WHAT IS THE INDUSTRIAL IOT?

To understand what Industrial IoT is, let’s first take a step back and explain  in a nutshell what we mean when we say the “Internet of Things”.

In 1999 Kevin Ashton, a researcher at MIT in Boston, described the Internet of Things as a set of technologies that allows to control, monitor and transfer information by connecting a device to the Internet.

The Industrial Internet of Things, usually abbreviated with IIoT, is therefore a verticalization of the broader concept of IoT, focused on the industrial ecosystem and enabled by technologies such as cybersecurity, cloud and edge computing, big-data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

IIoT MARKET

According to a report signed by IndustryARC, the Industrial IoT market will reach 124 billion dollars by 2021 and should exceed 771 billion dollars by 2026. The CAGR (compound annual growth rate) in the period forecast 2018-2026, is instead estimated at 24.3%.

The key to this growth lies in the fact that data obtained in real time not only allows better management of the production process, but also better management of all company assets, offering a clear and immediate picture of the company’s performance in all its areas.

IIoT SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE

The ordinary structure of an IIoT system is a modular architecture organized in 4 Levels:

  1. Device Level: is the physical component of the IIoT system: IT hardware, machinery and sensors;
  2. Network Level: it consists of communication protocols, cloud computing and wifi networks that collect data and transfer them to the next level;
  3. Service Level: made up of functional applications and software for analysis as well as the  transformation of data into information that can be displayed on the driver’s dashboard;
  4. Content Level: it is the last layer of the stack and is formed by user interface devices.

ADVANTAGES OF INDUSTRIAL IOT

The wide availability of data collected makes it possible to monitor and maintain (also in a predictive manner) strategic infrastructures, by utilizing AI and machine learning algorithms, we are able to generate estimates, forecasts on possible risks and suggest measures to be taken before failures occur.

For example, in the infrastructure sector, IoT sensors and predictive algorithms could allow the continuous monitoring of:

  • Tunnels: to assess their deformations and convergence;
  • Bridges: to check its inclinations and deflection measures;
  • Buildings: to measure static deformations on buildings and verify their structural integrity;
  • Sewage systems: to evaluate the speed and flow of waves;

The result of industrial IoT projects is the reduction of energy and maintenance costs, as well as the general improvement of business productivity and the employees work quality.

CRITICALITY OF THE IIoT 

  • Cyber ​​security: The existing IT security measures for IoT devices are far lower, and the risks are sometimes underestimated, compared to the existing measures for more traditional computers and devices. The risk of connecting a device to a network  makes it a potential target of a cyber attack.
  • Lack of standardization in communication protocols: industrial communication protocols are the conditio sine qua non for interconnection and data exchange between machine and software. In most companies the hardware is extremely varied in age, manufacturer and technology used. This heterogeneity often requires the use of different communication protocols thus making the interconnection operation complex and expensive.

However, these critical issues must not discourage investments in IIoT projects. The long-term benefits are extremely superior to the short-term efforts in terms of human and economic resources.

IIoT IN GREENVULCANO

Well before the IoT became a research trend, GreenVulcano had already developed its own solution to offer to customers.

Leading  the integration market thanks to an experience of over 10 years, GreenVulcano has recently put Sibyl (its IoT platform) on the market: . Sibyl is a cloud based (but can also be used on premise), plug and play, dedicated to the management, remote control and predictive maintenance solution to monitor complex infrastructure systems.

Find out which could be the right solution for the needs of your company and don’t hesitate to write us for further information.

To learn more about Greenvulcano’s IoT solution visit our website and don’t miss the next article.

When you want to continue to offer a valuable service over the years, in a competitive market such as technological innovation, one characteristic is that of being informed about the latest technologies and knowing how to anticipate trends.

This is why we at GreenVulcano not only inform ourselves but try to understand the true essence of the new technology by understanding it in its entirety.

Therefore we find it incorrect that the common opinion identifies the Blockchain to bitcoins, almost as if they were a synonym of the other.

In reality the Blockchain is a much more complex technology, and therefore more interesting, as it can be used in the most disparate fields.

This article aims to highlight this type of application, bringing real examples beyond the virtual blockchain / coin association such as money laundering, fraud detection and better banking services.

Why Blockchain is a Powerful Tool in Combating Money Laundering

History has  dealt with its share of trickery and evasiveness when it comes to tracking the origins of money. Criminal gangs, drug lords and terrorists groups each year manage to illicilately evade authorities by transferring money to different parts of the world. It is estimated between 2- 5 % of the global economy involves money laundering. Armed with technological advances, these wrongdoers continuously find new avenues in bypassing the regulatory authorities. Blockchain and its recent advancements have the potential of eradicating this practice.

The process of blockchaining involves a decentralized approach to information, where it is stored across an entire network. The  network contains different interactions involving proceedings like  tax fillings, wire transfer, bank deposits, which are accessible by a single person owning  a computing. Transactions are authentified with participators known as nodes that work to verify the network is free from tampering while at the same time checking and  reducing the chances of falsified documents from entering the exchange. Once authentication is processed, the transaction is then viewable to the rest of the entities in the network.

Blockchain has the capacity of tracing back identifiers of previous transactions because the transactions happening in the block cannot be altered in any way.  The block in the chain contain information about the transactions, who was involved ( though this lies strictly within a digital signature)  and a unique identifying code called a hash, which separates each transaction. The hash is configured information that uses math functions and string of lettering. If any of the functions are altered, the hash will also change. Therefore, if anyone changes the hash in one box the old hash moves to the block that follows, this would require the person involved to revise the hash alongside the rest of the ones in the chain with much time needed. Though it is not impossible to carry this out, it proves to be fruitless because it is impossible to delete.

The developmental aid sector is curtailing money laundering through blockchain. A student in the University of Cape Town used blockchain to develop a way to counteract possible corruption and fraud when donors transfer money intended for aid to beneficiaries.  The process works by having the money transferred into an escrow account through a bank that distributes tokens resembling fiat money to the beneficiaries. They  are the only ones able to redeem the token, thus,  eliminating fund interception. In this sense, Blockchain technology offers clarity and support for donors, while at the same time providing  organizations a way to track where and how the money is being distributed for direct and indirect expenses.

Another example is Honduras’s government that has partnered with industry based expert, Factom to monitor the registration and recording of land claims due to its history with land-title fraud.

Similarly, IBM is jumping on the bandwagon moving beyond partnerships with industries implementing blockchain. The company submitted a patent for “Node Characterization in Blockchain” system, the transaction identifiers found in the nodes. The data from these nodes will be used to collect information on the different types of transactions that compose the network.

Blockchain and new services for banks

Banks and economic sectors are also looking at the potentiality of Blockchain. 69% of the worlds biggest banks are experimenting including: Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BBVA, CIBC, Commerzbank, DNB, HSBC, Intesa, KBC, KB Kookmin Bank are just a few.  Highly known for its strict regulations led by conservative attitudes, banks are seeing the promising benefits and possible solutions their most pressing challenges.

Traditional banking relies on mediators to carry out various functions. These participators make them more expensive; Blockchain eliminates the need for these mediators, making services more affordable for the bank and consumer.  A popular area that Blockchain seems to be of value is in international money transferring for its reduced costs and faster processing. User banking transactions online can also be effectivized by cutting the steps for identity  verification. If the user is given the choice to select who they wish to identify themselves with and how they are identified, then that can be transported over to other services found in the same blockchain without the need to reverify who they are.

Civic is a identity verification system that does exactly this without actually collecting or storing data. In the decentralized system it works as a digitized form of a wallet where a verified identity is used and checked independently across a range of services from a single blockchain, thus eliminating the need for the user to identify themselves every time. Bank of America started last December implementing Blockchain in its ATMS. The aim of the project of is to improve the communication within the systems by facilitating transaction services involving cash withdrawal and other service  to consumers who may not be in the same bank, but are part of a partner bank that lies within the same ATM network.

Conclusion

Although Blockchain is not a recent technology, it is certainly something that has gained some interest over the past two years. The advantages of its use have opened new perspectives in the fight against money laundering around the world, as well as helping the banking sector to improve its services and to be less expensive.

But it is not only this, in Greenvulcano we think it will be a revolutionary technology especially for companies within the industry 4.0 sector.

This is why in all our IoT projects we are configuring our integration systems so that we can support a Blockchain network.

If you want to know more, visit the section of the site that explores the topic at this link.

Industries are changing. They are becoming increasingly digital and interconnected, thanks to the evolution of old processes and the introduction of new technologies such as: Automation, Robotization, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data which together are helping to make industries more advanced.

The fourth industrial revolution began in Italy, which is the second largest manufacturing country in Europe. There are some risks, but also many opportunities.

According to the former Minister of economic development, Mario Calenda, the industry 4.0 movement, introduced on September 21, 2016, would help Italian companies revive their competitive capacity through highly targeted technological investments. As a result of this, there is a re-launch of the entire economic sector.

Also Luigi Di Maio, 5 Star leader and new Minister of economic development, explained his plan for innovation and technology in Italy. In a recent interview in February during the election campaign, Di Maio expressed that he wanted to support the startup economy, Industry 4.0, and the innovation of Italian companies. He also supports the involvement of sectors in which technology plays a key role, such as school, culture, environment and tourism.

Meanwhile, Gianni Potti, president of CNCT – Confindustria Innovative and Technological Services, launches an appeal to the new Minister Di Maio in a letter containing five ideas for a strategy to avoid waste and a maximization of possible government interventions.

  1. Going Beyond the Depreciation Lever

Regulations and incentives are used to regenerate the industrial economy. Industry 4.0 can not be and is not only a fiscal lever, it is much more. The transformation of the European industrial system is the re-engineering of the production processes. It is the total rethinking of the product / service relationship. The first question to be addressed is how to promote production with incentives and vouchers, the part of the consulting process that involves cloud, sensors, social media, marketing, analytics and big data, cyber security and so on.

  2. Connecting the Competence Center and the Digital Innovation Hub

In the last few years, two different interpretations of the role of DIH have been created: one directly within the European, Union and the second is from MISE.
The primary objective therefore is to rediscover a unique direction for the role of DIH, bringing them to their original purpose: that of specialization on their strategic tasks (orientation, high training and applied research) and the fundamental one of relationship and connection with PMI in the local area.

If this does not happen, the risk will make the train of innovation lose all our hard core businesses: small and medium.

  3. A Shared Strategy between Government, Regions and Chambers of Commerce

The third question to be answered is if the industry 4.0 plan can be integrated with the European Union, Regions, and Chambers of Commerce.

The suggestion is the constitution of a government control with Conferenza delle Regioni  and Camere di Commercio for a shared strategy and especially to avoid overlaps and waste.

  4. Promoting Innovation of PMI

PMI is the key to achieving the sustainable medium and long-term growth necessary for Italy. As the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said, “PMI are the key to spreading the fourth Industrial Revolution in Japan. We will promote and support the introduction of IT and robots adapted to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses based on the business conditions of each company “.

It is clearly aimed at a technology dedicated to people and to better live our cities.

5. Involving young people

The first digital revolution must take place in the heads of entrepreneurs that provides a different, more advanced skill set, with the human element at the core of the 4.0 Industry. Decisive in this process is the involvement of young people, and knowing how to mix the natural predisposition of young people for digital with the know-how present in our companies.

An excellent example of this revolution can be seen in Amazon, one of the most used ecommerce platform in the world, which is testing the limits of automation and human-machine collaboration.

While the company’s ambitions to use drones for delivery have garnered considerable media attention, armies of “Kiva” robots already are connected via Wi-Fi and used in company warehouses.

The idea behind the introduction of Kiva robots is that it makes more sense for robots to identify products on the shelves and take them to their destinations, rather than having humans perform these tasks, due to speed and accuracy.

According to Dave Clark, senior vice president of Amazon, in 2014, Kiva robots helped the company cut operating costs by 20%.

Conclusion

We must acknowledge the policy of understanding the needs of such dynamic market. Di Maio’s document of Confindustria confirms the existence of a healthy interaction between government and businesses. However, the existence of many unanswered questions and obstacles still has to be addressed to bring our country to the position it aims to be in.

 

We will continue to follow Italian and EU developments on the subject. Follow us on our blog and leave a comment to tell us what you liked and what you would like to read in the next releases.

Industrial IoT represents such a radical change for manufacturing industries to be considered as the fourth industrial revolution by the analysts.

The modifications to the production structure and the benefits to the business resulting from IIoT have been compared to the innovations brought in by the introduction of the first mechanical tools (end of ‘700), the invention of the first production lines (beginning of ‘900) and by the first automations in the early 70s.

What is IIoT?

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