How IoT adds value to manufactured products and after services

Photos below: Noisy spot on the car door

Entering the modernized Industry 4.0 era, we are now talking about the Internet of Things (IoT), interconnected sensors and instruments connected to the Internet. For manufacturers, IoT serves best when quality control and maintenance departments determine to settle the users’ feedback and enhance product quality. ANewR’s track record has proven the usefulness of IoT in manufacturing.  

Smart factories make use of IoT to improve the operational process. ANewR has been appointed by one of the leading motor vehicle providers, to identify the noise source from the car door and the engine using the acoustic camera, a perfect example exhibiting the high standards and an excellent brand picture. 

Noise is omnidirectional and reverberant. Noise source identification is too difficult without using an acoustic measurement instrument. Utilising an Acoustic Camera has been displayed as a practical solution with its specific beam-forming technique to undertake the noise source identification. In this case, ANewR has found out for our client by using the acoustic camera that the noise characteristic frequency ranges from 800Hz to 2000Hz at the car door; at the engine, the most critical frequency is 4000 Hz. We have conducted several experiments to testify and verify the noisy spots. Occasionally, results varied as noise would be blocked by specific car configuration and transferred to the acoustic camera’s microphone through the nearest path from the original point to another. 

Successfully catching the particular noisy spots from a complex machinery structure enables engineers to focus on the problematic areas instead of nowhere. Sensing devices eliminate manual examination, which may incite physical harm if the inspection object is a razor-sharp item, such as a chain saw or is an equipment operating in extreme conditions. IoT supports the inspection staff in a swifter and safer investigation into the core subjects. ANewR’ has committed to our client with our extensive experience in sensing systems and applications to the real case in a valuable and cost-effective way.

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, once said, “The plow — like many technologies, both ancient and modern — is about creating more of something and doing it more efficiently, so that more people can benefit.” Applying IoT in manufacturing is the right way at the right moment from now to add value to manufactured products and after services. 

Video – What is smart factory and what makes smart factory?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67FV9Y_cJZk

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

Let tech master the task that is harsh for human

Photos below: Andante noise monitoring system

Andante, a relatively slow tune, is omnidirectional and reverberant. It is difficult to identify the sound source. When it occurs to a workplace, how could we ascertain the sound origin to settle the controversies?

ANewR has the answer – the Andante noise monitoring system comprising stations and platforms.

We are impressed that technology masters a task that is harsh for humans. In a construction site, lots of various equipment and people are operating nearby. When several sub-contractors work for one project, the job to identify the noise-control performance can never be straightforward. ANewR’s noise monitoring station can distinguish three-sixty noise directions – up or down, left or right. Incredibly, the noise compass equips with microphones assuring complete 3D sound occurrence detection. Directional data is exponentially mitigated in time to present a high accuracy indication. The project staff prepares to set the noise compass’s quality pointer to avoid false detection.

Further supported by the CCTV station, the construction activities are under close surveillance. Users can control all CCTV by a single button. CCTV with zooming power makes sure the inspectors witness all construction activities. The monitoring staff effortlessly investigates the dominant noise associated with the construction activities.

To effectively combat environmental negligence, random inspection and control are hardly adequate. Target enforcement action and strategy are placed to surveillance the risk. The risk-based approach uses a monitoring station and webcam system to surveil, and a web-based monitoring platform to release surveillance information. Andante is a sophisticated automatic noise monitoring system operating daily 24-hr continuously to supervise the construction noise monitoring works. It provides all noise monitoring, including measurement data, construction site videos and photos, and data analysis. The system also presents weekly and monthly monitoring data summaries to reflect the performance of the construction activity.

ANewR’s Andante system introduces a step-change in accepted automation methods for environmental monitoring of rail projects. Employed by the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) of Hong Kong, Andante was already successfully used when constructing the South Island Line (SIL) of MTR Corporation. In 2012, the annual Hong Kong ICT Awards awarded MTR the Certificate of Merit in the Best Green ICT Award category to adopt Andante under the monitoring scheme. With anticipated growing use on sites, we encourage its enactment in all infrastructure projects. 

Video – How can you find the noise, not with your ears, but with a scientific method?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiEHQhrxCBs

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

An IoT public engagement

In last interview with Mr. KK Iu, we talked about the acoustic window mock-up model. The role we should not miss is the coordination and management. For the mock-up project this time, Mr. James Choi from ANewR Consulting Limited is the chief person to lead.

Video – Interviewing noise control pioneer in Hong Kong featuring K K Iu (Part 1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJRHBjzGdTo)

J – Mr. James Choi from ANewR Consulting Limited

R: I looked at the demo. It is pretty impressive. What are the challenges when making it?

J: The tender had given us rooms to propose creative ideas. We were asked to set up merely a booth to introduce the acoustic window to the public. The challenge here was to pitch ANewR’s capability in environmental service and digitalisation while our proposal connects our client’s objective. The innovative and design thinking process began with a question – how might we remodel the demonstration to entice stakeholders to tour the booth? The client’s stakeholder was the general public for the project this time. Our next question was how to build a booth drawing the general public to glance moreover retain them at the booth. We wanted the audience to have fun while being informed. 

From a marketing point of view, Big Waster is the character that suits this project purpose well from an educational angle – the right image symbolizing our client. It is the funnies that children and adults will love about him. The animation with Big Waster conceives a living while informative presentation.

On the other hand, the way of bringing out the informative message is innovative digitally. Matching the world trend of digitalisation, we had chosen the interactive activity triggered by a sensor to let the participants control the mock-up acoustic window’s open and close only by a hand wave. More than that, we had added the sensation of sound and wind. The operation is simple – when the outer window and the acoustic window are wide open, the participants will hear the noise coming through the window, reaching seventy dB. If closing the exterior window, the acoustic window is in function effectively, and the participants can feel a reduction of noise level as well as air ventilation.

R: What is the role of ANewR in this project? 

J: As the main contractor of this mock-up project. ANewR had picked up the project management task, coordinating and liaising between the client and sub-contractors. By capitalising on digital development projects and extensive environmental knowledge over a decade, ANewR is delighted that our client has appreciated our creative proposal and the final exhibition. It relies on an excellent long-term collaboration in understanding the client’s perspective to ensure our deliverables are up to our client’s expectations. By harmonising the sound performance and visual production, the interactive collection ideally blends in the whole interior environment. We are scaling down the window to accommodate the exhibit area that aligns with the height of a human being to wave at the sensor camera to trigger the interactive game start, calibrating the noise level display to illustrate the dB corresponding to the open or close scenarios literally. The wind effect is to produce a more stimulating experience for those who engage at the booth. The Big Waster in the video is the lead to assist the visitors throughout the show. The acoustic window’s demonstration set enables the gamer to control the changing mode smartly by pose, QR code, and remote control. The remarkable example of Shek Mun Estate incubates the background scene to arouse the visitors’ attention to the compelling real-world case of Hong Kong.

From here, you may notice another challenge we face as the main contractor. We have much cross-stakeholder collaboration in this project. They are our client, the venue owner, the acoustic window supplier, technicians, marketing agency, scripts contributors, IoT specialist, logistic Company, users, last but not least, the acoustic consultant. The most unforgettable event during the set-up was to move the finished block to the venue. The booth is 2.4 meters by 1 meter, which did not fit in the elevator. What we could do is cut them down into three pieces and reinstate them into one. Thanks to each professional party’s collaboration, the acoustic window model booth has gracefully stood at the CIC–Zero Carbon Park from 5th October 2020.

The mock-up acoustic window model is open for a visit when the general public registers a tour with The CIC–Zero Carbon Park in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong. 

Video – The making of the acoustic window booth for EPD in Hong Kong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2VpXKLYF0o

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)