The IoT Platform for OEE Improvement

An Internet of Things (IoT) platform provides companies with Industry 4.0 functions on the Web without having to develop or run the applications themselves. Instead, the functions are only configured, used and billed based on this usage. Thus, the term platform-as-a-service, PaaS for short, has become established for this business model. is an IoT platform for optimizing Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

The Institute for Productivity, Aachen, has set itself the task of providing companies with easy and flexible access to a mature OEE optimization solution. For this, both the corresponding hardware in the form of sensors and the cloud application were developed. The overall functionality is provided as an IoT platform.

The IoT Technology Stack

The IoT technology makes it easy to connect “things” to the Internet, manage them, and intelligently analyze, visualize, or take action on data generated by things. An IoT platform takes care of all the trivialities involved in transmissions, protocols, security, performance, application development, maintenance, and so on. This is how the term Platform-as-a-Service has become established. Only the use of the platform is compensated.

Technology Stack
Illustration: IoT Technology Stack takes care of the hardware integration as an IoT platform. Either the sensor developed for the specific requirement is used or a direct connection of the system control to the RESTFul API takes place. When using the flexible sensor, it is possible to decide between the transmission modes mobile GSM or use of the local WLAN.

The data is transferred to the “Cloud” area, where, in addition to data collection and processing, data integration with the software libraries for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) takes place. In the case of, the open-source platform Tensorflow developed by Google is used.

On the application side, visualization and classic reporting are provided in the user interface as well as access to the AI ​​analyzes. Furthermore, the device management and the software management are carried out via apps – from there, for example, the firmware of the sensors can be updated. A u.a. safety-relevant functionality in the IoT environment. In addition, both sensors and users are allowed there. Everything that one is used to from modern applications as a user.

The Advantages of an IoT Platform

Of course, it is not impossible to develop and operate the functionalities developed by in-house through information technology. However, there are also important arguments for giving preference to a Platform-as-a-Service solution:

  • Scalability: Both improvement and IT projects are happy to begin with a pilot installation to gain experience. This is made possible for the first time by the non-existent investment and the rental solution of the service platform for the environment of such projects.
  • Flexibility: With an IoT platform, only the actual usage is paid, billed by the number of sensors. So there are no fixed costs for the company.
  • Development: Most of the further developments of an IoT platform are made available to all users. This means that you are always technologically – safety, performance, … – as well as functionally always up to date with the latest technology. In the case of the functions, this is particularly relevant in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning, because there is a particularly rapid development that can not be followed without dedicated staff.
  • Deployment: The data collected and stored in the use case of the OEE optimization are not classified as safety critical by most companies, so that storage in the private cloud of ifp Aachen does not raise any concerns. However, if this happens, the solution can also be deployed in the company’s private cloud.

What’s Next?

We have sparked your interest. Contact us at or call us: +49 (0) 241/401 842 75. We will gladly provide you with sensors and access to the analysis cockpit for a trial period. Only then you decide. Also here we are easy!