N95 protective masks

MinebeaMitsumi donates 17,000 protective masks across Europe to fight Covid-19

Throughout most of Europe, the supply of respiratory masks and protective clothing is dwindling. Numerous care facilities are desperately looking for the necessary equipment to protect their employees during the coronavirus crisis. Currently, most countries' leaders generally advise wearing protective masks in public, even if they are only makeshift protective masks.

MinebeaMitsumi President Yoshihisa Kainuma and Jörg Hoffmann, General Manager of Regional Affairs for Europe, have now initiated the distribution of a total of 17,000 N95 protective masks around the 17 European locations. "In the current situation, we see it as our responsibility to protect not only our own employees, but also the local communities and associations, and thus also the regional economy, as best we can," says Jörg Hoffmann. "Right now, it is important that we use our strong international network and act in solidarity." The MinebeaMitsumi headquarters in Tokyo provided 1,000 donated protective masks for each of the 17 European subsidiaries. Each company decided which regional facilities had the greatest need, and numerous hospitals and care facilities were deeply grateful for these donations.

MinebeaMitsumi employs around 100,000 people worldwide at 63 different locations in 27 countries. "COVID-19 Countermeasure Teams" were set up early at the Tokyo headquarters and the European headquarters in Villingen-Schwenningen (Baden-Württemberg). These teams work together under extreme pressure to support the subsidiaries with information, masks, and protective measures to ensure that the spread of the virus is slowed. As Jörg Hoffmann explains, "The common goal is to make our workplace one of the safest places."

Save energy with a limited individual effort

Leverage smart technologies to ignite change and save up to 14.8% power in energy-intensive households and over 20% in primary schools, by encouraging responsible behaviors without upsetting individual habits: this is the main outcome of the enCOMPASS project, funded by the EU Commission under the Horizon 2020 program. The project brought together 14 European partners, including Paradox Engineering, with the supervision of Politecnico di Milano.

Aimed at promoting sustainable lifestyles and effective energy efficiency policies, the project led to the development of a smart technology platform and some friendly digital tools, including a mobile app, to provide users the opportunity to monitor power consumption at home, at school or in the office, taking advantage of customized suggestions to save energy while retaining personal comfort levels.

The enCOMPASS platform includes smart energy or gas meters, and a network of smart home sensors to detect human presence and measure key parameters such as temperature or humidity. Energy data are collected and processed, then offered to users in a simple and accessible way through the enCOMPASS mobile app. Each stakeholder (family member, building and office manager, school manager, public officer) can have a detailed and timely view of energy consumption levels, and receive recommendations to reduce environmental impact. Recommendations are based on dedicated algorithms that automatically recognize different power consumption sources (heating system, water boiler, fridge, washing machine, etc.) and elaborate suggestions upon user profile, adjusting best-fitting, energy-efficient actions.

Two-year pilot projects were conducted in Gambarogno (Switzerland), Hassfurt (Germany) and Salonicco (Greece), and demonstrated the effectiveness of the enCOMPASS platform and tools, particularly when energy consumption or user motivation is high. About 70 households, one primary school and a municipal building were engaged in Switzerland. In Germany the project involved 90 households, two primary schools and a public building, while 100 households, one high school, two business buildings and a library were monitored in Greece.

It was quite easy to achieve good results in energy-intensive households, where average power savings was around 11%. Greece participants ranked first, cutting energy consumption for 14.8%. Once understanding the benefits of customized recommendations, families started to apply them regularly and turned them into routine, thus generating tangible effects on energy consumption patterns.

Energy-savvy households got less astounding results, as they were already practicing efficient behaviors. In these cases, a full building renovation or the replacement of existing heating systems and apparels would be required to significantly reduce power consumption.

Activation and motivation were really high in primary schools. Teachers were supported with dedicated educational materials and could use the FUNERGY card game, both developed by the enCOMPASS team. The combined use of smart technologies and a gamification approach favored pupils’ interest and perseverance, bringing average energy saving up to 16%. Wunsidel primary school in Germany succeeded in cutting power consumption for 20.1%.

Ultimate cybersecurity and new revenue streams: blockchain changes the game

We are pleased to announce some great enhancement to our PE Smart Urban Network platform for interoperable Open Cities: by integrating blockchain technology, we are now able to grant the highest possible cybersecurity and also enable the monetization of urban device-generated data for Cities to create new revenue streams.

It’s time to change the game for Smart Cities: over the edge cybersecurity is in order, as is turning cost saving into revenue generation and boosting new economies. The Internet of Things is not only about connecting devices into an open and interoperable network: it is about information becoming tangible value for the benefit of all, citizens, businesses and city managers”, sais our CEO, Gianni Minetti. “Since the very inception of PE Smart Urban Network, back in 2011, and now as part of MinebeaMitsumi Group and the uCIFI Alliance, we have always envisioned openness and security-by-design. Today, we are moving one step forward by integrating blockchain for cybersecurity and data tokenization“.

PE Smart Urban Network is now further enriched with new components for smart lighting and smart parking.

Read the press release


All new features will be disclosed at Smart City Expo World Congress, the international Smart City exhibition taking place in Barcelona (Spain) from November 19th to 21st, 2019.

Join us at booth F612 in hall 2, a compelling conference program is also available for our guests.

PE Smart Urban Network Neptune

Smarter data and service management for truly Open Cities

We are pleased to announce new Neptune generation of our PE Smart Urban Network solution, providing an interoperable, scalable management platform to fully control streetlights, parking facilities, sensor-based applications and other urban services in an Open City perspective.

First launched in 2011, PE Smart Urban Network marked a breakthrough for Smart Cities, offering a single, unified infrastructure to manage both multi-sensor Wireless Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as streetlight management, parking management, smart metering, etc., and Wireless Highspeed IoT services such as pervasive WiFi, video surveillance and other high-bandwidth applications.

The Neptune generation enhances PE Smart Urban Network’s flexibility and interoperability, and enables Open Cities to design and implement a non-proprietary infrastructure to manage multiple services at once, allowing seamless integration of third party systems and devices.

Moreover, the Neptune generation offers City managers higher efficiency and greater quality in operating key urban services, with improved decision making and quicker return on investment. Leveraging data generated by connected objects and sensors, City managers can reduce power consumption and GHG emissions of streetlights up to 80%, increase parking facilities usage and reduce traffic congestion up to 30%, make Cities more agreeable, liveable and safer, while fostering local economy through the development and delivery of new applications and services.

The Neptune generation of PE Smart Urban Network includes new software and hardware:

  • PE Smart CMS Neptune, the open and extensible management software platform providing full feature monitoring and control of streetlights, parking lots and any connected IoT device through intuitive web applications;
  • PE Smart Lighting Nodes Neptune – NEMA version, supporting 3, 5 and 7-pin NEMA twist-lock sockets. Connected to any existing or new LED streetlight, these IPv6 hardware radio devices allow full remote control of luminaires;
  • PE Smart Lighting Nodes Neptune – Zhaga version, acting as IPv6 controllers of luminaire systems and providing a plug-and-play extension module based on standardized DALI2 protocol and specified power supply;
  • PE Smart Gateway Neptune, natively managing IPv6 and IPv4 network technologies, operating as device and network coordinator, and data concentrator of the wireless mesh PE Smart Urban Network.

Read the press release


In the media:

Leds Magazine, Jan. 30th 2019
Power Insider Asia, Jan. 30th 2019
Automazione Plus, Jan. 31st 2019
Smart Grid Today, Jan. 31st 2019
La Regione, Feb. 2nd 2019

open uCIFI

Committed to open communication networks: we're joining the uCIFI Alliance

MinebeaMitsumi Group and Paradox Engineering join the uCIFI Alliance to contribute to the development of truly open, multi-supplier, interoperable, multi-transport wireless communication solutions for the Smart City and smart utility markets.

Launched in June 2018, the uCIFI Alliance aims at developing a unified data model across multiple existing networking technologies, including LoRa, NB-IoT and an Open-Source long-range mesh. With MinebeaMitsumi and Paradox Engineering, it extends its reach and gets a unique expertise in this field.

"Open standards and interoperability have always been part of Paradox Engineering's technology vision and approach to Smart Cities and Internet of Things”, said Gianni Minetti, President & CEO at Paradox Engineering. “We believe that a unified data model for open wireless networks will drastically simplify multi-supplier solutions and unlock Smart City and IoT projects for the good of citizens, communities and industries. uCIFI is a real opportunity to boost a future of massive adoption and on-boarding of actors that can benefit from a connected world. We are glad to be part of uCIFI and contribute to this mission".

Read the press release

Blockchain: the next opportunity for better, safer, smarter Cities

The Internet of Things allows Cities to acquire and correlate data from urban assets, leveraging them to improve quality of public services and citizen satisfaction, reduce energy consumption, optimize costs and simplify processes for City operators and managers. Even more, it provides actionable information to feed strategic decisions about services efficiency and improvements, and take evidence-based actions where and when needed.

Far more interesting developments are possible with blockchain technology, which can make Smart Cities far more secure, transparent, efficient and resilient. As an original combination of mature technological concepts, including peer-to-peer networks, distributed consensus algorithms, validity rules, ledger technologies and cryptography, blockchain can be successfully applied in any domain where stakeholders’ relations are based on trust and may be entirely disintermediated. This is particularly true in Cities, as they rely on accurate, secure, authentic and trustworthy information exchanges to deliver services to people and businesses.

Read the article by Gianni Minetti, Paradox Engineering's President and CEO, on Insights Success

St. Gallen

Smart Lighting in St. Gallen: media coverage

The City of St. Gallen, Switzerland, has selected Osram and Paradox Engineering as technology partners to design and develop an innovative Smart Lighting solutions (read the press release for more details).

Here is a selection of media articles about this project:

09.01.2018 Fieldbus & Networks
08.01.2018 ET Licht
07.25.2018 Illuminotecnica
07.04.2018 Smart Lighting
06.29.2018 Luce Web
06.27.2018 Radio InBlu (radio interview)
06.26.2018 Lux Review
06.25.2018 LED Inside
06.22.2018 Industry Europe
06.22.2018 Lighting China
06.20.2018 LEDs Magazine
06.20.2018 Metering.com
06.20.2018 IoT Now
06.19.2018 North America Clean Energy
06.19.2018 Ticino Live

St. Gallen

Smart Lighting: dynamic LED street lights turn on in St. Gallen

The City of St. Gallen, Switzerland, has kicked-off a Smart Lighting project which is expected to save up to 65% of power thanks to the implementation of energy-efficient LED luminaires and an advanced remote control system. Technology partners Paradox Engineering SA and Osram Lighting AG worked with St. Gallen Stadtwerke to design and develop the new infrastructure, now being piloted along Oberstrasse.

Nearly 60 SL20 LED luminaires by Osram were installed on the road and connected to Paradox Engineering’s PE Smart Urban Network platform for remote monitoring and control. This solution allows St. Gallen Stadtwerke to manage the entire streetlight area from a web-based console, switching on/off single or grouped lamps, varying light intensity whenever needed and tracking lamps performance. Customized lighting patterns can also be defined to schedule streetlights operations according to daytime and weekdays.

Moreover, the lighting system also features an optical sensor that detects traffic intensity and triggers luminaires to automatically dim light up and down upon vehicle transit. Thank to this feature, light intensity is automatically adapted to traffic volumes, limiting waste of power and emissions when only a few cars and trucks pass by, as typically happens at night. The combination of Osram’s LED luminaires and Paradox Engineering’s network platform increases energy saving up to 65%, if compared with traditional streetlight architectures.

Read the press release

Smart Streetlight project: IoT network building at City scale

The city of San Leandro, California, an industrial and residential community of 90,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area, is moving forward in its smart transformation. It is among the very first cities in the United States to deploy a citywide IoT network, which is based on Paradox Engineering's PE Smart Urban Network platform.

First application enabled by the 6LoWPAN network was Smart Lighting: 4,800-plus street lights were converted to LED smart bulbs and connected to the IoT infrastructure. They currently backhaul on approximately 35 strategically placed Wi-Fi access points which, in turn, connect to the city’s fiber-optic network at designated traffic signal intersections. A Control Management System (CMS) allows city staff to monitor data generated by single nodes and control every light, set policies for when the lights turn off and on, and manage proactive maintenance. Over the life of the project (15 years) San Leandro officials expect to save more than $8 million in energy costs, which more than pays for the price tag of the entire project.

However, the story doesn’t end there. An IoT network, like San Leandro’s, can effectively transform a city into a technology platform. In Summer 2017, students from Harvey Mudd College (including a San Leandro High School graduate) interned with Pilot City to develop a Smart Waste Monitoring pilot solution for street trash cans that connected to the urban platform. And many more services are likely to come out in the future.

Read the article on the IoT Institute website

Vehicle detection systems

Smart Parking: Tinynode solutions contribute to reduce city traffic up to 30%

Tinynode brings to world-leading traffic technology exhibition Intertraffic Amsterdam 2018 the very best of its high-accuracy wireless vehicle detection systems for Smart Parking and introduces new Parking Sensor Fusion technology.

As Cities struggle to limit traffic and improve quality of life, Tinynode solutions represent a compelling and cost-effective way to reduce road congestion up to 30% by increasing the average usage of existing parking facilities, reducing idle itineraries looking for a free car spot, and related fuel and time waste, stress, and air pollution.

Tinynode solutions include A4 and B4 car sensors to detect single-space occupancy, R4 and SR4 repeaters, G4 gateways and CT4 config tool to build an effective wireless network to remotely monitor and control parking facilities, collecting and taking advantage of a full range of parking-related data.

Intertraffic Amsterdam 2018 is be the stage for a sneak peek of Parking Sensor Fusion, the unique software technology generating virtual sensors by the integration of parking occupancy data coming from different existing or new sources and systems. Based on a patented algorithm which couples vehicle occupancy data coming from Tinynode car sensors with video images, radar signals or other sources, Parking Sensor Fusion returns a univocal piece of information about parking status with the smallest possible margin of error.

Visitors joining Tinynode at Intertraffic Amsterdam 2018 (hall 2, booth 02.211) are also offered a unique Augmented Reality experience to immerse into Internet of Things applications for Smart Cities. By combining Tinynode technologies and Paradox Engineering’s PE Smart Urban Network platform, Cities and utilities can implement Wireless IoT and Wireless Highspeed IoT networks to manage and control key urban applications far beyond Smart Parking. The AR experience leads visitors into an interactive demonstration of how services such as streetlight control, parking management, solid waste collection, video surveillance and public Wi-Fi can reside on a single infrastructure, also enabling the development of any other present or future service for urban communities.

Read or download the press release