Remote control devices connected to the cloud which open new business opportunities in the industry
IK4-IKERLAN and IKUSI are developing a new generation of remote controls for industrial cranes which are able to share operational data via the Internet
The technological centre IK4-IKERLAN is working in collaboration with the Basque company IKUSI, which belongs to the Velatia Group and specialises in electronic solutions and ICT. Together, they are developing next-generation remote controls for industrial cranes and other applications in the field of mobility. In addition to controlling the operation of these by radio control, they are capable of monitoring their activity and sending this information via the Internet to a cloud platform for the data to be processed.
This development uses hardware installed on the remote control devices which gathers information about operation and, through the Internet of things, automatically sends it to a server. In addition, a portal has been facilitated with an easy-to-use interface allowing all this information to be accessed.
"To develop a remote control which allows remote maintenance and fault prediction, we are applying the most up-to-date developments in industrial communications protocol on the Internet, cloud computing, safety and privacy, and the consultation and visualisation of data", explains researcher Cristina Zubia, head of the project at IK4-IKERLAN.
Despite the use of remote controls being very frequent to control industrial machinery, up until now the market has not offered the possibility of monitoring these devices remotely. This is something which provides many benefits.
The product which both companies are working on allows information to be obtained about the operation of a fleet of cranes and to predict possible faults. This will open up new possibilities for the company to develop business models based on the utilisation of generated data.
"Apart from the progress this new generation of remote controls provides for the IKUSI product catalogue, thanks to the inclusion of remote services the company can broaden its scope with a new range of high added value services", adds Borja Pérez, R&D Manager at IKUSI.
IKUSI is undertaking pilot tests in industrial plants located in the Basque Country and in France.
Information and communication technologies
IK4-IKERLAN is implementing all its knowledge in information and communication technologies in this project. It is developing the technology required to connect remote controls via the Internet of things. In this regard, special attention is being paid to the security of communication, which must be protected to avoid malfunction and to protect against possible cyber attacks.
The centre is also working on a cloud platform which receives and processes the data it obtains from the remote controls using big data techniques. This involves an infrastructure in the cloud which unifies and handles the data received from the devices located in different parts of the world.
Finally, it is producing an interface which displays the data. It is a web application, available from any browser and easy to use, which enables information to be managed intuitively.
IKERLAN is a leading centre for technology transfer and for providing competitive value to companies due, among other things, to the expertise of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions by combining different fields of technology. This is possible owing to its high level of specialisation in three main areas: Electronics, information and communication technology (EICT), Energy and power electronics and Advanced manufacturing. It currently has a staff of approximately 300 people.