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Advantech Utilizes WISE-PaaS/APM as a Service Framework to Promote High-Compatibility Device-to-Cloud Cold Chain Solutions

For many companies, asset performance management (APM) is an important part of Industry 4.0 and successful overall digital transformation. APM helps companies grasp the health status of various assets through the real-time collection of lifecycle data. This is combined with monitoring, diagnosis, warning, and prediction mechanisms. The system locates problems early, explores root causes, and, through control and tracking, continuously strengthens asset performance.

Given its importance, Advantech provides an APM service framework through the WISE-PaaS Industrial IoT cloud platform. Jamie Su, product manager for Advantech IoT.SENSE, says that users can freely define required performance indicators—such as alerts, utilization rate, OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness)—and then configure and calculate through WISE-PaaS/APM to reduce unexpected downtime, increase utilization, reduce operating costs, and improve production quality.

Su points out that in the past companies often faced bottlenecks when promoting asset performance management as the same set of data collection mechanisms could not be used due to the large number and differentiated nature of varied assets. To this end, Advantech designed a variety of Edge SRPs (Solution Ready Packages) to interface with different data sources: EdgeSync 360/EdgeLink to connect more than 200 Linux-based PLC devices; WebAccess/SCADA or WebAccess/HMI to connect more than 450 kinds of Windows-based PLC devices; EdgeSync 360/DeviceOn to manage IPCs generated by Advantech and monitor CPU/Disk/Memory operation status; and WISE-PaaS/EdgeX-API to monitor sensors (such as cold chain sensors, cameras, smart batteries, electronic cash drawers, and RFID) at smart hospitals or in the smart retail field. The heterogeneous data is then processed within uniform guidelines.

When the data is connected to WISE-PaaS Cloud, users can directly enable APM to provide a variety of micro-services, including device templates, asset evaluation, reports, notifications, events/alerts, Workflow/MES integration, and OTA APIs, without additional development—making it is easy to create a variety of Digital Twin Templates for the supervision and maintenance needs of fixed assets, mobile assets, fields, and permissions integration.

A large ship automation system supplier in mainland China liked the advantages WISE-PaaS/APM offered and installed ECU edge equipment and WISE-PaaS/EdgeLink software in their ships to collect data and upload APM in real time to meet the management needs of shipboard equipment. Paired with other tools—such as IoTSuite/Dashboard and IoTSuite/SaaS Composer to create management interfaces and apps—ship owners remotely monitored vessel information at all times.

EdgeX-API and north-south connector form a cold chain gateway

Using WISE-PaaS/APM was enough to produce multiple applications and the WISE-PaaS APM.Cold Chain (industrial app) was one of the representative projects. Yu Wang, system architect of Advantech IoT.SENSE, pointed out that the cold chain solution covered not only "cold" but also "hot” and was suitable for scenarios where it was necessary to control temperature and humidity. This included cold chain transport vehicles, hypermarkets/supermarkets, vaccine factories, plant factories, warehouses, wineries, semiconductor factories, and museums.

There are many edge devices used in these fields. Some are responsible for collecting power information whereas some are responsible for collecting temperature, humidity, and harmful gas data. Advantech provides WISE-PaaS/EdgeX-API with data acquisition software to allow users to host a large number of heterogeneous data on the WISE-PaaS Cloud through a unified, standardized API and data format to achieve consistent processing and presentation, and to realize diversified computing functions. For example, if a user determines that a freezer temperature above 18 degrees Celsius exceeds the standard then the formula can be configured in APM to construct a rule. Once deployed to a large number of freezer stations, the administrator can monitor the status of all freezers via the app.

Yu Wang added that, undeniably, rules cannot always effectively reflect the current status. At this time, the user can use the WISE-PaaS/AFS (AI Framework Service) defrost training model, then deploy the OTA function to the edge to perform reasoning, and then connect the APM and AFS to establish a more accurate device performance management method.

Gordon Chang, manager of Advantech Service-IoT Business Group, said that the core content of the WISE-PaaS cold chain solution is "WISE-PaaS/APM + EdgeX-API" as the latter uses container virtualization technology to package all software services into Docker microservices. This can be run on different operating systems and hardware devices and is crucial to successfully collecting data from different sources.

The gateway designed by Advantech for the cold chain solution is based on EdgeX-API technology, which includes EdgeX Core (covering data services, logging services, real-time event notification services, real-time event processing services). When facing southward (ground), a CC connector connects to the LoRa cold chain sensor. When facing northward (cloud), there is an APM connector which passes sensor data to the WISE-PaaS Cloud via the MQTT protocol.

With the help of Advantech's WISE-PaaS/APM, it is easy to break through barriers, extensively interface with diverse field devices and communication protocols, and provide large-volume equipment management and workflow integration templates across different fields. WISE-PaaS/APM can be combined with the WISE-PaaS/AFS to accelerate the development of device prognosis and AI applications. Users who wish to stay updated on energy consumption, utilization rates, and the OEE of each plant or production line in real time can now do so seamlessly.

Solution Diagram of WISE-PaaS APM.Cold Chain

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