RS is one of the world’s largest electronics and industrial components distributors, offering over 500,000 products to more than a million customers, and shipping over 44,000 packages a day. Paul Redmond, Business Relationship Manager at RS, is driving the company’s IoT initiative. Redmond is a leading proponent of IoT as a vehicle for reducing MRO costs for RS customers. “We are working with IBM Watson IoT and Actility ThingPark to put in place a LPWAN-to-cloud network in our 70,000 sq. feet warehouse in Nuneaton. This initiative has the potential to deliver hundreds of thousands of pounds of savings through the application of predictive maintenance to optimize performance and uptime, and Big Data to improve productivity, efficiency and energy sustainability.”
“ThingPark X allows our customers like RS Components to use the power of our platform to help turn data into valuable business insight,” explains Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “The real value in the IoT comes not from gathering millions or billions of data points, but from making sense of that data to drive real business value, by taking better decisions about maintenance or optimising processes. ThingPark X is a key element of that process, making a bridge for the data between the ThingPark Wireless IoT network and the applications our customers are using to analyse their data with their preferred cloud platforms host. We’re delighted to be able to harness the global reach of the ThingPark to the power of cloud platforms like IBM Bluemix to transform businesses around the world.”
ThingPark X provides tools to make the data from sensors more accessible and easily used by applications and services. It provides translation services, which allow a single application to seamlessly make use of data from devices that use different IoT communication protocols such as Zigbee and MBus. This data is accessible to developers through standardised APIs; developers can also call on dozens of APIs to control and manage actions from devices or network supervision systems. Within ThingPark X, there is a library of drivers and decoders for the most common LPWA devices, and modular analytics and control applications, for example predictive modelling algorithms, available to speed the development of end to end services. Finally, ThingPark X offers a range of “connectors” which transmit data to cloud platforms for easy ingestion by applications, and which can also route downlink data and control requests back from the cloud to the sensor or device connected to the LPWA network.
ThingPark X is a component of Actility’s ThingPark IoT platform, which also comprises ThingPark Wireless, which oversees the connection of devices and sensors to LPWA communication networks, and manages the network; ThingPark OS, which supports business processes and monetisation of networks; and ThingPark Market, an ecommerce engine for IoT devices, applications and connectivity.
“The launch of ThingPark X, and our engagement with the world’s largest cloud platforms, including IBM Bluemix, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Bosch IoT, ThingWorx, GE Predix and Daliworks, is the next step in our strategy to deliver the most comprehensive and global IoT solution platform,” says Actility SVP of Products Boris Lacroix. “But in line with our approach all along, that platform is modular, and embraces a broad range of partners in every strata of IoT activity. We want to allow our customers, and our partners’ customers, to be able to choose how to create the solution that’s right for their application, connecting them to the intelligence that’s available across the whole IoT ecosystem to drive the transformation of their business.”