For the last 20 years, GreenVulcano has been promoting an all Italian innovation that aims at the development and the implementation of a stable, safe and long-lasting infrastructure. All in an effort to start a brand-new dialogue on the way we conceive infrastructure.
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.
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:
- Device Level: is the physical component of the IIoT system: IT hardware, machinery and sensors;
- Network Level: it consists of communication protocols, cloud computing and wifi networks that collect data and transfer them to the next level;
- 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;
- 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 its IoT platform on the market.
(2020 update: the product it’s now called Sensoworks).
Sensoworks platform 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.
These are the words of the engineer. Paolo Persi del Marmo CEO of NTSG, a partner company of GreenVulcano.
The solution referred to, based on OF (acronym of optical fibers), comes precisely from the need to verify the health status of a structure during its life, a system patented by NTSG to monitor the 3D and 2D deformations of an element of generic shape, using optical fibers as a means of measurement, a system that finds its greatest application in the control of major works (bridges, tunnels, roads, railways, dams) and buildings: a very topical aspect given the recent tragic events that hit Italy.
The data, once acquired, passes to the IoT platform of GreenVulcano, where they are analyzed to draw up reports and statistics, and to artificial intelligence that uses them to make predictive maintenance and prevent possible future structural damage.
Most likely you will have already heard about the term Internet of Things.
Although on the internet there are excellent descriptions if you have any curiosity about the topic we suggest you start reading some of the posts of our blog and then deepen the topics that interest you the most:
But what is an IoT platform and what are its characteristics? In this series of articles, we will try to give a more complete answer by explaining the growing need for every company that intends to start IoT projects and how the company GreenVulcano Technologies, with its solid technical background, can help companies to face the many challenging aspects of the IoT revolution.
2 – An “IoT data storm” is coming. Get ready
After the initial IoT hype and the disillusionment phase, we arrived at the beginning of the widespread adoption of technology and productivity. Customers recognize the IoT as a fundamental element for digital transformation and are ready to take the right steps to be part of it.
Sensors and actuators of all kinds are added to the Internet at unimaginable speed and the IoT market will continue to be one of the best exponentially growing markets in the coming years.
Customers will always pay more attention to the estimate and the results of every investment in this field.
The amount of data that “objects” generate and download on the Internet every day has never been addressed before and will need new technologies and new paradigms to be able to collect, store, process and analyze the IoT data flow.
But how much data are we talking about when we say “data storm”?
Just to give an example on a real monitoring scenario, we show you that of a tunnel, for the control of convergence and longitudinal deformations, when it is located on land subject to landslides.
Here are some photos that show one of the fundamental activities of IoT, that is to enable objects to “speak” to communicate information. This is the tunnel walls along their entire length:
Monitoring of a gallery:
- Number of sensors: 780
- Sampling frequency: 10 Hz
- Wiring: 30 km of an optical fiber (Val di Sambro tunnel)
- Package size: 6 bytes (each sensor) + 30 bytes of header
- Hours of operation: 24/24 hours, 365 days/year
- 780 sensors * 10 Hz * 10 bytes * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 24 hours
- ~ 46 Kb per second
- 161.7 MB per hour
- 3.78 GB per day
- 10 messages (~ 4.6 kb each message) per second
This is a simple scenario, but there are monitoring situations that require sampling frequencies at 1000 Hz, which may then require the transfer of 1000 measurements per second on the internet.
For a general idea, let’s consider this table, which shows the ranges of data related to a group of sensors of a hypothetical IoT project:
|Amount of data of a hypothetical IoT project||# of bytes to digest over the internet|
|Small||< 100 MB per day|
|Medium||< 1-10 GB per day|
|High||< 50-500 GB per day|
|Huge||> 500 GB > 1 TB > 100 TB > …?|
This table is today quite realistic when it classifies traffic as small, medium, high and huge, and given that in the near future the numbers are destined to increase exponentially, the effect that will have is that the longevity of IoT solutions will be shorter and shorter. , therefore (again) it is important to adopt open, modular and scalable solutions and, above all, a correct methodological approach that can take account of this growth if we want to be able to exploit this revolution to the fullest.
Here at GreenVulcano, we are well aware of it has already had too many times to intervene in solutions and configurations that were not adequate and that required the design of the system starting from scratch. These situations have as a direct consequence the facing of further expenditure, with the main damage of keeping inoperative or operating only in one part, the structure on which it was already spent.
The IoT solutions will be increasingly used this because they transmit important knowledge to help digital transformation and are proving a basic element in every sector and market division. The cloud, the analysis and the IoT will extraordinarily improve the companies controlled by technology and will give greater productivity, safety, intelligence and profitability to the company. Unfortunately, most IT associations have almost no knowledge or training on operational structures such as monitoring and data acquisition supervision systems (SCADA).
So if you are serious about starting an IoT project for your organization, choosing an appropriate IoT platform and choosing an experienced service provider are extremely important and sensitive.
This is only the first step because then we need to move on to an analysis of new features that will be basic in the coming years such as:
- artificial intelligence
- edge computing
Things we will discover and deepen better in the next article.
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