Bring­ing the in­dus­trial IoT to life

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - INTERNET OF THINGS -

Get on board the jour­ney to the Con­nected En­ter­prise for un­prece­dented pro­duc­tiv­ity gains.

The dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion has taken the world by storm and is re­shap­ing the in­ter­ac­tions be­tween peo­ple, pro­cesses and ma­chines. With an es­ti­mated 200 bil­lion In­ter­net-con­nected things by 2030, the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion will trans­form con­sumers, in­dus­try and gov­ern­ments alike.

The in­dus­trial In­ter­net of things is cre­at­ing a new era for eco­nomic growth and com­pet­i­tive­ness for in­dus­trial com­pa­nies. Smart man­u­fac­tur­ing is the gate­way to dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. Con­nected smart de­vices open new win­dows of vis­i­bil­ity into pro­cesses. Data and an­a­lyt­ics en­able bet­ter and faster de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

Smart oper­a­tions re­quire the use of new and dis­rup­tive technologies, from an­a­lyt­ics and mo­bile to col­lab­o­ra­tive ma­chines. These technologies com­mu­ni­cate with each other and adapt to in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal con­di­tions. They also re­quire new strate­gies that make the most of these technologies to cre­ate flex­i­ble, ef­fi­cient, re­spon­sive and se­cure oper­a­tions.


Technologies made pos­si­ble as a re­sult of the In­dus­trial In­ter­net of Things (IIoT) are al­ready help­ing for­ward-think­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers reap the ben­e­fits of Smart Man­u­fac­tur­ing. The Con­nected En­ter­prise se­curely con­nects peo­ple, pro­cesses, and technologies by con­verg­ing plant-level and en­ter­prise net­works. Im­ple­ment­ing the Con­nected En­ter­prise is a jour­ney. The first step is to con­nect to the smart ma­chines and de­vices that gen­er­ate data.

In the re­cent In­ter­net of Things study by the MPI Group, net­work ca­pa­bil­i­ties to han­dle the IoT has been named as one of the top five IoT ca­pa­bil­i­ties that present the biggest chal­lenges for man­u­fac­tur­ers. How­ever, with the right net­work in­fra­struc­ture and the abil­ity to in­te­grate in­for­ma­tion across IT and con­trol sys­tems, in­dus­trial en­ter­prises can co­or­di­nate oper­a­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tions – fa­cil­i­tat­ing a de­mand-driven sup­ply chain.

Con­verg­ing net­works cre­ates a com­mon pro­duc­tion plat­form and new technologies in­clud­ing mo­bile de­vices, the cloud, and big data, can help se­curely con­nect plant in­for­ma­tion with en­ter­prise sys­tems.

The Con­nected En­ter­prise brings in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy (IT) and op­er­a­tional tech­nol­ogy (OT) to­gether into a ro­bust, se­cure and col­lab­o­ra­tive ar­chi­tec­ture. Data is col­lected that pro­vides op­er­a­tional in­sights. The next step in the jour­ney is con­tex­tu­al­is­ing this data and trans­form­ing it into ac­tion­able in­for­ma­tion.


Tech­nol­ogy is trans­form­ing in­dus­try and un­lock­ing un­prece­dented quan­ti­ties of data from in­tel­li­gent ‘things’ em­bed­ded within in­dus­trial ap­pli­ca­tions. The days of man­u­ally col­lect­ing data that may only pro­vide a snap­shot in time and are prone to hu­man er­ror are well and truly a thing of the past.

With the pro­lif­er­a­tion of smart de­vices and sen­sors, in­for­ma­tion is read­ily avail­able. As big­ger data sets are ag­gre­gated, busi­nesses get ‘smarter.’ The chal­lenge is con­tex­tu­al­iz­ing the data to make it ac­tion­able and ac­ces­si­ble to all parts of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, max­imis­ing ef­fi­ciency and cre­at­ing value.

Real-time an­a­lyt­ics soft­ware takes the data that is au­to­mat­i­cally and con­tin­u­ally col­lected from sev­eral sources and con­tex­tu­alises it into mean­ing­ful in­for­ma­tion. These an­a­lyt­ics cre­ate greater op­er­a­tional trans­parency and pro­vides bet­ter vis­i­bil­ity into com­plex pro­duc­tion pro­cesses. This in­for­ma­tion can pro­vide valu­able in­sights into a num­ber of pa­ram­e­ters in­clud­ing qual­ity, safety, com­pli­ance, en­ergy-us­age and pro­duc­tiv­ity of the plant.

Smart Man­u­fac­tur­ing makes the best use of data, con­tex­tu­al­is­ing and trans­form­ing it into ac­tion­able in­for­ma­tion in real time. It also rec­on­ciles his­tor­i­cal data to lever­age in­sights in sup­port of fu­ture plan­ning. This gives de­ci­sion-mak­ers across the en­ter­prise new vis­i­bil­ity into their oper­a­tions, as well as the abil­ity to act on busi­ness in­sights, in­clud­ing real-time per­for­mance mea­sures and costs.


In the Con­nected En­ter­prise, equip­ment and de­vices are trans­formed into in­tel­li­gent as­sets that can self-an­a­lyse, pre­dict and adapt to change, pro­vid­ing the abil­ity to mon­i­tor pro­cesses and equip­ment in real time to drive out in­ef­fi­cien­cies and im­prove per­for­mance.

The re­sult is a more ag­ile, in­te­grated and au­ton­o­mous op­er­a­tion. With the im­proved abil­ity to re­spond to chang­ing cus­tomer needs comes bet­ter work­flow man­age­ment for more de­mand driven pro­duc­tion, and deeper in­sight into sup­plier de­liv­er­ies that can help im­prove in­ven­tory costs.

The Con­nected En­ter­prise en­ables faster and bet­ter busi­ness de­ci­sions that in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity, im­prove qual­ity and help to meet de­mand more pre­cisely and cost- ef­fec­tively through faster time to mar­ket, lower to­tal cost of own­er­ship, im­proved as­set util­i­sa­tion, en­ter­prise risk man­age­ment and in­creased work­force ef­fi­ciency.


Be­ing a global man­u­fac­turer, Rock­well Au­to­ma­tion re­cently em­barked on their own jour­ney to the Con­nected En­ter­prise. Sim­i­lar to other man­u­fac­tur­ers with large prod­uct port­fo­lios and a global man­u­fac­tur­ing pres­ence, Rock­well Au­to­ma­tion used a range of man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses at its 20 dif­fer­ent plants. Each plant ran its sys­tems, with none of them talk­ing to each other.

The com­pany de­vel­oped a five-year plan for the com­plete re­struc­tur­ing of their fa­cil­ity and sup­plier net­works. Rock­well Au­to­ma­tion started the jour­ney by es­tab­lish­ing a sin­gle con­nected sys­tem across the globe util­is­ing Eth­er­net/IP. In tan­dem, they rolled out a new, uni­fied ERP and MES so­lu­tions across all of the pro­duc­tion sites. The com­pany has ex­pe­ri­enced an es­ti­mated 4-5 per­cent an­nual im­prove­ment in pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The In­dus­trial In­ter­net of Things era has ar­rived. This pro­lif­er­a­tion of con­nected smart de­vices can im­prove vir­tu­ally ev­ery as­pect of busi­ness per­for­mance with lead­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions tak­ing ad­van­tage of its many ben­e­fits.

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