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Scania’s connected trucks boost productivity in mining

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By combining data from connected trucks with its lean production know-how, Scania aims to help mining companies boost their productivity.

Scania is no beginner when it comes to lean production methods. Already in the 1990s, the Swedish truck manufacturer partnered with Toyota of Japan to later go on and develop its own lean production system, with impressive results. “In the last 20 years, we have doubled our productivity, increasing production from three trucks per employee to six trucks per employee,” said Björn Windbladh, head of Scania Mining, to Industrial IoT 5G Insights. By combining information from connected trucks to its lean production know-how, Scania has developed Scania Site Optimization, a service offering designed to help mining operators improve their productivity by helping them identify waste and boost logistical flows.

Using data from geo-fenced connected mining vehicles, Scania Site Optimisation measures and evaluates five production performance factors: time, road, load, safety, and sustainability. Based on these factors, customers can then select a number of services, ranging from data reporting to outsourcing of their transport operation. In theory, large productivity gains can be achieved. “Productivity gains can reach at least 10 percent, and in theory up to 30 percent. In practice, some improvements are not always possible to implement and you need to concentrate on the most important things. And it is important to try and improve one productivity at a time because otherwise it can get difficult to know exactly which change increased productivity,” said Björn Windbladh.

New data-driven service offerings

As connected trucks enable new data-driven value-added services, Scania is gradually transitioning from being a product manufacturer to a provider of connected vehicle services. Scania Site Optimization is one such example, as Scania sells the service for a monthly fee and gets a share of the customer’s productivity gains. Scania has already signed a couple of customers to Scania Site Optimization, including Indian mining operator VPR Mining.

All vehicles produced by Scania today are connected. Right now, the manufacturer is transitioning wireless connectivity in its trucks from 2G to 3G, while also collaborating with Ericsson on 5G. Out of an installed base of 9,000-10,000 mining vehicles, about 1,000 are connected. “Our ambition is that all our vehicles will use data and subscribe to reports,” said Björn Windbladh. “We are also offering consultancy and advice services, as well as training and also outsourced logistics.”

Connected trucks and lean production know-how as key differentiators

The truck manufacturer established a dedicated business unit for mining in 2012. The unit generated an annual revenue of SEK 2.5 billion in 2015 and targets SEK 6 billion in annual revenue in 2021. There it competes with traditional truck manufacturers, such as Volvo and Mercedes, but also with the “big yellow truck” companies such as Caterpillar. “We want to integrate more with our customers’ operations. If we only stay a truck manufacturer, the Chinese will probably catch up with us some day. But with connected trucks like ours, we are ahead of the game,” said Windbladh.

Commodity prices in the mining sector have been falling a lot since 2012, affecting negatively the share prices of mining companies and pushing those to focus on cost-cutting. As prices stabilize, Scania believes now is a good time for mining operators to focus on better using their assets. “Mining companies now have their finances under control and it is time to get more efficient. This is where we think our lean production know-how is a unique selling point for us.”

IIoT News Recap: Wisekey and Bajaj Electricals to secure 100 million lighting products; Brazil to study public policies on IoT; Comcast plans LoRa-based IoT network rollout; India’s IoT market worth $15 billion by 2020

connected trucks

Security: Wisekey and Bajaj Electricals to secure 100 million lighting products

Switzerland-based cybersecurity company Wisekey has partnered with Bajaj Electricals (BEL), a leading consumer durable and lighting company in India, to create what Wisekey claims is the first-ever Internet of Things (IoT) trusted platform, the Wiselight IoT platform. In its first phase, the platform will connect approximately 100 million consumer and industrial products to a secure cloud, enabling a digitally certified ecosystem for connected objects. “No industry is being disrupted more than lighting by the Internet of Things, in the world market. It is estimated that there are 12 billion ‘end-points’ in homes, enterprises, industrial facilities and retail locations, making lighting the most ubiquitous network of connected devices on the planet and the perfect platform for IoT. Our cooperation with Wisekey will allow BEL to become a major IoT platform in India,” said Anant Bajaj, joint managing director of Bajaj Electricals in a statement.

IoT: Brazil to study public policies on IoT

Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications has awarded the Center for Research and Development in Telecommunications (CPqD), McKinsey Global Institute and law firm Pereira Neto Macedo a contract to study the development of public policies on the Internet of Things (IoT) in Brazil, in support of the country’s National Internet Plan of Things, 5G Ensure reports. The expected outcome of the research is a plan of action for Brazil for the period 2017-2022.

LPWAN: Comcast plans LoRa-based IoT network rollout

MachineQ is the name of a new “business trial venture” by Comcast in partnership with Semtech, that aims to build business-to-business solutions and a platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). As part of the venture, Comcast plans to roll out Semtech’s LoRa technology in network trials in Philadelphia and San Francisco later this year. “We believe the business-to-business segment of the Internet of Things market is going to expand rapidly over the next decade as businesses look to IoT-based technology to manage their businesses in a more effective and sophisticated manner,” said Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer at Comcast Cable. “Technologies such as LoRa are setting the stage for the era of connected devices, and we think our network potentially has a role to play in connecting the millions of internet-enabled devices deployed within enterprises.” If the initial trials prove successful, Comcast will commercially deploy LoRaWAN networks across its markets within the next 18 to 30 months.

Today’s forecast: India’s IoT market worth $15 billion by 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) market in India could reach a value of $15 billion by 2020, according to a new report by Nasscom and Deloitte, Money Control reports. In 2016, the IoT market in India will generate $5.6 billion with 200 million connected units. By 2020, the number of connected units is expected to grow to 2.7 billion.

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