Cyberphysical Systems

Connected with the cloud

Cyberphysical Systems (CPS) integrate distance computing and cloud communication with the real physical world.
A CPS consists of a collection of computing devices communicating with one another and interacting with the physical world via sensors and actuators in a feedback loop. CPS are actually evolving everywhere, from smart buildings to medical devices to automobiles. We see a unique chance to use them in membrane filtration in food factories, due to a massive need with regard to

  • better utilization of raw-material, water, energy and chemicals
  • documentation, validation

  • Relevance for the food industry

    Cyberphysical systems are essential for the survival of food companies.

    Better Utilization of Water

    There are factories being in an alarming situation regarding fresh water supply, because they discard too much water every day and can't grow anymore. There is not sufficent water available from the community. A solution would be to recycle water internally. But this is possible only with hardware and software supplements that expands their production processes. This is where CPS comes into play.

    Documentation, Validation

    Food raw materials vary in composition due to seasonal, process-attributed, genetical-attributed a.o. factors. Small differences in the feed material have enormous effects on processing, quality requirements, filtration-performance.

    Principles of CPS

    Embedded computer devices with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies coupled with real-time analysis, enhance membrane separation processes. Embedded devices collect, process, analyze and interpret information of membrane systems which have not been made visible in the past. The availability of real-time on-line information about the separation process offers numerous operational benefits. IoT technology provides new opportunities to build more powerful industrial membrane filtration systems by connecting smart networked sensors and actuators with embedded devices. Cyberphysical Systems (CPSs) can be described as smart systems that include hardware, software, computational and physical components such as sensors and actuators, seamlessly integrated and interacting to sense and control in real time the changing state of something in the real world. CPS are envisioned as production system components with information processing and communication/interaction capabilities able to execute physical processes within a production system in cooperation with other entities. A modern membrane filtration system is a CPS, because it has the capability to execute physical processes in cooperation with other entities.

    CPS are now starting to bridge the physical with the virtual, digitalized world. CPS are software-intensive with the ability to be "intelligent. CPS supervise, monitor, control and manage industrial process infrastructure. That will shift the relation we work with automated systems. The technological, economic and social impact of the IoT are enormous and will also affect the field of membrane technology. Plant operators are not only interacting with an automated system on the plant level, but interact over Internet technologies with other CPS ecosystem in real-time. Operators will learn to handle complex information and make more intelligent decisions. The effectiveness of the operator will be increased. Personnel will become more symbiotic relationship with the CPPSs. As such, design, implementation and operation of future membrane systems and -processes will become much richer in information content. The new detail know-how of membrane system performance will transform the entire design process for membrane systems, resulting in much more sophisticated systems. Embedded sensor- and actor-devices within membrane systems can sense and control the separation process, make autonomous decisions, optimize yield, performance, cleaning a.o. This leads to a new way, membrane systems are managed. Operators learn from their filtration systems on process optimization.

    Sensor Platforms

    One of the biggest issues in membrane filtration is the demand for accurate, reliable, and precise realtime information during the process. Today’s membrane systems are mostly automated with respect to pressure, temperature, flow and level. These sensors measure the physical behavior of the machines, but do not provide information about the separation process. There is an enormous appetite for sensors to bring relevant information about the process, not the machine. A Cyberphysical Sensorplatform consists of a computing platform loaded with wireless access points, sensors, and actuators. A Cyberphysical Sensorplatform measures physical data from a physical object that is under process and performs real-time process data collection and analysis. The collected data is transmitted to a server or cloud for further processing and analysis.

    Our sensor platforms are connected at-line to production systems, enabling processors to provide immediate feedback about the composition of streams, analytics, quality, quantity, energy. More and more users want to optimize soft constraints, such as energy consumption, waste water, membrane life-time etc. Additional sensors are needed to gain an overall picture to solve overall optimization problems.

    By using specific sensor platforms data are captured into an electronic platform that’s integrated into the membrane system. Process errors are reduced either through prevention or by alerting users to a deviation (exception).

    Due to better sensors, unnecessary repeating work can be avoided.

    With our sensor platforms, there are significantly less time to spent of personnel for write up, review and re-execution.