This is the first of a two-part series on the integration and use of IIoT technology.
As advances in technology make it more cost-effective to deploy IIoT, industries will need to acquire a strategic approach to integrating new sensor data with pre-existing data environments.
Now, more than ever, industries are seeking simple integrations with controls, automation, and data analytics visualization software to harness the power of the Industrial Internet of Things and realize attractive operational and competitive benefits for their business.IIoT can unite people and systems on the plant floor with those at the enterprise level, and enable users to get the most value from their automated systems while reducing technological and economic limitations. To ensure successful deployment of the IIoT, industrial organizations can benefit from embracing new network design infrastructures, including developing a reliable framework that supports collaborative work processes across functional lines, as well as between internal and external resources.
New systems to integrate IIoT
Processes, digital devices and business systems can support implementation of the Industrial Internet of Things, from small companies new to the IIoT potential up to large industries that can benefit from adding new sensors into their present systems for internal and external assets. From laying the foundations to help guide future technology investments to easing the integration of the current systems with new controls, automation and data processing benefits, there are ways to help smooth the process and transition for getting the desired results. When looking at new systems for IIoT implementation, it is recommended to examine the following seven areas for benefits:
- Assess the Baseline: Look at assets, processes, data collection, analytics, and real-time visibility to assess the ability to predict and detect issues and opportunities; for example, what type of sensors, cameras and other instrumentation is available to make use of available data tracking potentialities?
- Boost the Capabilities: Use machine learning, Big Data, and automation technologies to create an über-system that can accurately and consistently capture, analyze, and transmit data with visualized dashboards for operations management.
- Integrate the Potential: Employing open integration and communications technologies can help connect data from varied sources on the way to extracting meaningful value for decision-making. This can include software that brings high fidelity data from disparate operational sources to people in all corners of a clients’ enterprise – wherever, whenever and however it is needed.
- Consolidate Data: Look to centralizing data in the Cloud with new applications that connect multiple disparate systems, applying higher level analytics and leveraging expertise with the benefits of being physically remote from the operating site.
- Make it Visual: Consider employing cloud-based applications that add value, such as advanced process control (APC) monitoring, condition-based monitoring (CBM), enterprise data historians, mobility solutions, and planning and scheduling tools. This new instrumentation can help facilitate real-time decision making plus allow long-term data tracking for precise adjustments.
- Re-define Teamwork: With these new controls and automation tools, look to define how functional groups can work together and how to enable smart collaboration across the organization using IIoT advantages; this may include sharing data in operations, maintenance, system reliability, supply chain management, and other potential synergies.
- Make Alliances with the Experts: Stay flexible with new updates and demographic changes using technology tools and collaborations with third-party experts that understand industrial automation, process data, and control-related issues across the enterprise. Traditional information technology (IT) providers may not offer that depth, and the potential for niche integration consultants is ripe for growth.
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