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What is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)? 10 representative platforms

The use of IoT is expanding in factories and production sites for the purpose of improving productivity and optimizing manufacturing equipment . This is called Industrial IoT (IIoT), and it will be a very big factor for the manufacturing industry in the future.In this article, we will introduce representative platforms of IIoT for executives, managers, and IT personnel in the industrial field.

What is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)? 10 representative platforms

INDEX

  1. What is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?
  2. Advantages of introducing industrial IoT in the industrial field
  3. Industrial IoT becomes more prevalent
  4. Top 10 Industrial IoT Platforms
  5. summary

What is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?

Industrial IoT (Industrial Internet of Things) refers to the utilization of IoT in various industrial fields, including manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, finance, and the steel industry.

The impact of the IIoT on the industry is believed to be enormous, and it is predicted that by 2030, even just 20 major countries in the world will generate economic growth exceeding 10 trillion dollars.

IoT is a technology that utilizes data acquired from things to create new value and business models. Specifically, the server processes the data acquired by the sensor and performs actions such as notifications. IoT is used in various ways in our daily lives, such as a car door that automatically unlocks when the driver approaches, or an application that allows you to control your home air conditioner from your workplace.

The IIoT is one of the most widely used IoT technologies, especially for industrial applications. Factory automation in the manufacturing industry and smart factories are typical examples, where sensors are installed on factory machines to remotely check the operating status.

IoT is an indispensable technology for the digital transformation promoted by the government.

Advantages of introducing industrial IoT in the industrial field

There are two main advantages of introducing IIoT in the industrial field.

Visualization and optimization of the supply chain

You can visualize the status of the manufacturing process by linking manufacturing machines with a network using IIoT and acquiring operation information. In addition to automating processes that were conventionally inspected and recorded by workers, visualization of a series of supply chains makes it possible to discover wasteful processes, assign labor to necessary locations, and optimize personnel. This enables an efficient production process.

Improve productivity in your work process

By combining data acquired by IIoT and AI, it becomes possible to detect anomalies and predict machine failures. This will reduce downtime due to failures, improve factory availability, and improve productivity.

In addition, maintenance can be performed before failures occur, which reduces the burden on maintenance personnel.

Industrial IoT becomes more prevalent

The use of IIoT is expected to expand further with the spread of a new communication standard called 5G (5th generation mobile communication system).

5G features ultra-high speed, large capacity, ultra-low latency, and multiple simultaneous connections, and is expected to be used in applications such as autonomous driving. Furthermore, local 5G, which builds a 5G system with a base station on the company’s premises, will further boost the spread of IIoT.

Top 10 Industrial IoT Platforms

An IoT platform provides the functions necessary to utilize IoT on the cloud or on-premises . By providing functions such as security infrastructure, device connection management, data accumulation and analysis, when companies develop and operate IIoT systems, it is possible to shorten the development period and introduce IoT with less man-hours.

The 10 types of IoT platforms introduced this time share the basic functions of connecting multiple devices with different communication methods and centrally managing and visualizing data acquired by sensors. However, they come from various backgrounds, such as manufacturers, tool vendors, and IT companies, and have different technologies and know-how.

When selecting a platform for your company, it is a good idea to consider the needs of your company and the ease of operation based on the characteristics of each platform.

1. ThingWorx | PTC

ThingWorx is an integrated IoT platform from PTC. In addition to being able to develop IoT applications with no code, since the AR platform Vuforia is incorporated, data acquired from IoT devices can be displayed as AR content.

It supports more than 150 protocols including OPC UA as well as Ethernet, making it easy to connect with other systems.

2.Microsoft Azure IoT | Microsoft

Microsoft Azure IoT is an IoT platform that can be said to be provided on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud service.

At its core, Azure IoT incorporates the machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) the company is developing. It is possible to analyze and utilize the acquired and accumulated data faster and more accurately.

Another major feature is that it is easy to link with other Microsoft products such as Pewer BI and Windows, making it easier for companies that are already using Azure products to introduce it.

3.Industrial IoT Platform | NEC

Industrial IoT Platform is an IoT platform provided by NEC. By measuring the data collected and accumulated by IoT and recording the points of change as events, and by recording the events between events, you can accurately understand what is happening and make it easier to implement improvement activities.

It incorporates NEC the WISE, an AI product group developed by the company, and is characterized by its ability to perform advanced AI analysis. We offer both in the cloud and on-premises.

4.COLMINA|Fujitsu

COLMINA is an IoT platform provided by Fujitsu. It is characterized by its specialization in the manufacturing industry, and functions to analyze collected data such as production line stoppage prediction, work time variation analysis, line stoppage and work analysis, and use it to improve productivity and work efficiency. offers.

5.Lumada|Hitachi

Lumada is an IoT platform provided by Hitachi. The company’s strengths lie in its accumulation of OT (Operational Technology) technology related to the control and operation of factory equipment, and its know-how in problem-solving unique to the manufacturing industry.

We publish feature summaries of typical solutions on the Lumada Solution Hub portal site, so you can collect information in advance. Although it is not as convenient as a cloud service, it is recommended if you want detailed support.

6. SPINEX|Toshiba

SPINEX is an industrial IoT platform that Toshiba started offering in 2016. Like Hitachi, the company’s strength lies in its accumulated development know-how in business areas such as social infrastructure and electronic equipment. In addition to these, we aim to solve customer problems by combining advanced technologies such as IoT and AI.

We provide an environment for visualizing the data acquired and accumulated from facilities and equipment and utilizing the analysis results.

7.Edgecross | Mitsubishi Electric

Edgecross is the name of an open platform in the edge computing area that is located between factories and IT systems rather than individual products. Mitsubishi Electric and seven other companies have established the Edgecross Consortium as a managing company, and are conducting promotional activities.

Edgecross basic software is combined with functions such as a data collector that collects data, an edge application that provides analysis functions, and an IT gateway that connects to the cloud environment to search for clues to solving problems. IoT products from Microsoft, Fujitsu, NEC, etc. are certified as Edgecross compatible.

8.MindSphere | Siemens

MindSphere is a cloud-based IoT platform provided by Siemens, a major German electronics manufacturer.

It is characterized by having cloud-type open PaaS functions such as being able to operate on Amazon AWS, and many applications necessary for data analysis are prepared. This makes it easier to develop and distribute various applications.

9. YASKAWA Cocpit | Yaskawa Electric

Since 2018, YASKAWA Cocpit has been provided by Yaskawa Electric, which is known for factory automation-related solutions such as industrial robots.

Positioned as a core tool of i3-Mechatronics, which the company has been promoting since 2017, it provides solutions that support customers’ digitization, thereby attracting customers from manufacturers that only provide production equipment . It aims to escape.

In addition to the robots and equipment developed by the company, data can be collected by linking with other companies’ systems, and the operating status can be checked in real time. In addition, it supports OPC-UA, which is a communication standard for IoT devices, and it is possible to reflect analysis results by linking with ERP (Integrated Enterprise System) and MES.

It also supports a mechanism that allows add-ons for additional functions, enabling flexible application development with the necessary functions added.

10.zenon | COPA-DATA

COPA-DATA is a specialized manufacturer of automation software located in Austria. The SCADA (Industrial Supervisory Control System)/IIoT software platform zenon provided by the company has been installed in more than 100,000 systems in more than 90 countries around the world.

With SCADA at its core, it specializes in controlling factory systems and centrally managing equipment in IoT. It is characterized by its strength in realizing labor saving and productivity improvement, and there is no data linkage between the upper system (MES) in charge of manufacturing management and the lower system (PLC) that controls individual machines. Such problems can be solved by introducing zenon.

summary

IIoT refers to IoT that is used for industrial purposes. Recently, a large number of IoT platforms have been provided as a means of facilitating the use of IoT by companies. Amid the demand for digital transformation, it is expected that IoT utilization will increase in the manufacturing industry in the future, and the demand for IIoT platforms is likely to increase further.

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