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Category "Industry 4.0"


Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding

by Team Digireach

The maintenance of maximum service reliability has always been the primary concern of the electric utility industry. To ensure this, power systems are always designed and operated such that working is not affected in any system conditions and load requirements are always met. Usually the designing is such that it can hold up service continuity even under emergency situations, but sometimes, unpredictable conditions of faults, forced outages, etc. may occur. When this happens, it is important to ensure that steps are taken to ensure that a major system outage doesn’t occur.

Any part of a power system will begin to deteriorate if there is an excess of load over available generation. If there is an excess of load over generation ratio, the frequency decreases. It is generally recognised that a sudden drop in generating capacity results in a drop in frequency. This drop is not immediate, but rather, happens gradually.

One way to attain the balance between generation and load, before the decaying frequency affects performance, is to increase generation. However this isn’t always possible practically due to system limitations or due to time constraints. So, a more common method is to employ Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS). What this does is that it employs a quick and effective means of attaining a balance of generation and load. The application of AUFLS relays throughout the load area, preset to drop increments of load at specific values of low frequency, provides a simple and direct method of minimizing service interruption and alleviating system overloads.

The Load Shedding function provides under-frequency protection at the main distribution substation. As system frequency decreases, load is disconnected in discrete steps according to frequency thresholds. Protective relays are used for automatic gradually under-frequency load shedding. Under and over-frequency relays are specified by frequency settings and delays. And all this can be incorporated by using IoT Gateway which requires minimum system integration and is fully compatible with most of the applications.


IoT in Utilities

by Team Digireach


IoT is considered as the next industrial revolution, Industry 4.0. The concept of IoT is to develop advanced solutions and services, enhance productivity & efficiency, solve critical problems, and improve real-time decisions. IoT is changing industry business models, and the utility industry is investing in IoT technology to transform its operations and enhance customer experience. IoT connected utilities can monitor and regulate operations in real-time to maximize efficiency and perform preventive maintenance. Moreover, IoT accelerates digital transformation in utilities.

Implementation of IoT can drastically change the direction the utility industry is headed towards. Many utility companies are on the verge if adopting IoT. Simply the investment in smart grid, smart meters, and home automation can allow utility companies to comprehensively recapture the energy industry and drive top-line growth.

When the utility industry adopts IoT, it connects with the consumer, with the grid, with the world, on a whole new scale. There’s a huge influx of data that can be harnessed to improve services. Companies can utilize smart meters and grids to optimize how the power is distributed. These systems enable greater forecasting capabilities, thereby driving down costs of generation through more efficient scheduling and reliability in the grid, as well as enabling customers to foresee spending patterns and better plan their energy usage over time.

A few applications and benefits of IoT in utilities:

  1. Smart meters are IoT-connected sensors on consumer utility lines. These report data back directly to the company, enabling real-time monitoring and analyzing of data. This can also alert company of maintenance issues and help resolve issues quicker.
  2. Condition-based maintenance routines can be improved by utilities using sensors which measure performance. Data is collected via communication networks to pinpoint problems and predict possible issues using analytics.
  3. Smart buildingscan control light and temperature in real time for maximum comfort and efficiency using interconnected sensors and building control systems.
  4. Precise water irrigation systemswith IoT sensors, including trickle and subsurface methods, greatly reduce water consumption and have the ability to integrate with utility demand response systems.

IoT in Textile Industry

by Team Digireach

The textile industry has come a long way from the old handcrafting days, but it still has a huge potential for progress. As an industry which used to be highly labor intensive but has now achieved a high degree of automation, textile has been and will continue to be at the forefront of the adoption of new technologies.

Foremost among these new technologies is Internet of Things (IoT). Being an industry which relies heavily on fine details such as equipment monitoring, stock management for dyes and raw material, supply chain visibility, workforce management and coordination, and analysis, textile is the most suited industry for digital transformation.

Scope of IoT innovations in Textile Industry-

  1. Factory Operations Monitoring- Factory environment parameters such as humidity, temperature, etc., can seriously affect the quality of fabric and thereby the entire manufacturing process. Using sensors connected to the cloud, we can keep track of these conditions and regulate them, as necessary, using air conditioners, de humidifiers, etc.
  2. Equipment Maintenance- Machine properties and outputs can be synced to cloud data and monitored in real time. Necessary periodic and/or preventive maintenance can also be set to trigger when certain conditions are met.
  3. Energy/ Efficiency – The energy consumed in each of the machines can be monitored. Data can be collected and algorithm can be fad into the system to determine the efficiency of each of the unit. This would enable to do proper planning and lead to better efficiency.

While there is a huge scope for progress, there are also challenges which have to be overcome to make IoT in textile industry a reality-

  • Connection overhead and huge bandwidth consumption of multiple weaving machines connected over Ethernet
  • Administration and management of voluminous structured and unstructured data
  • Compatibility of ERP and Operations, Administration & Management System with IoT Service Management Platform
  • With huge amounts of data transferred online every second, the biggest challenge to IoT platforms is security and data protection.

If these challenges can be dealt with successfully textile industry can be optimized to its full potential with the incorporation of IoT.


Deployment of IoT

by Team Digireach

The Internet of Things (IoT), also sometimes referred to as the Internet of Everything (IoE), consists of all the web-enabled devices that collect, send and act on data they acquire from their surrounding environments using embedded sensors, processors and communication hardware. These devices, often called “connected” or “smart” devices, can sometimes talk to other related devices, a process called machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. This technology allows for a level of real-time information that we’ve never had before. We can monitor our homes and offices remotely to keep them safe and efficient. Businesses can improve processes to increase productivity and reduce material waste and unforeseen downtime. Sensors in city infrastructure can help reduce road congestion and warn us when infrastructure is in danger of crumbling.

However while this may sound simple enough, its proper deployment is anything but that. An IoT deployment is a process. Unless a business undertakes and completes each part of the process, the deployment will be rich with problems as well as data. Around the world, businesses of many sizes are hitting roadblocks because their IoT deployment is delayed, stalled, refused to work as designed, failed to pass regulatory requirements or didn’t deliver the expected results–sometimes all the above.

  1. Planning- The first step to a good IoT deployment is its planning. This is more about the vision that the management team has in mind about the project than the actual technological aspect of IoT. The management team needs to have a clear grasp of what they and the project have to deliver or the project will be doomed to a premature and unfinished end.
  2. Designing- After setting business goals, designing a compliant network that will deliver them is the second stage. A thorough network design and specification needs to cover the schematic of the network, the choice of components, their locations and identify any issues that might crop up at any point.
  3. Certification- Cellular based IoT deployments also require certain certifications and clearances for the network as well as the devices on it.  Ensuring devices are approved is vital to get the regulatory and carrier sign-offs that mean your deployment can go live.
  4. Testing- No deployment can go live without a thorough period of testing. Testing should not just be about the technology. It is important also to check against the original business goals.

When this process is complete you get to the fifth and final stage where an IoT deployment begins a digital transformation, improves operational efficiency, cuts costs, drives revenues and unlocks profitability.


Why IIoT?

by Team Digireach

IoT (Internet of Things) is the future. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a subset of the Internet of Things (IoT). It is basically collecting data/ information from the field through sensors relying it to the cloud using an IoT gateway. The data is then stored in the cloud storages and analysed and used as per the requirement of the user.

A lot of industry sectors come under the gambit of IIoT. Energy, electricity, manufacturing, logistics etc. are in the nascent stage of deploying IIoT to garner the benefits. Financial benefits of fine-tuning the services by deploying IIoT can run into billions of dollars.

The advantages of IIoT:

  • Better Connectivity: The production personnel will always be aware of the flow of manufacturing at their plant. Individual efficiency of an equipment or a personnel can be tracked.
  • Better deployment: The bottlenecks and efficiency in a plant equipment can be readily read from the data collected. Efficient deployment of the resources can lead to increase to better productivity and less wastage of time.
  • Zero idle time: A constant track of resources and their usage. In a large factory it happens a lot of time that the resources remain idle which effectively is down-time for the production process.
  • Accuracy/ Quality: Automated tracking of the production process and removing manual intervention can lead to better quality of end-products.
  • Safety and repair: Limited manual intervention leads to better safety standards. Preventive detection of failure patterns can lead to timely intervention and service of the equipment. This leads to reduced downtime.
  • Logistics: The Industrial IoT (IIoT) can provide access to real-time supply chain information by deploying sensors at the different vital points in the value chain. A lot of the manufacturing plants have an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) at their manufacturing plant. Effective reporting enables manufacturers to collect and feed delivery information into ERP. By connecting plants to suppliers, all the parties concerned with the supply chain can trace inter-dependencies, material flow and manufacturing cycle times. This data will help potentially reduces capital requirements, manufacturers predict issues, reduces inventory and
  • Cost savings: All the points mentioned above ultimately lead to reduction in the cost of manufacturing.

Another industry term which is interchangeably used with IIoT is Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is the current stage of the industrial revolution. It represents the use of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), in manufacturing. Industry 4.0 focuses on the use of the cloud, gateways and communication networks to monitor factory processes and make data-based decisions.


Future of electricity

by Team Digireach

Electricity is the basis on which civilization thrives. We can’t even imagine a world just about 100 years ago which was devoid of electricity. Every development in the past century has been made possible due to power. We have reached a stage where power is a given. Now, the competition is on the quality of electricity.

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First step towards Smart grid

by Team Digireach

The world is now moving towards Electricity 4.0. Energy efficiency is an inherent component of Industry 4.0. A smart grid which monitors the inflow and outflow of energy data collected through strategically placed sensors is the first step in realizing Electricity 4.0.

Various parameters as mentioned below track the usage of energy, both from a quantity and quality perspective.

1. SAIFI (System Average Interruption Frequency Index)
SAIFI is measured in units of interruptions per customer. It is usually measured over the course of a year, and according to IEEE Standard 1366-1998 the median value for North American utilities is approximately 1.10 interruptions per customer.

2. SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index)
SAIDI is measured in units of time, often minutes or hours. It is usually measured over the course of a year, and according to IEEE Standard 1366-1998 the median value for North American utilities is approximately 1.50 hours.

3. CAIFI (Customer Average Interruption Frequency Index)
CAIFI is designed to show trends in customers interrupted and helps to show the number of customers affected out of the whole customer base.

4. CAIDI (Customer Average Interruption Duration Index )
CAIDI gives the average outage duration that any given customer would experience. CAIDI can also be viewed as the average restoration time.
CAIDI is measured in units of time, often minutes or hours. It is usually measured over the course of a year, and according to IEEE Standard 1366-1998 the median value for North American utilities is approximately 1.36 hours.

5. MAIFI (Momentary Average Interruption Frequency Index)
MAIFI is useful for tracking momentary power outages, or “blinks,” that can be hidden or misrepresented by an overall outage duration index like SAIDI or SAIFI.

All these are reliability indicators used by electric power utilities.
The availability and reliability of electricity is crucial and an interruption or diminished quality would lead to serious consequences.

Power disturbances/blackouts or poor quality power impact critical power buildings on the level of business continuity, costs, safety or all of these.

The ultimate aim of Electricity 4.0 is to enhance maintenance and minimize disruptions. Tracking the indices listed above helps to monitor these important data points. Necessary alterations can be made as necessary once these data is available with the concerned authorities.

Power is the backbone of the industry. It is extremely important to make the foundations sturdy before we venture into implementing Industry 4.0 in other segments. A failure in a critical component in the manufacturing process results in enormous costs, so do issues with regards to electricity and power.


Electricity Reliability Indices

by Team Digireach

We are entering an energy intensive world. It is very important to keep track of the energy utilized by the consumers so that necessary action can be taken to optimize it’s usage. There are various reliability indices which help us in determining the efficiency of distribution system.

SAIFI is the average number of sustained interruptions per consumer during the year. It is the ratio of the annual number of interruptions to the number of consumers.

SAIFI = (Total number of sustained interruptions in a year) / (Total number of consumers)

SAIDI is the average duration of interruptions per consumers during the year. It is the ratio of the annual duration of interruptions (sustained) to the number of consumers. If duration is specified in minutes, SAIDI is given as consumer minutes.

SAIDI = Total duration of sustained interruptions in a year / total number of consumers

CAIFI is the average number of interruptions for consumers who experience interruptions during the year. It is the ratio of the annual number of interruptions to the number of consumers affected by interruptions during the year. Consumer is counted only once regardless of the number of interruptions.

CAIFI = Total number of sustained interruptions in a year/Total number of consumers affected.

CAIDI is the average duration of an interruption, calculated based on the total number of sustained interruptions in a year. It is the ratio of the total duration of interruptions to the total number of interruptions during the year.

CAIDI = Total duration of sustained interruptions in a year/total number of interruptions.

MAIFI is the average number of momentary (less than 5 minutes) interruptions per consumer during the year. It is the ratio of the annual number of momentary interruptions to the number of consumers.

MAIFI = (Total number of momentary interruptions in a year ) / (Total number of consumers)

The above indices are the commonly used parameters used to judge the reliability for electricity generation, transmission and distribution. These outage indices are based on the duration of each power supply interruption & the frequency of interruption. It is clear that all three major functional components of the power system – generation, transmission & distribution contribute to reliability.

IoT and monitoring of electrical parameters enables to keep track of the various energy parameters which can be used to further judge the reliability of electricity distribution. The tariff can be adjusted according to this reliability indices. It would be a win-win situation for the all the stakeholders in electricity domain. Also, the end consumers will be benefited and charged according to the quality of power delivered. It would be a step towards Electricity 4.0.


Do Solar panels and Smart meters make good partners?

by Team Digireach

By now, we’ve all heard about the Internet of Things. This concept involves connecting mundane devices to a grid, thus enabling them to communicate either with each other or a central base.

IoT is user friendly. The daunting factor of technology is omitted by the simple measure of providing an interface that compacts heavy technological information into short, precise capsules that can be accessed with just one click. Mobile phones are the most popular choices for the interface but there are a lot of options that are available to suit different needs.

IoT’s biggest achievement is the ability to monitor devices remotely and take the necessary actions. The ramifications of this power is astounding. For one, it gives us a way to solve the current crisis of global warming that could mean the end of our existence by enabling us to use inexhaustible sources of energy like Solar power. Solar panels require constant maintenance and checks to function smoothly which is impractical in terms of cost labour and viability. Remote monitoring changes that scenario drastically.

With the increasing popularity of smart meters provided with the current electricity supply system, it was only natural for solar companies to also jump on to the bandwagon and provide customers with its myriad benefits.

So what are the advantages of smart meters?

It is installed at no extra cost.

It saves time and human resources by eliminating the need to manually check meters.

Smart meters give an exact record of electricity used and hence allows companies to charge accordingly as opposed to bills calculated on estimated usage.

But how beneficial has this really been for solar energy users?

While solar panels and smart meters are definitely compatible, there have been issues that have resulted in irate customers.

Foremost among the complaints are that bills are calculated on the basis of estimated usage or on the amount of electricity supplied. This happens because supplier does not get accurate export data from the network that connects them to customers’ smart meters. As a result, bills get doubled or tripled.

Getting a smart meter installed isn’t compulsory. You can hang on to your old meters as long as they function well.

But all hope is not lost. The benefits of smart meters can still be accessed with the help of the Internet of Things.

With IoT’s characteristic detailed monitoring and hyper alertness for any discrepancies, it is possible for solar energy providers to circumvent the problems of inaccurate billing. The quality of service and billing accuracy really depends on the supplier you choose so always ensure that you research your solar energy provider in detail.