Internet of Things
Cisco describes the Internet of Things as “a system where items in the physical world… are connected to the Internet via wireless and wired Internet connections.” Therefore, you can guess that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) stems from the original IoT. Thus, IIoT uses devices to improve efficiency, analysis, and interoperability of industries across the globe through the internet.
Imagine an employee so effective he doesn’t need supervision. When a problem arises, he offers all the data you need to decide, plus his recommendations. Best of all, you can make your informed decision from anywhere in the world. All intelligent devices should work this way.
To that end, companies have begun working together on compliant technologies to avoid solution islands, where devices only communicate internally or with one supplier. In data exchange, cloud experts and cybersecurity firms have become vital. Information Technology (IT) and Operation Technology (OT) must team up to open a new world of possibilities.
As for real applications and benefits, we have two sections, Intelligent Devices and IIoT Software and Services.
- Balluff: IIoT solutions need sensors to translate machine data into usable information. Many companies use I/O link protocols to allow their users to choose the best sensors for their plants. This also allows for fast replacement regardless of the supplier selected, ensuring interoperability and reducing downtime.
- Bedrock Automation: Bedrock promises to protect data at the transistor level with secure micro-controllers and memory. The encryption also extends to third-party applications. Furthermore, Bedrock ensures that, in hardware breaches, the programmable logic controller will destroy the memory and keep the IP safe. This blend of security techniques creates a solution fit for the IIoT.
IIoT Software and Services
- Ignition MES/SCADA: Ignition, a web-based system from Inductive Automation, offers a platform to connect all industrial devices through the internet. It combines industrial protocols, IoT protocols, one license for unlimited tags, and an open application program interface (API) to allow companies to build solutions on the platform. Customers who buy these platforms can connect to all industrial plants and buy solutions from other suppliers. They can also make their own solutions using the open API and sell them to other industries.
- Predix – GE: GE developed this cloud-based platform as the operating system for the IIoT. With applications created by GE and non-GE suppliers, devices send data to the cloud securely, where incredible algorithms analyze it. Predix can bring benefits to your industry with the click of an app, similar to Google Play or Apple Store.
- Limes Security: Limes works with Penetration Tests (Pentest), finding weak spots in networks, workstations and any other point which can pose a threat. According to Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, companies reported more than 240 incidents between September 2014 and February 2015. A cyber attack can cause serious harm through process corruption, risking property damage and employee or population injuries.
All these topics deserve full discussions, given their complexity. Without a doubt, old and new devices must work together until IIoT solutions cover all industries. Many IIoT cases and products stand ready for use, so customers should research them to decide if they fit their company strategies. Talking to an industrial innovation specialist can help. =)
Companies on the market with IIoT solution: