Machine to Machine

Machine-to -Machine ( M2M short ) is the automated exchange of information between devices such as machines, vehicles or containers with each other or with a central control station, increasingly using the Internet and the various access networks such as the cellular network. One application is the remote monitoring, control and maintenance of machinery, equipment and systems, which is traditionally referred to as telemetry. The M2M technology to correlate this information and communication technology.

M2M solutions can streamline work processes in each sector and lead to productivity gradients. In the vending industry report, for example, vending machines independently at a central computer when they need to be re- stocked. Usually rides the machine operator can thus be avoided. In addition, it comes to avoiding downtime. The subsequent rationalization of business processes and the resulting cost savings pose for the industry - and for society - a huge market potential.

As part of the " Information Society Germany 2010" initiative ( id2010 ) and the research funding program " ICT 2020 " be seen a particular need for research and significant economic opportunities for the Internet of Things and M2M communications.

Range of applications

As promising fields of application, the following markets are considered:

  • Transportation
  • Fleet management / telematics / transport systems
  • Building
  • Utilities
  • Vending machines / vending
  • Security Technology / Alarm Systems / Monitoring
  • Healthcare / medical
  • Production / Automation
  • Electronic payment / transaction

Basic concept of a M2M application

M2M systems are characterized primarily by three basic components:

  • Mobile (eg: GSM, SMS, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA, LTE)
  • Wired (eg: Landline, ISDN, DSL, Ethernet)
  • Other ( eg: Bluetooth, RFID, ZigBee, Wi-Fi, satellite radio, wireless data, wireless HART )

In the data point ( DEP) is a compact microcomputer system - a transmitter which is associated with a terminal. Within a closed network, it may be many data endpoints and the associated terminal equipment or machinery. With the help of the DEP, the machines will change over a communication network data with the data integration point (DIP) - the recipient - of which is connected to a central control center. The DIP is in contrast to the numerous existing DEPs usually found only once in a M2M application. The information do not flow exclusively in the direction of the center. As well as the communication between the individual DEPs is possible. The entire data transmission can be effected for example via a mobile radio network. For example, sends a facility issues an error message directly to a select group of engineers via SMS.

Components of an M2M solution

M2M solutions are basically comprised of a plurality of mutually related components that enable communication between machines. These mainly include:

  • Hardware components ( eg modems, industrial PCs, servers)
  • Mobile and fixed-line services
  • Systems integration and consulting services
  • Applications (eg: server applications, " Point to Point " applications )

The BMWi goes out with his claims a step further and propagated with OSGi a concrete SOA as a platform for the implementation and delivery of appropriate client-server based services.

Success factors of M2M solutions

A close cooperation between solutions partner, network operators and customers is the key to successful planning and implementation of M2M solutions. Furthermore, the success of an M2M solution is also depends on following factors:

  • Added value (cost-benefit analysis → Business Case)
  • Sociability ( acceptance → Privacy )
  • Adequate hardware (cheap hardware can generate higher costs in certain circumstances as more expensive hardware → Total Cost of Ownership )
  • Adequate communication Networks (Today reinforced cellular networks → GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA)
  • Rates (in particular mobile rates )
  • Protocols ( IP → The future is wide range of applications and investment security )