In December 2014, DCX Germany started working closely with Sogeti Hitech. At that time we had many prospects for our IoT solution, Connected Service eXperirence (CSX), but many prospects did not yet have connected machines. M2M is a pre-requisite for IoT. So these companies needed  help to equip their machines with sensors and we did not have this expertise within DCX. But our sister company, Sogeti Hitech, has been designing sensor and controller boards and helping companies to connect machines for more than a decade.

This week on a visit to the Sogeti Hitech Testing Lab in Amersfoort, Holland, where visitors can see many custom sensor and controller boards designed by Sogeti Hitech, I learned that Hitech started work to

embed the Critical Event Processor (CEP) from Software AG into a board. Presently, many of the sensor modules we use are “dumb” in that they send all data generated. Some sensor modules send data when there is a change aka an “event.” These two approaches work fine for low volume applications or when monitoring user behavior is important. But in high volume or high frequency applications, sending megabytes of data every second may not be practical or economical. This is where CEP offers advantages. CEP analyzes sensor data, identifies critical issues, and sends the critical data to the system for actioning. Sensors with CEP are “smart” and programmable.  

In the sensor connectivity context, we differentiate between events and issues. An event is a change in data, for example, a data point like RPMs or temperature can change many times throughout the day and never exceed a critical threshold. Using “dumb” sensors, the RPM or temperature data would be updated many times throughout the day. This series of data provides the company insights into machine performance or user behavior, but at a cost.  

Using CEP, the RPM and temperature data is only sent when an issue is detected, i.e. when a threshold is exceeded. This reduces the volume of data sent and can lower the cost of data transmission and storage. A CEP can be coupled with a small memory chip on the sensor board to store, for example, the last 10 minutes of sensor data, thus providing the company some insight into machine performance and user behavior directly before a critical event.