Digital twins fuel the IoT business

Organizations accelerate their digital and Industry 4.0 strategy by leveraging digital twins to connect and manage their assets. Gartner predicts 50% of industrial organizations will deploy digital twins by 2021. The objective: start new business models and digital services powered by AI and data analytics. This is why we created Elements for IoT.

Elements for IoT – the complete digital twin platform for connected assets

CONTACT Elements for IoT connects physical devices to the digital world. Its open architecture has been devised from the ground up to serve high-quality, critical assets in the most reliable way. Watch the video for an overview.

Set-up and manage the digital twin lifecycle

Elements for IoT provides the tools and dashboards required to design, build, test, deploy and maintain digital twins. For complex products this includes a wide range of data, such as the component structure, service BOM, as maintained state together with the assets design and engineering documentation, audit trails and much more.

Digital twins can be grouped into environments or fleets, to manage complex systems of related assets like the wind turbines of a certain wind park. This grouping capability allows the aggregation of information, and the creation of processes that control such environments, like over-the-air updates.

Create seamless business processes with a single source of truth

IoT solutions must provide a precise view of each asset’s state which includes various data from many different sources. Examples are the asset’s field and sensor data, soft- and hardware configuration, 3D models, maintenance history, customer records and more. 

Elements for IoT provides a complete single source of truth for the history and the current state of your assets. It delivers truly reliable data for your business processes, for example precise service and maintenance orders.

Manage condition monitoring and predictive maintenance events with digital workflows

Elements for IoT allows you to create event triggers and workflow processes for each digital twin. Users can setup rules that respond to specific events like sensor data exceeding a certain threshold. For instance, a maintenance request workflow can then be created. Based on the current asset’s configuration represented in the digital twin together with the current spare part inventory data, this request can issue a repair order including the exact replacement parts.

Provide a shared platform for customers and user communities

Elements for IoT provides a shared environment where you can collaborate with your customers and users. Elements comes with a rich set of predefined contexts like the digital twin itself, digital twin environments, workflows, projects, user communities and more, confined by robust security and access rights mechanisms. Examples are the incident management where operator and owner benefit from a shared view on the incident’s data and measures; a community discussing proposals on how to improve the performance of a certain line of products; or the provision of new firmware for the update "over the air".

Use open interfaces for better integration with existing IT solutions

A challenge of any substantial IoT solution is the integration of data between the different company divisions and therefore systems such as ERP, CRM, SCM and PIM. In addition, IT and OT (Operational Technology) will be merged.  Elements for IoT provides a powerful, open REST API that makes integration easy for any digital twin. The open API service establishes an efficient master data management architecture, the basis for outstanding IoT solutions that connect IT and OT bidirectionally.

Customers can run Elements for IoT in public clouds such as AWS and MS Azure or in a private cloud or their own data center.

From OPC UA to PPMP – Connecting Edge Controllers with Standardized Industrial Protocols

Elements for IoT uses standardized industrial protocols such as OPC UA, MQTT or PPMP for communication and data exchange in the environment of industry 4.0 solutions. They ensure interoperability between products from different manufacturers or direct data streams via common nodes ("edge controllers") for integration into large-scale IoT architectures.

CONTACT Software maintains a close strategic partnership with the developers of the EUROTECH Kura project and is a member of the IoT Working Group of the Eclipse Foundation. Elements for IoT uses the extensible open source IoT Edge Framework Kura to transform a wide variety of control and automation applications to common IoT standards.

The new M2M protocol PPMP is already integrated in Elements for IoT. CONTACT Software makes the Python implementation of PPMP available to users as open source in the Eclipse Unide project.

How the digital twin supports your business

Learn more about our other key IoT elements

Designing successful products in the closed loop of operation and further development

Analyze and evaluate field data for targeted product improvements

Involve customer communities in the ongoing optimization of products

Use best practices such as ticket systems and quality issues for integration into the development process

Benefit from data analytics for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance

Automate condition monitoring 

Benefit from predictive maintenance

Analyse whole fleets and environments

Communicate between a wide range of different IT systems and integrate enterprise applications

Achieve enterprise-wide process coverage and extended interoperability despite heterogeneous IT landscape

Cross-system data provision for enterprise applications

Implement new digital business models in the Internet of Things

Use the virtual represen- tation of devices in the field for product and process improvements

Establish the digital twin as a database for all IoT business processes

Create complete profiles across the entire lifecycle of your products and map changes in the field   

Use the digital twin as a basis for creating added value for your customers

Get to know outstanding IoT use cases

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Limiting the effects of floods with the help of IoT and data analytics

The 2018 IoT Challenge by T-Systems winner Bin Zhao captures and analyzes the data in real time using CONTACT Elements for IoT. The Rhine, which repeatedly causes damage amounting to millions of euros as a result of flooding, is well monitored, but not its many tributaries. And the partly fast-flowing waters are causing increasing problems. The solution is based on a network of measuring stations and sensor data being transmitted via the narrow band IoT module BC 95. Zhao then uses the Long Short-Term Memory Model (LSTM), which supports machine learning in multi-layered neural networks.

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Predicting maintenance events for machine tools

Together with CONTACT Software, the Berlin based Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems is bringing IoT-based services to life. Its Industry 4.0 Lab enables predictive maintenance using condition monitoring. For that a machine tool turns into a test bed for drive shafts. A network of sensors based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) records, collects and analyzes runtime data such as the machine's vibration behavior in specific operating states.

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Open source implementation of PPMP protocol

The Production Performance Management Protocol (PPMP) is an open industry standard that enables machines and production plants to provide sensor data. The protocol developed by Bosch supports Industry 4.0 scenarios. CONTACT Software has integrated the new M2M protocol into its Elements for IoT platform and now makes a Python implementation of PPMP available as open source software in the Eclipse Unide project.

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The most complete IoT platform – powered by CONTACT Elements

Powered by CONTACT Elements means: You use the most modern platform and technology available worldwide to combine the physical and digital world. Flexible like Lego, CONTACT Elements' modular design principle stands for solutions that are far more than the sum of their parts: each impressive in its own right – combined outstanding!

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