Connecting the field to the IoT to boost productivity and improve operations

ICONICS’ Melissa Topp discusses how its new connected field service, digital twins and watch/voice user interface technology will help organisations

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 04 February 2019
Connecting the field to the IoT to boost productivity and improve operations

This article was originally published in the Winter 2018 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.

ICONICS, a global automation software developer, recently showcased multiple new innovative solutions at SPS IPC Drives 2018 in Germany. They included a new Connected Field Service (CFS) app, integration with Microsoft Azure Digital Twins, watch/voice user interface (UI) technology, and advances in the industrial internet of things (IIoT).

The new CFSWorX connected field service app streamlines the efficiency of field service organisations via intelligent scheduling and guaranteed notifications. The software can be easily integrated into an organisation’s existing enterprise resource planning and/or customer relationship management systems, including Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service. It uses existing contact information, schedule integration and field workers’ catalogued skillsets to determine the best technician for the task. This enables organisations in any industry to reduce downtime and lower maintenance costs.

Built on the Microsoft Azure Digital Twins platform, ICONICS’ Digital Twins for Smart Spaces solution provides real-time visualisation, collection and analysis of energy and equipment data from building automation systems and IoT sensors. This helps companies improve energy efficiency, fault detection and space utilisation. During SPS IPC Drives, ICONICS debuted its Digital Twins for Manufacturing solution, which integrates remote monitoring, statistical quality control, statistical process control and overall equipment effectiveness capabilities with the Microsoft Azure Digital Twins platform. Each asset is represented virtually within the twin object model to inform its digital equivalent of real-time updates from connected programmable logic controllers, IoT sensors or the manufacturing equipment over the cloud. This improves engineering time, productivity, quality and operations management.

ICONICS has long pioneered the development of innovative user interfaces for use in automation. The company was the first to create a holographic machine interface (HMI) for Microsoft HoloLens and developed a Remote Expert mode for a head-mounted tablet-class industrial wearable device. Now, it has created a smart watch/wearable UI and a new voice-integrated UI.

The smart watch-based HMI is an extension of ICONICS’ KPIWorX self-service dashboard, which delivers visualisation and analysis via a free, web-based, mobile thin client. Users can configure dashboards for specific watches and ICONICS plans to introduce compatibility for more wearable devices in future. ICONICS’ interface will serve as a virtual assistant for manufacturers and facility managers, with support for voice-interactive tools from Microsoft and others. Users can create ‘skills’ that work through cloud services and voice technologies to deliver insightful analytics and production metrics upon verbal request. 

Melissa Topp is senior director of Global Marketing at ICONICS

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