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Advantech data-driven software/hardware integrated application framework enables AI and IoT in Taiwan factories
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The rapid development of AI has brought a new revolution to IoT. Applying deep learning or AI algorithms to IoT system architecture to make IoT device smart has become the latest technology trend. In response to the development of AIoT, Allan Yang, Advantech's chief technology officer, stated that the company has reinterpreted the Solution Ready Package (SRP) application framework.

"Based on the WISE-PaaS industrial IoT Cloud Platform," Yang stated, "we have launched a diverse range of industrial IoT applications and solutions that integrate software and hardware and can be quickly replicated."

Advantech SRP Evolves from Function-Oriented toward Data-Driven

The SRPs mentioned by Yang are an indication of the industrial IoT solutions that have been developed for vertical industries. These SRPs meet 70%-80% of application needs, with the remaining gap filled by system integrators for final installation, adjustment, and customization. Currently, Advantech is targeting Industry 4.0 applications including machine-to-intelligence (M2I), intelligent retail, intelligent healthcare, , all of which fall under the development of smart cities.

Advantech proposed the SRP concept as a new operating model in 2013. At that time, the traditional client­-server architecture was still maintained despite industrial applications and cloud services being a point of emphasis. With the SRP concept, the server was simply moved to the cloud and solutions with specific functions were designed to meet specific customer needs. This function-oriented architecture created a deep connection between IoT data and system functions but rendered system development difficult. This was because for every new application scenario, Advantech had to redesign and develop suitable solutions, making it difficult to realize mass replication and rapid implementation.

With the current shifts in industrial trends and the coming of the data-driven era, Advantech's SRP model presents a brand new concept and framework. To meet demand for data collection and market analysis capability, the architecture of the second generation of SRPs has evolved from a function-oriented approach to a data-driven one. All IoT data are centralized on the cloud platform, providing a basis to develop applications such as AI analysis and data visualization.

Yang explained that the main purpose of the existing SRP is to provide users with data and to collect related solutions. The overall framework comprises sensing devices and gateways at the edge, a cloud platform, and AI analysis with data visualization functionality. Completing this framework is the company's extensive industry expertise. Now at the foundation of Advantech's second generation of SRPs is the WISE-PaaS platform, and this has proven to be key to the flexible and rapid deployment of SRPs.

WISE-PaaS-Based Solutions Enable Cross-Platform Utilization of Manufacturer Data

WISE-PaaS is a cloud service software platform jointly proposed by Advantech and the Taiwan Institute for Information Industry (III). It provides multiple database services, IoT hubs, computing resource management services, multitenancy management services, flexible expansion, AI model training and framework deployment services, dashboard visualization, and multi-level data security/management services. The biggest difference between Advantech SRP and general PaaS platforms is that data migration and industrial environments are considered.

Data is arguably the most valuable asset in modern times, and it is inevitably subject to government regulations or the policy requirements of individual enterprises. For example, data typically cannot be taken from a work site, which limits options for data storage. However, the cross-cloud setting feature of the WISE-PaaS platform frees IoT applications from this limitation by allowing them to be launched on any private or public cloud. As such, relevant applications can be launched via the WISE-PaaS platform regardless of whether Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Alibaba Cloud, or some other cloud platform is used.

Another common occurrence - particularly at industrial sites - is the deployment of devices of different brands and types, each of which may support a proprietary communication protocol. The implication of this is that various communication standards must be consolidated before data can be collected. Because of Advantech's decades of experience in developing industrial applications that support for a variety of industrial protocols, the connectivity between WISE-PaaS platform and edge devices is outstanding in meeting the needs of a wide range of industrial applications.

According to Yang, it is difficult to carry out cross-industry applications with a function-based approach to development. However, by adopting the WISE-PaaS platform, the underlying data acquisition architecture can be flexibly adjusted and built to meet specific application needs to achieve the goal of mass replication and rapid import and to drive the development of future IoT applications.

Creating IoT Growth Opportunities with Partners through the Co-Creation Model

In the past two years, Advantech has actively invited many cloud service solution providers from different industries to migrate their solutions to the WISE-PaaS platform or to redevelop their specialized industrial applications on the platform. At the recent WISE-PaaS Worldwide Partner Engagement Meeting, Advantech published nine sets of co-created SRP solutions. At the IoT Co-Creation Summit, which will be held on November 1 and 2 in Suzhou, China, Advantech will announce 30 co-created IoT solutions (AIoT.SRPs), with 50 partners showcasing the most cutting-edge applications in key domains.

Yang emphasized that during the first phase of IoT development, Advantech focused on hardware and conducted product-oriented mergers and acquisitions. In the second phase, the WISE-PaaS platform and SRP industrial application solutions will be the central focus, the objective of which is to accelerate the implementation of IoT applications. As for the third phase, the strategy will be to collaborate with new software partners and domain-focused system integrators to implement industrial cloud services through the co-creation model. Ultimately, this will establish an industrial IoT supply chain in Taiwan, and this is expected to become a major driver of economic growth, similar to the country's electronics industry.

DIGITIMES' editorial team was not involved in the creation or production of this content. Companies looking to contribute commercial news or press releases are welcome to contact us.

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