MTN crowns best in IOT

Kgaogelo Letsebe
By Kgaogelo Letsebe, Portals journalist
Johannesburg, 01 Aug 2018
Digital Twin Mine Management was the overall winner of the 2018 MTN Mind2Machine Awards.
Digital Twin Mine Management was the overall winner of the 2018 MTN Mind2Machine Awards.

Digital Twin Mine Management, an industrial Internet of things (IOT) monitoring system, was crowned the top IOT solution of 2018 at the third annual MTN Business IOT Conference and Mind2Machine Awards held in Midrand yesterday.

The winning team was awarded various prizes, including a trip to Silicon Valley worth R200 000.

The end result of a collaboration between MineRP and FlowCentric Technologies, the real-time mine monitoring solution uses IOT-enabled sensors, provided by Sperosens, to monitor the mine environment and deliver real-time data on airflow, temperature, gas, smoke levels and other relevant information.

It also uses virtual reality (VR) technology to provide users with a fully mapped digital twin of the mine terrain.

MineRP is a software and consulting company that specialises in technical products and solutions for the mining sector, while FlowCentric Technologies is a software development firm focusing on business process management (BPM) software.

The companies say the solution is capable of alerting personnel to real-time changes in the mine environment and allows users to initiate the appropriate workflows in both VR and desktop environments.

FlowCentric CIO Denis Bensch explains: "Users can navigate through the virtual tunnels to check on the available sensor data. If any actionable data is detected, the appropriate business process can be initiated either automatically because of the sensor data, or by the user through the VR environment.

"Once a process has been initiated, the FlowCentric Processware engine will route tasks to the appropriate personnel and divisions to coordinate and complete. The BPM software ensures each task is completed in a compliant, efficient manner, while maintaining a complete audit trail of each step in the process.

"With companies like MineRP finding increasingly innovative ways to gather and connect data to people, it is only a matter of time before BPM will become commonplace, used everywhere from an underground mine to your own home. In time, Industry 4.0 may become the new normal too," noted Bensch.

Digital Twin Mine Management also won the best Industry 4.0 solution, in a category that looked for solutions that help to better gather and analyse data and transform it into actionable, real-time, insightful information.

Fellow winners

Dubbed the "Oscars of the IOT industry", the Mind2Machine Awards also recognised the following:

Marc1-POS won for best commercial IOT solution. The cloud-based point-of-sale solution has integrated location analytics to track repeat customers and client traffic to deliver insight into customer loyalty and capture rate.

Best enterprise development solution was awarded to Smart Citi's Fiyela IOT Broom, which enables municipal street sweepers to report illegal dumping, leaking pipes and emergencies through a touch of a button on the device, which tags the GPS location of the incident and allows municipalities to gather useful data for problematic hotspots.

The most disruptive IOT solution category was won by Technovera's PeleBox Smart Locker, a smart locker system that enables patients to collect repeat chronic medication in under two minutes instead of queuing for hours at public clinics. The digital platform manages various Internet-enabled smart lockers. The City of Tshwane and National Department of Health have piloted the product in public clinics.

Lastly, Aubrey Mnisi's bagged the most innovative hardware in IOT accolade. The advance driver assistance system has an anti-collusion camera built on blockchain technology with machine vision algorithms.

Last year's Mind2Machine winner, IoT.Nxt, went on to secure $7.7 million in funding and recently opened an office in London.

"SA start-ups tend to undermine and undersell themselves as compared to the rest of the world. Unbeknown to them they are on par and sometimes even better. Winning the award leapfrogged our success to the multimillion company we are today," noted IoT.Nxt founder Nico Steyn.