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IoT Technology

The Internet of things (IoT) is the extension of Internet connectivity into physical devices and everyday objects. Embedded with electronics, Internet connectivity, and other forms of hardware (such as sensors), these devices can communicate and interact with others over the Internet, and they can be remotely monitored and controlled.

The definition of the Internet of things has evolved due to convergence of multiple technologies, real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems. Traditional fields of embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, control systems, automation (including home and building automation), and others all contribute to enabling the Internet of things. In the consumer market, IoT technology is most synonymous with products pertaining to the concept of the "smart home", covering devices and appliances (such as lighting fixtures, thermostats, home security systems and cameras, and other home appliances) that support one or more common ecosystems, and can be controlled via devices associated with that ecosystem, such as smartphones and smart speakers.

The IoT concept has faced prominent criticism, especially regarding privacy and security concerns related to these devices and their intention of pervasive presence.

The IoT can realize the seamless integration of various manufacturing devices equipped with sensing, identification, processing, communication, actuation, and networking capabilities. Based on such a highly integrated smart cyber physical space, it opens the door to create whole new business and market opportunities for manufacturing. Network control and management of manufacturing equipment, asset and situation management, or manufacturing process control bring the IoT within the realm of industrial applications and smart manufacturing as well. The IoT intelligent systems enable rapid manufacturing of new products, dynamic response to product demands, and real-time optimization of manufacturing production and supply chain networks, by networking machinery, sensors and control systems together.

Digital control systems to automate process controls, operator tools and service information systems to optimize plant safety and security are within the purview of the IoT. But it also extends itself to asset management via predictive maintenance, statistical evaluation, and measurements to maximize reliability. Smart industrial management systems can also be integrated with the Smart Grid, thereby enabling real-time energy optimization. Measurements, automated controls, plant optimization, health and safety management, and other functions are provided by many networked sensors.

The term industrial Internet of things (IIoT) is often encountered in the manufacturing industries, referring to the industrial subset of the IoT. IIoT in manufacturing could generate so much business value that it will eventually lead to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, so the so-called Industry 4.0. It is estimated that in the future, successful companies will be able to increase their revenue through Internet of things by creating new business models and improve productivity, exploit analytics for innovation, and transform workforce. The potential of growth by implementing IIoT may generate $12 trillion of global GDP by 2030.

Design architecture of cyber-physical systems-enabled manufacturing system.

Industrial big data analytics will play a vital role in manufacturing asset predictive maintenance, although that is not the only capability of industrial big data. Cyber-physical systems (CPS) is the core technology of industrial big data and it will be an interface between human and the cyber world. Cyber-physical systems can be designed by following the 5C (connection, conversion, cyber, cognition, configuration) architecture, and it will transform the collected data into actionable information, and eventually interfere with the physical assets to optimize processes.

An IoT-enabled intelligent system of such cases was proposed in 2001 and later demonstrated in 2014 by the National Science Foundation Industry/University Collaborative Research Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems (IMS) at the University of Cincinnati on a bandsaw machine in IMTS 2014 in Chicago. Bandsaw machines are not necessarily expensive, but the bandsaw belt expenses are enormous since they degrade much faster. However, without sensing and intelligent analytics, it can be only determined by experience when the band saw belt will break. The developed prognostics system will be able to recognize and monitor the degradation of band saw belts even if the condition is changing, advising users when is the best time to replace the belt. This will significantly improve user experience and operator safety and ultimately save on costs.

References: Most of this content has been derived from Wikipedia.

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