classify and compliment the characteristics of the objects to which they are attached, these devices share their real-time status including location, and interact with other devices to determine proximity and report according to configurable rules; making every device - a smart device.

Proposed benefits

This research is focussed on how an unobtrusive, low cost and secure product could lower barriers to achieving digitalisation for Manufacturers.

We are developing EIP devices as a solution designed to enhance safety and productivity while integrating with existing and expensive fit-for-purpose equipment.

It will not require new fit-outs, changes or re-designs of factory floor IT systems.

Examples of out-of-the-box functionality include:

  • The tags can be camera fitted to cost effectively monitor solutions for non-networked equipment by accessing readouts and dials
  • The tags can be coupled to temperature, vibration and other sensors; to acquire, pre-process and communicate data
  • The tags can be coupled to physical infrastructure for example, to ensure safe working devices are in-place, or to detect and communicate the state of physical controls such as hydraulic valves
  • The tags can be networked to communicate with each other within proximity and interpret the type of 'entity' in their cluster. One example of this is enabling autonomous detection and reporting of safety and security anomalies.

Practical applications

A tag based IoT device network can revolutionise your team's real-time coordination of workshop floor activities and flow by tracking and reporting the movements and statuses of resources, assets and equipment.

The value proposition is the ability to easily and inexpensively roll-out a digital network (separate to the corporate network) of low cost, low power devices that can return context-rich information including location and object status. Procedures and policies can be encoded to enable appropriate alerts, thereby enhancing safety and productivity.

Having this unprecedented situational awareness will provide both real-time and longitudinal insights that can highlight improvement opportunities for product flow and the optimal use of resources. It enables task refinement and operation time estimates, identifying occurrences of congestion and rework, and pinpointing safety issues.

A tag network can track incoming components and assets (process or test equipment, staff, etc.) on a manufacturing site. It can also report location and status of subassemblies, sense key process factors (such as status and temperature of a curing oven) and digitalise equipment displays with retrofittable "micro camera" devices.

An analysis of the software ecosystem will be undertaken in consultation with selected partners across manufacturing, construction, warehousing and mining. This includes using advanced tools to assist industry with visualising and retrospectively analysing operations and flow.

If this technology application presents as potential for adaptation or integration to your manufacturing processes, or your business has digital integration challenges that we may be able to assist with, we would love to hear from you. Contact us via the information below.

CSIRO Future Digital Manufacturing

Mrs Sowmya Injeti

Principal Research Consultant (Data61)

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