The factory floor has certainly come a long way. Rather than traditional production lines that operate in silos, industry today uses cloud-connected devices to enable data collection and business insight on a massive scale. In the past, businesses have wondered how to build an IoT platform, it’s now easier than ever before, writes Carsten Rhod Gregersen, the chief executive and founder of peer-to-peer industrial IoT connectivity provider, Nabto
The benefits of big data industrial IoT
The data-fueled factories of today, largely in the industries of manufacturing, healthcare and retail, provide visibility regarding the efficiency of factory processes and performance over time by collecting data to drive artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. Unlocking these insights from smart industrial devices, however, is no mean feat.
Connected devices across all sectors generate astronomical amounts of information, with analyst firm IDC projecting 79.4 terabytes will be generated by 2025 – the equivalent to the data generated by the Hubble Telescope if it operated for about 8 billion years – and processing this data into actionable insights requires multiple steps.
Direct device communication
The industry has so far focused on merely collecting the data of industrial devices, and not on the immediate action on the data. New device configurations are beginning to change this. Direct device communication platforms between the device and the user, and between the user and the device, enable business leaders to act immediately on the data. This is an important improvement in three ways.
First, direct device communication enables businesses to go fully remote. Two-way connections allow actions that would normally be performed on-site like diagnostics, troubleshooting, programming and updating to save time and improve performance. Rather than sending a team of engineers to manually update each IoT device, this next stage of smart industrial IoT allows any change in real-time, drastically cutting time and money spent on operations. This can play a vital role in improving any project’s uptime and overall performance.
The future of smart industry
The addition of connected devices onto factory floors and into modern IoT processes has been a rapid evolution. In mere decades, business leaders can now use sensors and devices to dig deep into data and improve their operations. However, the status quo is far from perfect. Technology is an eternal evolution, and it is obvious that smart industrial business leaders going forward will be best served with an additional layer of functionality.
What is also clear, however, is that there are important caveats for business leaders to consider when implementing devices with twoway communication. Security, for instance, will need to be front of mind when enabling devices that can be instructed remotely.