The internet of Things Intelligently connected

The Internet of Things offers huge possibilities and has one particular objective: to make people's everyday life and work easier. ZF technology can help here.

New products and services

Further examples of the advancement of digitization can be found in the development of our own products and services with substantial customer benefits. ZF will show what specific form this will take in a broader context at the Hanover Industrial Trade Fair 2016. An economic wind farm, for example, is dependent on certain variables; firstly, the wind force is not the same every day. Secondly, the price of electricity, maintenance requirements and the availability of service specialists also play a role. Modern sensors and data analysis mean that we have a clear overview of these factors and, where necessary, can quickly optimize better capacity and higher revenue. "We are able to realize these types of connection solutions for industry applications across the entire product range; from wind turbine and large industrial gearboxes to agricultural and construction machinery transmissions, thus enabling us to better react to changing customer needs," explains Dr. Klaus Geißdörfer, Executive Vice President of the Industrial Technology Division at ZF.

Find out how the smart wind farm works in this video

The path to cloud

ZF is also bearing in mind customer benefits, with a new service for the logistics industry, as the intelligent connection of vehicles and goods considerably increases efficiency in the transport industry. Sensitive goods in particular such as drugs and foods require particular environmental conditions during transport. These include constant temperatures, for example. Sometimes all it takes is moisture, impacts or vibrations to compromise the quality of goods. Thanks to Openmatics' cloud-based "deTAGtive" logistics software, drivers, forwarding agents and customers can find out the condition of freight at any time.

Openmatics' "deTAGtive logistics" means ZF Services is able to comprehensively check valuable cargo.

Bluetooth smart tags provide this information. All users need to do to access the functions on-site is download a free app available on Google Play and in the Apple Store. In addition, logisticians can administer tags and the tag finder in real time at their workplace using a web application.

ZF Openmatics will also be able to operate across the entire product range in the future, even in predictive diagnostics and predictive maintenance concepts, regardless of whether for stationary applications in industry or for mobile applications in construction and agriculture.

People are the focus

Despite the plethora of possibilities, the Internet of Things has one main function in particular: to benefit people. Interfaces for communication between people and machines therefore play a central role in developing new applications; for example when the driver should take back control of the steering wheel from autopilot when trucks and passenger cars drive autonomously. Innovative features in the ZF Concept Cockpit, such as hands on/off detection, a display with a haptic touch surface, new, highly-precise facial and emotion recognition as well as seatbelts which respond and communicate actively, establish the connection between driver and vehicle.

The ZF Concept Cockpit for highly-automated driving comprises: (1) a special steering wheel with hands on/off detection (HOD) amongst other things, (2) a display with a haptic touch surface, (3) new, highly-precise facial and emotion recognition as well as (4) seatbelts which respond and communicate actively.

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