Machine to machine

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Machine-to-Machine ( M2M ) stands for the automated exchange of information between end devices such as machines, vending machines, vehicles or containers with one another or with a central control center , increasingly using the Internet and various access networks such as the cellular network. One application is the remote monitoring , control and maintenance of machines, plants and systems, which is traditionally referred to as telemetry . The M2M technology combines information and communication technology .

M2M solutions can streamline work processes in every branch of the economy and lead to increases in productivity. In the vending machine industry, for example, vending machines automatically report to a central computer when they need to be reloaded. Regular trips by the machine operator can thus be avoided. In addition, downtime is avoided. The associated rationalization of business processes and the resulting cost savings hold great market potential for industry - and also for society .

As part of the “Information Society Germany 2010” (iD2010) initiative and the “IKT 2020” research funding program, the Internet of Things and M2M communication are seen as having a particular need for research and significant opportunities for business.

Range of applications

The following markets are seen as promising fields of application:

Basic concept of an M2M application

M2M systems are primarily characterized by three basic components:

  1. Data endpoint ( Data End Point = DEP) - z. B. a vending machine to be monitored
  2. Communication networks
  3. Data Integration Point (DIP) - e.g. B. a server that monitors the fill levels of all vending machines

The data end point (DEP) is a compact microcomputer system - a transmitter that is linked to an end device. Within a closed network there can be numerous data endpoints and the associated end devices or machines. With the help of DEP, the machines exchange data via a communication network with the data integration point (DIP) - the receiver - which is connected to a central control center . In contrast to the numerous existing DEPs, the DIP can usually only be found once in an M2M application. The information does not only flow towards the headquarters. This also enables communication between the individual DEPs. The entire data transmission can take place via a cellular network, for example. For example, a plant sends an error message directly to a selected group of engineers via SMS.

Components of an M2M solution

M2M solutions basically consist of several interdependent components that enable communication between machines. Above all, this includes:

  • Hardware components (e.g .: modems , industrial PCs, servers)
  • Cellular and landline services
  • System integration and consulting services
  • Applications (e.g. server applications, " point to point " applications)

The BMWi goes one step further with its demands and, with OSGi, propagated a specific SOA as a platform for the implementation and delivery of corresponding client / server- based services.

Success factors of M2M solutions

Close cooperation between the solution partner, network operator and customer is the key to successful planning and implementation of M2M solutions. The success of an M2M solution also depends on the following factors:

  • Added value ( cost-benefit analysisbusiness case )
  • Social ability ( acceptancedata protection )
  • Adequate hardware (cheap hardware can possibly generate higher costs than more expensive hardware → total cost of ownership )
  • Adequate communication
    • Networks (today increasingly cellular networks → GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA, LTE)
    • Tariffs (especially mobile phone tariffs )
    • Protocols (the future is IP → wide range of applications and investment security)
  • Complete integration into existing work processes (automation → benefits)


  • D. Boswarthick, O. Hersent, O. Elloumi: M2M Communications: A Systems Approach. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken 2012, ISBN 978-1-119-99475-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Machine-to-machine communication - an opportunity for German industry. ( Memento from September 12, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) BMWi, pdf.