The Industrial Summit 2021 will take place on November 3, 2021, in Shenzhen, China. The conference will feature more than 150 demos from ST and our partners. Attendees will also enjoy 35 in-person and live-streamed sessions on Power & Energy, Motor Control, and Automation. To preview what’s to come and help readers understand where the Industrial market is heading, let’s look at some of the most impressive showcases.
Industrial Summit 2021: Smart Infrastructure & Environment
The smart building demo aims to bring KNX to more industrial applications and show a more fleshed-out solution. Indeed, in 2019, the first Industrial Summit demoed an STKNX transceiver in a smarter home. In 2021, the presentation features an office with connected locks, air-conditioning, blinds, and a myriad of sensors, for a total of 25 different devices, all using KNX and LoRaWAN. The new showcase also stands out because of its broader scope. Instead of simply looking at automation, there’s a new emphasis on safety with smoke and gas detectors, among others. Moreover, all products and solutions on display are already available in collaboration with our partners. As a result, it is possible to integrate those solutions in real-world buildings as soon as the Summit ends.
The smart parking demo is new because it provides a unique way to combine numerous communication protocols. Indeed, the gate uses Ethernet, a parking space detects the presence of a car using ultrasound, and occupancy information travel using a proprietary sub-1GHz FSK modulation at 433 MHz. End users only see green or red indicators whether a space is available. On the other hand, developers benefit from a turnkey solution that can vastly transform operations. We also worked with a local partner to create the gate. The unit acts as a point-of-sale and uses an ST microcontroller.
Smart Lighting Pole
The smart lighting pole highlights another ST technology. While the previous demos focused on communication protocols, this one shines a light on energy efficiency. The lighting pole uses ST LED drivers. The product has many features, from a camera to ST environmental sensors and a cellular network. However, it was critical to showcase the importance of energy efficiency in smart city applications. Too often, engineers and thought leaders dismiss it because a pole draws its power from the grid. Nevertheless, optimizing the LEDs consumption goes a long way when improving the environmental impact of a technology.
Smart Green Energy Network
From Solar Panel to EV Charging Station
While conferences often show unrelated energy harvesting and power delivery solutions, the Industrial Summit 2021 will be showcasing a new comprehensive demo that brings both together. Put simply, attendees will see a solar panel and photovoltaic inverter that can feed an electric car charger. For safety reasons, the current won’t actually flow through the demo, but all components will be functional. The showcase, from Sungrow, features a solar panel and photovoltaic inverter. It uses ST’s silicon carbide devices to help improve efficiency and reduce costs. Simultaneously, the electric car charger offers a Vehicle-to-Grid feature. Besides topping up cells, the charger can also use the car’s battery to drive the grid. The bidirectional system can thus help stabilize a network during peak hours.
The smart manufacturing demo took on a whimsical approach by showcasing an EtherCAT rover. The robot, designed by our competence center, moves around an enclosure and picks up various colored balls. The point is to show the autonomy and efficiency that a robot arm could offer in a manufacturing plant. All parts are available, and the technologies are mature. Engineers can even start their projects with application examples we provide for some of the boards.
The EtherCAT Rover is our first demo with two EtherCAT nodes (STEVAL-ETH001V1), one for each wheel. The EtherCAT master resides in the STM32MP157D-DK1 and receives instructions from a NUCLEO-F446RE, which serves as the main conductor. Indeed, the latter also controls the camera that sits on the STM32H747I-DISCO. The board’s MCU takes the image and uses machine learning to recognize the colors. Additionally, there are eight time-of-flight LiDAR sensors VL53L1X-SATEL for collision avoidance and SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping). Finally, the STSPIN32G4 System-in-Package drives two motors: one for the rope and the other for the arm’s rotation.
Rubber Tapping Machine, Soil and Humidity Monitoring
The Industrial Summit 2021 will feature a rubber tapping machine different from the one we recently covered on the blog. Made by an Indian company, Bholanath, the machine’s primary purpose is to automate cutting operations. It doesn’t come with a sub-gigahertz network controller, but it uses ST motor control solutions. Ultimately, the increased use of these new machines is becoming a solution to improve productivity and working environments. People no longer need to brave harsh elements, and it becomes possible to optimize collection to manage resources better. Additionally, Winext, a Chinese company, will showcase outdoor sensors compatible with LoRA and global positioning technologies. The modules help measure soil and water content to better inform farmers. Finally, Inventronics’ EUM series LED drivers will demonstrate how smart lighting can produce ideal conditions for agricultural usages.
In conclusion, the Industrial Summit 2021 will be unique because it brings real-world green innovations closer to customers. The industry has been talking about green energy for years. Today, we have turnkey solutions to make it a viable reality to more than a privileged few. For many of these technologies, the question is no longer when they will be accessible but how they will be integrated in the near future.