September 3, 2020

German Edge Cloud and IDS Facilitate Predictive Machine Maintenance

In the the third and final part of our series about German Edge Cloud, Michael Cornel, Head of Software Development at German Edge Cloud, looks at machine maintenance in the Smart Service Data Space - one of the IDS Launching Coalition’s use cases.
Michael Cornel

The internet is a network of servers spanning the entire globe. These servers produce a lot of heat, which is why they require external cooling. Apart from electricity consumption, also regular maintenance of cooling systems is costly. Based on the IDS architecture, German Edge Cloud has developed a Smart Service Data Space for predictive instead of regular maintenance of cooling systems, helping companies to reduce cost.

German Edge Cloud is a subsidiary of Friedhelm Loh Group, collaborating closely with other subsidiaries of the group. One of these companies is Rittal, the world’s leading systems provider in the field of enclosures, power distribution, and climate control. Under the brand “Blue e+”, Rittal offers intelligent cooling systems providing highest efficiency.

IoT is revolutionizing machine maintenance

In Blue e+ systems, cooling devices are interconnected via an IoT interface, while sensors monitor the environment with regard to ambient temperature or humidity, for example. The interface collects the data and sends it to IT systems monitoring machine conditions. This allows manufacturers to maintain their machines on a predictive basis (i.e. if wear and tear parts need to be exchanged).

While predictive maintenance increases machine availability, it is also cheaper than regular maintenance. In case of larger facilities characterized by a large number of machines and devices, predictive maintenance allows servicing staff to optimize their routes and avoid unnecessary legwork. Since the data coming from the machine or device is available directly on the IoT platform, staff can bring the respective spare part along with them right away.

IDS ensures secure and trusted data exchange

Successful predictive maintenance presupposes availability of data (customer data, operating data, environmental data etc.) as well as secure and trusted data spaces. Lack of such data spaces in the past was the main reason why many companies have shied away from sharing and exchanging data with others. To overcome this situation, Rittal and German Edge Cloud rely on the IDS architecture, allowing secure and trusted data exchange between partners – with data sovereignty being ensured for each data owner/supplier across the entire transaction process. In the Smart Service Data Space, each data owner/provider can specify a data usage policy defining who is allowed to view its data, who is allowed to use it, how it may be used, and what it costs to do so.

The Smart Service Data Space has a decentralize structure. Secure and trusted data exchange is ensured by the IDS Connector, which is currently being developed by German Edge Cloud. This component will establish a secure connection between data owners/providers and data users/consumers. At the moment, German Edge Cloud’s experts are working on the Connector’s communication features in order to make sure smooth and flawless data exchange between Blue e+ cooling systems and the Smart Service Data Space is guaranteed.

Author: Michael Cornel
Michael Cornel is Head of Software Development at German Edge Cloud.

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