"For us, working with wherever SIM means: a product range that suits us perfectly, direct, personal support and, above all, reliable access to our application data in real time."

Richard Habering

Head of Business Unit igus® smart plastics

igus GmbH

Condition monitoring of industrial and production facilities with M2M SIM cards

igus GmbH, based in Cologne, develops and produces motion plastics. These innovative products made of high-performance plastics are primarily used in industry. With the concept "improve what moves", igus has set itself the goal of improving the motion sequences of machines and devices worldwide.

For igus, the focus is on innovative thinking in product development - for example through the use of "smart plastics" for Industry 4.0. Sensors already installed in the plastic can transmit real-time data and prevent high costs through the efficient control of maintenance work and the occurrence of damage.

Wastewater treatment plant smart plastics

Condition monitoring in wastewater treatment plants with smart plastics

"We have been working on smart plastics since 2016 and have implemented applications in a wide range of industrial sectors around the world. Smart plastics are intelligent plastic components that are equipped with sensor systems," says Richard Habering, Head of Business Unit at igus. These can be used in various systems, such as machines in sewage treatment plants. 

Durable and robust systems are particularly relevant in sewage treatment plants, as these are in use 365 days a year and a failure of the sewage treatment plant can be very problematic. It is therefore essential to avoid downtimes of the piping systems. This is exactly what the condition monitoring of smart plastics makes possible: the sensors in the components can trigger an alarm or even initiate a complete shutdown of the system via the machine control system - before expensive damage occurs. The data is transmitted in real time using M2M SIM cards and mobile communications. Mobile radio is an established technology for seamless monitoring of the system, as the infrastructure is available almost everywhere.

Habering explains exactly how the system works: "With our i.Sense EC.P tension and thrust force monitoring system, we use sensors to continuously measure the force required by the system to move the cable carrier. If these forces change due to external influences such as ice, an animal or a tool forgotten during maintenance, the sensor detects this change and switches the system off. This solution prevents expensive consequential damage and lays the foundations for the maintenance of the Smart Factory. Of course, we and our customers must be able to rely on the reliable and permanent transmission of data."

Dashboard management M2M SIM cards

wherever SIMDashboard: remote access to all real-time data

As sewage treatment plants largely run without the presence of people, malfunctions during operation may not be detected for long periods of time. This makes remote access by igus customers to status information in real time all the more relevant.

"Theoretically, our smart plastics modules could also be connected by cable, but for years we have seen increasing demand from our customers for direct remote capability and stand-alone connectivity. The connection via mobile routers with M2M SIM enables a simple, standardized connection to the Internet of Things, which is exactly what our customers want from us." Operation should be as simple as possible: The SIM cards are managed via the portal provided by wherever SIM , or via API integration in the customer's own system if desired.

Data security is a top priority, especially when accessing data remotely. Here, wherever SIM offers its customers several options to protect against unauthorized access, for example by using an IPSec VPN(Internet Protocol security). The data is transmitted using a virtual, encrypted connection. 

If access to the data is not a priority, the use of a private APN is recommended as an alternative. This creates a closed system in which the data is forwarded directly to the company's data network without any detours

The advantages of M2M SIM cards for condition monitoring:

  • No matter where, everywhere access to the strongest mobile network on site
  • Comprehensive availability of mobile communications, across national borders
  • Secure remote access with static private IPs via VPN tunnel
  • Common data pool for all active M2M SIM cards
  • Simple SIM management in the online portal or via API in your own system
  • Access to the network of neighboring countries in border regions
M2M SIM cards Smart Factories

Global applicability of M2M technology

Due to its international customer base, the international applicability of the technology used was particularly important for igus when selecting an IoT partner. With wherever SIM and access to all mobile networks in Germany as well as other networks in over 190 countries, this is exactly what is provided. In addition to affordable and easy-to-understand tariffs with included data volume and the easy-to-use dashboard, the professional customer support was the deciding factor for wherever SIM.

"We were impressed not only by the product range, which was perfect for us, but also by the personal commitment of our contact at wherever SIM. Even after signing the contract, he was always available for us, answered every question and advised us on new, suitable tariff options," reports Habering.

The increasing demand for smart plastics shows that igus is on the right track with its trust in innovative products: not only are more and more "standard" products from igus being equipped with smart technology, but international demand is also increasing. igus now has over 2,500 systems worldwide that are equipped with smart modules - and the trend is rising.

M2M Sim Card from wherever SIM
wherever SIM Test free of charge
Test 6 months free of charge
worldwide network coverage
M2M platform