Danfoss is the world’s leading manufacturer of frequency converters, focusing on product life cycle in addition to high-quality and rigorous testing. Based on Wapice’s IoT-TICKET® platform, the DrivePro® Remote Monitoring service of Danfoss is part of the company’s extensive portfolio of lifecycle services. The service is used globally, for example in China, Europe, South America and the United States.
Frequency converters are devices used to control the frequency and voltage of an electric motor’s power supply. The most common applications for these energy-saving heroes are fans, pumps and compressors. Therefore, frequency converters play a key role in almost all industrial processes and are widely used in ships and real estate properties, for example.
DrivePro® Remote Monitoring extends the life cycle of frequency converters
DrivePro® Remote Monitoring connects frequency converters to 24/7 monitoring with key benefits including:
- Rapid response to faults through immediate alerts
- Cost savings in maintenance (remote troubleshooting)
- No unforeseen downtime and higher availability
- More information on the operation of equipment and processes
Getting started with the service is easy since Danfoss provides the gateway device needed for data collection, configures the system and sets up user credentials for the browser-based service portal – the customer only needs to provide a network connection. The portal also works nicely on mobile devices.
Existing systems or customers’ own IoT platforms are no barrier to deploying the service, as DrivePro® Remote Monitoring can be integrated to send detailed information about the operation of the frequency converters to other platforms.
Remote Monitoring can offer a significant payback to the customer if even a single service visit to a challengingly located frequency converter can be avoided or optimised. Jarno Frusti, Product Manager responsible for the solution at Danfoss Drives, believes that future competition in the industry will focus on product lifecycle and the role of intelligent lifecycle services will be emphasised:
"Customers are interested in the operation of the frequency converter as part of their process, because streamlining the process with data increases their competitive advantage. We believe that data analytics will enable us to further develop and improve our maintenance services for frequency converters, for example by scheduling maintenance activities to coincide with service outages."
After much deliberation, the IoT-TICKET® platform was chosen
As a long-standing technology company, Danfoss had been piloting and conceptualising IoT-based solutions long before the introduction of IoT-TICKET®. Before choosing the platform, Danfoss Drives performed a comprehensive comparison of the various options for the remote monitoring of frequency converters and for the available business services.
"Building an IoT platform is by no means simple. We have seen that companies tend to underestimate the complexity of the big picture: putting together a large stack of technology is challenging in itself, but at the same time you should be able to assess the life cycle of the solution as a whole, in terms of risks and opportunities." -Simo Kekkonen, Head of IoT
Our comparison showed that Wapice’s IoT-TICKET® platform is by far the most agile way for us to get started. The choice was also supported by cloud independence: IoT-TICKET® can be installed in any commercial cloud environment. As a global business, we feel it is important that we can adapt to different customer requirements for cloud services when needed.
Simo Kekkonen, Head of IoT, Danfoss
Added value from partnership
IoT-TICKET® is an IoT platform developed by Wapice since 2005 that provides the tools needed to implement IoT applications as a service. The applications can be implemented by Wapice, or customers can build their own applications using the platform’s easy-to-use tools. In the case of Danfoss, development is carried out in close cooperation: While Wapice carries responsibility for developing the platform technology in line with Danfoss’ objectives, Danfoss experts are actively involved in building and customising the applications.
"We are constantly learning new things from Wapice. Partnership also means that you sometimes call things into question, take a stand and bring completely new ideas to the table. This happens with Wapice, and we have received from Wapice not only the IoT-TICKET® platform but also significant added value for our IoT development." -Simo Kekkonen, Head of IoT
Life cycle predictions with artificial intelligence
Currently, Danfoss and Wapice are expanding the use of artificial intelligence as part of the DrivePro® Remote Monitoring service. For example, historical data can be used to predict the remaining life of key components. In addition to predicting maintenance needs, more accurate data analysis provides Danfoss with even more detailed information on the behaviour of the frequency converters as part of the customer’s process, allowing the customer to be instructed on how to use the product optimally in the future.
Wapice developed the Data Analytics Suite add-on to enable the agile use of machine learning models as part of the IoT-TICKET® solution.
"The models built by a data scientist are different for each company and data set, but what they have in common is that they all aim at streamlining the use of artificial intelligence and make it an everyday tool. An application builder does not have to be a data scientist to be able to choose models for running on certain data," says Markus Mäkelä from Wapice.
Cooperation with Danfoss Drives has also been instructive for Wapice and provided development opportunities for both parties.
"Danfoss’ goals for the Industrial Internet are set high which suits us since the cooperation obliges us to continue to develop," Mäkelä sums up.
Article images: © Danfoss