Using Low-Cost Sensors to Develop a High Precision Lifting Controller Device for an Overhead Crane-Insights and Hypotheses from Prototyping a Heavy Industrial Internet Project

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Oct 4;18(10):3328. doi: 10.3390/s18103328.


The subject of this study was the product development project creating a new innovative proof-of-concept (POC) prototype device that could control a connected industrial overhead crane in order to perform automatic or semi-automatic high precision lifts within a limited time frame. The development work focused on innovating a new measuring concept, which was parallel to finding suitable sensors for the application. Furthermore, the project resulted in a closed loop control system with Industrial Internet connected sensors and a user interface for factory workers. The prototyping journey is depicted to illustrate the decisions made during the product development project to contribute to both the pragmatic and the process discussion in the field of Industrial Internet. The purpose of this research was to explore and generate hypotheses for how new applications should be developed for heavy industry connected devices. The research question is: what are the implications of applying agile product development methods, such as Wayfaring, to heavy industrial machinery and Industrial Internet -based problems? The methodologies used in this paper, in addition to developing the device, are case study research and hypotheses generated from case studies. The hypotheses generated include that it is also possible to prototype large size connected machinery with low-cost and in a short time, and investment decisions for heavy Industrial Internet products become easier with concrete data from proof-of-concept prototypes by creating knowledge about the investment risk and the value proposition.

Keywords: Industrial Internet; Internet of Things; Wayfaring; iterating; prototyping.