Exclusive interview with Robert Bosch Ltd
We spoke to the Robert Bosch Ltd recently to understand more about their entry into the Product Innovation of the Year Award for its Bosch TRACI solution.
Can you tell us why you developed the product?
The UK Construction industry contributes around 7% of the UK's GDP. However, productivity is stagnant, and margins are low. The UK Government's Industrial Strategy released at the end of 2017 sets out a vision to boost overall productivity by supporting construction and infrastructure initiatives and projects. This underlines the importance of this sector to the overall economy of the UK. Digitalisation is ubiquitous and has transformed almost all aspects of life and industry today. However, to boost productivity, data-driven and cost-effective IoT solutions are needed.'
The Bosch Asset Tracing Solution, known as Bosch TRACI - is a Bosch IoT solution designed especially for the construction industry. TRACI enables and extends connectivity on a construction site to all types of plant that are of considerable economic value and essential to the effective running of a construction site.
What makes this product innovative?
The TRACI Tag is a standalone battery-powered tag that can be fitted to a machine, its attachment or any other asset type. Plant assets are expensive and impact profitability which means tracking them and knowing their utilisation is important. Customer feedback has indicated a need for an efficient and cost-effective asset tracking and utilisation monitoring solution.
Primary use cases are location, working status (still, idle, working), and operating hours. Add-on functionality and services like theft alert, maintenance alerts, condition monitoring can be derived from this basic data. Such data can be used to feed into BIM and help in a data-driven decision-making process.
Bosch TRACI is equipped with GPS, Acceleration, Temperature and Magnetic field sensors and connects using LoRa', Bluetooth and NFC. The tags are battery powered for complete autonomy and are designed for usage in harsh environments. In typical applications lifetime of the tag is expected to be between 3-6 years. Longer battery life can be achieved with reduced transmission intervals. The long battery life is due to smart software algorithms in the sensor which for example, only record data if the sensor has actually moved.'
A special feature of the Bosch TRACI is the use of LoRaWAN, an open IoT wireless standard to transmit encrypted data to Gateways, which in-turn send the data to the Bosch Cloud where it is decrypted again. This data from the Bosch cloud can be then shared with Customers via API's securely.
LoRa stands for Long Range and is a so-called Low Power Wide Area Network, abbreviated as LPWAN. The development of LoRaWAN is being driven forward in a worldwide alliance of many different Companies and Associations.
With the recent announcement of the collaboration between Digital Catapult's Things Connected and The Things Network (TNN), there is a now a growing free-to-use LoRaWAN network in the UK.'
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