New types of networking III – “Facebook” for machines

New types of networking III – “Facebook” for machines 150 150 manu.mukundan

Current communication technology allows us to send and receive data, mostly independent of time and location. This is no longer a realization. In the meantime, the mobile use of e-mail is as natural as making a phone call.

Also the use of social networks on the road, surfing the Internet, video on demand, shopping and banking from a cell phone are no longer innovations for many people. They are rather activities of daily life. Is this the end of the development? No! We are probably only at the beginning of a multitude of innovations that may influence our everyday life in the near future. One of the prerequisites for this is a growing networking of the systems in our environment, combined with the willingness to let these systems communicate with each other.

An example: usually the owners or operators of oil-fired heating systems have the tanks refilled once a year. A single order in early autumn will probably be the least favorable alternative. On the one hand, the availability of supply capacities is limited, on the other hand, the market price is high as expected due to demand, and thirdly, possible quantity discounts cannot be perceived because the individual order quantity is simply too small. Alternatively, however, the individual heating systems in an area could compare the filling levels of their tanks with each other and determine the total quantity required and the ideal time for ordering on this basis. The quantity in turn could be determined from historical and expected future consumption data including a safety margin.

Also conceivable: all machines of one type – from washing machines, cars and commercial vehicles to production plants – transmit their activity profiles to a common platform. If sufficient data is available, it is possible to use this data to determine for each individual element whether a component is likely to fail. Thus, cost-intensive failures due to repairs could be replaced by planned maintenance and service work, operating costs would be reduced and the reliability of failures and planning would be increased.

At present, such standards exist only in rudimentary form, usually only within a company and then often only in the sense of an automated error message in the event of failure. In the future, as all types of technical devices are increasingly networked, a platform could be created that enables communication and data exchange between these devices, i.e. functions similarly to the social networks known today.