HARTING Technology Group

MICA Applications

MICA can be used for performing long-term measurements of motors and emissions in test vehicles. The device is simply mounted in the engine or passenger compartment and powered by the vehicle's 12V or 24V power supply. A hardware container module is used to obtain the motor controller information plus emission sensor data. This data is then processed and saved in encrypted form on a built-in SD card. The MICA can then be removed after the test cycle and evaluated. This procedure ensures that third parties are not able to manipulate the data, therefore producing more environmentally friendly vehicles.


Driving the way forward with MICA

The new Rinspeed concept car "Etos" was presented at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. MICA was installed within the Etos vehicle for independent emissions and status monitoring. The intelligent MICA system continually records and transmits drive and engine data using sensors and RFID tags.  

Watch the Geneva Motor Show video, showing the Etos MICA application.

Intelligent RFID reader

By adding RFID technology on the function-based circuit board and a LLRP software container, you can turn MICA into an intelligent RFID reader at a reasonable cost. In contrast to existing devices, the MICA-based RFID reader can overcome complex analysis and data preparation tasks simply by changing the software containers. Previously, such tasks required a downstream industrial PC.

The MICA solution can be used, for example, on train platforms to determine automatically the exact position of incoming trains and without direct contact.


Long-term data acquisition for troubleshooting and product improvement

A medium-sized machinery manufacturer can produce between 200 and 300 units each year. Until now, the control electronics for these facilities has only been able to save data for three production days. This is by no means a sufficient duration for service technicians carrying out service work on international installations.

By installing MICA with an integrated SSD drive, manufacturers can implement extended data storage solutions. Then, in the event of a malfunction, machine data from the past week, month or even year can be extracted to help with troubleshooting. Due to its robust design, the MICA can be mounted directly on or near the machine.  The MICA solution is not only reactive, but can be used proactively to help with product improvements by extracting and analysing data at regular intervals.

Energy management and emission measurements in vehicles

MICA can be used for performing long-term measurements of motors and emissions in test vehicles. The device is simply mounted in the engine or passenger compartment and powered by the vehicle's 12V or 24V power supply. A hardware container module is used to obtain the motor controller information plus emission sensor data. This data is then processed and saved in encrypted form on a built-in SD card. The MICA can then be removed after the test cycle and evaluated. This procedure ensures that third parties are not able to manipulate the data, therefore producing more environmentally friendly vehicles.


Retrofitting for predictive maintenance

One of the most effective ways to reduce production equipment downtime and maintenance costs is by the on-time recognition of maintenance needs. Since many machines have a lifespan of around 30 years, a lot of existing machinery has no modern method for collecting, saving and transferring data.

Within an injection moulding machine application, the tools were marked with RFID.  The current (power) consumed during the injections was measured by an inductive current sensor, and the results were combined, saved and processed in the MICA. As a result, a warning is sent whenever the power consumption changes, since this indicates a problem. The replacement intervals were extended and costs were reduced by this method alone. After several months, a neural network is trained with the acquired data and then installed on the MICA. This enables improved predictions to be made about working life spans. In a further step, the MICA can be connected to the ERP in order to optimise the processes for ordering spare parts.

Optimising processes at packing stations

Traditionally, customer orders are packed and prepared for shipment at a packing station. Within this process, the employee was required to operate a scale, the packing machine's PLC, the ERP, a label printer, as well as manually look up instructions.

By using MICA you can combine all of these processes and execute the steps automatically. The data from the scale is sent via OPC UA to SAP Mii. The operating instructions are loaded via JSON from the ERP, translated into STEP 7, and the transferred to the PLC. This relieves the employees, reduces the chance of errors, and significantly improves efficiency in the packaging process.


Optimisation of warehouse logistics

A MICA equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and RFID can be used to optimise the routes of forklift "milk runs", by tracking the exact position of the vehicle via BLE triangulation. At the same time, RFID is used to log the transported goods. Both sets of data recorded can then be evaluated to optimise the processes and routes. This consequently produces more efficient and cost-effective logistic solutions.