Monitoring the next normal for manufacturers to ensure quality of industrial IoT

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) a major element of Industry 4.0 has been gaining traction for some time now, driven by globalisation, shifting demand for commodities, and fluctuating trade flows, even before COVID-19.

Yet, in the past year, which has seen many manufacturers having to revamp their operating models to support fewer on-site personnel, IIoT has demonstrated significant value to these businesses.

In today’s fast-moving world, says Ian Waters, senior director of EMEA marketing, ThousandEyes, industrial equipment and heavy manufacturing are evolving rapidly along with the rate of development of remote operations in fact, according to recent research by Google, three-quarters of global manufacturers have already increased their use of digital technologies such as IoT since the beginning of the pandemic.

In the face of greater uncertainties, industrial manufacturers are investing in digitisation and technical innovation to achieve and pass on productivity gains to their customers, which presents exciting possibilities. We now live in a world in which we can leverage long distance networking to access and control machinery, no longer requiring workers to be in the same room alongside it.

However, this brave new world of remote manufacturing doesn’t come without its challenges particularly around network reliability and quality. Today’s IIoT involves a complex web of integrated systems that need to communicate in order to improve and automate a manufacturer’s workflows.

The challenges of the IIoT process

Within complex IIoT environments, the need for visibility into network performance is crucial for not only your own devices, but also those outside of your control. In addition to the internal systems working together, manufacturers are reliant on the Internet and cloud to power IoT devices, adding a further layer of complexity to the supply chain.

This chain, on which the digital experience hinges, becomes even more complex with each new IoT device that is added so with all these factors at play, it’s therefore imperative that manufacturers prepare for remote equipment deployments and ensure high quality networking across multiple networks, including the Internet.

Manufacturers deploying remote IIoT equipment face significant potential implications if things go wrong especially if this equipment powers mission-critical or latency-sensitive machinery and creating a reliable communications path for such mission-critical machinery can prove to be a challenge.

IoT devices must be able to communicate with one another through complex integrations in order for improvements and automations to be made. With systems constantly re-developing to stay relevant and provide as much intelligence as possible, manufacturers need to be able to translate the different languages that the many different parts of remote machines are speaking and this is where monitoring is imperative.

How end-to-end visibility can lead to assurance

For manufacturers deploying remote IIoT equipment, the need for end-to-end visibility is key to getting it right. Furthermore, before IoT technology can even be implemented, baseline network performance tests must be completed in advance in order to map out the network hop-by-hop and distinguish infrastructure capabilities.

Application owners need to be able to test external APIs at a granular level directly, from within the context of their core application (instead of only through a front-end interaction), as well as understand the impact of the underlying network transport.

Ian Waters

API monitoring adds the real value to the IIoT by enabling multiple systems to work together in order to collect and analyse data to trigger a workflow. By testing each link in the chain and making sure that API is available and data is transferring properly, systems are able to communicate with one another to create workflows which can then fix a problem or solve a customer issue in its first stages.

Furthermore, adaptive API monitoring allows you to go beyond emulating user interactions via a customer-facing website to executing API calls directly on your API services. With this capability, application owners can dynamically measure performance, differentiating timings between each iterative function as well as validate the logic of complex workflows. This allows for quick confirmation of problems within a workflow, as well as providing insight for potential optimisation opportunities.

In a world where manufacturers are seeing more and more of their products connected, the quality of the network is becoming more essential than ever. With end-to-end visibility across public and private clouds, the internet and APIs, manufacturers can uncover today’s blind spots to ensure IIoT devices are performing with full availability and at capacity, and that the process is running as smoothly as possible.

The author is Ian Waters, senior director of EMEA marketing, ThousandEyes.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow


DANA bolsters financial inclusion in Indonesia with HERE Technologies

Posted on: August 9, 2022

Jakarta, Indonesia. 04 August, 2022 – HERE Technologies, the location data and technology platform, announced that DANA, one of Indonesia’s digital wallet services, is utilising HERE location services to bolster inclusive financial services in the country.

Read more

Putting fleets in the fast lane: AT&T Fleet Complete launches FC Hub, a suite of next-gen fleet management tools

Posted on: August 9, 2022

Dallas, United States. 05 August, 2022 – Fleet Complete is introducing AT&T Fleet Complete FC insights solution suite, a big data IoT platform with web and mobile apps for fleets to monitor and manage all aspects of their mobile operations.

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more
IoT Newsletter

Join the IoT Now online community for FREE, to receive: Exclusive offers for entry to all the IoT events that matter, round the world

Free access to a huge selection of the latest IoT analyst reports and industry whitepapers

The latest IoT news, as it breaks, to your inbox