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

We seek to collaborate with medium to large-sized manufacturers and industrial equipment service suppliers, for whom an IoT technology solution would enable existing legacy and island equipment within established manufacturing sites to be upgraded to Industry4.0 capabilities rapidly and inexpensively. CSIRO’s Embedded Intelligence Platform (EIP) technology creates digitised smart environments using IoT devices over a network with built-in data security, to enhance safety and productivity while adding value for business.

Secure Intelligent IoT

CSIRO has created intelligent IoT system prototypes with integrated and customised cybersecurity to benefit manufacturers.

The technology comprises:

  • A variety of long-life battery-powered wireless sensing devices that can be attached to any physical object, or wirelessly connect to sensors
  • Relay beacons and gateways that handle networking between devices and connection with the cloud

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

  • device configuration software
  • Rule generation software (to enable easy programming of device-level embedded rules and algorithms)
  • Data streaming and data management services

Additionally, we can offer development partners and early adopters:

  • Hardware system design and testing services
  • OT/ERP integration including intelligent notifications and dashboards
  • Analytics services

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

  • Low-power communications and networking
  • Built-in security and fault tolerance
  • On-device sensors (eg; temperature, movement, location, etc)
  • “Intelligent devices” with rules-based decision-making and edge computing functionality

These Embedded Intelligence Platform (EIP) devices employ proven CSIRO technologies.

Designed to classify and understand 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 object – a smart object.

Proposed benefits

The development of this technology is focussed on how an unobtrusive, low cost and secure IoT product could lower barriers to digitalisation for Manufacturers.

CSIRO is developing EIP as a platform solution to enhance safety and productivity while integrating with existing and expensive fit-for-purpose industrial equipment.

It will not require new fit-outs, changes or re-designs of factory floor IT systems. It can exist independent of facility IT infrastructure.

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

  • An EIP camera module can be used to cost effectively monitor non-networked equipment by reading existing equipment displays, control panels, and dials
  • The tags can measure temperature, movement, vibration and other properties of objects and environments, or can be connected to other sensors to acquire, pre-process and communicate data
  • The tags can be coupled to physical infrastructure to ensure safe working barriers or guards are in-place, or to detect and communicate the state of physical controls such as hydraulic valves
  • The tags can communicate with each other and interpret the type of ‘entity’ in their cluster. One example of this is enabling autonomous detection and reporting of safety and security anomalies such as dangerous goods in proximity with other risk factors
  • 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 will enable unprecedented situational awareness and will provide both real-time and longitudinal insights that can highlight opportunities to improve production flows and the optimal use of resources. It will enable the estimation of production times, identify occurrences of congestion and rework, allowing for iterative task refinement, pinpointing of safety issues, and overall process transparency for clients.

Practical applications

A network of tag-based IoT devices could revolutionise your team’s real-time coordination of workshop production floor activities and flow by tracking and reporting the movements and statuses of key resources, assets and equipment.

Such a system could be used to 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.

Additionally, procedures and policies can be encoded onto EIP devices to enable appropriate alerts, thereby enhancing safety and productivity.

If you have an industrial problem that IoT technology might be able to solve, or if you are looking to develop or integrate an IoT solution for your industrial customers, we’d be keen to talk to you.

CSIRO Future Digital Manufacturing

Mr Christian Ruberg

Future Digital Manufacturing Lead (Manufacturing)

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