There has been so much talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) and about its off shoot for manufacturers, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The applications for this IIoT are starting to become clear but it all would be impossible without advancements in sensor technology and the cloud. There are some huge hurtles to get past to fully gain the support of manufacturers, but there are companies that are taking steps in the right direction. We’re going to take a look at some of the big names in sensor manufacturing and IoT service providers and see what they’re doing to increase the effectiveness and security of these systems.
The IIoT has been on the minds of many manufacturers. They see the potential but still have a lot of questions about this technology. Manufactures are wondering about security risks, software / hardware cost and how they will go about connecting their machine to the internet. Some big players in the IoT world such as, ARM, IBM and Intel are working out all of these problems. Take for example IBM; IBM has created an IoT platform called IBM Foundation which allows data collected by sensors to be analyzed and secured. IBM has announced in a recent press release that they will pair up with ARM to create an out of the box connectivity with ARM sensors which allows IBM Foundation and ARM mbedTM to work seamlessly together.
The goal of these IoT providers and sensor manufacturers is to create a way for manufacturers and any user of an IoT connected device to naturally integrate sensors and IoT services into their already existing businesses or life. The implementation of this service should be quick and easy to offer the most out of this new technology.
Manufacturers are especially interested in keeping the deployment of the IIoT simple. They want an out of the box installation process to be able to upgrade their entire facility at once and not have to build their IIoT service piece by piece. Intel has pared up with MacAfee and Wind River to do just that. This partnership is hoping to bring together hardware, software and security attributes in order to produce a completed IIoT service for consumers.
Another big name that is making their way into the IoT market is Microsoft. They recently released an IoT service called, Azure. This service will be able to capture the vast amounts of data collected by sensor embedded devices and use their cloud-based predictive analysis software to help get the most out of the IoT. The goal is to be able to make sense of the incredible amount of data that will be collected each second. Without a way to translate this data into a workable format which people can use to their benefit, the information would be useless.
The Internet of Things has already started to make its way into the manufacturing industry and as more businesses take hold of this amazing technology, more applications will continue to present themselves. Right now the most talked about use for IoT technologies is its ability to use predictive analysis to alert personnel of a malfunction or problem. This is an incredible feature because of the value to adds to the business. Now companies will not have to stick to a maintenance schedule, instead they can be alerted when a machine is about to fail and make the fix on the spot. This will reduce downtime and increase the facilities productivity. But this is just one of the many amazing features the IoT will provide.
This technology is in its beginning stages. And with any state-of-the-art technology issues will arise that need to be addressed. Security is still on the minds of many manufacturers as cyber threats have become more common in recent years. With a completely connected facility, a cyber attack may be able to disrupt business even more than ever before. But this is also on the minds of every IoT provider and sensor manufacturer as well. It will only be a matter of time before we know the full effects of the IoT and if these service providers will truly be able to keep data safe and secure.
Technology will only continue to improve and as it does so too will the IoT. We are just now in the beginning stages and in a few years it is expected that 15 billion devices will be connected to the internet. This is the time to start looking at your business to see what the IoT or IIoT can do for you. The IoT will surely be the driving force behind this new industrial revolution.