Small sized amplifier but high in performance

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced the industry’s smallest operational amplifier (op amp) and low-power comparators at 0.64 mm2. Being the first amplifiers in the compact X2SON package, the new TLV9061 op amp and TLV7011 family of comparators enable engineers to reduce their system size and cost.

The noticeable feature of the new amplifiers is that their size does not affect the performance. They offer high performance in a variety of Internet of Things (IoT), personal electronics and industrial applications, including mobile phones, wearables, optical modules, motor drives, smart grid and battery-powered systems.

As part of TI’s small-size amplifier portfolio these new devices enable engineers to design smaller systems, while maintaining high performance. They allow possibility of industry-leading package options and many of the world’s smallest op amps and comparators.

With a high gain bandwidth (GBW) of 10 MHz, fast slew rate at 6.5 V/µs and low-noise spectral density of 10 nV/√Hz, the TLV9061 op amp is designed for use in wide-bandwidth, high-performance systems. Additionally, both devices support rail-to-rail inputs with low-voltage operation down to 1.8 V, enabling ease-of-use in battery-powered applications.

In addition to its tiny size, the TLV9061 op amp also features integrated EMI filtering inputs. This helps provide resilient performance for systems prone to RF noise, while significantly reducing the need for external discrete circuitry.

Two times lower offset drift and typical input bias across a full temperature range, -40 to 125 degrees Celsius, creates a more precise signal chain solution compared to other small devices. With power as low as 335 nA and fast propagation delay down to 260 ns, the TLV7011 family of nano-power comparators enable low-power systems to monitor signals and respond quickly.

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Internet Of Things | IoT India

Miercom Verifies Performance of Enterprise Campus Infrastructure in a Cisco vs. Huawei Bake Off

Miercom’s evaluation found that while Cisco and Huawei both offer what appears to be comparable components for building a campus-wide, wireless and wired, network infrastructure, the side-by-side testing revealed that the Cisco package offers significant and important advantages that Huawei does not.
IoT – Cisco Blog

Orange Business Services Collaborates with Microsoft to Deliver IoT Solutions for Industrial Performance

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Collaboration helps enterprises exploit the power of Industry 4.0. Manufacturer e.l.m. leblanc boosts its customer satisfaction with joint solution.

Orange Business Services and Microsoft are collaborating to deliver large-scale, end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that boost the digital processes of companies in the manufacturing sector.

Enterprises can use the Orange modular IoT solution, Datavenue, strengthened by Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, to transition to Industry 4.0 and optimize the entire manufacturing value chain.

Through this collaboration, companies can take advantage of the combined expertise of Orange and Microsoft regarding data protection, as well as device and data management. This includes the opportunity to leverage Orange Business Services’ many IoT connectivity options, in particular LoRa. Use cases range from supply chain and smart inventory management to digital operations, such as predictive maintenance, employee safety and facility and equipment management.

Joint solution helps e.l.m. leblanc anticipate and better handle maintenance activities

For its long-term customer e.l.m. leblanc, Orange delivered a customized IoT platform on Microsoft Azure, which provides a tailored solution for remote monitoring, along with curative and predictive maintenance. Subsidiary of the Bosch Group, e.l.m. leblanc manufactures gas boilers and water-heaters since 1932. The company is a major player in the French housing and industrial markets for heating & cooling systems and hot water for sanitary use.

“Innovation is part of e.l.m. leblanc’s DNA, continuously providing our customers with new services and more comfort. We have a vision of a connected world where every heating system optimizes its energy performance to protect the environment. This ambition is illustrated in the Optibox solution for our connected boilers. e.l.m. leblanc has fully relied on Orange Business Services’ expertise to develop this solution. Using the Azure Cloud allows for high-level scalability and efficient machine learning solutions with reasonable costs,” said Philippe Laforge, chief executive of e.l.m. leblanc.

The remote monitoring solution collects the boiler’s data and alerts technicians of any malfunction. This allows for more efficient maintenance intervention, with fine-tuned predictions on the probable causes of failure based on real-time data analytics. Preemptive alerts can also be raised by the platform through predictive maintenance algorithms. Benefits include optimization of intervention processes, and increased end-customer satisfaction, thanks to innovative and responsive customer support.

Orange will demonstrate e.l.m. leblanc’s innovative predictive maintenance platform at the Microsoft Experience in Paris on 3-4 October 2017 and IoT Solutions World Congress 2017 in Barcelona from 3-5 October 2017.

Combined expertise delivers reliable, secure end-to-end IoT projects

With Datavenue, Orange Business Services offers a comprehensive set of solutions and services to securely manage IoT projects and their integration with information systems, providing:

  • certified connected devices best suited to the project’s use cases,
  • connectivity solutions (cellular 3G and 4G, LoRa, LTE M…),
  • a device and data management platform,
  • extensive expertise to manage the project from conception to implementation: consulting, development, data protection, integration, data analysis, maintenance, etc.

Datavenue boasts over 700 experts working on data and IoT projects, 14 million connected devices managed by Orange, and the capacity to handle over 160 million items of technical data per minute.

With its Azure IoT Suite, Microsoft offers a powerful and consistent software environment to facilitate setting up and scaling large device and data management projects. In order to accelerate the roll out of industrial projects, Azure IoT Suite provides pre-packaged solutions and allows companies to swiftly get familiar with the set-up and explore the most common IoT project scenarios (e.g. remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, connected factory).

The software environment provided by Microsoft will allow for the use of advanced solutions such as Cortana Intelligence Suite (advanced analytics and AI), Power BI (data visualization) and Mobile Apps (Xamarin) to ensure a flawless mobile user experience.

“This partnership between Orange and Microsoft is an important step in our growth strategy targeting the IoT and data analytics B2B market. By adding Azure IoT solutions to our Datavenue portfolio, we provide our customers with powerful software with the assurance that it will seamlessly integrate with Microsoft’s business applications, an industry standard. This partnership is a remarkable opportunity for us not just to expand our business, but also to contribute more actively to the development of the IoT market around the world,” said Beatrice Felder, executive vice president, Customer Experience, IoT and Analytics, Orange Business Services.

Maziar Zolghadr, Microsoft EMEA Director of Strategic Partnerships, said:
“Orange Business Services and Microsoft have been partners for several years. We are excited to engage in this new collaboration tackling the growing market of the Internet of Things.”

“With a partner such as Orange Business Services, we can offer a full end-to-end solution, relying on Orange expertise in IoT connectivity and particularly LoRa, and its proven know-how in integrating IT projects surrounding connected sensors and devices.”

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IoT Business News

Helping Employees Improve Performance

In a recent article in MIT Sloan Management Review, London-based leadership consultant Nik Kinley and Shlomo Ben-Hur, a professor of leadership and organizational behavior at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, argued that managers need to find better ways to help employees develop. The problem, they wrote in the summer 2017 issue, isn’t identifying which behaviors need improvement. Rather, it lies in helping employees change their behaviors — and making the changes stick. They noted that only 28% of the managers they surveyed felt confident about their ability to get employees to change their behavior. What’s more, Kinley and Ben-Hur observed, companies often focus on rewards and penalties instead of tapping into intrinsic motivation, which can be more effective.

Although the article struck a chord with many readers, several readers wanted concrete suggestions for improving the performance management process. Soumen Sarkar, an educational technology entrepreneur in Bangalore, India, commented that changes in performance management are always accompanied by the “promise of improving objectivity, transparency, and efficiency…. However, every year both the managers and the employees dread when the time comes for” performance appraisals. Aaron Peterson, a strategic management analyst in Tempe, Arizona, sought specific guidance. “I understand intrinsic motivation, but as a manager, how do I help an employee tap into that resource if they aren’t already doing so?”

We invited authors Kinley and Ben-Hur to respond. “The dread many managers feel is understandable,” they wrote, “but it can be minimized when you have something concrete and useful to help direct reports improve their performance. Many managers either don’t talk about how employees can improve their performance or jump straight to what people need to change, without offering much in the way of suggestions for how. What we have found is that to genuinely help people improve their performance, managers need to do two things. First, they need to understand the inner and outer context for people’s performance — why they are performing the way they are. After that, they need to offer practical ideas for improvement.”

Kinley and Ben-Hur developed a model to help managers diagnose which elements of an individual’s context most influence performance. Although they didn’t have space in the article to go into depth on improvement ideas, their book Changing Employee Behavior: A Practical Guide for Managers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) includes a variety of techniques drawn from fields such as behavioral and cognitive psychology, as well as behavioral economics. “For example, we show how giving someone a broader sense of choice can improve their motivation,” the authors noted. “We show how knowing whether the person is driven by a desire for competence or a sense of challenge can help managers frame opportunities. Even slight changes in how managers describe the relevance of tasks or how they deliver praise can make huge differences.”

“Getting performance management right is an old challenge,” Kinley and Ben-Hur observed. “Most managers focus more on the ratings than on the conversations. In our view, meaningful progress cannot be made until greater emphasis is placed on the quality of conversations that managers have with their direct reports.”


MIT Sloan Management Review

Track asset performance using real-time health scores

As we learned in last week’s post from Kansas City BPU, providing clean, safe water to a large community is a cumbersome task. This post will dive into how one regional water supplier tracks asset performance using real-time health scores. Using data from IoT sensors, they can produce a sustainable, reliable water supply for their community, and improve the lifespan of their most critical assets.

A complex system makes performance monitoring difficult

This supplier owns 174 wells across fifteen well-fields, eleven treatment facilities, eight pumping stations, 240 miles of large diameter pipe, and a large reservoir storage. The reservoir storage is critical during the driest months to maintain supply to customers with limited or no interruption. It is a complex system to manage and optimize. It is important to have a solid grasp of the assets that power their wells, facilities, and stations, as well as the performance and health of these assets.

water reservoir

The storage reservoir used to hold the water supply required during the dry months. Source: Reliabilityweb.com

Today’s assessments are condition-based

Like many organizations, asset assessments are done based on condition. Every 3-8 years, the assets are visited and a formal assessment is performed. Using an in-house designed program, one questionnaire per asset type is produced, and this, in combination with photos, is how the status is documented and performance monitored. These assessments are stored in a database and fed into the system that determines when, and if, an asset will be renewed or replaced.

For a safety pump, for example, the types of questions on the questionnaire may include (among others):

  • Are all safety guards present?
  • Is there excessive noise?
  • Is there excessive vibration?
  • Are there any leaks?
  • Is the pump missing any components?
  • Is there unusual smell or heat?
  • Does it meet capacity needs?
  • Is there any corrosion?

Using the data collected, the system can utilize condition information, along with baseline expected asset life and failure curves, to project capital costs that will be needed in the future.

capital budget planning

Projected cost of assets over a 5-year period can help determine capital budget planning.

Moving to Maximo & real-time health scores

The current model is fairly effective but it is neither agile nor predictive. Inspections are years apart, pumps or pipes can go down because maintenance is not performed quickly enough to avoid failure, and recommendations for capital investments are not based on real-time data. The information collected could be months old when it is used to make decisions.

Using real-time condition monitoring by placing IoT sensors on all assets, this supplier monitors data points such as vibration, temperature, battery level and run-time. This data is then input into Maximo. Maximo is the world’s leading enterprise asset management solution, powering nearly every asset-intensive industry in the world. By supplementing their current condition assessments with this sensor data, they perform mini-assessments on a month-to-month basis, rather than every 3-8 years. They can also calculate the remaining useful life of the asset using Maximo. This shift provides them the ability to make better decisions about weekly workload prioritization and capital expenditures.  It also helps in reducing asset failures.

mahi performance dashboard

MAHI dashboard highlighting the asset health map. Source: Reliabilityweb.com

From prototype to Maximo Asset Health Insights (MAHI)

Using the IoT for preventive maintenance, you can improve asset maintenance and reduce the potential for failures. MAHI, IBM’s asset health scoring tool, does that for this water supplier. They piloted 45 assets in MAHI, including a mixture of pumps, generators, and motors across multiple sites. They standardized the condition assessment questionnaires, collected meter readings more frequently, incorporated mini-assessments into worker job plans, and determined where data feeds could replace subjective questions. After completing a successful pilot program, this supplier is now eager to expand the program to include an additional 2400 assets.

Learn more about preventive maintenance and MAHI

Read this Aberdeen report on why best-in-class firms are maintaining their most critical assets with EAM & IoT.

Take the first steps towards understanding IoT for Preventative Maintenance.

Learn more about Maximo by experiencing an interactive demo.

References and images for this use case and Kansas City BPU used by permission: MaximoWorld by Reliabilityweb.com.

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