Epec in Finland has developed a series of edge IoT devices based around the NXP i.MX6 processor.
Many off-highway equipment manufacturers are developing digitalization and telematics-based solutions and providing value added services such as, remote control, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, over-the-air (OTA) software updates and different data exchange and visualizations.
According to Berg Insight, the global installed base of active off-highway vehicle telematics systems reached 4.4 million units in 2019 and is forecasted to double by 2024 reaching 9.0 million across all segments.
Epec provides an IoT platform called GlobE as a service for customers looking for a ready-made back-end/front-end service application says Mikko Hankaniemi, Director, Products at Epec. But for projects needing only data pipelines to a customer’s own Microsoft Azure based cloud environment, Epec has developed the Epec 6200 Azure IoT Edge device.
This uses dual or quad-core versions of the i.MX6 microcontroller from NXP with up to 32 GB of built-in non-volatile memory enabling reliable local data storage and buffer to prevent data loss in case of unreliable internet connection. A 4G/LTE cellular interface supporting global frequencies and versatile approvals.
Epec’s Azure IoT Edge capable solution provides easily configurable interaction between OT-IT systems using Epec MultiTool. This includes the ability to configure the interface and send data to customer’s own Azure cloud and supports OTA software updates to machines from Azure and remote machine parametrization. There is also the ability to send Events and alarms to Azure cloud and issue device commands remotely.
The edge IoT design came from a project with E
pec’s parent company Ponsse in Finland. Ponsse forest machines continuously collect volumes of data on machine operations and conditions, as well as the state of the forest environment. This data benefits all parties in the wood procurement chain. Ponsse is an integral part of the chain that ensures the efficient flow of wood from forests to mills, while saving raw materials, trees and the terrain remaining in forests. Machine data enables Ponsse to develop even better solutions for Ponsse customers.
Posse is using the Microsoft Azure digital services platform and started to develop a new connectivity solution to the forest machines. This enables Ponsse to easily manage which data is sent to Azure to provide services for the customer needs and allows advanced data processing in the machine with edge computing for rapid analytics.
Epec developed a cost efficient customized IoT edge device based on the 6200 product for Ponsse and this is currently in production on selected market areas, covering already a fleet of few hundreds forest machines and growing fast.
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