IIC RA: Business Viewpoint

The initial project idea was conceived by the business development teams at Bosch Software Innovations, Tech Mahindra, and Bosch Rexroth; experts from the service domain and the “machine camp” worked together to create an exemplary use case in the area of connected industry and manufacturing. In the next step, Cisco added cloud-based localization services based on their managed routers, while Dassault Systèmes provided an environment for virtual product support.

Problem Statement

The joint team depicted the problem domain and key solution elements as per the figure below. The right-hand side of the figure shows the target customers – in this case, industries that produce complex products that need to be serviced in the field, such as airplanes, cars, or trains. The solution therefore targets the maintenance industry and should provide three major features, including the introduced tracking solution as well as asset management and dashboard capabilities (shown in the top-left part of the figure). An overview of the design and the partners involved is provided in the bottom-left pane of the figure. The IoT middleware is provided by Bosch Software Innovations and includes components for M2M/device connectivity, BPM/Business Process Management, and BRM/Business Rules Management. The integrated ESB connects to the systems from Dassault Systèmes and Cisco’s Prime Infrastructure. Technologies from MongoDB and Amazon Web Services are also used to provide data persistence as well as cloud-based hosting of the solution.

Track & Trace Overview

Track & Trace overview

Stakeholder Analysis

The key stakeholders are represented in the following figure. The assets/devices are hand-held nutrunners provided by Bosch Rexroth. These nutrunners are IP-enabled devices that include a local operating system that can be configured for different programs by the solution users. The enterprise services for these companies are provided as a cloud-based solution from Tech Mahindra. Companies use the provided services, such as smart indoor asset tracking or dashboard functionality, while devices are managed by and connected to the enterprise services. Depending on specific customer needs, the provider of the enterprise services can partner with different service providers to offer tracking, visualization, or tool hardware. In this case study, the testbed partners were Cisco for macro-level tracking, Haption for micro-level tracking, Dassault Systèmes for 3D visualization, with Rexroth providing the hand-held nutrunners.

Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder analysis

Site Survey

We decided to document a public “instance” of the Track & Trace testbed that was showcased at the keynote demonstration of Bosch ConnectedWorld 2015. Hence, the “factory shop floor” was represented by the audience hall of the BCC Berlin, Germany (http://bcc-berlin.de/en). Early visits to the site revealed that the location had more than 50 wireless Cisco routers installed that might be usable for macro-level localization within the building. Unfortunately, the running servers were incompatible with the required software from Cisco’s side, so we needed to install 12 additional routers to enable tracking of the nutrunners.

Site Survey

Site survey

The project partners visited the Bosch Rexroth production site early on to clarify possible issues regarding the assets (nutrunners) and also held several meetings focusing on the solution parts from Bosch Software Innovations, Cisco, and Dassault Systèmes. Several integration workshops took place at Tech Mahindra in Bengaluru, India.

Project Dimensions

After sketching out the core project ideas, the team worked on assessing the key project dimensions and comparing them with other existing projects. For the context of this book, we compared the Track & Trace testbed with three case studies introduced earlier: sFDA, CERN, and Daimler eCall.

  • Assets and Devices: It might be assumed that the Track & Trace testbed (which is designed for around 1,000 devices only) would have a lower complexity score for this dimension than the eCall project (which has to support millions of assets). However, this was not the case, as the Track & Trace testbed needs to address a very heterogeneous environment with many different tools from different manufacturers. Also, these tools can have complex on-board logic that needs to be integrated, increasing the complexity of the interfaces. However, Track & Trace scores lower compared to the requirements for structured field-data capturing from vehicle components (sFDA) and to the complexity of the assets found at CERN.
  • Communications & Connectivity: The team worked on the assumption that full Wi-Fi/Bluetooth integration would be available for the tools tracked with the solution. This integration will either be supported by on-board Wi-Fi controllers for IP-enabled devices that can push data or by iBeacon-style stickers attached to non-connected tools for tracking capabilities. Both technologies are used with advanced access points that can triangulate the position of the assets within a range of 30 cm to 1 m. It is thus more sophisticated than connecting via the existing CAN bus in the car or using integrated 3G components from mobile networks.
  • Backend Services: The planned backend services for Track & Trace introduce a complete shift in application strategy within factories. They have a high business complexity due to the introduction of new end-to-end processes that will disrupt numerous existing solutions. From the team’s perspective, the backend services are the most challenging part of the testbed.
  • Standards & Regulatory Compliance: Since the testbed needs to navigate regional-, industry-, and technology-specific regulatory requirements for wider adoption, the score for this dimension is comparable to the eCall solution. On the other hand, the current proposal relies on approved standards like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which should enable straightforward implementation.
  • Project Environment: The environment for the project has been classified as having medium complexity. While it is worked on as time-to-budget, the geographic distribution of the contributors and the highly technical skills required make it challenging.

Please note that the summary provided here is on a very high level. Please refer to www.enterprise-iot.org to download the full Excel template of Ignite | IoT Project Dimensions, which contains more than 40 detailed dimensions and their explanations.

Project Dimensions

Comparing Track & Trace with other projects by leveraging Ignite project dimensions