Our client came to Concurrency to design a modern Internet of Things (IoT) solution to gather and analyze data from sensors used in the firm’s sophisticated monitoring solutions for heavy industries such as steel producers and smelting facilities.
The company has operations in multiple industries worldwide. The client team desired to develop this project as a model IoT application that could be adapted for other purposes throughout the global company.
Because the client is a provider of sophisticated sensing technologies—such as disposable sensors used to monitor the temperature of molten steel—the company’s management was keenly aware of the business value of sensor-generated data. In this case, the team wanted to gather data about how its products are used at customer locations.
For example, one of the company’s products is a sophisticated temperature monitoring system. In this system, a specialized sensor wire is precisely inserted into molten metal to monitor temperature. The temperature values are then reported back to the onsite computer system, which provides the customer with crucial information about current production. And because the computer is networked to the local network, there exists potential to provide reports not only to the customer but to our client via a cloud gateway.
Our client’s management team recognized that such data collected from customer locations via cloud gateways could provide information to help them serve their customers even better—by, for example, being aware of any system maintenance or other needs. This additional data had the potential to serve as the foundation for an additional business service to the firm’s customers, such as through predictive maintenance.
Because the temperature monitoring system, as well as other of our client’s sensory products, runs Windows 7 software and the latest .NET framework, the company was positioned well for an IoT solution with a cloud gateway built according to a truly modern framework.
Concurrency designed an IoT remote monitoring solution enabling the firm to visualize historical, real-time, and trend information with end-to-end data connectivity from device to intelligence in the enterprise.
The project proceeded through three phases, beginning with extensive roadmapping that involved the client’s executives, product managers, software developers, and other professionals. Throughout the design process, this team worked closely together to ensure the solution would meet all needs identified through the discovery process.
Through a series of workshops, we applied a proven approach to review the firm’s operations, understand business needs and pain points, and help identify opportunities and develop objectives to meet business needs. The result of this stage of the project was a strategic plan.
The final deliverable was an executive briefing for local management as well as an executive team onsite from the client’s global headquarters. During this session, we presented drawings, specifications, and key points to show how the solution would not only function technically but also add value to the business.
The following diagram illustrates aspects of the IoT solution.
Results and Next Steps
The executive presentation was a strong success. At this time, we are moving forward in assisting the client with a next phase of the project, which focuses on core infrastructure deployment and configuration for the cloud gateway. This phase will initiate the monitoring and lead to an additional phase of making best use of the data through sophisticated predictive analytics and machine learning.
Throughout the process, we have worked with the client to ensure this IoT solution is constructed in a flexible way to allow other products to be onboarded to the solution.
In addition, this project has gained wider visibility within the client’s corporate family. We expect adaptations of this solution to provide business insights and value in industries completely separate from this first application with the temperature monitoring system for steel mills and smelters.