IoT Cloud Platforms Turn Old Industrial Designs into Connected Devices

By: Shawn Wasserman

6, January, 2017

Categories:

Connected Industry - Data - Engineering - Enterprise - Industry - IoT - London - M2M -

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I could bore you with all the reasons engineers and designers need to add connectivity to their industrial designs. You’ve heard it all before. Through data analytics and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), you can:

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Industrial 3.0 machinery isn’t going away anytime soon. We need tools that will bring existing equipment up to speed with the Industrial Internet of Things. And it wouldn’t hurt if they were cheap, you know?

-Predict failures

-Discover new use cases

-Gain real-life load data for the design and simulation teams

-Optimize your throughput like clockwork

But let’s face it, folks, fleets of industrial machinery, vehicles and building equipment aren’t going to be replaced over night. Legacy infrastructure is here to stay, and it’s too expensive to do much about it but wait. Or is it?

It turns out that the discussion doesn’t end there. The truth is that engineers and IoT product designers need to look at ways to add connectivity to previously isolated products.

Now let’s be honest. It doesn’t take too much to add extra sensors, data modules and wireless communication to an industrial saw. After all, most modern industrial saws will have the sensors you will need for IoT monitoring and will output that data to SCADA solutions. But this isn’t where IoT ends. This is just the beginning.

Every tool on the line must be connected. This creates a significant sea of big data. This data lake isn’t just hard to crunch for its size; it’s hard to crunch because of the various languages each tool speaks and the data formats they output. Just synchronizing their clocks for accurate data collection can be hard enough.

This becomes an expensive and time-consuming endeavour. Some will begin to wonder if the aforementioned improvements the IoT offers will make the return on investment.

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ENGINEERING.com asked these organizations about how their IoT platforms handle data analytics, dashboarding, security, compatibility, data messaging, device control, cloud storage and licensing.

This is why the selection of an IoT cloud platform is so important. It is the connective tissue that will tie all your data together. But again, that isn’t the end of the game. You still need to crunch that data, make it visible through dashboards, put the data to work with triggers or control logic, and ensure that everything is secure.

Thankfully, ENGINEERING.com has already asked many of those questions to vendors like PTC’s ThingWorx, Autodesk Fusion Connect, Dassault Systèmes Netvibes, Amazon Web Services, Jasper and thethings.iO.In other words, there are a lot of questions an engineer must ask an IoT cloud platform provider before they make a selection.

To see their answers, check out the ENGINEERING.com eBook: Comparing Platforms to Add Internet of Things Capabilities to Products.

Guest blog: Shawn Wasserman IoT Editor, ENGINEERING.com

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