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Trends in automation: The Expanding Role of IoT for Consumers and Automation

The Internet of Things continues to be visible in everyday devices.  My Microsoft band sends data on my exercise, sleep, and other daily living metrics to the cloud.  My bathroom scale sends data on my weight and BMI.  Eventually, applications will begin to correlate the data and provide predictive maintenance on my overall health.  As my refrigerator begins to have internet capabilities and connects to the cloud where the data from my Microsoft band and scale reside, then an application can do intelligent menu planning based on health and lifestyle. It can derive grocery lists from these menu plans and the contents of the refrigerator.  As you can see, the chain of applications can expand exponentially.

These same initiatives are happening in industrial automation where new sensors and devices with Internet connectivity provide real-time information for predictive maintenance.  InduSoft Web Studio has been used in many of these types of applications such as PML Exploration Services, where real-time mud logging information is collected remotely and sent to the cloud.  Experts in mud logging are monitoring and providing real-time feedback to local drill wells.

Real-time Gas Analysis in the Cloud (case study)

Real-time Analysis for Oil and Gas Drilling (webinar)

Another similar IoT application using InduSoft Web Studio is at the University of Texas. An intelligent energy management system uses real-time weather feeds to predict future energy usage and provides intelligent usage of the present energy consumption.

Case Study:

City-Sized University Powers Campus With Help From InduSoft Web Studio

Webinars:

Energy Management with InduSoft Web Studio and the University of Texas

Building Automation Webinar

 

The lists of IoT applications that use InduSoft Web Studio are expansive from smart irrigation to smart factories.  The growth projections for IoT are huge.  The McKinsey Global Institute report, “Unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things” predicts:

iot

 

 

There are major government initiatives focused on digitization of our industrial world.  Industrie 4.0 is a German government initiative that is creating a comprehensive vision for applying digital technology to the industrial sector. The “Made in China 2025” initiative by the Chinese government focuses on domestic integration of digital integration and industrialization.  With all these initiatives, there will be some short term gains in operational efficiency and new product offerings.

However, the real win is in the long-term, when we begin to focus on the services that these solutions provide such as my Microsoft Band and my scale beginning to provide me intelligent content to help me monitor and maintain my health.  We need to focus on the quantifiable impact of the total solution and not just the ability to connect our devices to the Internet.  These solutions will be in areas such as end-to-end automation, resource optimization and waste reduction and intelligent, predictive continuous demand sensing applications.

As more and more IoT solutions begin to be deployed, our attention must focus on security and data privacy.  As the physical and virtual world begin to combine, the need for protection increases as we begin to bridge our legacy systems to new IoT solutions.

InduSoft Web Studio has a large driver library that provides connectivity between disparate devices. Its security model for application protection provides device-level authentication and application security for deploying IoT solutions.  Working with cloud based solution providers, Indusoft can connect these many devices and applications to the cloud as depicted below.

iot architecture

 

According to IDC, “by 2018, there will be 22 billion internet of things devices installed, driving the development of more than 200,000 new IoT apps and services”  As the various applications are deployed in the market, we will begin to define a metric for success for monetizing our IoT solutions.

1    http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/business-technology/our-insights/the-internet-of-things-the-value-of-digitizing-the-physical-world

2 IDC: http://www.itbusiness.ca/news/idcs-2016-predictions-iot-headed-for-huge-growth-and-security-headaches/60954

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