Advantech, Behr Technologies, Hitachi Solutions, and Microsoft Collaborate to Develop IIoT Connectivity Solutions

By Chantal Polsonetti

Acquisition or Partnership

Advantech, Behr Technologies (BTI), Hitachi Solutions America, and Microsoft announced that the companies are collaborating to deliver wireless communications solutions with scalability, reliability, and security for private industrial internet of things (IIoT) networks.  Since no single technology provider can enable IIoT alone, this joint effort is intended to provide the first mass-market, end-to-end wireless gateway solution to ensure connectivity with sensors for production-level industrial and commercial applications.  The solution reportedly will deliver scalability, deep building penetration, integration and interoperability with legacy systems, along with extremely long battery life for nodes.

This collaboration aims to meet growing demand in the marketplace for robust and comprehensive out-of-the-box wireless IIoT communications solutions to connect the various sensors used by industrial and commercial customers in their business intelligence efforts.  The foundation for the joint effort is BTI MIOTY, a low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) communications solution that uses the ETSI standard telegram splitting ultra-narrow band (TS-UNB) technical specification for low throughput networks, enabling organizations to deploy private IoT sensor networks with unprecedented capacity, high Quality-of-Service (QoS), and low total cost of ownership.  Using industry-standard Advantech gateways, BTI MIOTY will transmit up to 1.5 million messages per day within a radius of five to 15 kilometers, with no carrier requirements.  Layered atop this infrastructure, Hitachi Solutions’ IoT Service Hub will enable organizations to connect and monitor devices and analyze the data in real-time to improve operational efficiencies.

First IIoT Connectivity Application Focused on Workforce Safety

The first application resulting from this collaboration is a new and unique approach to workforce safety using the BTI MIOTY LPWAN wireless solution on an industry-standard gateway.  Using a wearable device to monitor the heart rate of workers in industrial high-risk environments, data on the health of hundreds of workers is transmitted over unlicensed, sub-gigahertz frequencies via BTI MIOTY to a single Advantech base station.  From there, it is communicated to the Microsoft Cloud, where Hitachi Solutions’ IoT Service Hub can provide actionable insights on workers’ health and send alerts when workers are in danger.  Employers, such as mining site operators, can deploy this end-to-end solution to protect their workforce with responsiveness at a fraction of the cost of previously available technologies.

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