The Internet of Things (IoT) is all about connecting physical objects to data networks to create business information and insights. Using IoT, it’s possible to monitor any object and answer two questions: where is it, and what’s happening to it?
Nexans, a world-leading cable manufacturer, is using IoT solutions to help its clients reduce costs and optimize working capital allocation.
For example, consider Nexans’ Connected Drums solution, which offers accurate, real-time pinpointing of the location of cable drums at any moment. Incorporating IoT into cable management has numerous advantages:
- GPS allows wire and cable reels to be tracked, thereby reducing losses and improving working capital
- 3D sensors detect rotation, making it possible to calculate how much cable remains on each reel and to reduce scrap
- GPS and temperature data provide insights into site conditions, allowing teams to be reassigned to other jobs if it’s too cold for cable laying
- Finally, GPS, 3D, and time-of-day data allow for theft detection in seconds
As well as communicating directly, the IoT devices used in Connected Drums are also linked to each other via a Bluetooth mesh network. If a reel is inside a building and unable to communicate directly, data is automatically leapfrogged onto the main network via a neighbouring reel.
Building tomorrow’s infrastructure and practices
The ability to deploy powerful, intelligent IoT devices has huge implications on infrastructure management and ways of working.
One of the most exciting developments Nexans is currently working on is digital twin technology — a real-time digital model of all of a company’s physical assets. The beauty of this technology is that it allows you not only to monitor your infrastructure, but also to create simulations, identify business opportunities, and prevent problems before they happen. IoT will have a huge impact on the development of digital twin because it provides accurate real-time data to drive the virtual model, allowing for industries to optimize their operations and the maintenance of physical assets, systems, and manufacturing processes.
Nexans is also testing augmented reality solutions using Microsoft HoloLens smart glasses to support remote assistance and training.
Solutions of this sort are part of Nexans’ vision for the future. Meanwhile, its customers are already benefitting from a growing range of digital services and solutions. As well as IoT, these include Smart Inventory Management (SIM) and Asset Electrical, its asset management solution for electrical grid operators.