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What is M2M and how might it work for me?

by / Tuesday, 11 February 2014 / Published in Latest posts, Real Time M2M and Data Communications

Machine to machine (M2M) refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices. 

An example of M2M in practice would be a device (such as a sensor, motor or meter) capturing an event (such as a temperature reading, motion activity, stock inventory levels). This can than be sent through a network (wireless, wired or a hybrid of both) to an application (software program) that translates the captured event into useful information (for example, items need to be restocked, temperature is too high, an intruder is detected).  M2M Diagram

Developments

Modern M2M communications have developed much further than a single point to point connection and evolved into an array of networks that can transmit data between industrial, enterprise and personal devices including PLCs, SCADA, HMIs, PCs, Laptops and handheld devices such as tablets and mobile phones.

The expansion of Internet Protocol (IP) networks means it is much simpler for M2M communication and opportunity to extend communications much further than the office, factory floor or warehouse.

These IP networks also allow a range of new opportunities and connections between consumers and businesses.

Applications

Hybrid wired & wireless networks are often deployed and may include a combination of Cellular routers, Wi Fi Bridges, Ethernet, Serial, Fibre Optic and even proprietary wireless radio devices. Careful planning and design of these networks can drastically improve production and efficiency for businesses.

For example, using Wireless Ethernet Bridges and Cellular Routers to update digital signage / billboards, allows advertisers to display different messages, based on time of day or day-of-week, and allows quick changes for messages, such as pricing changes, special offers, breaking news without having to send out an engineer or install wired communications – often requiring disruptive engineering works.

Another application is to use wireless technology to monitor energy production and metering, such as wind turbines and even domestic meters. This allows the owner of the devices to know if their systems are working correctly and also provides a method of gaining real-time machine information from the units, from one central location. This can be crucial in introducing efficiencies and managing billing and maintenance staff. This remote M2M communication also means engineers can complete updates and repairs to systems remotely via the technologies (3G/4G Routers, Wireless, Ethernet, Fibre and Serial).

Security, Retail, Industrial Automation, Telematics and In-Vehicle entertainment are key sectors where this technology is being widely utilised and signification innovations present for new business opportunities – primarily around the recent mass market deployment of 4G in the UK.

What next?

As more and more business and domestic processes are becoming automated, we have the opportunity to evaluate the efficiency of how we carry out specific daily ‘inefficient’ tasks and make informed decisions of how we would like to complete those tasks in the current and future connected world.

Stay Connected

At Adey Electronics our aim is that through Real Time M2M and Data Communications solutions we can ensure you have a smarter more efficient business.

To discuss any of the information or ideas in this newsletter and understand how Adey Electronics can support you with any M2M solutions please contact info@adeyelectronics.co.uk or ring +44 (0)1949 844 511

 

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