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NB-IoT raises the bar on crane connectivity

August 8, 2018

Konecranes has joined forces with Telia and RD-Velho to test a new Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) solution. NB-IoT is a promising technology that will help promote Konecranes’ vision of monitoring millions of devices.

NB-IoT is a new global standard for connecting to the internet of things, with networks now under construction and to be launched for commercial use in 2018. The wireless technology allows cranes to connect to a mobile network, collecting and communicating data through an easy-to-install sensor. 

The technology suits applications with low amounts of data that do not need to be transmitted in real time.

The NB-IoT sensor can collect a variety of information for different needs – for example, data on utilization rates, which are a decisive factor for maintenance planning. It can also be adjusted to report on fault situations, such as overheating and other safety-related issues. 

Effortless to install

Simply placing the sensor on the crane enables immediate connectivity and access to data. The sensor can also be installed on machines already in use.

Konecranes is now piloting NB-IoT on light crane systems. In the joint pilot, Telia and RD-Velho provide the infrastructure, software and electronics for Konecranes, ensuring that the mobile network can read and convert the signals to specific data types. 

The deep coverage and ubiquitous availability of mobile networks is what makes NB-IoT technology a great solution for collecting and communicating data in a smooth and cost-effective way. The technology is capable of enabling Konecranes to increase the number of remotely monitored devices significantly, and reliable crane data can further improve the visibility and safety of crane operations.

EXPERT: Matti Kemppainen has worked as Director of Research and Innovation at Konecranes since 2012.

 

Text: Alice Ahlström​
Photo: Konecranes

Key benefits

  1. NB-IoT technology provides excellent coverage at a reasonable cost.  
  2. Immediate access to important data, such as utilization rates, helps in forecasting maintenance needs and preventing safety issues. 
  3. The sensor can be placed directly on a crane without needing a base station or other systems.
  4. A global solution for monitoring – similar sensors can be installed anywhere.