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.