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ZIEHL-ABEGG has launched its new Cloud-based IIoT (Industrial Internet Of Things) platform ZAbluegalaxy.

As a SaaS application (Software as a Service) it offers fast and economic entry into smart device management and digital transformation.

ZAbluegalaxy has been specially developed for applications in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) technology and offers specific value added performance compared with a standard cloud solution.

The German developer of fans, control and drive technology has taken its ECblue motor technology and put it on the path towards further digitalisation.

With Zabluegalaxy, ZIEHL-ABEGG is providing customers with a framework for Industry 4.0 applications.

Around 75 billion Internet-enabled devices are expected to be in operation by 2025. By 2023, approximately 30 per cent of the IoT market for smart buildings will be equipped with AI technologies.

People, machines, components and products will be directly linked to each other.

The Internet of Things (IoT), known as IIoT in the industrial sector, is not a purely technological revolution. It is a business revolution that is developing through technologies and data-based models.

The next step in the automation process is to create autonomous systems. Machines and components can then not only repeat work steps with the help of a central control system but also make independent decisions through the application of AI, turning centralised control into decentralised self-optimisation.

In this context, digital value added with intelligent (smart) devices and components is based on the following steps:

1.      Link devices,

2.      Collect data,

3.      Analyse data,

4.      Make smart decisions (real-time and context-related information),

5.      AI: Artificial Intelligence (continual improvement and autonomous systems).

Digital value

With ZAbluegalaxy, ZIEHL-ABEGG now offers the perfect entry into this digital transformation. The customer gets a solution which is immediately ready-to-use and has been specially developed for both HVAC/R applications (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technology) as well as elevator systems.

ZAbluegalaxy provides all the necessary components as an external service. The application is based on the Cloud services of the Microsoft Azure platform. It offers maximum availability and scalability, including a proactive approach to security, compliance, and data privacy.

Access is provided by user login via a web browser or the ZAset app using the single sign-on principle. The user has access to all those Cloud services for which they are authorised. Data communication is conducted via highly secure end-to-end encryption.

If required, other IIoT platforms can be integrated through a REST API, allowing for the exchange of data between different Cloud systems or building management systems.

ZAbluegalaxy forms the basis on which it will be possible to develop and integrate additional functionalities. The applications can be adapted to the customer's circumstances and user interfaces can also be individually designed.

The standard link between IoT-enabled devices and machines and a ZA Cloud gateway is via MODBUS (standard BUS protocol).In turn, the ZA Cloud Gateway forms the interface to ZAbluegalaxy where an IoT hub enables secure and reliable communication between the IoT application (ZAbluegalaxy software) and the IoT devices it manages.

The ZA Cloud Gateway is already pre-configured for connection with the innovative motor technology Ecblue.

All relevant sensor values such as temperature, speed, input voltage, motor temperature and power consumption are transmitted via the MODBUS. The new ECblue motors are equipped with a high-performance, triple axis MEMS accelerometer.

The sensor data can also be used to record oscillations and detect vibration and unbalanced states that can indicate e.g. contamination or defects. ECblue devices are also equipped with computing power for decentralised data processing (Edge Computing).

Integrated algorithms, e.g. for predictive maintenance, can already be used for the decentralised calculation of predictions for due maintenance work or life expectancy (Edge Analytics).

ZAset Mobile and ZAset Desktop also provide easy and quick access to all parameters and functions of the ECblue devices (EC motors, frequency inverters and control devices).

ZAset enables faster commissioning and programming as well as software updates for ECblue devices. The ZAset app is available for Android and IOS.

By using sensor-aided data in research and development, a manufacturer can continually improve products and shorten development times, e.g. through the implementation of a digital twin and feedback loops.

Increased service efficiency is achieved with the help of the available data and the flexible adaptation of the required measures, enabling the cost of complaints to be lowered and the number of warranty cases reduced.

Business models

Installation engineers, OEMs and operators also benefit from cross-site networking and the available data and analysis capabilities. They are able to better manage their assets and operate them more efficiently through the ability to display and evaluate operational data in real-time.

ZAbluegalaxy enables and supports proactive services. New business models can be developed based on the collection and evaluation of the sensor data. For example, services could be offered with pay-per-use models.

This facilitates the transformation from product-orientated to user-orientated business models.

Smart devices, such as the ECblue motors, interact with ZAbluegalaxy. Calling up the sensor values allows for remote monitoring, automatically triggering warnings and actions. These can be remote diagnostics, through to maintenance requirements and notification of service personnel via e-mail, SMS or push notification.

The automated real-time monitoring of the operating behaviour of devices, machines and processes, plus context-related information, allows for predictive and optimised maintenance. Faults and anomalies can also be detected and eliminated at an earlier stage.

These early warning systems can reduce downtime. Maintenance and service personnel can be scheduled more effectively, lowering operating and repair costs and reducing the risk of unanticipated damage.

Having knowledge of critical data therefore leads to increased plant efficiency and an improvement in production results.

Data transmission between the Cloud and the gateways is encrypted. The minimum standard is TLS encryption (https and SSL encryption). Only gateways registered at the IoT hub have access and are able to send and receive data. The data is stored on encrypted media.

Summary

Through the IIoT cloud solution, which has been specially developed for applications both in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technology (HVAC/R, ZIEHL-ABEGG offers a tailor-made portal solution with a range of individual functions and extensive development potential.

ZIEHL-ABEGG acts as a partner and offers an economically attractive opportunity to increase business value for manufacturers, suppliers and system operators. ZAbluegalaxy enables industrial companies to develop new data-based services and models and in this way to play an active role in shaping the digital transformation.

 

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