These are exciting times for automation solution providers around the world with talks of the Internet of Things (IOT) and its related topics gathering serious traction.
At Phoenix Contact, having been a manufacturer of industrial electrical and automation components for more than 90 years, industrial automation and control solutions over the last decade, it is no surprise that we are actively involved in discussions regarding the industrial portions of IOT such as Smart Grid and Industrie 4.0.
The difference between Smart Grid, Industrie 4.0 and other jargons lies in your target audience. If you are addressing a power utilities company, their IIOT will be the Smart Grid (you can read my previous article on What is IEC61850 and why is it necessary). For manufacturing companies, on the other hand, it will be Industrie 4.0 where machine learning and machine-to-machine communication is the focus. Generally, all these terms fall under the broader category of Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), which is a focused portion of IOT.
Being a subset of IOT, IIOT is similarly about putting data generators, electrical control components onto physical devices. This allow for physical items to be interconnected to each other in an internet-based network. In turn, remote control and monitoring is achieved. Increasing the complexity, physical devices can be used to automatically understand and react to the data generated by other physical devices allowing for automation. While this might sound similar to the automation we have become used to, the difference is that IIOT automation involves a much larger database of data, generated from a bigger set of data generating devices being processed at real time and being reacted to.
Why Implement IIOT?
While IOT is often a nation-wide effort headed by government agencies and developed on a larger scale, IIOT and Industrie 4.0 are often left to the initiative of individual companies. Unlike government projects, for IIOT to be embraced by a company, as with all new solutions and ideas, capital outlay is needed; capital outlay which needs to be justified. So how then can one justify IIOT?
“Ipsa scientia potestas est” – “Knowledge itself is Power”
Besides the benefits that remote control, monitoring and access can offer, IIOT solutions often offers more. With knowledge, in this case, information from data collected and analyzed, strategy to decrease costs (e.g. reduce maintenance efforts, downtime) and improve productivity can be devised and implemented. At Phoenix Contact, our solution suite focuses on 3 main ways whereby IIOT can be utilized. They are:
- Real Time Analytics
- Predictive Maintenance
- Big Data Analysis
In fact according to a study by Vitria (iot report at www.vitria.com), out of the companies surveyed, 48% are actively working on real-time analytics project while another 36% intend to work on this in the next 12 months from when the survey was done. While IIOT is often seen as a topic for the future, with this information and taking into the other applications of IIOT (e.g. predictive maintenance or big data analysis), it is certain that IIOT is a key focus and seen as a core investment strategy for companies right now!
To help you understand why so many companies are taking action on IIOT today and to share the benefits of IIOT with you, we will be conducting a seminar on 16th Nov 2016. Our invited speakers will be sharing about:
- Big Data vs Traditional Data (SCADA/Historian vs IIOT)
- IIOT system architecture (aggregating different protocols and exposing them to IT languages such as RESTful API, JSON)
- Benefits of IIOT (actionable insights from analyzing data)
- Cybersecurity requirements
As we have really limited seats, do register your interest here and we will be in touch with you!
Click the links below to read more about IIOT applications.