IoT solutions are complex. Instability, errors and break-downs can emerge from many parts of the solution. Multidisciplinary IoT expertise and tools are needed in troubleshooting the underlying causes of failure.

Troubleshooting is for experts looking across the entire solution

In large scale IoT solutions, problems can emerge during operation or in individual parts of the system. Problems that result in unstable processes, erroneous data for the users, reduced lifetime of the IoT devices - or in worst case, complete system failure. Normally, your supplier of a system or solution will be required to find and solve a given problem. But as IoT solutions are made up of many different parts, this may not be a feasible approach.

Most companies do not have all the relevant expertise within electronics, firmware, networks, software or human-to-machine interaction to troubleshoot and resolve the issues. Also, troubleshooting a complex IoT solution requires methods for diagnosing both the solution and the related processes - as well as automated tools for error analysis across all parts of the solution.

FORCE Technology is acknowledged as a leading expert for troubleshooting IoT. We have developed a set of automated software-based troubleshooting tools to detect, analyse and diagnose all parts of your IoT solution. We apply these tools as part of our 5-step troubleshooting process.

A formal 5-step IoT troubleshooting process

The process is conducted by our team of experts. Independently from your suppliers, they will give you an impartial analysis of the problems at hand – and suggest proper mitigations.

The process consists of 5 steps:

  1. Overview of the system and failure history
  2. Collection of data from and about the system
  3. Analysis of the data and the collected documentation
  4. Test for replication of the failure in controlled environments
  5. Conclusion and possible mitigations

However, we also know that time-to-mitigation is essential when systems are not operating optimally. Our focus lies on pursuing the most serious and easy-to-fix failures first.

Techniques and experiences are key to troubleshooting

Several different techniques can be applied in the 5-step process - such as:

  • Mapping of the failure event and the IoT system components related to the failure
  • Structured data import and analysis in the IoT troubleshooting dashboard
  • Root cause analysis (RCA) of the failure in the IoT solution
  • Coordination of development partners and internal developers for failure identification
  • Documentation with evidence-based failure identification of IoT systems
  • Debugging measurements on IoT devices for power consumption, antenna implementation and matching, environmental ruggedness, synchronization errors
  • Exposure tests to physical environments such as: Humidity, temperature, vibration, shocks and bumps, dust, EMC, radio interference
  • Onsite troubleshooting of the IoT systems on location

A large part of our knowledge in the troubleshooting process comes from our other IoT services. In the area of Electronic product compliance, we do massive tests of IoT-based products. This knowledge is being collected and applied to our troubleshooting. Also, when designing products with IoT, we are designing for many of the difficult conditions that IoT solutions operate in such as cold, heat, dust, vibrations, magnetism, etc. These experiences are also brought into our troubleshooting process.

If you want to learn more about troubleshooting IoT systems and devices, please contact us – or read more about our IoT solutions here.