Industrial IoT has revolutionised industry as we know it. The use of smart sensors and automation mechanisms allows for improved efficiency in industrial processes, exploiting the possibilities of robotics, artificial intelligence and the internet of things. In this article we bring you 5 keys to enter this digital transformation in your company, whether you are an SME or a large company, here are the key steps to take into account in the IIot.
What makes this technological leap different is the ability of systems to connect with each other, to exchange information between systems and to analyse different information from other elements. This is called interoperability.
The IoT not only focuses on data collection, but also seeks to give them value through algorithms and human judgement, offering a collaborative, connected ecosystem at the service of people.
As a result of this interoperability offered by the internet of things, projects are expected to encompass practically all industries in terms of connectivity: transport, manufacturing, energy, etc. Proof of this is the recent IEEE P2413 “Smart Cities” project. which seeks to create smart cities to manage the proper functioning of transport systems, the efficient use of energy resources, civil protection plans and socio-economic aspects.
The architecture underpinning the Internet of Things allows millions of devices to constantly send, receive and act on data. Its technology is highly scalable, enabling it to support the 50 million devices that will be connected by 2030.
In addition to being scalable, its infrastructure needs to be elastic, i.e. allowing simple modifications on a working basis without having to alter the operation of other connected devices. The most commonly used protocols within the Cloud architecture are lIaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, which allow different ways of operating depending on the sector and the connected devices, where the assessment of the modus operandi in the business environment is key to its future scalability.
The way in which the Cloud system collects information offers a competitive advantage over other types of data storage. The system allows data to be stored on a large scale without having to use a physical space, which together with Edge Computing allows process automation to be carried out with a detailed analysis of the information collected.
This application is of great interest for industrial sectors, which allow the connection of several plants in the same production process through the exchange of information with very low latency, allowing the information to reach all points of interest immediately and accurately, all thanks to the Cloud system and data automation.
The IoT not only enables a technological breakthrough in the execution of business processes, but also serves to increase plant productivity, in terms of savings and productivity. From the digitisation of waste that can be used for cost savings, energy savings of up to 50% or waste water in a production plant.
It also serves to provide information on the traceability of products through connectivity between sensors and software between different workplaces, where the same product must pass through different stages until it becomes a final product.
5. Cybersecurity and 5G
One of the most important hurdles that industrial companies face when implementing IoT is security. To enhance this, the most popular strategy within the network perimeter is micro-segmentation, i.e. isolating and protecting individual tasks, functions and/or devices. In this way, malware can be prevented from spreading throughout the system and the core data can be shielded.
Where do I start?
If you have an industrial company and you want to enter the world of IoT or improve its functionalities in your production plant, here are 5 tips to keep in mind:
- Start with a pilot: Don’t want to automate your entire plant from the start. Select a specific process and test it. Then just scale it up.
- Land your IoT with strategic goals in mind: It’s not about automating everything just because you have a digital twin. If you want to reduce energy costs, start there, but if you want to reduce machine scrap, the process will be different. Automate what you have real needs that you can quantify.
- Do not digitalise waste: If something does not work well in the physical world, do not transfer it to your digital pilot/plant, optimise your processes by taking advantage of digitalising them.
- Take care of security: Do not underestimate the protection of your systems, your data will become valuable, and therefore you must take care of them in the same way as you protect your machinery and other assets.
- Work in open systems that integrate people well: Keep your team at the centre of the process. Promote open systems that your workers can understand, make improvements and modify.