Digital Products & Services: Driving Digitization With Mobile Devices

May 21, 2020
Ecom, a Pepperl+Fuchs brand, presents its expanded product portfolio. Special focus this year is on the new product line “Digital Products & Services”.

The industry of the future is based on a comprehensive collection and analysis of production data. In order to enable Internet of Things (IoT) applications and machine learning, this data must be collected, analyzed, and managed. This is done peripherally, with foresight and increasingly close to the process—if possible, in real time and with low latency. With the integration of cyber physical systems into production, the boundaries between classic information technology (IT) and operation technology blur more and more. Unfortunately, these systems are still mainly open and inhomogeneous despite all standardization approaches. In order to optimize manufacturing and production processes, solutions are needed that decentralize and facilitate data processing and management. Mobile terminals integrated by means of comprehensive mobile device management not only function as digital gateways, they also support networking to a central system by means of special applications and a wide range of functions from cameras to employee protection. The latter is particularly important because of the dangerous working environment and the regular working alone. Hence, they must not only be particularly robust, but also provide effective protection for mobile workers – in the field as well as in potentially hazardous areas.

With this in mind, specially designed, mobile devices such as ecom's Smartphone Smart-Ex 02 offer numerous advantages. In addition to robustness, high ergonomics and ease of use, sensors in combination with the corresponding software guarantee comprehensive lone worker protection in accordance with the DGUV regulation BGR-139. Emergency calls can be triggered not only by the software for the sole worker, but also via emergency call buttons. In this way alone workers are reliably protected. With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons specially developed for the hazardous areas, employees can even be located without GPS and indoors. At the same time, the intrinsically safe Android smartphone works as a mobile hub: it supports 21 different LTE frequency bands and is delivered without simlock. Global Ex- certificates as well as local regulatory approval enable worldwide use. The intrinsically safe smartphone, designed for a temperature range of -20 to +60°C, is thus designed for worldwide use even under the most extreme conditions. In addition, it is the first device certified for Zone 1/21 and Div. 1 to receive Google's demanding Android Enterprise Recommended Validation. This ensures consistent, easy deployment and management of the mobile systems through hardware and operating system support as well as guaranteed Android upgrades and regular, timely security patches. In this way users save time and money in the deployment and maintenance of the devices in terms of total cost of ownership (TCO).

To ensure that data transmission is as easy as possible, it is important that mobile devices communicate directly and smoothly with enterprise mobility management (EMM) systems. For mobile devices, this means comprehensive certifications for the support of the hardware and software of EMM systems. ecom guarantees both: through Android Enterprise certification as well as certifications for the market-leading device management systems. With suitable software and apps, companies can be comprehensively networked without limiting themselves to one technology. A product like this enables the central management and protection of data as well as devices and fits into any infrastructure. Mobile device management software thereby enables a faster rollout of the devices as well as a secure and fast connection to the operative systems. Besides, apps and operating systems can be installed, updated and managed automatically.

ecom's new Digital Products & Services division enables the staging, management and real-time monitoring of mobile devices such as the Smart-Ex 02. It combines automated pre-configuration during device manufacturing with comprehensive mobile device management and analytics. Mobile devices are therefore not only easy to set up and manage, but can also be updated at any time—even over-the-air. An analysis of historical data is possible at any time to reveal security-critical processes. If necessary, the solution can also be used as a full-fledged EMM system, which relieves the IT departments and provides more security during operation.

Thanks to devices designed for industrial use and suitable digital services for companies, mobile devices effectively support digitization by becoming independent hubs. The evaluation of data becomes faster and easier with their use. Therefore, companies gain a comprehensive insight into procedures and processes and recognize where improvements need to be made. At the same time, mobile devices protect employees—even in explosive environments—and facilitate their everyday work. 

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