Machine to Machine

What is machine to machine? Wikipedia says: “Machine to machine refers to direct communication between devices using any communications channel, including wired and wireless. Machine to machine communication can include industrial instrumentation, enabling a sensor or meter to communicate the data it records (such as temperature, inventory level, etc.) to application software that can use it (for example, adjusting an industrial process based on temperature or placing orders to replenish inventory). Such communication was originally accomplished by having a remote network of machines relay information back to a central hub for analysis, which would then be rerouted into a system like a personal computer.”


What can we use this technology for? Machinery and robots that assemble cars for example can use this technology. Also products can alert us when they need to be taken in for maintenance and for what reason. Utility meters are another useful application of machine to machine technology. Another application is to use wireless networks to update digital billboards to display different messages based on the time of day or other conditions such as changes in price. Some industries already using these are oil and gas, precision agriculture, military, government, smart cities/municipalities, manufacturing, and public utilities. Wikipedia sites another example: “In 2011, Audi partnered with T-Mobile and RACO Wireless to offer Audi Connect. Audi Connect allows users access to news, weather, and fuel prices while turning the vehicle into a secure mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing passengers access to the Internet.”

You can reduce the downtime of machines to near zero by using sensors to communicate data. The data could include things such as when regular maintenance is due and can also report the results of self-diagnostic procedures. This is called fault detection. Wikipedia defines fault detection and isolation this way: “Fault detection, isolation, and recovery (FDIR) is a subfield of control engineering which concerns itself with monitoring a system, identifying when a fault has occurred, and pinpointing the type of fault and its location.”

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