The evolution of industrial revolution – IIoT

There was a catastrophic incidence of oil spillage from the oil rigs in Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The drilling rig ‘Deepwater Horizon’ had spilled about 185 million gallons of oil into the sea, endangering breeds of marine creatures. Later, forensic reports proved that a puncture in the pipe due to oil and gas pressure had created the havoc. Had there been a smart automation system in place, the fault would have been detected at an early stage, hence avoiding the mishap.

This incident highlights the necessity of smart automation in industries. And as it is said “necessity is the mother of disruption,” the dire need of a safe, secure and efficient industrial system gave birth to the Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT.

The IIoT roadmap

There was a time in the 18th century when industrial machines were powered by steam. Industry 2.0 was powered by electric energy and industry 3.0 went autonomous. Now we have industry 4.0, which runs on cyber-physical systems.

This paradigm shift of the industry norms from manual to smart automation is helping to remotely monitor and control every part of the industrial facility.

“Later, five considerations were taken for enabling IIoT—distributed intelligence, rapid connectivity, establishing open standards and systems, real-time context integration and autonomous production lines,” says Narendra Sivalenka, senior manager-IoT team, Cyient.
Extracting data from all systems or extricating data from the main system and placing it into different machines in perfection is the distributed intelligence in the IIoT. This data is then connected with each other in a network after integration. Later, as per customer needs, this data is extracted in a smart way to avoid monotony of work, maximise throughput and minimise labour cost.

Technology behind the IIoT

Hardware components of the IIoT include sensors, RFID, condition monitoring, distributed control systems (DCS), smart meters, camera system, industrial robotics, AHS and networking technologies. Product lifecycle management (PLM) systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES) and supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) are the software parts.

Processor technology, artificial intelligence, DRAMs and memories, and virtual and augmented reality are fields of the IIoT where something exciting is happening on a regular basis.

Flexible glass sensor (Image courtesy: httpslmts.epfl.ch)

Flexible glass sensor (Image courtesy: httpslmts.epfl.ch)

Driving circuit

As mentioned in ‘Industrial Developer Boards’ article of July issue, these boards are undergoing a complete technology change. These find various IIoT applications including robotics, automotive manufacturing, power grids and many more.

The RF-based detector in industrial developer boards allows 3D mapping of objects using time-of-flight concept. Thus, antennae are embedded in the system itself, making the board condensed while reducing processing time. Such industrial developer boards are beneficial for robotics.

Footprint reduction of FPGAs, antennae and other critical components is creating a boom in the industrial IoT segment. Reducing the component size not only helps in reducing the manufacturing costs but also in thermal suppression. Be it the power supply section for a developer board serving the pick-and-place machine or a developer board for smart lighting, thermal dissipation is considerably low.

For applications like motor drives, machine-to-machine communication and smart grids, real-time processing and analysis, longevity, warranty and flexibility are key factors that make industrial boards the preferred option over normal boards. Typically, these can withstand industrial temperatures ranging from –40 degrees to 80 degrees centigrade. There are also a few developer boards meant for ovens, which can withstand temperatures of more than 300ºC.

Sensor integration allows a device to perform several functions. For instance, automobiles are now well-equipped with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, indicators, odometer, fuel indicator, theft alarm and many such features.

Similarly, infotainment system, cluster, automotive and automotive advanced driver assistance are now integrated on a single MCU, thus reducing the wire harnessing and simplifying the anatomy of cars, making them safer as well as far more efficient.
In these cases, developer boards are designed to integrate a number of functions, which helps to reduce the design costs and space requirements.

Smart camera and imaging system

Similarly, imaging is no longer restricted to laboratories only. It is now gaining significance at the industrial level as well.

A leading automobile manufacturing company employed a robotic arm for automation, which was used to detect the objects to pick and assemble only at a spatial frame and angle. But, even if there was no work, the robotic arm continued to move, which reduced its service life and wasted electricity.

Now, with smart automation, robots can easily identify objects in 3D space too. This is particularly helpful for the automation segment, where robot arms could identify the objects to be picked and placed in a single direction only. Thus, 3D vision is making manufacturing smarter, saving time, electricity and human efforts.

New measuring techniques have come up for the automotive industry’s paint lines, which combine deflection in 3D and 2D surface inspection. This technology in cameras controls the quality 100 per cent and the inbuilt sensors deliver precise automated results in real time.

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Internet Of Things | IoT India

Industrial IoT analytics company UpTake nabs $117M Series D

UpTake, an Industrial-IoT analytics company yesterday raised a Series D round of $ 117M at a post-money valuation of $ 2.3 billion. Investment firm Baillie Gifford led the latest round that brought UpTake’s total funding to $ 250M.

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Uptake’s advanced analytics platform

UpTake is a SaaS (software-as-as-Service) product capable of reading ‘machine sensor data’. Its predictive analytics software collects and interprets sensor data for clients in the mining, rail, energy, aviation, retail, and construction industries. The software further utilizes the ML (machine learning) technology to predict incidents/events for the monitored machinery.

The company is trying to go after ‘heavy’ industries like oil and gas and energy. “We’re on a growth trajectory now where there is virtually nothing standing in our way from being the predictive analytics market leader across every heavy industry, from oil & gas to mining and beyond,” said Uptake Co-founder and CEO, Brad Keywell. Brad is a co-founder of Groupon as well.

Two primary use cases of UpTake’s technology and products are predictive and preemptive maintenance for the industrial machinery. The startup boasts customers such as Caterpillar, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, and Panduit.

Two key competitors of the company are SparkCognition and Konux. The former raised a $ 32M Series B round in July this year. The Chicago-based company has several pending patents while one of the key patents it currently holds deals with the adaptive handling of the operational data (coming directly from machine sensors).


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

ORBCOMM Surpasses Two Million Subscriber Communicators in the Industrial IoT Market

ORBCOMM Surpasses Two Million Subscriber Communicators in the Industrial IoT Market

ORBCOMM Surpasses Two Million Subscriber Communicators in the Industrial IoT Market

Milestone marks Company’s continued growth and market leadership.

ORBCOMM Inc. today announced that it has surpassed two million subscriber communicators.

ORBCOMM’s subscribers are in the industrial IoT market, spanning the transportation & distribution, heavy equipment, maritime, oil and gas and government sectors. ORBCOMM offers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of IoT products and services leveraging 11 satellite and Tier One cellular wireless carriers.

Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM’s Chief Executive Officer:

“Reaching two million subscribers is a significant milestone for ORBCOMM, demonstrating our continued growth and market penetration in industrial IoT. Our customers are some of the largest and most influential companies in the world, and we are committed to delivering best-in-class IoT solutions and advanced technology to help them stay connected to their assets and manage their business more efficiently.”

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ABB and HPE Bring Intelligence to Industrial Plants

ABB and HPE Bring Intelligence to Industrial Plants

ABB and HPE Bring Intelligence to Industrial Plants

Partnership to provide actionable insights across industrial plants, cloud and on-premises data centers for higher productivity and innovation.

ABB and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today announced a strategic global partnership that combines ABB’s industry-leading digital offerings, ABB Ability™, with HPE’s innovative hybrid information technology (IT) solutions.

The partnership will provide customers with solutions that generate actionable insights from vast amounts of industrial data to increase the efficiency and flexibility of their operations and create competitive advantage.

Customers will benefit from ABB’s deep domain expertise in operations technologies (OT) and HPE’s leadership in information technologies (IT). ABB and HPE will deliver joint industry solutions that merge OT and IT to turn industrial data into insights and automatic action, combining widely-adopted cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure with IT systems running in corporate data centers and at the edge of the network. Employing the right mix of IT platforms will accelerate data processing in industrial plants and at the same time enable effective control of industrial processes across locations.

ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, said:

“This strategic partnership marks the next level of the digital industrial transformation. Together, we will bring intelligence from cloud-based solutions to on-premises deployments in industrial plants and data centers for greater uptime, speed and yield.”

“ABB and HPE will deliver solutions that span the entire range of computing required by enterprises today, from the edge to the cloud to the core.”

With an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions, ABB is a trusted leader in the industrial space, and has a four-decade-long history of creating digital solutions for customers. HPE in turn is a global leader in helping customers optimize their IT environments with secure, software-defined technologies that seamlessly integrate across traditional IT, multiple public and private clouds and the intelligent edge to drive key business outcomes.

“This alliance between two global leaders is unprecedented in terms of breadth and depth, and it will be ground-breaking for the progress of the Industrial Internet of Things,” said Meg Whitman, CEO, HPE. “Together with ABB, we will shape a digital industrial future where everything computes, equipping machines with intelligence to collaborate, allowing plants to flexibly adapt to changing demands, and enabling global supply chains to instantaneously react to incidents. This partnership will create exciting business opportunities for our joint customers.”

To provide a true end-to-end experience for customers, the ABB-HPE partnership will include co-innovation, co-development, joint go to market and service.

Research firm IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) will grow to $ 1.4 trillion in 2021 from an expected $ 800 billion in 2017. The largest investments are being made in areas such as manufacturing, transportation and utilities.1 To tap into the opportunities of the IoT, companies are investing in new solutions that digitize their industrial equipment and integrate it with their broader IT environments. By joining forces, ABB and HPE are bringing together the capabilities needed to accelerate this transformation.

Computing where it is required

Running data acquisition, analytics and control processes near industrial equipment helps customers avoid the latency, security and reliability issues associated with data communication through remote IT systems. ABB and HPE will jointly develop, market and service digital industrial solutions that help customers:

  • Create deep insights and automatic action from industrial data – by running ABB Ability™ applications on enterprise-grade IT systems close to the industrial equipment to accelerate the processing of vast amounts of data; and
  • Manage and control industrial processes across the supply chain – by leveraging hybrid IT to provide a seamless experience from edge to cloud to core, making critical data available across locations.

The partnership will enable ABB Ability™ solutions to run on hybrid platforms such as HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, enabling customers to deploy applications to their preferred location – on HPE infrastructure in industrial plants and data centers or in the Microsoft Azure public cloud – to meet the specific requirements regarding performance, security or cross-site collaboration.

ABB and HPE will also deliver joint solutions for data centers, including

  • Data center automation – to enable data center power, cooling and building systems automatically adapt to changing IT demands or incidents. To that end, ABB and HPE will integrate ABB Ability™ Data Center Automation, which controls, monitors and optimizes mission-critical data center facilities infrastructure, with HPE OneView, HPE’s IT infrastructure automation software.
  • Secure edge data center – specifically designed to run in harsh industrial environments, bringing enterprise-grade IT capacity closer to the point of data collection and machine control. This solution is being developed in collaboration between ABB, HPE and Rittal, the world’s largest manufacturer of IT racks, and will be an off-the-shelf ready IT data center solution for industrial customers enabling real-time insight and action.

The partnership was announced today at the HPE Discover conference in Madrid, where both companies demonstrated their first jointly developed solutions and prototypes.

1 IDC Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide

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IoT Business News

Tech Data Announces European Agreement with Advantech for Industrial IoT Solutions

Tech Data Announces European Agreement with Advantech for Industrial IoT Solutions

Tech Data Announces European Agreement with Advantech for Industrial IoT Solutions

Enables business outcomes for edge-to-enterprise Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing projects.

Tech Data today announced a pan-European agreement with Advantech, a leading global provider of Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions.

The Advantech product portfolio covers a comprehensive range of technologies from hardware and software to specific industry solutions for intelligent industrial automation and control.

Tech Data resellers and system integrators across Europe can now access Advantech’s extensive range of innovative products, which enable business outcomes for edge-to-enterprise IoT projects in industrial spaces, extreme environments with harsh conditions, transportation or outdoor applications.

Advantech is the latest addition to Tech Data’s IoT Solutions partner ecosystem, bringing special focus on data acquisition sensor capabilities, IoT networking infrastructure and data interfaces supporting a variety of environments. With this partnership, Tech Data reinforces its commitment to closing the gap between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) in the IoT market and driving adoption of industrial IoT through the channel.

Victor Paradell, vice president, IoT & Analytics Solutions, Europe, at Tech Data said:
“Success in IoT requires strong partnerships and collaboration. With this agreement, we will help our channel partners to deliver a complete solution, including the required IT and OT elements for the industrial sector. Industry 4.0 is driving growth in the IoT sector and Tech Data is now able to provide reliable end-to-end industrial solutions to help our partners resolve end-customer needs and deliver transformative business outcomes.”

The partnership between Advantech and Tech Data allows the creation of end-to-end solutions that open up new markets to Tech Data customers, such as predictive and prescriptive maintenance, remote field support and asset condition monitoring across Europe.

Jash Bansidhar, sector head of Industrial IoT Europe at Advantech, said:
“Advantech has selected Tech Data to accelerate its go-to-market for Industry 4.0 and Smart City systems integrators.”

“The partnership enables both companies to offer enhanced customer value by rolling-out international solution ready platforms (hardware and software) in industrial markets. Our cooperation enables us to offer one-stop-shop IIoT products and solutions that bridge the gap between OT and IT in factories and provide best-in-class customer service.”

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