​Digger demo unearths insights into potential of IoT-enabled devices

By Adam Sawley, SAP Supply Chain & Asset Management Practice Manager on

Cutting edge technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), sounds great in theory, but many people still wonder what the real-life applications look like. How will these internet-connected devices help business users, and entire organisations, operate more effectively?

Oxygen attempted to answer this question in a novel way when we attended a recent Mastering SAP Supply Chain & Asset Management conference in the Gold Coast.

The little IoT digger that could

We created the Excavator 1.0 simulation, fitting a fully functional remote-control digger with external sensors that streamed data to the cloud and triggered notifications in SAP S/4HANA.

There were many exhibitors at the conference talking about SAP Leonardo, SAP’s digital innovation system that brings together a range of leading edge tech – such as IoT, artificial reality, machine learning and analytics – but there were very few examples of it in action.

Our remote-controlled digger was a hit because it showed IoT in practice and gave people a glimpse of the real-world insights organisations can gain from a fully integrated, ‘live’ technology platform.

At a function for around 550 guests, keen participants were registered via a mobile app and tasked with navigating the excavator around an obstacle course.

Driving real business value with predictive analytics

The course contained ramps and hills the ‘driver’ had to negotiate, and included several tricky tasks, such as filling a dump truck. The aim was to complete the course without breaching any of the programmed thresholds that the external sensors were recording.

The remote digger was fitted with an accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as temperature, proximity and moisture sensors. The data from these was streamed in real-time back to the SAP Cloud Platform, which in turn was connected to SAP S/4HANA.

If the digger fell off a ramp, for example, the sensor parameters would be triggered, causing spikes to occur on the read-outs that were displayed on a large monitor set up above the course. Crossing those thresholds triggered alerts in SAP S/4HANA which then issued the driver with instant notifications, earning him/her demerit points.

The power of SAP Leonardo to connect

It was a fun event that generated a lot of interest and illustrated the power of SAP Leonardo to connect devices and provide real-time insight into assets. Participants instantly recognised the importance of the sensor data when it came to predictive maintenance – an activity that asset intensive organisations take extremely seriously. The ability to keep machinery running, knowing when it needs servicing, or when it will likely fail, is vital to improving maintenance regimes and helping organisations reach new heights of operational efficiency.

In 2018 we will go one step further with the excavator simulation, integrating analytics and creating dashboards on top of the sensor data to give users even deeper insights into how their assets are performing.

Get connected

Oxygen, a DXC Technology company offers a comprehensive roadmap of SAP solutions that create sophisticated connections between all of your organisation’s moving parts.

We can help you establish your digital ERP core, build out your supply chain and enterprise asset management solutions, streamline your source to pay processes, develop integrated business planning to meet customer and supplier expectations, internet-enable your assets and machinery, and integrate data feeds to improve day-to-day analysis and actionable insights.

If you would like to talk to us about any of SAP’s latest technology, including SAP Leonardo SAP Cloud Platform and SAP S/4HANA, please contact us below.