According to Intel ‘A Guide to Internet of Things’ report, the Internet-of-Things enabled devices used in factories and businesses already represents a significant part of the market. By 2025, $2.3 trillion out of the $6.2 trillion IoT market is expected to consist of devices used in manufacturing applications that would cover of 37 per cent of the total IoT market. Taking the stats into consideration, Fujitsu, the Japanese information and communication technology company, is helping develop the hyper-connected world.
Fujitsu is helping clients increase efficiency through the development of sophisticated devices and systems for industries such as farming and manufacturing as well as placing a focus on workplace safety. The company is highlighting its contributions to the advancement of next-generation, connected solutions that are helping industrial businesses enhance safety and streamline productivity.
Alex Attal, Executive Vice President, Business Application Services, Fujitsu America, says, “The Internet of Things is changing the way we work in every way and in every industry. Fujitsu is utilizing IoT to help manufacturers specializing in everything from food and agriculture to tools and warehouses to streamline people and processes, further bettering the bottom line and productivity. To achieve the digital transformation that is fundamental to the business growth of every organization requires enterprises to be digitally enabled from end to end. Mobility plays a central role from workplace solutions, wearable technologies and sensors, to cloud computing. That’s why technology needs to be where the people are, not the other way round to support and empower people, naturally and unobtrusively.”
Hitting the manufacturing industry
According to a report by PWC ‘The Internet of Things: what it means for US manufacturing’, 35 per cent of US manufacturers are currently collecting and using data generated by smart sensors to enhance manufacturing/operating processes. 34 per cent believe it is “extremely critical” that US manufacturers adopt an IoT strategy in their operations and 38 per cent currently embed sensors in products that enable end-users/customers to collect sensor-generated data.
GlobeRanger, a Fujitsu owned RFID software and solutions company claims in its report that one of the biggest challenges manufacturers face is implementing up-to-date technology within older machines. Improving manufacturing processes with RFID Machinery for any manufacturer is a costly and lengthy investment, taking years before a piece of equipment is retired or replaced, but with IoT solutions from GlobeRanger, older equipment can be easily outfitted to become a connected device. The company’s GR-AWARE (IoT, RFID, and sensor enabled asset management solution) platform, for instance, easily incorporates asset management information into business operations and legacy systems, allowing the creation of business processing rules, management of exceptions, triggering of alerts and notifications, as well as production of a variety of real-time reports.
How is IoT helping the sector
By implementing IoT solutions, manufacturers are able to receive real-time data helping to manage a warehouse or supply chain more effectively, efficiently and bringing more transparency in the supply chain. For example, the problem of contamination and spoilage in the perishable products industry persists. With connected devices, manufacturers can track production end-to-end, ensuring quality products.
Here where Fujitsu came in; a sour-cream company from the US was one of the first to participate in a RFID-compliance initiative backed by a leading global big-box retailer. The company used an iMotion Edgeware platform from GlobeRanger and deploy a tracking system that allowed information to be sent to drivers regarding where to deliver loads, recording transactions, loT information ND expiration date, keeping tabs on the entire process of finished goods to shipping.
Farmers these days are using predictive analytics on real-time data about weather, soil, air quality, crop maturity, equipment and labor costs. According to a study by Harman, that is the maker of connected products for various industry verticals, this market is poised to grow to $3.7 billion in the next two years. Fujitsu is working to support this new industrial enterprise approach that brings improvements to agriculture and food markets through the use of connected devices, like RFID tags and wearables.
About three years back Fujitsu released GYUHO SaaS, known as ‘The Connected Cow’ to streamline livestock husbandry and food and agriculture cloud service. By utilizing IoT technology, ranchers were able to determine that cows increased their activity/steps when they were in season. As a result of the information collected via a pedometer that relays step count data via the internet, analyzed in the cloud, and generates an email alert when there are signs of increased stepping.
Ranchers were able to artificially inseminate the cows at the optimal time, increasing chances of breeding more cows than bulls. This increased the production of milk and thus allowed ranchers to manage their dairy demands efficiently. The GYUHO SaaS system has been implemented in Japan and farms in South Korea and is being tested in Poland, Turkey and Romania.
Labor health and safety
According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3 million non-fatal occupational/ workplace injuries and illnesses in 2014, as reported by private industry employers. To counter that Fujitsu developed UBIQUITOUSWARE, an IoT package that accelerates the transformation of businesses, which utilizes IoT technology like indoor and outdoor location badges and tags and vital-sign sensing bands, including the user’s heat stress based on their location, acceleration, temperature, and humidity, all while connecting to a remote monitoring station.
How does UBIQUITOUSWARE work
UBIQUITOUSWARE monitors the vitals of workers in remote locations and labor intensive areas. For instance, those working remotely on a wind turbine can be monitored using a band that not only collects their vitals, but can also monitor rapid changes in barometric pressure and motions that would signal a fall by the wearer. The solutions can be used for labor-intensive warehouses or factories as the bands it is connected to can estimate the physical load on a body based on changes in the wearer’s pulse, and can trigger alerts when the wearer is overloaded, helping to eliminate on-the-job injuries.
Robert Ryan, Chief Innovation Officer, BAS, Fujitsu Americas, says,”We’re witnessing the evolution of a hyper-connected world, with emerging technologies fuelling connections between people, processes, things and information. Fujitsu is proud to be a leader in advancing a more human-centric workforce by melding together IoT, equipment and people for the betterment of enterprises, their employees and of course, the consumer.”