IOT technology and applications continue to evolve at a blurrying pace. Big data is everywhere, but in many industries is not easily accessible or actionable. The biggest challenges enterprise CIOs face comes down to data visibility – particularly at the edge of their networks. Today, there is a pervasive view that designing a network that enables AI and other enterprise critical applications at the edge requires considerable investment, power and network complexity to accomplish. FreeWave Technologies is shifting that paradigm.
For more than 25 years, FreeWave has helped thousands of organizations – government/defence, municipalities, precision agriculture, energy and smart grid networks – achieve reliable connectivity for data telemetry and command and control in some of the most challenging, remote and rugged environments in the world. Their solutions allow industrial end user’s and OEM’s to connect, control and optimize remote machines and processes that facilitate smarter decisions, significant efficiency gains and immediate cost savings.
“CIOs need ways to efficiently access and act on insights generated by remote sensors and devices stranded in the field,” says FreeWave Technologies’ CEO KirkByles. “Our vision is to help industrial enterprises get more out of their existing OT systems and networksby building on the technology they already have in place. Our ruggedized edge intelligent solutions give enterprises a reliable path to modern IIoT capabilities at a fraction of the time and cost to replace legacy equipment.”
For one top oil and gas leader, this meant infusing existing SCADA communications with new edge computing capabilities – reducing bandwidth requirements by 80 to 95 percent while achieving millisecond response times.
Current edge infrastructure is largelybased on proprietary, legacy protocolsand because of this, IIoT devices are typically not integrated with the systems they are theoretically designed to support. This reliance on older solutions creates a security dilemma meaning OT and IT systems operate in isolation without the security needed for the here and now. With FreeWave Edge applications security can now go to the extreme edge no matter the proprietary nature of the equipment.
The addition of FreeWave’s Smart Layer brings a number of powerful capabilities to existing systems. An open, Linux-based platform allows enterprises to deploy any number of mobile edge computing applications to remotely access real-time sensor readings from any location. An open IIoT protocol provides interoperability across numerous proprietary systems by supporting a common communication language across all connected devices.
FreeWave’s ZumLink™ is architected to satisfy the needs of organizations whowant to transform from IT Cloud to OT Cloudwith edge computing in one device. Advanced encryption technology across the platform ensures cybersecurity protection and with all data cloud-accessible, stakeholders can immediately access the information they need in real-time.
“We believe our solution will help industrial end users and OEMs working in remote environments to take advantage of what most of our competitors are providing but inside an air-conditioned server closet about 30-50 miles from the actual equipment being monitored and maintained,” said Byles.
IIoT is rapidly becoming more important to industrialenterprises as they look to evolve their operations. The emergence of OT Cloudcapabilities also promises to be a powerful asset. The proliferation of sensors and devices being implemented brings new demands for computing power at the edge as well. FreeWave has taken its rugged OT products, designed for low-power operation across wide temperature ranges, and infused them with open IQ intelligence. By connecting them to a smarter platform, they can reliably address the data-intensive realities of IIoT, create data transparency, foster interoperability to enrich existing infrastructure and enable new business models.
“It’s about moving organizations from reactive models to predictive optimization enriched by real-time IIoT insights,” said Byles. “We look forward to driving true IIoT transformation.”