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case study mann hummelSource: Benjamin Stollenberg

The world’s population is growing and becoming more urbanized. This makes building and maintaining liveable cities one of the most pressing technological challenges facing us. We need smarter approaches to everything we do, right down to managing the air we breathe and water we drink.

Of course, it’s not only that there are more of us, and we are all moving into cities. We also demand a certain quality of life. Governments are paying attention, enacting legislation to improve air and water quality.

The Asian region faces some of the biggest challenges in creating liveable and sustainable cities. Local organizations can create solutions that will appeal throughout the region. There’s also an opportunity to take it global.

MANN+HUMMEL is investing in new approaches to addressing these issues. Its Internet of Things (IoT) Lab in Singapore is part of an initiative for smarter cleaning technologies. Intelligent solutions use filters to collect data. This feeds analytics that help optimize cleaning performance and increase efficiencies. It also means reducing potential failures and resulting outages, as problems can be addressed before they happen.

Where to start?

The IoT means creating a network of sensor-enabled devices to feed data to a cloud platform, where it accumulates for analysis. So it’s crucial you can manage the connectivity and functionality of what may grow to billions of field devices.

Obviously, you need a robust remote device management at the core to enable IoT. Otherwise, you can’t operate at enterprise scale, with varying hardware configurations across multiple sites. You may also want to read my colleague Ansley Yeo’s earlier post which delves deeper into the reasons why device management is critical.

IoT device management is the first step

Ask MANN+HUMMEL. The field trials for its OurAir intelligent air solutions and associated roll-out will use 200 devices. But its solution is for industrial-grade IoT applications and it plans to add 20,000 devices a year. A variety of local sensors feed backend applications that collect the telemetry data, that is available using AWS cloud platform.

The main challenge in IoT deployments is the range of hardware and software components. Getting them to play well together is key. There’s no point creating a highly-connected network of smart devices if you need to manually manage each one. It’s time-consuming and potentially expensive. Consequently, MANN+HUMMEL turned to Bosch IoT Remote Manager to address this issue.

A Mann+Hummel vehicle featuring different connected filter systems Source: Benjamin Stollenberg
MANN+HUMMEL tests filters for the reduction of fine dust pollution caused by vehicles. The vehicle features three applications: A filter on the roof separates particulate matter from the ambient air. An innovative cabin air filter protects vehicle occupants. Furthermore, a newly developed brake dust particle filter will prevent particles from entering the environment.

The cloud to the rescue

A cloud-based managed service, it takes the sting out of wrangling diversity and scale. Operators create logical groupings of devices based on business needs. From here they create rules and tasks to automate most operations.

The Bosch IoT Gateway Agent is a lightweight device management software residing within the edge device. It connects at intervals to the Bosch IoT Remote Manager to create a centralized user interface. It can remotely monitor the device fleet, create relevant groupings, adapt device configurations and push software updates. This provides comprehensive visibility, driving greater operational efficiencies. That’s on top of the actual time and cost savings from using a single point to manage its system.

Portrait of HC Ho, Head of MANN+HUMMEL IoT Lab in Singapore Source: Mann+Hummel
HC Ho, Head of MANN+HUMMEL IoT Lab in Singapore
"The complex nature of IoT systems is such that there is no one-size-fits-all solution especially for specialized industries like ours. Our filters are very varied depending on the specific use case and require individual solutions to successfully digitize our business operations worldwide. This results in a huge number of different devices that will eventually spread across the globe. These need to be efficiently managed. Professional remote device management is an indispensable part of a comprehensive IoT solution for us."
HC Ho, Head of MANN+HUMMEL IoT Lab in Singapore

An elegant solution for IoT device management

Clearly, leveraging an existing device management solution solves this issue. Implementation without changing existing software code minimizes disruption and frees MANN+HUMMEL to focus on further business application development.

Bosch IoT Suite and AWS technical solution architecture for IoT device management Source: Bosch Software Innovations

The cost of maintaining enough network bandwidth for millions of connected devices around the world can add up. But this project demonstrates another way. There’s no doubt that working with a partner who understands best practice allows you to optimize the device management connectivity layer.

"The value of partnerships like the one we have with Bosch Software Innovations is not just technical and industrial expertise. It’s the assurance that every consideration made is in the best interest of our business and based on a thorough understanding of our objectives."
HC Ho, Head of MANN+HUMMEL IoT Lab in Singapore

For many businesses, the transition to an IoT ecosystem is a massive undertaking. It is especially important to pay equal attention to areas such as device management, sensor interoperability and operations. This will ensure a successful transformation. Consequently, if you get that under control, then IoT will be a breath of fresh air for you and your business.

More information on IoT device management

More than 250 IoT projects cannot prove wrong. Ansley Yeo explains why device management is the key to future-proof IoT deployments.

Remotely managing and controlling devices: The Bosch IoT Suite provides IoT-specific cloud services for getting devices connected, managed, controlled, and updated easily.

Read our guide to IoT device life-cycle management and find out why it is critical for a successful IoT implementation.

The Bosch IoT Suite's device management capabilities are rated "best in class". Register here for the full analyst report.

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