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Asset Management Use Case

Samsung ARTIK™ powers asset management solutions

The Intellisite Industrial IoT Platform

Introduction: The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing Industrie 4.0 processes.

IoT hardware and software can connect factory assets and building resources to the cloud, allowing factory owners and building operators to collect accurate and timely data about mobile or fixed assets to inform tactical and strategic business decisions. Companies can improve asset performance, predict and respond to machine breakdowns, and guarantee assets are being used correctly, all of which helps minimize overall asset lifetime costs and increases organizational efficiencies.

The Samsung ARTIK™ IoT platform provides an ideal solution for companies to more easily enable intelligence and connectivity for new or legacy assets. Pre-certified, production and cloud-ready ARTIK system-on-modules include integrated processors, memory, multi-protocol radios, end-to-end security, and pre-integrated software to power everything from simple IoT edge nodes to enterprise-grade gateways and smart devices capable of edge analytics. This integrated approach reduces both development time and costs for connected products.

What’s under the hood?

This use case demonstrates how ARTIK, in particular the ARTIK 710 module, can enable local and remote asset monitoring solutions critical to more efficient business operations. The ARTIK 710 includes a highly-secure processor, memory, hardware and software. Multiple radios (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Thread) support gateway applications which can collect and process data from multiple sensors using different protocols and then transmit pre-processed information to the cloud.

Managing 42,000 refrigerators distributed over 50,000 square kilometers

A major beverage distributor in Costa Rica loans refrigerators to their resellers—a major resource investment. The distributor’s entire business model is based on selling cold drinks in a hot climate, so if a reseller has a broken refrigerator—or no refrigerator at all—this is the loss of an entire point-of-sale.

The distributor has placed 42,000 refrigerators in shops, restaurants, and bars around the country. The operating environment is often harsh and refrigerators have to work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In the past, regularly-scheduled, rolling maintenance inspections were the norm as there was no way to know whether any individual refrigerator required repairs. This meant that a lot of fully-functional refrigerators were inspected needlessly, wasting time and money.

An IoT-based solution could allow a fleet manager to monitor individual devices in real time using cloud-based data storage and analytics. As a result, maintenance calls can be scheduled only when a device begins to operate outside of one or more key parameters.

How to make refrigerators smart

The distributor chose the IntelliSite Industrial IoT Platform as the basis for their solution. Each refrigerator is outfitted with a range of sensors and a RushUp Kitra GTI industrial gateway, built on the ARTIK 710 module. The KITRA GTI acts as an IoT gateway, sensor hub and controller to provide local control and measurement, connectivity and remote device management. This allows the distributor to track and analyze the state of their entire refrigerator fleet. By leveraging the two-way cloud connection, settings adjustments and other updates can be sent to individual refrigerators in the field to fine-tune performance.

The deployment of smart refrigerators had an immediate impact on business operations: there were far fewer unexpected breakdowns, regularly-scheduled maintenance was replaced with as-needed maintenance, fewer units were stolen, operational costs dropped, and customers were happier.

The distributor also gained unexpected insights into its customers’ sales cycles and refrigerator use just by knowing the times and frequencies when refrigerator doors were opened, either to sell or stock product.


Each refrigerator collects the following data:

  • Internal temperature: The distributor knows whether beverages are being stored at the right temperature.
  • Outside temperature and humidity: The distributor can adjust refrigerators’ internal temperatures remotely for the most efficient cooling. For example, during a heat wave, refrigerator temperatures can be lowered much more during the night, reducing the need for cooling during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Compressor: The refrigerator pump is managed by an IoT solution that uses all the data collected to drive more efficient compressor use.
  • Door sensor: A reseller can be notified to close an open refrigerator door, saving compressor wear and tear as well as collecting data about the use of the fridge for marketing and sales purposes.
  • Current energy consumption: This is an important indicator of a refrigerator’s mechanical health.
  • Motion sensor: Vibrations are another key indicator of mechanical health and can be an indicator of future problems.
  • Audio sensor: Compressor noises can further help predict and diagnose problems.
  • GPS and battery: The distributor can check that each refrigerator is still in its original location. Stolen refrigerators can be tracked and recovered.
  • Main power: The distributor can monitor and disable power consumption entirely if a refrigerator is being used in violation of contractual agreements.

Critical solution attributes include:

  • Reduced downtime: Failures can be predicted and repairs scheduled in real-time. This increases asset availability and reduces operating costs.
  • Improved visibility and streamlined operations: IoT-enabled asset tracking allows thousands of assets anywhere in the world to be managed from just one location.
  • Increased asset efficiency and predictive maintenance: Understanding how a device is used and for how long allows for performance optimization and enhances profitability. When a monitored asset has a problem, technicians can get a full diagnosis prior to being dispatched. Technicians bring only required spare parts, increasing their onsite efficiency and helping reduce overall spare parts inventory.
  • Asset location: Lost or stolen assets can be located indoors or outdoors thanks to installed GPS sensors.
  • Advanced data reporting: Depending on how assets are outfitted, an IoT management solution could allow companies to tell how often customers use certain device features. This can help identify customers who may need additional training on how to use assets effectively and give insight into future features and services that could be added.

Conclusions

IoT is often explained (one might say hyped…) as a series of connected systems and smart devices responding in unsupervised—almost magical ways—to their environments and owners. As new technologies like machine learning and AI are incorporated into connected systems, future IoT solutions will require less human intervention. However, this use case demonstrates how the real value of IoT today is as a means of gathering real-time knowledge about the current state of business assets to allow managers to respond to ever-changing situations. Thoughtful deployments of IoT solutions can provide significant gains which easily pay for themselves.

IoT solutions are available in many different configurations and can be applied to legacy as well as new installations. New solutions can, and should, grow over time as deeper insights reveal new ways to operate businesses.

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