Bosch is making manufacturing more efficient

Reiner Schmohl from Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions explains how one of the firm’s connected sensor devices can transform manufacturing with the power of IoT and Microsoft Azure

Bosch is making manufacturing more efficient

Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions has created a connected sensor device which it describes as the ‘Swiss army knife for the internet of things (IoT)’ – the Cross Domain Development Kit (XDK). The device makes it possible to monitor its environment, connects to the internet via USB, Bluetooth or wi-fi and empowers companies to create smart manufacturing solutions. 

“The XDK is a fully integrated hardware and software development platform,” explains Reiner Schmohl, XDK product manager at Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions. “It has been designed to connect any machine to the internet, enabling users to monitor manufacturing equipment remotely.”

It features eight internal sensing parameters – acceleration, orientation, magnetism, humidity, pressure, temperature, acoustics and light – as well as a software platform to ensure fast programming and configuration of the device. There are also a number of available extensions, which open up further connectivity and use cases. 

“The XDK can be adapted to a huge range of use cases by programming the application layer of the device,” says Schmohl. “The goal is sensor fusion and generating information, instead of simply sending raw data. This leads to customer benefits, brings the energy consumption for communication down and extends the battery lifetime.” 

One such use for the XDK is to remotely locate equipment. 

“Bluetooth beacons on the pieces of equipment send signals to the XDK, where data is collected and sent to the cloud and IoT platforms such as Microsoft Azure,” Schmohl explains. “Real-time information can then be accessed from a PC or smartphone, helping managers locate machinery or devices more quickly.”

The product can also help manufacturers monitor machines remotely and react accordingly to failures. A lot of equipment features indication lights to reflect a change in status, but this can go unnoticed if staff aren’t looking at the machine. “The XDK can fix this too,” says Schmohl. “Staff need to be informed promptly to be able to react directly to irregularities and maintenance requirements. The longer the red light is on, the longer there is no output, which causes huge losses. Information transparency is the first step in reducing downtime and increasing the overall plant effectiveness.”

Manufacturers can also use the XDK to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and lower costs by eliminating compressed air leakages. The XDK and its corresponding air leakage extension detects and localises leaks, sends this information to the cloud and informs operators so that they can react accordingly. 

This article was originally published in the Spring 2020 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issues delivered directly to your inbox.

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