The tech-loaded fun continued on day three of the Hannover HMI trade show with exciting news on e-mobility, IoT, IOTA, ICT innovations and a smart energy platform. With its broad portfolio, Huawei presented ICT innovations, while ABB and MOIA concentrated on solutions for e-mobility. Siemens previewed their platform MindSphere on Microsoft Azure, Nokia showed a “factory in a box” and Fujitsu presented a unique showcase on IOTA, a cryptocurrency designed for the Internet of Things (IoT). Plus, the FIWARE Foundation presented a project by the European Union for a smart energy platform.
Another highlight that attracted many visitors was a showcase by the University of Bielefeld. We all know the famous 3D puzzle called Rubik’s Cube (at least after its recurring appearance in the famous TV show “The Big Bang Theory”). Most of us have even tried solving the puzzle and probably failed to do so. In case you have always wondered how to solve it quickly, a robot demonstrates the trick behind it in hall 16, stand A04.
The Next Step in E-Mobility
With more and more players entering the e-mobility market, the hype is only getting bigger. ABB launched its newest EV charging solution, Terra HP, which is the first 350 kW product on the market. Charging time for a range of 200km is now just eight minutes, the Swiss company promises. Its ultra-high current has the capacity to charge both 400V and 800V cars at full power. The addition of Dynamic DC power sharing technology allows a two-power cabinet charging system to charge a couple of EVs simultaneously, with up to 350 kW, while dynamically optimizing the available grid connection and the power delivery to the two vehicles.
Volkswagen’s new subsidiary MOIA presented new concepts for the inner-city mobility of people and goods. The manufacturer focuses primarily on autonomous delivery vehicles. The all-electric vehicle exhibited at the show has a range of over 300 kilometers. The battery charging capacity of 80 percent is reached after just 30 minutes. Plus, the spacious vehicle (length: 6 m, height: 2.30 m, width: 2.07 m) offers space for six persons (and a driver) and is equipped with free-standing seats. It also features a high-speed Internet connection – completing a special pooling system that could significantly relieve large cities of their traffic problems.
IoT on the Rise
Connecting IoT and e-mobility, Huawei and Groupe PSA showcased a DS 7 CROSSBACK, the first connected vehicle resulting from their partnership covering the entire Group’s connected vehicles. The DS 7 is equipped with Huawei’s OceanConnect IoT platform and cloud applications supported by Huawei, giving customers access to new services such as connected navigation, natural language voice recognition and a connected service portal via the vehicle’s dashboard screen. The vehicle’s maintenance status and the history of journeys and driving styles are also accessible from the customer’s smartphone.
The IoT plays a vital role in digitization. More and more solutions are being developed regularly, expanding the possibilities the IoT offers. Siemens announced that a preview of MindSphere, the company’s cloud-based, open IoT operating system, is available beginning in April on Microsoft Azure. MindSphere can connect assets to Microsoft’s intelligent cloud services, enabling industry applications to operate with intermittent connectivity, provide local feedback loops, cognitive services, edge analytics and artificial intelligence
IOTA: The Cryptocurrency for the IoT
Fujitsu turned heads at its booth and on social media: The Japanese company introduced tools that allow users to collect, process and use data completely visualized, including the first distributed ledger technology based on IOTA in the industrial environment worldwide, Fujitsu demonstrated a showcase that implements IOTA into a real-life production line. IOTA plays a vital role in Audit trails and transactions, as it helps enable so-called m2m (machine to machine) payments. In principle, the underlying technology overcomes all that has been criticized so far regarding the traditional blockchain technology such as high power consumption, slow transaction speeds and the fact that mining is the underlying process of such transactions. Plus, IOTA keeps the big advantages of the blockchain technology, namely transactions that can be stored safely and unchangeably. Interventions into the production will be monitored and logged and unauthorized interferences will be reported.
Manufacturing On-the-go and Smart Energy
Nokia’s “factory in a box” turns the idea of Industry 4.0 into reality. The entire manufacturing process is modular, portable and accommodated in shipping containers. The “factory in a box” includes cloud-based services, robotics, and new electronic manufacturing IoT solutions, all of which will enable greater agility and flexibility for manufacturers, while enabling the production line to be moved to different places as the demand dictates.
The project FISMEP – FIWARE for Smart Energy Platform coordinated by the RWTH Aachen University wants to create a smart energy solution that will provide new capabilities in the area of distribution grid management. Besides being oriented towards the vision of a “smart city“, its open source principle is supposed to facilitate a connection with external partners, including producers, distributors and consumers to allow quick integration of innovative energy services and business ideas into the platform for deployment.
The Perfect Puzzle Solving Assistant
It has never been easier to solve a Rubik’s Cube: HMI visitors briefly show the assistive system all sides of the cube. A camera records the state of the cube and a solution is calculated using a planning component, which is then translated into a process model. This model codes the necessary steps for solving the cube, as well as helpful assistive information. A 3D projected image shows the steps the visitors must follow. It is noteworthy that the process is planned automatically. The automatic generation of assistive processes saves a lot of time and can take the individual experience level of each person into account.
Over the course of the last three days, it became apparent why so many IT companies are now part of the HMI trade show. We are in the midst of a process that will revolutionize supply chains, production planning and the way we look at customized commodities. The world’s largest industrial technology fair has shown us a strong vision of what the future of manufacturing and digitization of the industry will look like.