IoT: Classic and Also Quite Different
Strictly speaking, the Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new venture for EBV Elektronik. EBV has, for many years, been working on topics which are now specific to IoT or directly associated with it, but which were not classified as IoT before the term was coined.
The disciplines of sensor technology, data preparation and data processing, data output, actuator engineering, connectivity and security come together in the Internet of Things – and EBV has been continuously active in all these areas for over a decade. The terms IoT and the very closely related ‘Industry 4.0’ now create a high recognition value and a starting point for further discussions.
One of EBV’s main strengths for many years has been its ability to combine these individual areas and from this combination develop new potential for its clients. For some years, this has found expression in the segments on which EBV has focused: on the one hand, the classic market segments including the Automotive, Smart Consumer & Buildings, Healthcare & Wearables , Hi-Rel and Smart Grid segments and, on the other hand, the technology-driven segments such as High End Processing, Security & Identification, LightSpeed and RF & Microwave.
The industrial area is also supported with applications such as M2M and Industry 4.0. One important area is NFC – Dual Interface programming of motors (Motor Control Unit) by mobile NFC. Applications of this type are to be found in the Industry 4.0 area, where displays and touchpads on machines are being replaced by tablets.
Communication between machines M2M has been an important subject for EBV for decades, but the Internet with its infrastructure and the increasing spread of products such as PCs, tablets and smartphones together with new semiconductor products, have not only shaken up the market completely but also permitted totally new approaches to solutions in areas which were not previously relevant at all.
One good example of how EBV Elektronik is driving forwards interdisciplinary thinking with networked solutions is the science magazine‘The Quintessence’, where EBV has been reporting on new possibilities in special issues since 2007. The contributions in ‘The Quintessence’ also always contain ‘outside of the box’ thinking, in order to generate inspiration for new products by making the link with different categories of items and work which cross various areas. The most recent issues did cover Iot and all subjects related to that such as sensor technology, Cyber Security, Cloud Technology and Industry 4.0, while the next issue will be devoted to Smart Systems.
While EBV Elektronik provides its clients with the necessary technical support in connection with the IoT, the support also extends far beyond purely technical aspects. It begins with information about the possibilities offered by the IoT, continues with technical seminars with specific manufacturers on applications and/or vertical markets and extends to consultancy services which can sometimes even lead to a radical review of the business model.
For example, one of EBV’s clients had previously developed and manufactured compressors but now sells compressed air as a service: instead of selling its customers a machine it now offers them air with a well-defined, permanently available quality and specification. Making use of the previously mentioned predictive maintenance in the framework of the IoT and the resulting reliability, by virtue of offering a service, this client is now able to aim for a much more intense creation of value. Of course the EBV clients themselves determine how their business models look, but with the right questions EBV’s experts are able to trigger interesting discussions about valid points.
Although EBV Elektronik’s core business is very clearly semiconductor distribution, the company has also been investing in software support for some time. This means one EBV employee is solely concerned with the investigation and qualification of the software of potential and existing partners, so EBV is able to bring, qualified third-party suppliers into the game in order to facilitate the fastest possible realisation of the client solution.EBV Elektronik has already certified some 20 companies whose software is specially tailored to IoT applications. The spectrum ranges from engineering services through software houses to Cloud partners.