FIOT in ŠKODA AUTO Wins IT Project of 2018
On 21st March 2019, Prague saw the Award Ceremony for the IT Project of 2018, a contest run by the organisation CACIO (Czech IT Directors Association). First prize went to our FIOT Smart Maintenance project in ŠKODA AUTO a.s. We would like to express our warmest thanks to CACIO and above all to ŠKODA AUTO for being such an excellent partner. Read on to learn more about the project.
CACIO is a Czech organisation that consists of outstanding IT managers. It strives to help various business sectors take advantage of the IT potential available to them, and increase awareness of the latest IT trends among Czech companies.
In the 16th year of the contest, our FIOT competed with such strong contenders as the mobile application Lítačka, Můj Globus, the information system eRecept and the Tax Office's Servis Desk. The fact that the FIOT has beaten such serious competitors makes our victory even more precious to us.
The same award also went to the State Institute of Drug Control for its information system eRecept. We are glad that businesses are not the only developers of smart solutions.
What is FIOT?
FIOT Smart Maintenance draws on the concept of Industry 4.0, and involves automated collection of data from control systems and its visualisation, thus implementing the modern, innovative condition monitoring that is such a buzzword nowadays but is rarely seen in practice.
Apart from a standard interface, the FIOT includes augmented reality, 3D models, digital twins, user-friendly dashboards and digital documentation. As all of this is also available in a mobile application, the user has access to data virtually anywhere, anytime. That is why the FIOT truly deserves to be called a fully-fledged IoT solution.
All the components are bundled and offered as a single application under the name of FIOT. Provided via computers and tablets, the application is not only available to electrical maintenance staff and programmers but to the management.
A Dream Come True
"Three years ago, we dreamt of FIOT (FOXON Internet of Things) becoming reality, and implementing IoT into everyday maintenance and production. Yet there was basically no formula for what smart maintenance should be like or how a maintenance engineer could benefit from a production line's digital twin.
In ŠKODA AUTO, we were very lucky to meet people who supported innovations and digitalisation. We tried to come up with and evaluate the benefits of modern Industry 4.0 technologies for everyday maintenance. Each of our projects brought something useful. Our idea was to develop a smart maintenance system that would provide the user with all the information needed for them to make the right decision, be it in front of a control cabinet, in a meeting, in their office or outside the plant.
We did manage to create such a system. Today, supported by such a strong partner as ŠKODA AUTO, the FIOT has nearly 150 electrical maintenance users across the enterprise's plants," says the owner of the company FOXON, Jaromír Peterka, adding, "We're very honoured to have been awarded the IT Project of 2018. It means we're heading in the right direction, and what we do in ŠKODA AUTO and in other companies does make sense. What we value most though is that the FIOT has been really embraced by maintenance personnel and that it helps them with their everyday work."
Success Rests on Strong Partners and Creative Employees
The FOXON CTO, Tomáš Coufal, further adds, "We love meeting ŠKODA AUTO employees. Trying to understand and satisfy their needs, we help them develop and implement the best solutions possible." When building the smart maintenance system, FOXON relied on its detailed knowledge of control systems, data collection and maintenance, as well as its vast experience in designing robust and highly scalable IT solutions.
"To process the data we collect, we use the IoT platform ThingWorx from the company PTC. It gives us considerable freedom when it comes to innovations, and enables us to develop much more user-friendly overviews of machines' condition. Yet in many cases, we weren't able to find a suitable product on the market that would be the right choice for a given project." That is why FOXON invested heavily into creating its own R & D department, which resulted in the development of new communication drivers for collecting data from CNC machines, a unique, comprehensive solution for PROFINET network diagnostics, wireless IoT sensors, interfaces for data exchange with third-party systems and many other hardware and software products.
"Our goal is to think outside the box. Where others give up, not being able to work out a solution, we get the work done and deliver," he comments.