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Cover Story | April 2018

IoT minimises cost and maximises returns

<span style="font-weight: bold;">Karen Ravindranath, Program Head, WebNMS IOT (a division of Zoho Corporation)<br /> <br /> What does Internet of Things (IoT) convergence mean for power sector, especially in effective management of smart grids, M2M communication and power grid infrastructure? </span><br /> Energy being a vital resource to any business impacts the financials and productivity of the business. Energy efficiency is a key driver of business competitiveness. The global energy landscape is changing and the demand is expected to grow to 28 per cent by 2040. The extent of this increase is likely to be curbed by the improvements in energy efficiency, as increasing attention around the world is devoted to using energy more sustainably. Studies reveal that industry and buildings are the largest market for final energy consumption.&nbsp; Industries waste approximately 30 per cent of the total energy. Enterprises are making a shift towards a more energy sustainable environment and continuously finding alternate renewable sources of energy. Here, IoT plays a major role. Our IoT platform helps to leverage technology to gather, process, visualise, and draw insights from energy data at scale, across its broad array of energy product portfolio to provide unified energy management solutions. <br /> <br /> So, our platform basically helps industrial, manufacturing, retail, hospitality industry to assess the usage of energy. So, when any of these industries use energy management system it acquires data from the sensors and in the end, gives a clear cut picture. We also partner with hardware vendors like energy meter manufacturers and panel meter manufacturers. So, all of these partnerships enables us to give the hardware as a combined solution with the software. <br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">How does the platform works?</span><br /> Our installed software acquires all the necessary data, analyses it and creates energy portfolio of an organisation. So, the data actually tells us when, where and how energy is being consumed within an organisation, which helps us to understand the wastages. This data generation also helps management to see a unified view and have analytical insights into where they can look at efficiencies in the whole energy management process. Meanwhile, it not only focuses on the consumption of energy, but, the same energy management solution takes care of monitoring grid power as well as green energy. So, even if you have a solar project or secondary backup systems like diesel generators or battery systems which are complimenting your energy means, our solutions can be easily integrate. This is a holistic solution where you can see your energy consumption patterns across all these varied input mechanisms, see how it is consumed and how you can optimise it efficiently.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Tell us how is your partnership with ElMeasure likely to work in favour of India?</span><br /> This collaboration brings together WebNMS' scalable and high performance, IoT platform and ElMeasure's expertise in energy management and metering hardware manufacturing. It will enable ElMeasure to provide innovative and specialised, energy management solutions for various industry verticals like textile, pharma, automobile, commercial, and residential buildings, etc. WebNMS' highly secured and scalable platform integration with ElMeasure's high precision energy meters will enable the enterprises to considerably reduce their energy bills and OpEx. Data visibility is of importance to the enterprises, to pinpoint the energy usage. An intelligent solution that can provide energy reports doff wise, shift wise, count wise, production wise, etc., show the speed Vs Kw curve, bars, graphs, etc. Transparent insights on likewise energy data will enable the enterprises to schedule preventive maintenance, reduce the downtime, effective utilisation of resources.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile,&nbsp; we are also working with some government agencies and consortium because we have various smart metering solutions and smart lighting solutions. We have tied up with few consortiums in order to participate in smart city biddings. This essentially helps us to be a part of a whole system and provide multiple services as a single solution for smart cities.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">How does Smart City Mission possess a big opportunity for WebNMS?</span><br /> Couple of opportunities, in fact. Basically, we are the leading provider of enterprise IoT platform and solutions that maximise the potential of connected business infrastructure. WebNMS' platform is designed to streamline operations and enhance productivity of the enterprises. Ready-to-deploy solutions built over the company's IoT platform revolves around three major capabilities; energy management, remote asset management, and logistics &amp; fleet management. A platform that is developer friendly, customisable, and built with functionalities that promotes efficiency, minimises cost, and maximises returns.<br /> <br /> So we have all the elements on a single platform, which gives us a big advantage. And, since we are already working with consortiums for smart cities, it needs all these solutions to be integrated together on a single connected platform.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">How is IoT driving innovation in efficient energy management and remote asset monitoring? </span><br /> Since you touched upon remote monitoring topic, today, most of our industrial customers have their manufacturing sites or production units distributed pan India and in different locations. Hence, for the top management to monitor daily operation from one point source is a challenge. For instance, which department is consuming maximum power units and how these units can be optimised. We provide visibility, given the IoT technology we use through which one can remotely acquire data, and monitor on a single cloud. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, we have also partnered with system integrator in order to provide monitoring system for transmission lines. In this case, we identify the fault in certain rural or unmanned areas, address it and then fix it. Earlier, it required a lot of manual intervention, but with IoT equipped with sensors coming in place, we get a real-time monitoring along with the GPS location of actual scenario. <br /> <br /> So, when failure occurs, it is immediately identified by the sensor and pops up in counsel where utility operations team gets real-time information about the problem. This reduces the maintenance or productivity of the team, and maintenance times are cut short by 30 per cent. It enhances the operation efficiency of the maintenance team that is able to get the real-time statistics and is able to plan a scheduled maintenance or even that which happens as a reactive mode and can be time optimised, and the grid can function at a higher efficiency.<br />
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