IoT Essential Truths: Coordination

Posted on 1st November 2013 in design, Essential Truths, Internet of Things, M2M, maintenance, management

Just as I’ve written repeatedly about one of the “Essential Truths” of the Internet of Things is that we have to learn how to collaborate, there’s another “co- word” that’s crucial to realize its full potential: coordinate!

That’s brought to mind by news from this week’s Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona, where SAP (full disclosure: I’m working on a project for them), and SK Solutions, the global leader in anti­-collision software (heck, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as anti-collision software, let alone that SK was the leader!) have teamed to create a system helping engineering and construction companies increase collision avoidance and protect workers through real-time information sharing.

I’d never thought of it, but modern construction sites are a nightmare in terms of the need for coordination, with huge cranes, a multitude of construction vehicles, and many workers on the site.

The system, being tested at a construction site in Dubai, is gathering actionable, real-time data (historical data is pointless when so many players are interacting right now!) from mobile field workers, equipment and operational processes.

When you think of it, it’s difficult to maximize productivity and cut costs on a job site because so many operations have to be coordinated.

Here’s how it works:

“SK Solutions deploys sensors on cranes and construction vehicles to pull data such as 3­D motion control via inertial motion unit, location via GPS and load weight, equipment usage and wind speed and direction. This data is loaded first into the Navigator real­time operating system and its on­board set of applications, including collision avoidance. The data is then fed through the SK Navigator Anywhere Agent, which uses SAP technology. Site and project managers monitor the equipment via a dashboard built with SK Asteroid, which uses the SAP HANA platform, SAP® 3­D Visual Enterprise applications and SAP LumiraTM software. SK Asteroid 360 Middleware is a cloud­based platform that provides connectivity to SAP® Business Suite software.”

That leads me to another “Essential Truth” of the Internet of Things:

We have to start asking, where are there situations where real-time data from a variety of sources could help coordinate inter-related activities to improve safety & efficiency and reduce costs?

Whether it’s coordinating hospital rooms, integrating supply chains or assembly lines — even traffic flow — there are situations everywhere in which the Internet of Things can improve productivity, reduce operating costs — and even save lives.

N.B. For those who are interested in what the prefix co- really means, it’s from a Latin prefix of the same name, and means togethermutuallyjointly. Class dismissed..

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