- M2M Introduction
- M2M in Industrial Automation & Manufacturing
- M2M in Everyday Life
- M2M in Public Services
Introduction to M2M and the Pervasive Internet
MACHINE-TO-MACHINE (M2M) refers to data communications between machines utilizing 1) telemetry systems that enable the remote measurement and reporting of information, and 2) telecommand systems that send instructions and data to the machines to operate them remotely. In scenarios that leverage the internet and that embed computation (information processing) into the environment and the machines / devices, M2M is roughly equivalent to another term, the PERVASIVE INTERNET, The objective of the Pervasive Internet is to enable people to interact with more information-processing devices than they currently do, and in ways that suit whatever location or context they find themselves in.
M2M is typically accomplished through a family of sensors, middleware, software and applications that help improve efficiency and quality by tying together a myriad of sensors that transmit data to mission critical applications like EAM, ERP, and CRM. Early M2M data was transmitted via costly and power-intensive communications systems that include wireline-connected telephone or data / computer networks, and wireless cellular networks with satellite communications.
However, recent advances in radio frequency (RF) technologies and protocols now enable M2M data transmission via very inexpensive, low-power wireless sensor networks. These networks take advantage of licensed or unlicensed portion of the RF spectrum.
M2M Smart Services
M2M promotes an environment where different types of devices can be connected through the Internet to share virtually any type of information. This makes for a seamless and automated flow of data and services and remote management and device control. Since wireless connectivity can exist in practically any machine, environment, and market, RFM enables OEMs and end-users to create a broad array of solutions that deliver new levels of “smart services” and commerce.
By building intelligence (awareness and connectivity) into products, Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and a variety of businesses are now beginning to deliver “smart services” that are offered via a platform of M2M enabled products that can report its real-time operational and maintenance status back to its manufacturer. By providing these value added services, manufacturers and software providers now have the opportunity to cultivate deeper and more long term relationships with their customers.
M2M Connectivity in Industrial Automation & Manufacturing
Industrial automation is this operation of manufacturing processes under the control of computers or programmable controllers (PLCs). Industrial automation can be applied to both discrete and continuous manufacturing processes. With continuous manufacturing, it is also called “process control,” and the automation systems are called SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition).
Industrial automation uses analog sensors to measure real-world conditions and digital computers perform analysis and control industrial and manufacturing processes. Control commands are converted to analog signals to control actuators. For decades, industrial automation has used direct wire connections between the sensors, actuators and the controlling computers. Recent technological advances in low-power, low-cost wireless communications now make wireless communications a desirable alternative to direct wired connections. Low-powered wireless systems enable connections to assets not easily monitored with previous technologies.
Industrial automation is used not only with manufacturing production processes, but it is also applied to:
oil and gas production
electric power generation and distribution
water and wastewater treatment, and
a broad range of other production processes.
Almost all production facilities around the world now use some form of industrial automation.
RFM Solutions for Industrial Automation
A number of wireless communications technologies are used for industrial automation that fall generally into several main categories. RFM companies provide a broad range of products and services to enable M2M connectivity for industrial automation:
Ultra low-power wireless components embedded within sensor and actuator devices and monitoring equipment to enable wireless connectivity to wireless networking. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) incorporate RFM’s low-power RF integrated circuits into their board-level designs for providing wireless connections for industrial automation.
Low-power wireless sensor networking used for connecting sensors and actuators within a facility. For OEM manufacturers who do not want to undertake to design, certify and manufacture RF circuits, RFM provides wireless networking devices and modules that manufacturers can embed into their products to provide robust wireless connectivity.
Higher powered point-to-point wireless links used to communicate over longer ranges and to provide reliable links in demanding interference environments. OEMs, systems integrators and plant maintenance staff can choose from RFM’s ready-to-use wireless modems, bridges, and access points for virtually any cable-free data need.
M2M in Everyday Life
The Internet is now staple in everyday consumer life, enabling people to connect and share information with other people, and to stay connected to the world. Web-enabled devices (cellular phones, PDAs, mini-computers, etc.) and communications services are introduced everyday that go beyond people-to-people connections to connect businesses, healthcare providers and others with individual consumers. They aren’t simply connecting with people.
They are providing “smart consumer services” that ultimately improve and enhance individual quality of life. They enable consumers to protect and better manage their homes, cars, and other personal effects. They help them improve and maintain the condition of their health. And they provide conveniences never before dreamed of.
RFM’s M2M Solutions Enable “Smart Consumer Services” & Convenience Enhancements in Consumer Products
Healthcare & Sports
- Improved tire safety via tire pressure monitoring (TPM) - information is transmitted from auto tires to the auto computer that alerts owner
- Improved auto performance via in-car computer reporting operating condition data that tracks performance that notifies and coordinate warranty services and routine maintenance
- Reduced loss of auto via global positioning systems (GPS) that enable smart consumer services such as LoJack Vehicle Detection and Anti-theft system and On-Star
- Lifestyle conveniences such as keyless entry for locking/unlocking doors and trunks, remote engine ignition, and anti-frost systems
- Lifestyle conveniences such as satellite radio that enable XM Radio and Sirrus Sattelite Radio
Home Automation & Control
- Decreased recovery time and lowered health care costs via remote patient monitoring and management outpatient services
- Improved qualify of life via pacemaker, insulin pumps, heart-related monitors, medical alert pendants, hearing aids, and other health-critical monitoring devices and services that are not only tied to managed care services, but also to emergency alert and messaging services to notify of device failure and patient incapacity
- Lifestyle conveniences such as wireless heart-rate monitors, time/distance/speed monitors and receivers that transmit sport and exercise performance data to manage on-going fitness programs
- Improved security via home security systems that monitor and detect dangerous conditions from fire and other hazards, and intruders
- Preserve energy through lighting, thermostat, irrigation and utility systems that not only enable remote controls, but also monitor operating condition of A/C units, pools, water heaters, and more in real time to detect potential over-consumption of utilities as well as forewarning potential failure
- Lifestyle conveniences that include wireless speakers, entertainment controls, computer devices such as wireless keyboards, mouses, headsets, wireless game controllers
M2M in Public Services
Local, municipal, state and federal organizations provide public services that enhance citizen quality of life, while maintaining compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and by providing for the most effective and sustainable use of natural resources available.
Public services organizations are implementing M2M solutions to help them offer services and works within the most effective and sustainable use of both their natural resources available, and their services infrastructures. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and solutions providers have begun providing wireless networking-enhanced products to public services organizations along with “smart services” to help them achieve their cost and resource conservation goals.
As a services provider, the pubic services organizations themselves have extended the M2M capabilities to their constituents and have begun providing “smart services” as well. Smart services offered by public services organizations ultimately improve and enhance individual quality of life while improving quality of life collectively for the communities they serve.
RFM’s M2M Solutions Enable “Smart Services” & Convenience Enhancements in Public Services / Works
Water, Electricity, and Gas
- Reduced overall costs and improved accuracy of collecting utility usage information for billing purposes through automatic meter reading (AMR) -- the remote collection of consumption data from electric, water and gas meters -- using wireless communications
- Improved conservation via “time-of-use” metering / billing that ties pricing of power and water consumed based on time-of-day and adherence to usage allocations
- Improved security in ports and transit systems via cargo container security systems and services that identify contents and monitor conditions of containers
- Secure public infrastructure (water, power and fuel supply chains) via asset tracking and monitoring using GPS / satellite and radio communications with ability for remote control monitor real-time conditions
“We wanted a flexible IP implementation and a wireless network that would do real-time data collection.”
VeriStitch President, Jerome Kahn
VeriStitch was the first company to implement and leverage the technology of wireless IP networks which are not the norm for industrial sewing machinery. Commercial sewing machines use serial ports for control data, so an Ethernet-to-serial port solution was needed. RFM was called in to provide M2M connectivity for the project.
HEAVY DUTY AUTOMATION
Wireless networking provides crucial M2M connectivity to remotely manage dangerous multi-ton crane scales and
linking data collection to corporate information systems.
As a leader in industrial weighing and process control systems, Seattle-based Measurement Systems International (MSI) is known for systems built around its crane scales, which can accurately weigh objects weighing up to 250 tons. MSI relies upon RFM to provide M2M connectivity via wireless networking between industrial scales, display devices, and information systems.