LEONiQ and Microsoft Azure Sphere: Key technology for intelligent cables with cloud connectivity

With LEONiQ, LEONI has developed a key digital technology to make cable systems safer, more reliable and more intelligent. For example, LEONiQ means predictive maintenance is now possible for the first time for a large number of cable systems, thereby reducing the risk of unexpected power and data transmission failures. LEONIQ also costs much less than comparable technical solutions, while also being considerably compacter.

LEONI uses Microsoft Azure Sphere to evaluate the measurement data generated by LEONiQ. By using Azure Sphere, LEONI can bridge the gap much faster between new, digital solutions and customer applications, and increase its hardware performance while addressing security issues around data and equipment in much more detail.

Microsoft's Azure Sphere is a secure platform which combines three-components: the Azure Sphere microcontroller (MCU), a secure operating system (Sphere OS) and a turnkey cloud security service with which the controllers communicate. The microcontroller's computing logic is sufficiently powerful to process LEONI's on-site generated measurement data (i.e. "on the edge") so that, in extreme cases, it is possible to directly intervene in the cable system as well as transmit only relevant data to the cloud. To give customers even greater convenience and transparency, data transferred to the cloud is evaluated by LEONI using its own algorithms and then made accessible via dashboards.

For LEONI, using Azure Sphere is attractive not only because of the system's combination of electronics, operating system and cloud service, but also because LEONI's experts were actively involved in developing the platform prior to its market launch and were thus able to meet their requirements. LEONI also believes in the system due to the vital core competencies each partner brings: LEONI's development of intelligent cable systems, and Microsoft's security for the microcontroller and cloud environment. Azure Sphere's multi-layer security concept creates additional customer confidence in LEONiQ and is an important basis for connecting security and function-relevant cable systems with the cloud. This paves the way for LEONI to offer data-based services such as predictive maintenance, design-to-cost and pay-per-use approaches.

As LEONI customers are already familiar with Microsoft solutions, no extra effort has been required in convincing them about the cloud. LEONI customers benefit from the cloud platform by being able to work comfortably using the dashboards without having to concern themselves with processing raw data from the sensors. It is simple to access the dashboards by mobile devices, too.

The idea had its origins as a project in LEONI's digital transformation, and it continues to develop rapidly. LEONI is on its way to becoming the leading provider of solutions for intelligent energy and data management systems. In addition to LEONiQ, a broad understanding of fail-safe systems with a high degree of cross-linking between intelligent cable systems, relevant subsystems and components plays a decisive role. An important element in this digital eco-system is now the powerful, turnkey IoT platform around Microsoft Azure Sphere.

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