M2M cloud platform now connects industrial control systems
Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR; TSX: SW) today, Jan. 31, announced Sierra Wireless AirVantage Smart Automation, an extension to the company’s AirVantage cloud platform for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.
AirVantage Smart Automation extends the Internet of things by simplifying the connection to industrial equipment and creation of embedded business logic without programming. This enables equipment manufacturers and service providers to create new services and business offers for their customers, such as tiered monitoring and maintenance, demand response applications, and time- or location-based equipment usage pricing models, the company said. Also read: Control Engineering asks Sierra Wireless about industrial networks, AirVantage.
Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, is using AirVantage Smart Automation to provide customized managed services for its electric vehicle charging stations in the SAVE project1. "AirVantage Smart Automation allows us to provide customized service packages and remote monitoring to charging station customers," said Nicolas Descazeaud, Electric Vehicle Programme Director at Schneider Electric. "We can tailor our services to meet unique customer requirements and service level agreements while at the same time managing our costs effectively." [The SAVE (Seine Aval Véhicules Electriques) project is a joint initiative by Renault, Schneider Electric, EDF, the Yvelines General Council, EPAMSA (contracting authority for Seine Aval) and the Île-de-France region to complete comprehensive tests on electric vehicles and prepare for the introduction of electric vehicles to the mass market in France.]
Sierra Wireless AirVantage Platform is a cloud-based service that facilitates comprehensive subscription, device and asset management through a remote M2M application, and the new Smart Automation extension integrates these capabilities with industrial control systems. AirVantage Smart Automation makes it easy to set up custom business logic to collect, sort, prioritize, send and store data without the need for programming. Existing backend systems can be integrated or new M2M applications can be implemented using standard web services APIs.
AirVantage Smart Automation delivers numerous benefits to the M2M value chain, the company said, including machine manufacturers, system integrators and service and maintenance companies, including:
- Advanced application support: Deploy new services that reduce costs and increase system reliability. An example is premium hourly system monitoring that provides more accurate and sensitive monitoring for higher risk, higher value systems
- Distributed application reliability: Distribute the application to the embedded communications client and the server, which improves machine reliability by eliminating the need for machine-level programming of the industrial components
- Rapid deployment: Create and deploy next-generation industrial applications quickly, accelerating time-to-market for new services
- Remote application update: Install new industrial applications and upgrade existing applications by simply updating the AirVantage Ready Agent logic rather than changing the control logic for the industrial component, simplifying the process required to meet specific customers’ needs and reducing the number of field service trips required
- Anytime, anywhere access: Give users access to information and controls on remote machines anytime, from anywhere, increasing responsiveness and flexibility while controlling operating costs
- Precise configuration: Reduce data transmission costs by configuring the system to send data only when necessary, using AirVantage Smart Automation’s local alarm generation and data-filtering features.
“AirVantage Smart Automation is an important step forward in service-enabling industrial products over wireless networks,” said Emmanuel Walckenaer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Solutions and Services for Sierra Wireless. “It radically streamlines application development, deployment and management. We believe that AirVantage Smart Automation opens vast new areas of opportunity for industrial M2M services in which machine manufacturers and service providers can gain a competitive advantage.” AirVantage Smart Automation is ideal for a wide variety of sectors from oil and gas, to municipal water treatment, to green power generation. For example, AirVantage Smart Automation makes it simple to monitor turbidity and water pressure in a dynamic environment, with the ability to change monitoring and control parameters as needed and to proactively take corrective action when thresholds are met, before a situation becomes critical.
Providers of solar, wind, hydro power, or oil and gas extraction and distribution systems can reduce operations costs by using the remote access capabilities in AirVantage Smart Automation to service equipment at even the small or very remote sites. Other revenue-generating and cost-saving applications may be developed for mobile and geographically diverse products and services, such as mobile air compressors, vending machines and outdoor advertising.
More about the platform
The Sierra Wireless AirVantage Platform is a secure, cloud platform that enables M2M solution providers, system integrators and network operators to rapidly develop, deploy, and operate M2M applications and services. The AirVantage Platform includes applications to manage cellular subscriptions, communications devices and their attached assets (such as components in machines, telemetric devices in automobiles, and monitoring devices in a home or office); a powerful set of M2M application development tools; and an open web services application programming interface (API). The AirVantage Platform lets wireless network operators extend operational self-support, application development, and management capabilities to their M2M service providers.
Today’s extension: Sierra Wireless AirVantage Smart Automation
Sierra Wireless AirVantage Smart Automation connects industrial control systems to the AirVantage Platform, enabling the creation of new services that leverage industrial control information. AirVantage Smart Automation includes:
- AirVantage Ready Agent for Smart Automation – Resides in the communications device and connects industrial equipment that uses standard industrial communications protocols to M2M applications over cellular networks.
- AirVantage Configuration Wizard for Smart Automation – Uses a simple configuration user interface to create the embedded application logic.
- AirVantage Web Services API – Integrates with existing backend systems or new M2M applications.
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