Three IoT trends to watch within smart and connected facilities

Three IoT trends to watch within smart and connected facilities

Many might think of their newest gadgets when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT). Meanwhile, the industrial and commercial applications of IoT surpass its consumer applications. In fact, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and security are the four sectors that lead others when it comes to where the IoT devices are1.

At Cummins Inc., we make our partners’ challenges our challenges; make their goals, our goals. We all depend on healthcare, data center, manufacturing, commercial and other facilities in our everyday lives. We also depend on the teams that manage these facilities. Facility management professionals are at the heart of this digital transformation and the IoT adoption. They face both the opportunities and the challenges presented by the increased adoption of IoT devices among these facilities. 

Sectors where IoT devices are located

To help our partners in these industries be future-ready, we have asked three experts their takes on the key IoT trends to watch and their implications on facility management. These three perspectives aim to provide you with diverse viewpoints on what to watch among the key IoT trends. 

How quantum computing could impact IoT and facility management?

We have asked this question to Chuck Brooks, President of Brooks Consulting International. Chuck is a globally recognized thought leader and subject matter expert in cybersecurity and emerging technologies. LinkedIn named Chuck as one of “The Top 5 Tech People to Follow on LinkedIn.” You can follow Chuck on Twitter at @ChuckDBrooks.

Let’s look at Chuck’s perspective on the key IoT trend to watch. 

As quantum computing and IoT merge, there will also be an evolving new ecosystem of policy Issues. These include, ethics, interoperability protocols, cybersecurity, privacy/surveillance, complex autonomous systems, and best commercial practices.

Under quantum computing, security of the IoT will be a paramount issue. Currently cryptographic algorithms are being used to help secure the communication (validation and verification) in the IoT. But because they rely on public key schemes, their encryption could be broken by sophisticated hackers using quantum computers in the not-so-distant future.

On the other side of the coin, quantum computing could create an almost un-hackable network of devices and data. The need to securely encrypt and protect IoT connected devices and power them with exponential speed and analytical capabilities is imperative for both government and the private sector.

As quantum computing capabilities advance, we should act now to prepare the IoT for the quantum world. There are many areas to explore in research and development and eventually implementation. The coming decade will provide both imperatives and opportunities to explore quantum’s implications.

Facility professionals that seek to be future-proofed can seek further education on quantum computing and its effects on IoT devices.

Beyond the technology, what are the benefits of IoT for facility professionals?

Peggy Smedley, an award-winning journalist and technology expert, offered her perspective on this question. Peggy has extensively covered the IoT, facility management, manufacturing, construction technology, and most recently sustainability, circularity, and resiliency during her 30-year career. She is founder and president of Specialty Publishing Media (SPM); editorial director of Constructech and Connected World; radio host of The Peggy Smedley Show, and author of her new book “Sustainable In a Circular World.” You can follow Peggy on LinkedIn or on Twitter at @ConnectedWMag.

Here is Peggy’s take on benefits of IoT beyond the technology itself. 

I am going to answer this question somewhat differently than what most people might assume at first blush. While the biggest trend for facility professionals is certainly the IoT, it’s really more than the technology itself. It’s more about transparency. Simply, it’s about personal health, safety, data availability, and collaboration among partners to achieve the required result as part of the digital disruption we are all witnessing and experiencing.

The emerging facility professional leaders are very socially engaged and thus are extremely mobile ready. Their mobile mindset has them very focused on user-friendly platforms and solutions that are quick, smart, and simple. As such, they are implementing a more advanced digital workplace that is smarter, which includes a vast amount of remote monitoring with endless applications. These remote monitoring applications range from air quality to asset tagging, lighting, HVAC, fire suppression, security, inventory management, and a host of other equipment in the building.

Going a step further, we will also experience a variety of artificial intelligence-based solutions that enable preventative and predictive maintenance. These will improve circularity and green initiatives to reduce waste and enable sustainability. Attaining green building status will address repairability, reuse, and recycling of waste and materials—something that up to this point has been lacking. COVID-19 has forced professionals and building owners to move faster to achieve a digital-first thinking and reducing emissions to achieve the goal of carbon negativity.

My final thought for facility professionals is to become educated on the digital disruption and the ever-changing technology. The more you stay ahead of the technology, the more valuable you are to forward-thinking companies, advancing your own career, and helping future generations, as we seek to provide value to our natural ecosystem.

Can industrial IoT improve employee engagement and customer experience?

Dana Miller brings us the third perspective on this topic. Dana has extensive experiences in bringing connectivity and IT solutions to life through her 21 years as a managing consultant and program leader in the industrial sector. She has partnered with segments ranging from healthcare and manufacturing to mining and rail. Dana is currently the Digital and Service Solutions Director at Cummins. 

Here is Dana’s take on IoT’s role in improving employee engagement and customer experience.

A great Facilities Management (FM) professional knows how to deal with constant change. There is no better time than the present to embrace the changes happening before our eyes with respect to employee health and safety. Industrial IoT allows devices to perform their functions with little to no human interaction. A key IoT trend impacting FM in 2021 and beyond, from my perspective, is leveraging real-time data to transform the employee experience.

Just as proper machine maintenance saves a company money by mitigating unexpected system failures, carrying out the maintenance remotely reduces the number of safety incidents for workers. Consider a technician no longer having to climb onto a rooftop to exercise a backup generator each month or drive through dense, city traffic to a port so she can pull fault codes off a vessel only to find out there is a need to return with different repair parts. This is waste that can be eliminated for both employee satisfaction as well as operational efficiency. Remote monitoring and predictive analytics are not new, but actually implementing changes to our work processes and styles based on what companies are learning from the data has much more runway ahead.

IoT also allows companies to stitch innovation together. Integrating and analyzing data already being collected by suppliers or partners, or even customers into our solutions will likely accelerate productivity.  It’s about using multiple tools and techniques to cost effectively optimize performance and extend the life and reliability of equipment. Ultimately, workplace efficiency keeps employees satisfied and motivated which makes for an improved customer experience.

Sign up below for Energy IQ to receive energy focused insights in markets ranging from data centers and healthcare facilities, to schools and manufacturing facilities, and everything beyond. To learn more about power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage.

References:
1 A Guide to the Internet of Things [PDF File]. Intel. Retrieved from: https://www.intel.co.uk/

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

New Ideas, New Voices: Cummins Digital Organization Holds First “Hackathon”

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With names such as "Team Vulcans" and "Team Alter Ego," software engineers at Cummins joined together to work on ideas that matched their interests, technical skills and passions.

A "hackathon" is a software engineering event that aims to generate new ideas and solutions in a short period of time. Over several days, software engineers in the Cummins Digital Organization did just that with a set of topics encompassing technology innovation, customer orientation, cost savings, software productivity, and employee health and work ergonomics.

"The idea of the hackathon really emerged because of our commitment to teamwork and collaboration, and our love for diversity, inclusion and innovation," said Megha Tayal, Principal Scrum Master for Cummins Inc., who initially led the program.

"There was a lot of enthusiasm for the event, and we encouraged everyone from our Digital Software Engineering and Product Management teams to submit ideas."  

With names such as "Team Vulcans" and "Team Alter Ego," software engineers joined together to work on ideas that matched their interests, technical skills, and passions. After three long days and nights, each team presented their innovations to a judging panel of the software engineering leaders within the Digital Organization. Every unique solution stemming from the hackathon represents an improvement for customers, Cummins—or both.

"As our products continue to evolve, our software engineers are often thinking ahead to visualize more and more ambitious digital applications, capabilities or user experience enhancements—but we often don’t have enough time to explore all these ideas," added Jean-Marc Mensah, Director of Software Engineering for Cummins Digital Organization. "With events like our Hackathon, we encourage everyone to come together and think outside the box with a goal to produce actionable solution sets that deliver real value."

Feedback from participants has been so positive that the group has decided to make a hackathon a new Digital Organization tradition at the beginning of every quarter.

Think you have what it takes to succeed in one of our Hackathons? Learn more about a career in Cummins' Digital Organization.

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Catherine Morgenstern

Catherine Morgenstern is a Brand Journalist for Cummins, covering topics such as alternative propulsion, digitalization, manufacturing innovation, autonomy, sustainability, and workplace trends. She has more than 20 years of experience in corporate communications, holding leadership positions most recently within the Industrial Capital Goods sector.

Catherine began her career as a marketing writer for a biotechnology company, where she learned to take complicated and highly technical information and make it accessible to everyone. She believes the concept of “storytelling” is more than a trendy buzzword and loves to find ways for her readers to make personal connections to her subjects. Catherine has a passion for technology and innovation and how its intersection can make an impact in all our lives.

Catherine recently moved back to her hometown in the Hudson Valley, New York after a several decades in Los Angeles and Chicago. She is a graduate of UCLA and enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband and three children.

CapEx outlook for the mining industry in 2021 and beyond

CapEx outlook for the mining industry in 2021 and beyond

Our Mining Team at Cummins always makes our partners’ goals our goals. We use our technologies, insights and people to help the mining industry deliver its goals. 

In this article, the focus is another important aspect of the mining industry: capital expenditure (CapEx). CapEx is the mining companies’ investments in the products and technologies as part of their operations. It includes facility improvements, new mining equipment, and beyond.

The annual capital expenditure (CapEx) of the world’s top 40 mining companies is $78 billion1. This is about the same as the annual gross domestic production of Kenya or the Dominican Republic. In other words, every year these 40 mining companies invest into their operations the equivalent of a medium-sized country’s annual economic output. 

In this article, you will find insights around the mining industry’s CapEx outlook for 2021 and beyond. 

2021 and beyond outlook: Increasing GDP and mining production

Global GDP to increase

Many economists agree that the world’s GDP will bounce back in 2021 by a 4% to 6% increase, then continue to stay positive in the following years. This means more production and an increased need for minerals and metals. 

Mining production to trend upwards

The strong GDP growth will likely translate into an increased need for minerals and metals, resulting in an increase in their production. Commodity prices in 2021 have already broken records or hovering near record levels last seen during the 2011-13 super cycle boom. There is always the question around whether there will be a lag between increased economic activity and increased mineral production. We expect the lag to be minimal and the overall mineral production to closely follow the increase in GDP. A key reason for this expectation is miners’ ability to leverage the existing capacity as the need for production emerges. One potential risk that could slow down miners bringing the capacity online is any regional restriction around employees coming back to sites due to the pandemic. 

Let’s now switch to CapEx forecast given these expectations in GDP and mineral production.

Mining CapEx to be up starting 2021 with varying pace and focus 

There is a much clearer linkage between GDP growth and increased mineral production. Meanwhile, the impact of increased mineral production on CapEx is not as clear. For instance, the amount of minerals produced have mostly been increasing since 2012. Yet, the mining industry has successfully decreased its CapEx four out of eight years. 

In other words, the mining industry kept producing more while managing its capital expenditures. There were many means to accomplish this. Improving financial performance and reducing maintenance costs, increasing mining equipment productivity and boosting mining equipment’s efficiency have been three of these levers. 

For 2021, it is much likely the mining industry will increase its CapEx, but with a varying pace of CapEx recovery. 

Beyond 2021, the shift in the focus of the mining industry’s CapEx will also be more prominent. The change in the mining industry’s CapEx would likely not be uniform across the production of different minerals. We expect the change in CapEx associated with the production of tech metals and rare earth elements to outpace the that of fossil fuels, such as coal. These tech metals and rare earth elements are frequently used in high tech devices that bring us the newest technologies. In fact, the global production of rare earth elements went up by 9% in 2020. Production of many other minerals went down or stayed flat during the same period. 

Interested in deepening and broadening your expertise in the mining industry? Sign-up below to receive periodic insights, trends and news customized for the mining industry.

References: 
1PwC (2019). Mine 2019: Resourcing the future [PDF document]. Retrieved from https://www.pwc.com/
2United States Geological Survey (January 29, 2021). Mineral Commodity Summaries [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://pubs.usgs.gov/
3S&P Global Market Intelligence (July 2020). Miners' Guidance Indicates 12% Capex Drop in 2020 Due to COVID-19 [Web article]. Retrieved from https://www.spglobal.com/
 

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Diversity and inclusion accelerate among mining sector

Diversity and inclusion accelerate among mining sector

The Mining industry continues to apply various methods to improve its financial performance. Most recently, diversity and inclusion became two of the methods many miners turn to. Historically, the linkage between improved diversity and inclusion, and better financial performance has been more theoretical than quantifiable. Meanwhile, over the last decade, many companies have been able to demonstrate this connection through hard financial performance data. 

For example, let’s take the companies that are at the top quartile when it comes to diverse executive teams. According to McKinsey, these companies have a 36% higher likelihood of financially outperforming their peers. This study also included metals and mining companies. 

Diversity and financial performance

The linkage between diversity and financial performance is hard to quantify, but we have compiled real-life experiences from the mining industry to better demonstrate the relation. 

Driving financial savings for miners with diversity and inclusion

Ralf Mueller, Mining Leader for Cummins Latin America is a native of Germany, has been in mines across five different continents through his 20 years in the mining industry. “Mining is an exciting and high pace industry. I have enjoyed the most how well mining’s multi-cultural community is connected. A combination of this multi-cultural community and use of inclusion boosts the industry’s innovations,” says Mueller.

Recently, Mueller was part of a team that leveraged the power of inclusion for lowering equipment downtime, which resulted in financial savings. 

“My heart sunk when I first heard it. A mine operator asking a mine haul truck manufacturer to buy a truck, but not to use our engine,” recalls Mueller. “There are no two ways about it; we had a problem,” Mueller adds.

Mueller was asked to lead a rapid response team tasked to address the customer’s concerns with one of our products. “We had a very diverse team, both visible diversity and intellectual diversity. We had team members from four different continents; different races, backgrounds and cultures,” Mueller remembers. “For all the years I have been working at Cummins and partnering with the mining industry, this was the pinnacle of seeing how inclusion and diversity can deliver improvements that yield measurable financial results,” added Mueller. 

This team, fueled with the power of inclusion, reduced the downtime associated with the engine by more than 60%. This resulted in multi-million dollar savings for the miners, mine-haul truck manufacturer and Cummins Inc.

“When I look back and ask myself, what made the difference. It was a combination of two things. The team’s inclusiveness in hearing each other’s perspectives and our sharp focus on solving the customer issue made all the difference,” Mueller reflects back.

Technology innovations in mining through diversity and inclusion

Lanre Ige, Vice President of Power Generation Solutions, entered the mining industry in 2016; a unique time because it was during the aftermath of the mining super cycle of the 2010s. “For many, the massively-sized equipment is what draws them to mining. For me, those engineering marvels are amazing, but it is the emphasis that miners put in strategic partnerships, and relationships based on trust, and mutually delivered value that excites me the most about the mining industry,” says Ige.

Ige has literally worked with all of the world’s top miners while leading Cummins Mining end-user accounts. These experiences also brought great examples of diversity and inclusion in the mining industry. 

“It was one perfect fall day in Columbus, Indiana. We were hosting a team from one of the world’s top miners for a discussion focused on technology and innovation,” recalls Ige. “We had lots of healthy debates around technology; lots of diverse thoughts were brought up,” adds Ige. The team then went on to visit one of the Cummins engine plants. “During the tour, our partner pulled me to the side. I didn’t know what I should expect to hear,” says Ige. “They were amazed with how the female colleagues within our team play a pivotal role in our innovation efforts, how their inclusion felt so natural, and how we come across as one team,” adds Ige.

“It is great to see the mining industry recognize the role of diversity and inclusion in bringing technology innovations to life. What is even more exciting is how all miners are setting aggressive goals around achieving gender parity and improving diversity,“ says Ige.

Accelerating your diversity and inclusion journey

With the exciting examples above, you might be asking yourself, “How can I accelerate the diversity and inclusion journey within my organization?” We have asked the same question to Eric Rogers, Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Cummins. Cummins is frequently recognized for outstanding work in diversity and inclusion. Most recently, a partnership between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston (U.S.) and Glassdoor found Cummins the No. 1 culture for diversity

Here are Rogers’ thoughts on how to accelerate diversity and inclusion journey in your organization: “First, share best practices on effective diversity, equity and inclusion programs among your organization. Second, pursue collaborative efforts with others beyond your organization to galvanize collective action,” says Rogers. 

Rogers also went on to outline the following four tips to help you accelerate diversity and inclusion within your organization. 

  1. Trust the Data. Data consistently shows that companies with diverse and inclusive teams are more innovative and profitable. Demographics are changing the marketplace; and technology is changing the mining industry. The companies that will succeed in the future are those that embrace these changes now. Different skills, knowledge and attributes will be needed to stay competitive in the future. Hire and develop diverse leaders and employees who reflect the changing marketplace.
  2. Set the Tone at the Top. As the leader, create a safe environment where all employees can speak up, be heard, and feel welcome. Leaders can make underrepresented employees feel included and valued by prizing authenticity over conformity.
  3. Communicate to and for a More Inclusive Audience. Perceptions of mining as a hazardous and physically demanding job with long hours in remote locations may often deter potential candidates. Emphasize the breadth of career paths available in mining while communicating about job opportunities. In addition, focus only on the minimum requirements within job descriptions. For example, if a college degree is not truly required, it should not be presented in the manner on the job description.
  4. Make Diversity Programming Meaningful, Not Mandatory. Ample research shows that forcing employees to attend diversity training can activate bias rather than stamp it out. People often rebel against rules to assert their autonomy. Make attendance in diversity training voluntary. To get managers on board with diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, engage managers in solving their diversity problems. Ask managers to participate in recruitment programs. Promote business practices that provide connections across diverse groups. Working side-by-side breaks down stereotypes, which leads to more equitable hiring and promotion.

Interested in additional mining perspectives? You might also like: 

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Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Drilling pads with lower OPEX, reduced carbon footprint and higher safety

Drilling pads with lower OPEX, reduced carbon footprint, and higher safety

Pad drilling has been around for over a decade across various drilling sites, and has already revolutionized drilling operations and the oil and gas industry overall. Its initial benefits around avoidance of cost associated with moving the drilling equipment was later coupled with increased hydrocarbon production, thanks to the ability to drill in batches. Today, pad drilling is the norm across many drilling sites. 

Given how pad drilling has favorably impacted the operational expenses (OPEX) of drilling contractors and the oil and gas industry, you might be asking yourself: how can drillers further reduce OPEX, but also improve safety and sustainability? 

The answer to this question comes from the application of proven technologies from other sectors in the oil and gas industry; let’s start with microgrids.

Microgrid powered drilling sites have reduced carbon footprint

Microgrids have already been in operation across many facilities ranging from healthcare campuses to mining sites. In a nutshell, a microgrid is a local energy system capable of producing (potentially storing), and distributing energy to the facilities and equipment within the network. You can find out how microgrids work and their benefits in our previous article

At a drilling site, microgrids can help operators integrate renewable energy sources such as solar panels and windmills into their power generation mix. In this scenario, intelligent control systems track the demand of the drilling site, monitor the production of power through different assets, and make smart choices on which power producing assets to use when. 

Microgrids could provide the energy needed at a drilling site through distributed energy resources (DERs)

The immediate benefit of microgrids at a drilling site is sustainability, reducing the use of fossil fuels. The secondary advantage of microgrids at a drilling site is economics; since the use of renewables while they are available could reduce the OPEX for the drilling contractors. 

Connected drill pads will deliver improved safety and financial benefits

Connectivity is already being deployed by many industries to address opportunities ranging from reliability to customer and product support. Our previous article details  how connectivity and digitization solve different problems depending upon your power systems’ utilization profile

For drilling pads, connectivity offers two-folded benefits. First is critical for every drilling contractor: safety. Thanks to the new digital products embedded in equipment including engines and power systems, the need for an actual driller to be on the rig during drilling is being minimized. Instead, the drillers can manage the majority of the operation from an office. Second benefit is around financials; with low risk comes the low cost associated with managing that risk, in the form of lower OPEX.

These connectivity solutions vary in their capabilities. The entry level systems offer remote monitoring and diagnostics; for example, your power system’s oil pressure is low and here are possible causes. The more advanced systems offer condition-based-maintenance (CBM) and prognostics. These systems can notify operators before an issue rises, and can even recommend ways to mitigate the forecasted issue.

Drilling sites to be powered by a diverse set of fuels instead of being diesel-heavy 

Today, diesel is the primary fuel used to power drilling operations, from the rigs to the nearby facilities and vehicles. Meanwhile, two technologies are increasingly becoming prominent to create drilling sites powered by a diverse set of fuels: dual fuel and hydrogen. The underlying benefit within dual fuel is the use of gaseous fuels in addition to diesel; which results in reduced OPEX and environmental impact. Use of hydrogen takes sustainability to the next level as the emission of any greenhouse gases is reduced drastically. 

We will cover these two technologies and e-fracking in more detail within upcoming articles.

The oil and gas industry is well positioned to take advantage of technologies that have succeeded within other sectors in recent years. The tested and proofed nature of these technologies minimize the risk for the industry. Meanwhile, their benefits ranging from reduced OPEX and improved safety to reduced carbon footprint deliver tangible outcomes for the industry.

To learn more about oil and gas power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage.

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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