Thoughts

The #1 Digital Innovation Trend of the Decade: IIoT

The Industrial Internet of Things. If there can be only one winner for the top digital innovation trend of the 2010s, it has to be IIot. No other technology from the past ten years has the ability to so radically shift manufacturing and increase efficiency in industrial applications like IIoT.

What is IIoT?

The Industrial Internet of Things is all about sensors that collect, organize, and analyze data about a production process. It is the connectedness (Internet) of all of the equipment, sensors, and instruments (Things) involved in the production of goods (Industrial).

IIoT is built within a layered modular architecture in order to draw the data from the device, analyze it, and then present it to the user in a meaningful way.

  • Content: the user interface. Your phone screen, for example
  • Service: the software that is actually collating and analyzing all of the data
  • Network: How the sensors are connected and communicating with the software. For example: cloud computing or wifi
  • Device: the hardware. The actual sensors, machines, equipment.

Benefits of IIoT

By capturing data at every stage in the manufacturing process, IIoT reveals the places where a product may be losing quality and where a process can be improved. Without IIoT, collecting that kind of data is time consuming and costly and therefore generally not attempted. Instead, educated guesswork is used to discern the effectiveness of a process. But with IIoT there is no need for guesswork.

Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

There is also no need for delay. IIoT offers real-time access to data and therefore real-time decision making. An example benefit here is predictive maintenance. Let’s look at oil and gas: if pump is slowing down, the team will find out immediately. No more waiting for the maintenance team to do a weekly or monthly check; the sensors installed on the pump provide real-time data about its effectiveness, allowing for the maintenance team to focus their efforts on the equipment that needs their attention, rather than on doing a grid check on every single one.

IIoT also increases safety. If safety reporting is digitized, relevant data can be reviewed to ensure OSHA standards. Inspection reviews, work schedules, and risk assessments are collated and analyzed in a way that makes sense for the end goal: safety. This smart analysis also saves tons of money; transforming mountains of processing by people into a immediate processing and analytics by software.

Let’s look at one example of where IIoT is being used.

Energy

Many oil and gas companies are reluctant to dive into IIoT, despite the fact that it saves money in the long run. However, although we’re prevented from saying which ones, Rocksauce worked with two energy companies in IIoT related projects. We developed software and user interfaces to report on the status of equipment and monitor locations’ activity.

BP is also moving forward with IIoT. Just this month, it was announced that BP will be continuing their work with Amazon Web Services (AWS). They are migrating their data from European data centers to the cloud platform. The move means BP is going to be able to more easily automate processes and as well as process data more quickly. This includes using Amazon Kinesis, a service that quickly processes streaming data and will allow BP to monitor emissions as well as operations at gas stations pumps.

And earlier, BP announced their work with RigNet to innovate with machine learning based analytics. The move will not only improve the safety and reliability of oil wells, it will also make their processes more efficient and allow them to respond to data in real-time.

IIoT for the Win

As part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the technologies behind IIoT are incredible. What are also incredible are the cost saving benefits of IIoT: efficient manufacturing, safer work conditions, and faster decision making.

If you’re interested in knowing more about IIoT specifically in energy, check out Oil & Gas IQ. It is a solid community of oil and gas professionals looking to implement new technologies.

Whether you’re in energy or another industry, reach out to Rocksauce to find out more about how we can help you implement IIoT into your processes and save you money. If you’re not innovating, you’re stagnating. Send us a message or give us a call at +1-866-981-6847.

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