As the development of industry 4.0 and big data grows, smart manufacturing is gradually being adopted by factories of all sizes. To make manufacturing smarter, sensors, edge devices, gateways, and the cloud are needed to build up a system. The system can utilize manufacturing procedures by monitoring each process with sensors to measure data, gateways to collect data, and edge devices to analyze data. Furthermore, automated decision-making can be done with the adoption of AI-related solutions.
The scope of smart manufacturing includes but is not limited to big data processing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, 3D printing, and robotics. It can also be considered as a part of IoT (Internet of Things). According to Research and Markets, the global market for smart manufacturing will reach USD 589.98 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 12.4%, compared to USD 259.63 billion in 2021. Research and Markets points out that “a shift from operational technologies to effective artificial intelligence and data analytics is expected to emerge as a major market trend”.
2 Device Solutions for Smart Manufacturing Implementation
Xiamen Four-Faith Communication Technology, the technology solution provider of IoT, has provided the IoT LoRa modem and LoRaWAN gateway that can be applied to smart manufacturing. The IoT LoRa modem provides 5 I/O ports for various functions and transmits as far as 8 km with excellent anti-interference capability. Its power consumption can be lower than 5 mA at 12 VDC, and in the meantime, it supports wired RS232 and RS485 (or RS422) interfaces.
The LoRaWAN gateway F8926-GW can support LoRa, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, and 4G LTE wireless communications. Hence, it can connect to different nodes through LoRa and send data to servers through Wi-Fi. By being equipped with an industrial-grade 32-bit CPU, the LoRaWAN gateway has high performance in transferring and processing data. The embedded operating system makes it respond in real-time.
4 Component Solutions for Smart Manufacturing Implementation
1. Nuvoton NUC980 Microprocessor and NuMaker-IIoT-NUC980 Evaluation Board
The NUC980 microprocessor is designed for the industrial IoT gateway application. The abundant peripherals, which include 2 sets of camera interface, 10 UART ports, 2 Ethernet controllers, 2 USB2.0 ports, 4 CAN 2.0B bus, 4 I2C, 2 SPIs, 8 ADCs, etc., make it convenient to connect to various sensors and equipment. The NUC980 series provides LQFP64, LQFP128, and LQFP216 packages with 64 MB and 128 MB DDR-II memories, and its crypto engine supports AES and RSA functions.
The NuMaker-IIoT-NUC980 is an industrial IoT development platform for engineers to evaluate system development. This evaluation board uses the NUC980DK61Y microprocessor as the core with built-in 64 MB DDR memory and operates at up to 300 MHz. With 1Gb SPI NAND flash storage, it also contains rich interfaces including 1 10/100 Ethernet, 2 USB 2.0 ports, mono microphone input, stereo headphone output, Arduino compatible interfaces, and others. The NuMaker-IIoT-NUC980 supports embedded Linux OS that provides AWS Client, MQTT, and Web Server protocols.
2. REYAX RYLR998 LoRa module
A LoRa module can transmit data from sensors to a gateway, and a Wi-Fi module can transmit data from the gateway to the cloud. Wireless modules can be widely applied in smart factories for data transmission convenience. REYAX LoRa module RYLR998 is developed for applications that focus on stability and power saving, and smart manufacturing is a good use case.
With high interference immunity and low receive current, RYLR998 can transmit as long as 20 km in an interference-free environment, which is more than enough for factory usage. It operates at 868/915 MHz and is equipped with a Nuvoton M031FB0AE microcontroller and Semtech LoRa engine. Moreover, it is designed with the smart receiving power saving mode with 2.7mA average current, which indicates RYLR998 will save the power directly in the normal condition when it doesn’t need to transmit or receive data.
|Transmit mode current||140||mA||RFOP = +22dBm|
|Receive mode current||17.5||mA|
|Sleep mode current||15||uA||AT + MODE =1|
|Smart receiving power saving mode average current||0.02||2.7||5.5||mA||AT + MODE =2,3000,3000|
3. REYAX RYWB116 Wi-Fi module
RYWB116, the Wi-Fi module from REYAX, is another choice for smart manufacturing implementation. RYWB116 is compliant to single-spatial stream IEEE 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 5. The receiving sensitivity of Wi-Fi and BT can be as low as -98.5 and -95 dBm, respectively. Compared to other Wi-Fi modules, the power consumption of RYWB116 is super low with multiple power modes. It supports Client mode, Access Point mode (up to 8 clients), Concurrent Client and Access Point mode, and Enterprise Security.
|WLAN data transfer average current||270||mA||11 Mbps Tx|
|WLAN data receive average current||48.2||mA||72 Mbps Rx|
|BR/EDR TX active current, 3 Mbps EDR||140||mA||HP chain, Tx Power = Max|
|BR/EDR RX active current, 3 Mbps EDR||26.7||mA||HP chain|
|BLE TX active current||190||mA||HP chain, Tx Power = Max (20 dBm)|
|BLE RX active current||26.7||mA||HP chain|
|WLAN standby associated mode current||119||uA||DTIM = 3 Cisco Aironet AP|
|WLAN standby associated mode current||51||uA|
4. Arlitech AMPI Inductor Series
With low DCR, high Isat, and great heat dissipation, the AMPI series from Arlitech is commonly used in gateways and servers for smart manufacturing applications. Manufactured by metalcore, the high-frequency AMPI series can operate at up to 750 kHz and from -40°C to +125°C (including self-temperature rise). It is compact and low profile with a maximum height of 3 mm. Besides, the AMPI series is also RoHS compliant and certified with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001. Overall, it has the characteristics of low impedance, low power consumption, and high efficiency and performance.
Smart manufacturing is a huge topic, but the core concept of implementation is simple, to make the whole system stable and sustaining. All the solutions addressed above are suitable to be used in related applications. The IoT LoRa modem and LoRaWAN gateway from Xiamen Four-Faith Communication Technology, the NUC980 microprocessor and NuMaker-IIoT-NUC980 evaluation board from Nuvoton, the RYLR998 LoRa module and RYWB116 Wi-Fi module from REYAX, and the AMPI inductor series from Arlitech are available now at TECHDesign.
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