- On 1. December 2020
The 3rd Thin[gk]athon was a huge success for participants and challenge owner alike. Method thinkers, designers, software engineers and IoT specialists, including 2 women came out of 4 German states. 14 companies were involved in the Hub’s co-innovation project. This article tells you more about the challenge, the results, the teams and how we will continue.
New IoT applications for the protection of critical infrastructure
How can IoT applications support the protection of critical infrastructures? With this question in mind, we kicked off the 3rd Thin[gk]athon in Dresden. The task was to develope an IoT-based solution for the remote maintenance of water pumps of the water and sewage associations. 30 participants took part and spent three days working on innovative solutions to solve it.
Why is the management of water pumps important?
The focus on water pumps is no coincidence: In Saxony itself, they are used daily in over 100 waterworks. They form the backbone of the municipal water supply and ensure the everyday life of millions of citizens. Failures of these critical infrastructures therefore entail considerable economic and social risks. The 3rd Thin[gk]athon aimed to provide IoT and cloud solutions for optimizing the remote maintenance of wastewater pumping systems at different locations in a region. Above all, the participants solved the problem of implementing analog data, such as logbooks or transcripts, into digital maintenance with flying colors.
Interdisciplinary teams develop creative IoT solutions
As “Challenge Owner”, PHOENIX CONTACT set the task. The company develops connection and automation technology for traffic, regenerative energy, supply networks, water supply and more application areas. For the solution, PHOENIX CONTACT provided its specially developed PLCnext Technology. With this platform, traditional pump control can be integrated and efficiently used with all common software services of the IoT world. The North Rhine-Westphalian automation specialist made a conscious decision in favor of us and the Dresden location for the further development of its platform. “There is no other location in Germany where you will find a comparable concentration of expertise in the IoT sector – from start-ups to local medium-sized companies and renowned research institutes. Thanks to concrete formats like the Thin[gk|athon, the Smart Systems Hub manages to bring these players together with interdisciplinary experts from all over Germany. Here they are given one of the few opportunities to intensively engage in the development of practical IoT applications. For us it was soon clear that the Smart Systems Hub was the perfect partner for the further development of our IoT platform,” reports Christoph Westerwelle, Head of Industry Management Infrastructure at PHOENIX CONTACT.
In the end there were four innovative solutions. Each team solved the task convincingly in its own way. They all developed algorithms for reading the data from the water pumps, integrated them into the cloud and transferred the data streams to a suitable visualization. First place and prize money of 1,000 euros went to the 4-member “J2AC” team.
This is how it goes on
We will examine to what extent we can bring the projects to market maturity. To this end, we are in close contact with all four teams even after the Thin[gk]athon and will continue to develop the solutions in the coming months.
All teams have done a really great job. However, the J2AC solution convinced the jury primarily because of its focus on data security in the cloud. Without the high security of the data, an IoT application is not viable, especially for critical infrastructures. As a result, the developed solution is not only of great benefit to machine maintenance, but also to local authorities and external service providers, who can access the dashboard via a simple and ingenious visualization with any end device. That impressed us very much”.
– Christoph Westerwelle, Head of Industry Management Infrastructure, PHOENIX CONTACT
Thanks to all partners of this event:
Too many concepts in the company and eternal discussions? Then simply remove your challenge from the company and let our teams work for you in the Hub’s creative space. You will be surprised how new approaches to solutions arise from Co-Innovation.
Want to know more?
You are interested in a Thin[gk]athon or would like to know more about the event described above? Then you are welcome to contact us!