In IoT solutions, different components must work together seamlessly. Due to recent developments and improvements in IoT technology, it is now possible to realize these IoT solutions with standard components. Evalan has developed one of these components, called “BACE”, a building block that connects your assets to the Cloud. BACE enables organizations to easily implement IoT solutions and respond quickly to changing needs. Implementing IoT is now possible at lower costs, without limiting performance, security, flexibility or energy requirements.
To meet the increasing demand for high-quality IoT solutions that are cost-effective and quick to implement, Evalan introduces BACE. The goal of BACE is to build a connection between assets in the field and applications in the Cloud. BACE consists of a hardware module and a Cloud application that are connected via the 4G network. The BACE module can be linked to the asset and can exchange data with the asset via various protocols. The BACE Cloud application can exchange this data with any platform via an API. In between, BACE takes care of IoT functions, such as transmitting data between the asset in the field and the Cloud, the security of this data exchange and various operational functions including software updates and provisioning. BACE is especially suitable for connecting an installed base of existing assets. This makes BACE a valuable tool for the digital transformation where new assets can usually be easily fitted with IoT technology, but where it is often much more difficult to include existing assets in this transition.
The BACE technology
The communication between the BACE IoT module and the BACE Cloud application takes place via LTE-M, part of the 4G network. This communication is secured with encryption that is unique for each BACE module. The encryption key is stored on a secure element of Microchip, a secure hardware-based key store. The module is also able to communicate via GSM, for countries where the 4G network is not yet available.
BACE uses the IoT Hub of the Microsoft Azure Cloud, with a number of BACE-specific functions added, such as Over-The-Air software updates, data storage and a Restful API.
BACE can be linked to assets via various protocols, including RS485/ModBus, CANbus, UART and others. The BACE module can be supplied with optional sensors (temperature, light intensity, humidity and presence), with WiFi and with low-energy wireless connectivity. With the optional sensors environmental data can be collected , as a stand-alone IoT sensor solution or in combination with data from an assets. The WiFi and low-energy wireless options make it possible to use the BACE module as a gateway. Other versions that are currently available are equipped with a CO2 sensor or a RFID scanner.
How do you implement BACE in your IoT Application?
BACE is an IoT Connector that can be used for data communication between assets and the Cloud. ButEvalan can, in collaboration with customers, also deliver complete End-to-End IoT solutions, where in addition to data communication via BACE, dashboards, portals or other User Interaction component are also delivered. These components are tailor-made to the wishes and requirements of the customer.
Finally, it is possible to connect the BACE IoT module directly with the customer’s Cloud application. This requires more integration work and is therefore better suited for solutions that are deployed on a larger scale.
Adding value through IoT
IoT solutions can be of value to almost any organization. First of all, by collecting operational data from an installed base of assets in the field, and processing this data, insights can be obtained with which the systems can be better managed. These insights allow organizations to implement improvements that lead to reducing errors, increasing efficiency, saving energy, improving quality and optimizing services. It is important that, in addition to the implementation of the technical IoT system, internal work processes are also adapted to make this value accessible.
The value of IoT could stretch even further. The insights gained from the collected data can also be used as input in developing the next generation of systems. In practice, it often happens that systems are used differently than expected. Knowledge about usage can help organizations to better meet actual demand. This can also lead to new market propositions. An important example of this is servitization, a revenue model based on services, which often only becomes possible when IoT is applied.
Data-driven insights lead to new business opportunities
BACE is widely applicable. For organizations that face obstacles in time or capital investment, BACE provides a solution that enables them to move quickly without up-front development costs. Gilian van Lenthe, product owner of BACE, says: “With BACE our customers can quickly deploy a number of IoT devices and gain direct access to their data. By using different sensor configurations, connecting their own devices and defining custom event triggers, customers can kickstart their optimization and transformation plans. They discover new opportunities with data-driven insights into their own processes. Evalan will continuously add sensor options and help customers integrate the devices to increase the number of applications available to users. We are curious what opportunities users will seize with the BACE. ”