What is M2M, what M2M communication is and why wireless is essential for M2M

M2M - Enabling IOT

Let’s get straight to the point: M2M is an abbreviation for Machine to Machine.

M2M communication is communication between two machines. On the surface level, it means that machines are communicating to each other. However, a certain level of autonomy is implied by M2M where Machines don’t just communicate with each other but make decisions automatically based on information exchanged without human interference. Expanding the definition of a machine to include more data sources such as the wide variety of sensors, and including sophisticated machine learning, deep learning and other forms of data analytics, we then reach closer to “Internet of Things”.

Applications of M2M

Many applications springs into mind depending on which industry is being considered. In Power Industry for example, with increase in complexity of both demand and supply of energy, the stability of power grid is severely affected. There is simply no way for human to react fast enough manually for optimization. Automation will also help reduce downtime considerably. In this era where we rely so much on electricity, reduced downtime of electrical supply will definitely be welcomed.

The opportunities for Internet of Things applications are endless. While many have focused on the sexier data analytics, it is important to consider how data can be collected. When a control or data collection panel are initially designed and built, the wires are neatly arranged and consolidated like the example below. This is paramount to maintenance and should not be underestimated.

Neat panel box

Neat panel box

Now imagine if more sensors are to be added, because more parameters are to be monitored. Through retrofitting by the various vendors, the panel start to get messier and messier.

Cabling Nightmare

Cabling Nightmare

The problems are not just aesthetic and are more costly than many realize. Some of the costs are:

  1. Longer physical installation time = higher cost
  2. More errors during installation = more troubleshooting = higher cost
  3. Increased difficulty for maintenance = longer downtime = higher cost

And these are just costs when we consider the panels. We have yet to consider installation of sensors themselves and sometimes, it is just not possible to lay additional wires to the sensors.  The solution is hence, wireless.

Using LoRa technology as an example, where more than 10,000 nodes can be connected to 1 gateway, at more than 10km distance (line of sight), you are potentially saving 10,000 wire installation. That is tremendous time and cost savings!

At L33tech, we have wireless solutions regardless of the throughput and distance required. We understand that wireless is complex to implement, hence we have a team of dedicated consultants to help to select the best wireless product for your applications.

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- Jason Soh, L33Tech Business Development Manager