Applications and Use Cases

WiMi Hologram Cloud's MaaS Platform Reshapes Manufacturing Landscape

July 14, 2023

WiMi Hologram Cloud foresees a shift in the manufacturing sector as digitization and automation take center stage. The company predicts that cyber-physical systems within manufacturing plants will change through the integration of intelligent devices equipped with sensors and actuators. Simultaneously, manufacturing facilities are developing local edge computing infrastructure to empower advanced computing capabilities.

With that foresight, the global hologram AR technology provider is exploring a new model to seize the opportunity in the market of industrial intelligence and personalization transformation. WiMi is laying the foundation for a technology framework for the next generation of industrial IoT applications with a new platform mechanism, Manufacturing as a Service, or MaaS.

Under this platform mechanism, production demanders gain the flexibility of placing personalized orders without the need to purchase extensive equipment. On the other hand, equipment providers can maximize their equipment usage, generating additional value.

To enable this pay-per-use business model, WiMi leverages distributed ledger technology, or DLT, to establish decentralized trust and traceability. By utilizing DLT, manufacturers can securely track goods and transactions throughout the supply chain, ensuring transparency and reducing fraud and errors. This technology provides an immutable record of quality control processes, inspection results and adherence to regulatory requirements, bolstering manufacturers' confidence in their product standards.

WiMi's research focuses on identifying efficient and intelligent integration of DLT-based solutions in manufacturing environments. The company aims to establish DLT as a common framework for adoption in manufacturing, promoting collaborative shared manufacturing practices that contribute to energy conservation and enhance collaboration efficiency.

The DLT-based MaaS platform developed by WiMi comprises four integral components:

  • Distributed ledger system: This component encompasses various modules that establish the fundamental functionalities of DLT, such as consensus, smart contracts, data authorization, identity management, and peer-to-peer communication. These components ensure that changes made to the ledger are accurately reflected across all replicas, while also providing secure data storage for IoT devices and parameter configurations.
  • Physical host: This component comprises industrial robots, devices, and IoT sensor devices responsible for data collection, which is then published to the distributed ledger for statistical analysis.
  • Plant edge node system: Given the large volume of sensor-generated data and the high energy consumption required for verification, DLT-based solutions are unsuitable for direct execution on resources. To address this, high-computing resource edge servers are strategically deployed within the plant edge network. These servers process real-time applications, improve privacy, and collaborate with the DLT network on computationally intensive tasks.
  • External Services: Manufacturing environments often face resource constraints, including limited storage space and low computing power. To overcome these limitations, external infrastructure is consolidated at the edge to provide services like storage and computing. For example, the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) offers distributed file storage for manufacturing data generated by IoT networks, with hashes returned to the ledger. IPFS plays a crucial role in managing vast amounts of manufacturing data, while payment channels facilitate shared manufacturing by enabling multiple transfers between customers and plant operators without burdening the DLT network with individual transactions.

WiMi's comprehensive approach also encompasses digital identity management, supporting the distributed management of participant device identities within the ecosystem.

Through MaaS, manufacturing equipment can be utilized more flexibly, with multiple demand-side parties renting machines from various suppliers on the platform. This collaborative industrial IoT model envisions ubiquitous and autonomous interaction among devices in manufacturing plants, operating efficiently and safely at scale without human intervention.

The platform emphasizes the need for advanced system reliability, intelligence and trust to support its operations.

Edited by Alex Passett

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