Sunday, December 5, 2021

How the Internet of Things (IoT) is Used by Volkswagen Group, BigBelly Solar, Deep Sky Vineyards, Citizen Care Pod, and Canutillo Independent School District: Case Studies

When decision-makers consider implementing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, they typically want assurance that their investments will pay off and that service providers’ offerings will meet or exceed their needs. 

Reading IoT case studies can show business leaders what’s possible and help them make more confident choices about when and how to implement the technology.

These studies below show how the IoT opens diverse possibilities for businesses, helping them meet current and future goals. 

5 IoT case studies

1. Improving Insights at a Vineyard

Industry: Agriculture

Use case: Applying the IoT and data analytics to track statistics from fields and equipment across the complete grape-growing process. 

Outcome: Deep Sky Vineyards has locations in Arizona and Argentina. Business leaders wanted a better way to oversee operations after a broken valve caused a flood. The company used a Google Cloud IoT solution that caused a 75% reduction in human error costs. Since the technology gives water flow and soil moisture metrics, it raised crop efficiency by 50% by preventing adverse conditions that could cause rot. 

Cloud technology also allowed pushing over-the-air updates to remote devices. That convenience allowed the vineyard to maintain visibility over its sites and use the latest software versions. 

2. Streamlining Contactless COVID-19 Testing

Industry: Health care

Use case: Building pods for contactless COVID-19 testing

Outcome: As the coronavirus spread around the world, it became critical to care for people without putting providers at unnecessary risk. For example, one Italian hospital used robots to take patients’ vitals. In this IoT case study, Microsoft Azure’s cloud and IoT solutions allowed for creating contactless testing stations in less than two months.

The solutions served as stations where people could drive or walk up to a window for their tests. The portability allowed setting up testing centers in remote locations or anywhere they’d most likely reach the most at-risk groups. 

The testing pods have computerized translation services to help non-English speakers as well as artificial intelligence (AI) cameras that ensure everyone wears masks. 

IoT innovations: 85 Top IoT Devices

3. Minimizing Labeling Errors During Automotive Production

Industry: Manufacturing

Use case: Using smart cameras and machine learning (ML) to help team members apply the correct regulatory labels to vehicles in a factory. 

Outcome: Since the IoT can alert people to issues before they cause outages, manufacturing and industrial brands are particularly interested in its potential. It can bring attention to faulty equipment and also reduce human errors. Brands under the Volkswagen Group umbrella must apply 25 different labels during vehicle production, and each one has more than 2,000 variations based on country specifics. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provided a cloud-based IoT solution that uses machine learning, automated cameras and IoT apps to identify label errors and alert workers to the issues.

The labels are in several languages, but this method translates them into an employee’s native tongue. Volkswagen Group representatives reported that this process improvement reduced the complexity of workers’ tasks and led to an overall improvement in vehicle quality. 

4. Enhancing the Management of Solar-Powered Trash Receptacles 

Industry: Waste management

Use case: Using IoT and the cloud to improve oversight of solar trash cans in a given location or community. 

Outcome: BigBelly Solar relied on Telit to develop a better way for people to manage waste disposal points. This IoT case study caused an 80% reduction in management costs and gave customers a browser-based console for better visibility. The associated cloud functionality also facilitated remote diagnostics if a particular trash can malfunctioned in a customer’s network. 

Moreover, an authorized party could use the cloud interface to remotely update a garbage receptacle’s software, keeping it functioning smoothly. BigBelly Solar has compacting and non-compacting versions. This technology works with both kinds to verify the fullness level of a given container, saving waste managers from having their staff members make unnecessary trips to check it. 

5. Narrowing the Digital Divide to Facilitate Learning

Industry: Education

Use case: Bringing reliable internet access to the 70% of students in a Texas school district who did not have it at home. This approach also created secure outdoor access points. 

Outcome: The COVID-19 pandemic caused a quick shift to remote learning for many students around the world. This IoT use case involved using products from Cisco’s IoT line to extend the school’s internet access into the homes of children who needed it to continue their studies. 

After first testing this method by bringing dependable, private Wi-Fi to one cluster of houses, the school district’s leaders decided to roll out the technology to eight other groups of residences in the area. The people who worked on this project are developing a blueprint for use across the country, helping kids connect beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Oscar Rico is the school district’s executive director of technology. He explains his drive to find a solution, saying, “When your family can afford internet, you can get up, log in, and do your schoolwork from home. But 70% of our students don’t have internet access at home. Maybe some have access to a parent’s cell phone with unreliable internet. But I knew most would be sitting at a makeshift desk, working their way through a pile of paper. I wanted to find a way to change that.”

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