The Industrial Internet of Things is set to transform manufacturing, logistics and supply chain dramatically over the next few years.
The Industrial IoT—the Internet of Things for industrial applications—is about intelligent networking ranging from individual machines to entire production facilities. This is no small thing; General Electric predicts that investment in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is expected to top $60 trillion during the next 15 years. But how can a company offer new smart services? How can it enter the world of IIoT?
Here are some best practices with real world tips to help you navigate the long road from idea to business model.
- Develop proof of concept and MVP quickly
Start fast, finish strong - the Industrial IoT requires speed. If a project takes much longer than six months before yielding initial results, the conditions as well as the company’s strategic goals may have already changed. The result? The project hits a dead end.
- Choose the right IoT platform
A high-quality, powerful IoT platform technology is necessary even for pilot projects. Key points for selecting a provider include fast implementation, scalability and an open platform architecture that simplifies the integration of existing systems. A high degree of efficiency through automated processes is crucial here.
- Use multi-client architecture
The data volumes in the IIoT are massive and growing all the time. An IoT solution needs to be able to grow in this environment because every new device increases the amount of data. By using multi-client architectures, the data can be stored completely separately by customer on the database level, ensuring maximum data security.
- Introduce an expandable data sharing concept
The IoT is about data sharing between sensors and networked devices. After all, many IIoT applications require interactions between a variety of partners and stakeholders. The data sharing technology needs to be as flexible as possible so it can easily be expanded to new partners, customers, new data structures and scalable business models.
- Achieve the highest security standards
Networking machine tools and industrial plants using the cloud require the highest security standards. A modern encryption should be performed as well as an authentication and authorization of all components and users. Devices like smart devices and IoT gateways should be individually authenticated and assigned minimal rights to reduce the effects of a breach on a device.
- Build a distributed architecture with edge computing
Not all applications can be realized as a pure cloud service due to the incalculable latencies for connections. One example is condition monitoring, where the software needs to respond to certain alerts. The software has to process error messages such as “severe loss of pressure” or “overheating” in real time to prevent damage to equipment and people. An analysis of the data near the equipment being monitored is necessary to do this. Gateways, or edge computing and edge analytics are needed here.
- Implement a multi-vendor strategy
Particularly in the machine construction and industrial production industries, most companies have equipment and machines from various producers. For that reason, the preferred IoT solution would also bring all producers and providers under one roof.
- Use multi-protocol strategy
The IIoT is characterized by a variety of data transfer protocols. Network technologies such as Sigfox, LoRa or Narrowband IoT and protocols like MQTT, CoAP or LWM2M are designed for very different use cases. In this case there is no one best protocol and no optimal solution for all types of IoT projects. For that reason, the platform being implemented should be compatible with all common communication protocols.
By using these best practices guidelines, you will be more productive with your IIoT implementation. By using the Cumulocity IoT platform, you will be doubly sure that you can play a part in the booming IIoT marketplace.