The automation of industry is steadily advancing into a new era – the fourth industrial revolution (4IR or Industry 4.0), where all things from machines and devices to people and systems will be digitally connected. Industry 4.0 technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will enable industries to better manage their processes, improve efficiencies and boost their productivity. For many, the objectives for implementing 4IR technologies include greater control and predictability of production quality, improved safety and lower costs. Industry 4.0 also adds flexibility to an organization’s operations, enabling them to rapidly respond to shifts in consumer demand. To achieve these objectives cost-efficiently, however, requires taking a platform approach to digital transformation that is as much organizational as technological.
Industries that have been digitalized for decades, such as finance and online retail, treat IT and its infrastructure strategically — as crucial to their competitiveness. Amazon and Alibaba, the world’s two largest online retailers, for example, have invested hugely in their digital technology platforms. Ironically, Amazon’s AWS cloud business is currently its most profitable business, although it was originally only a platform for enabling its retail side. And these are not isolated examples of the importance of technology platforms in the digital era.
In industries where physical assets lie at the heart of operations, digitalization has been a slower and more complicated process. In these industries, Operational Technology (OT) organizations typically manage a wide range of production and logistics equipment — from manufacturing and assembly equipment to quality control and monitoring systems, to various hand-held devices/tools and material handling systems.
Legacy communications technologies and control protocols still prevail for these physical assets — with each supplier implementing their own customized versions of industry standards. That is why digital adoption has been slow; there are multiple layers of communication technologies and control protocols that create data siloes where exchanging of information between them is limited. This makes it difficult for operations to obtain a complete and accurate view of their production facilities.
As manufacturing and other industries are moving toward Industry 4.0, it’s becoming more apparent that this legacy communications architecture must change. Unfortunately, according to 451 Research, only 34% of industrial companies have a formal strategy to actively digitalize their business processes and assets — 10 percentage points less than non-industrial organizations. In order to fully move into an Industry 4.0 era, industrial-focused organizations are beginning to link OT with IT, embrace emerging technologies and build out digital platforms that can securely support new applications and use cases as they develop.
The building blocks of an Industry 4.0 platform include industrial IoT (IIoT), cloud, edge computing (MEC), AI and machine learning, digital twins and wireless communications — LTE/4G today, and 5G tomorrow.
IIoT systems connect all the physical assets with the digital platform. IIoT produces digital data that can be collected, integrated and analyzed across operations. Cloud computing enables organizations to quickly scale out resources for storing and processing the new, large volumes of data generated by IIoT. Edge computing, or edge clouds, distribute those parts of the processing that need to be closer to IIoT sensors and machinery for more rapid and precise response to sensor input; which is critical for automation. And as data security becomes an increasingly important part of operations, edge computing will enable critical processing data to remain within the facility premises, thereby protecting its integrity.
The sheer volume and complexity of IIoT data would be overwhelming without AI and machine learning (ML), which filter and process the data to look for actionable patterns. As a result, AI and ML create digital twins; essentially, digital models of the “virtual state” of a physical device, process or system. Leveraging the immense computing power of the cloud, digital twin technology enables these virtual representations to be used to provide predictive maintenance, conduct product or process simulations in order to optimize industrial processes before they are deployed, and in worker training to speed up competency. As a result, digital twins are the foundation component of Industry 4.0.
Given the key role that data plays in industrial automation, it’s clear why the communications network is vital as well. Unfortunately, however, the disparate communications technologies currently in use in many industries cannot provide the digital platform unification that’s required. This is where OT is learning from IT.
Because the platform has to be based on the current digital communications standard — IP — multiservice IP/MPLS networks are helping to accommodate the older communications technology use cases. Cabled networks, such as Ethernet, will still play a role, but linking hundreds of IIoT sensors, as well as mobile robots and vehicles, requires industrial-strength, next-generation wireless. And office wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi, are not up to manufacturing performance requirements in terms of coverage, capacity, latency or security. As a result, digitally transforming organizations moving toward Industry 4.0 are leveraging IP-based LTE/4G to cover the vast majority of today’s requirements. Moving forward, 5G, with its improved performance beyond LTE, will be able to support many new use cases and applications as Industry 4.0 adoption accelerates.
For those organizations that are already investing in IIoT and cloud platforms, the importance of their communications network to enable industrial automation and the digital transformation of their facilities can’t overlook or under-estimated. To ensure that no site, employee, or system is left behind, organizations in industrial-focused fields must also think strategically about their communications platform.
Over the last few decades, productivity growth for some industrial sectors has lagged behind others where digital technologies have been widely adopted. One of the key lessons that asset-intensive industries can learn from these more progressive “digital” businesses is in the power of digital platforms to remain competitive in a fast-changing world.
The term Digital Transformation means different things for different people. Some people might think of it as switching from manual processes to autonomous processes, while for others it might be about the insights that the data brings, which can help in making business decisions. What can Digital Transformation or moving towards Industry 4.0 do for the manufacturing sector? It can lead to enhanced production cycles, increased customization, a focus on reinforced products and better access to information for employees.
About a couple of centuries ago, the Industrial Revolution changed the face of the manufacturing sector in the US and Europe. The last time we saw a massive revolution in manufacturing was when Henry Ford introduced the concept of mass production to the automobile sector. Years later, we are about to witness how digital transformation brings significant changes to the manufacturing sector. With the advent of digital transformation, manufacturers are adopting smart technologies to move from mass production to customized production.
According to PwC, out of 2000 manufacturing companies, 86% expect to secure simultaneous gains from both lower costs and added revenue from their digitalization efforts in the next five years.
The typical image that comes to our mind of factories and smokestacks when we think about ‘industry’ needs to change. With manufacturers embracing digital transformation, the face of a factory or manufacturing unit is transforming. As transformational technologies like IoT, Cloud, ML and AI mature, it is time for manufacturers to move towards Industry 4.0.
Know more about our Digital Engineering Services
Digital Transformation for Smart Manufacturing
Smart Manufacturing, also referred to as Industry 4.0, is a balanced combination of traditional manufacturing techniques and recent technologies such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, data analytics, and machine learning.
The digitalization of the manufacturing sector, or as we call it – the fourth industrial revolution – has several related terms. Some call it the Industrial Internet of Things, while others prefer the terms digital factory or smart factory.
Regardless of the term that is used to refer to Industry 4.0, its aim is to create an end-to-end digital ecosystem by digitalizing a large number of physical assets throughout the value chain.
Until now, components of a smart factory such as sensors, cloud infrastructure, and data analytics were only available to large-scale manufacturers due to the resources and cash they were capable of allocating. Now, all of these technologies are a lot more affordable, allowing mid-size and small manufacturers to benefit equally from transformational technology.
Data is at the center of the Industry 4.0. Collection of data, data analysis, and communicating that data using a wide range of state-of-the-art technologies underpins the improvements that the Industrial Internet of Things is expected to bring. Let’s explore what manufacturers can expect to achieve as they embrace digital transformation.
1) Enhanced production cycles
Consumer demands and expectations are continually evolving, so the ability to alter products according to customer feedback can give an edge to a manufacturer. With the advent of new technologies, it has become much easier to make last-minute changes to the production cycles.
Predictive analytics can help resolve a range of operational issues, allowing manufacturers to improve quality control, boost operational efficiency, and create a safer production environment. Manufacturers will be able to predict when a manufacturing machine is about to fail or needs maintenance. In addition, they will gain access to asset performance data, be able to identify the elements that are delaying the speed of production cycle, and get insights that might be helpful in taking important production decisions.
2) Increasing demand for customization
Before a few years customizing products would cost more and require more time to create. Mass production was not an option to manufacture customized products, as the time and cost involved in creating customized products in different batches would skyrocket. With the adoption of technology, manufacturers have developed the ability to create personalized products based on demand at a competitive rate.
The reason behind this is the ability to feed the data regarding the features of a personalized product into the production machines, which would then consider all the customization parameters while working on the production line. This seems to be applicable even for lower-priced products, thus discarding the one-size-fits-all approach for low range products.
The demand for customization might be a source of worry for many manufacturers out there. However, it presents an opportunity to establish a loyal customer base by delivering the products with exact functionalities and features that the customers are looking for. This is great news for many budding manufacturing companies to get some market attention swapped from the big players. Moreover, already established players should also give enough consideration to product customization and adopt the latest technologies to stay in the game.
3) Reinforced products
Converting a traditional factory to a smart factory will result in assets and products that can monitor their own performance, predict failures, as well as notify operators about the maintenance needs. Getting to know the exact areas where the production process needs improvement can help the manufacturers to enhance the product and make it more relevant to the target customers.
Machine learning is going to have a major contribution in predicting asset behavior by analyzing historic behavior patterns. Other technologies that are set to transform the global manufacturing industry are virtual reality and augmented reality. Virtual reality and augmented reality can revolutionize the way products are designed and can provide live demos to deliver a realistic experience of the product. This can allow manufacturers to test the product even before it hits the assembly line, which can help save a lot of time and money.
4) Information access to employees
Digitalization of an enterprise brings in collaboration tools and platforms that provide employees with easy access to information that they need with the flexibility to access it from anywhere and from any device.
Manufacturers can also expect to gain some real benefits by giving a bird’s-eye view of the entire supply chain to the employees through improved CRM, ERP, and Customer Experience Mapping. Access to a common master data that is updated in real-time will give all the employees – working across different parts of the supply chain – one common truth, which will be up-to-date and reliable. This will allow employees to make informed decisions regarding products, assembly line, and the marketing strategy.
Know more of our Industrial Automation Solutions
Getting to Industry 4.0 status
Digital transformation is undoubtedly crucial for the success of manufacturing as well as other industries. At this point, the CTOs and CIOs who have already begun the process for digital transformation in their organization know that it is not just another market trend, rather it is the only way to stay competitive and relevant in the current market. The points that were covered here will crop up as manufacturers embark on their journey towards Industry 4.0 or a digital factory.
eInfochips has helped several clients in their industrial automation projects. Starting from the strategy phase to planning, implementation, and managed services, eInfochips has accompanied companies in their digital transformation journey. If your business wants to adopt digital transformation technologies as a part of Industry 4.0 initiatives, get in touch with us.
The transportation and logistics industry is one of the most vulnerable sectors to cyber attackers. As more connected solutions are introduced to improve efficiency, securing these complex cyber-physical systems will require multi-layer security from Sensor to Cloud.
Rising global trade is fuelling logistics expansion, but there are growing pains
Beyond current short-term economic headwinds, World Economic Forum projects global trade volume to grow 4 times by 2050, with a value of over $68tn globally.
More goods transported (domestically and internationally) over large distances would lead to multi-fold growth in cargo movement. As per European Road Transport Research Advisory council, this would boost freight’s share in traffic on urban road networks, estimated 15% in EU by 2050.
Traffic congestions would mean delayed shipments, thus increasing cost of transport, greater carbon emissions and lower value throughput from supply chains. US Department of Transportation pegs this impact in escalating operation costs and fuel wastage is estimated around $28mn each year, just for US logistics industry.
[ To know more about IoT Consulting Services ]
Developing economies are becoming growth hotspot
Developing economies in Africa and Asia have a large share in trade growth – both domestic and international.
Supply chain investment priorities are shifting
Historically, trade growth projections boosted corporate investments in capacity expansion in fleet size, warehouse space, and distribution operations. However, there is an emerging investment trend in digitalizing supply chain. These are seen across hardware (sensors, gateway devices, and firmware) as well as software (IoT, cloud, ML, and analytics) spectrum. Over the next decade, business value from autonomous trucks (US$30b) and drones (US$20b) is substantial.
Digitizing supply chains will help mitigate key business challenges
- Fleet monitoring and geo-fencing of trucks would ensure optimized routing of cargo through dynamic, unpredictable roads, and traffic conditions.
- Monitoring, analysing, and controlling on-board ambient conditions like temperature, humidity and airflow will help preserve perishable and high value cargo.
- Analysing driver behaviour, in cabin as well as on-road, through audio and video analytics will enhance safety, predict and minimize risks through focused driver training or automated driver assistance.
Know what is [Digital Engineering Services]
Addressing new operational challenges
While we have addressed key business challenges, there can also be operational challenges that need to be addressed that will help in securing and improving connected logistics.
Simultaneous firmware + RTOS updates, real time device provisioning, and authentication across edge node population requires a robust remote device management system. Diverse sensors on commercial edge devices use multiple communication protocols like BLE, ZigBee, Wi-fi etc. to send data feeds that gateways need to process.
Most important, though, is an edge security mechanism, which provisions edge sensors securely, reliably, and gathers high fidelity data feeds, particularly for critical edge workloads like fleet tracking/ geo fencing and ADAS.
Our Industrial Automation Solutions serve
Security is the glue that holds IoT value chain together
The transportation and logistics being one of the most targeted industries by cyber attackers, potential value erosion is also sizeable. Securing these complex cyber-physical systems involves multi-layer security from sensor to cloud.
- Edge sensors for parameters like vehicle health (fuel levels, tyre pressure, engine temperature), cargo ambient conditions (temperature, humidity) as well as driver behaviour need to be securely provisioned, data feeds acquired and communicated to cloud.
- Lack of securely acquired, high fidelity inputs i.e. tampered, intermittent, and generally unreliable sensor feeds increases risk of vehicle downtime, instances of undesired behaviour by driver and cargo condition deterioration.
- Gateways serve as communication hubs and conversely present a single point of failure for a set of connected devices.
- A security compromised gateway manifests in erroneous processing of multi-protocol communication sensor feeds, failed multicast communication leading to inaccurate Edge intelligence based analytics and device control actions not taken.
- Cloud data management platforms need to be equipped with appropriate level of security w.r.t multi-tenancy, partitioning, and encryption so that diagnostic and predictive analytics generated on device data feeds are accurate and generate actionable insights.
- User applications like data visualization and self-service analytics need robust security mechanism with secure user access management practices, feature level privileges so that data access is role appropriate.
Securing the weak link of IoT value chain – the Edge
Most organizations running IoT workloads rely on public cloud services to run their IoT data management workloads and end user analytical applications. Economies of business scale permit leading public cloud providers invest in state-of-the-art security infrastructure as well as extensive security policy frameworks, thus sufficiently securing the cloud part of IoT stack.
Edge security, though, is more complex, locally managed and thus contributes most to IoT security risks. Some ways organizations can secure their edge infrastructures for running IoT workloads are
- Public key based device certificates like X.509 so that sensors get discovered, authenticated, registered, and provisioned securely.
- Encrypting sensor state data in motion (feeds from edge to gateway, aggregated data pipe from gateway to cloud) as well as data at rest (device metadata store, edge intelligence rule repository) so that data is processed and device state threshold based actions are initiated at the edge appropriately.
- API and micro-services based 3rd party data/ application integration at edge and gateway layer so that context related enrichment of sensor data feeds yields more real time relevant and highly actionable insights.
eInfochips has significant IoT expertise and experience in building secure industry focused IoT applications, including some deployments in logistics and transportation sector as well – from sensor to cloud. To know more click here.
What is OPC?
The acronym “OPC” stands for “OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) for Process Control”. OLE is based on the Windows COM (Component Object Model) standard.
OPC standard is implemented in server/client pairs. The OPC server is a program that translates the hardware communication protocol used by a PLC into the OPC protocol. The OPC client software is a program that connects to the hardware, such as an HMI. The OPC client communicates with the OPC server to receive data or send commands to the hardware.
How does OPC work?
OPC specification describes the interface between clients and servers, servers and servers, including access to real-time data, monitoring of alarms and events, access to historical data and other applications.
The classic OPC connection scenario is a single server-client connection on a single computer, but there are more options which include:
- Connecting an OPC client to several OPC servers. This is called OPC aggregation.
- Connecting an OPC client to an OPC server over a network. This can be done with OPC tunneling
- Connecting an OPC server to another OPC server to share data. This is known as OPC bridging
Technical Benefits of OPC
In addition to improving OPC server and client connections, the OPC DataHub can connect any OPC server or client to other applications as well, including Excel, a web browser, or any other database. And, it can be used to import OPC data into Linux or QNX.
Following OPC specifications are used in industries:
- OPC-DA (Data Access): Provides access to real-time data. We can query most recent
values of temperature, pressure, density, acceleration, and other types of process control data from OPC-DA server.
- OPC-HDA (Historical Data Access): This is used to retrieve historical process data for analysis. This data is typically stored in files, databases or remote telemetry systems.
- OPC-AE (Alarms & Events): OPC AE servers are used to accept and exchange
process alarms and events.
- OPC-DX (Data eXchange): It defines the way OPC server data is exchanged with other OPC servers.
- OPC-XML (XML Data Access): It defines schema and data representation formats based upon XML standard. This makes it possible to share & manipulate process control data across all operating systems – Windows, UNIX, Solaris, etc.
Benefits of using OPC standard are:
- Reduced load on the hardware device.
- Increased scalability of the system.
- Because of OPC server, client applications need not know anything about hardware protocol details.
- Though device need not serve multiple clients, So Increased life for the device.
- Interoperability (Unix/Linux and Windows – both platforms are supported by OPC)
eInfochips – OPC implementation
At eInfochips, we have provided embedded solutions for OPC’s industrial automation product line for our clients in embedded solutions. This includes detailed work on:
- BIS systems: Building Integration System , or BIS, is a software package that brings building automation, access control, video surveillance, intrusion, fire alarms and voice evacuation onto one convenient management suite. The classic OPC Server had implemented specific protocol over TCP/IP protocol to monitor and control different types of building integration system panels, which is able to interface with OPC client of the BIS system software.
- System alerts: In OPC Server, we had implemented OPC-DA (Data Access), OPC-HDA (Historical Data Access) and OPC-AE (Alarms & Events) specifications. For controlling and monitoring panels, OPC client fires different commands to the panels by using OPC server e.g. unlock door, lock door, arm area etc.
OPC server developed by eInfochips contains the following modules, functionalities and activities, listed below.
To know more about the IoT services and solutions
- Design, Development and Testing of OPC Classic server for different panels used in a building integration system with specific Automation protocol
- Implementation of following group commands on OPC Server,
- OPC server communication stacks integration (TCP)
- OPC server security – Command Authentication AES 256
- Client and status command implementation
We have also developed OPC Clients for our customers, running on Linux OS to communicate with OPC server over Ethernet. This further communicates with OPC server for Reading and Writing data/parameters. In OPC Client, we had implemented OPC-DA (Data Access), OPC-HDA (Historical Data Access) and OPC-AE (Alarms & Events) specifications. OPC Client will communicate with OPC Server for fetching data from the PLC. At the other end, it will send/receive historical and live data of temperature, pressure, density, acceleration etc. from the OPC server to the cloud for storage and analysis.
How PKI & Embedded Security Can Help Stop Aircraft Cyberattacks
by August 27, 2019 by Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Systems, Sectigo
On July 30th, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) issued a security alert warning small aircraft owners about vulnerabilities that can be exploited to alter airplane telemetry. At risk to cyberattack, the aircraft’s Controller Area Network (CAN bus) connects the various avionics systems–control, navigation, sensing, monitoring, communication, and entertainment systems–that enable modern-day aircraft to safely operate. This includes the aircraft’s engine telemetry readings, compass and attitude data, airspeeds, and angle of attack; all of which could be hacked to provide false readings to pilots and automated computer systems that help fly the plane.
The CISA warning isn’t hypothetical, and the consequences of inaction could prove deadly. Airplane systems have already been compromised. In September 2016, a U.S. government official revealed that he and his team of IT experts had successfully remotely hacked into a Boeing 757 passenger plane as it sat on a New Jersey runway, and were able to take control of its flight functions. The year before, a hacker reportedly used vulnerabilities with the IFE (In Flight Entertainment) system to reportedly take control of flight functions, causing the airplane engines to climb.
The Boeing 757 attack was performed using the In-Flight Entertainment Wi-Fi network.
A researcher with security analytics and automation provider Rapid7 wrote about the security of CAN Bus avionics systems in a recent blog and discussed the challenge at this year’s DEFCON security conference. He explained, "I think part of the reason [the avionics sector is lagging in network security when it comes to CAN bus] is its heavy reliance on the physical security of airplanes . . . Just as football helmets may actually raise the risk of brain injuries, the increased perceived physical security of aircraft may be paradoxically making them more vulnerable to cyberattack, not less."
A False Sense of [Physical Access] Security
The DHS CISA warning stated, "An attacker with physical access to the aircraft could attach a device to an avionics CAN bus that could be used to inject false data, resulting in incorrect readings in avionic equipment.” CISA fears that, if exploited, these vulnerabilities could provide false readings to pilots, and lead to crashes or other air incidents involving small aircraft. Attackers with CAN bus access could alter engine telemetry readings, compass and attitude data, altitude, and airspeeds. Serious stuff.
Not all of these attacks required physical access.
These risks should serve as a wake-up call to everyone in manufacturing. Any device, system, or organization that controls operation of a system is at risk, and the threats can originate from internal or external sources. It’s critical for OEMs, their supply chains, and enterprises to include security and identity management at the device level and continually fortify their security capabilities to close vulnerabilities.
Security Solutions for Avionics Devices
Today’s airplanes have dozens of connected subsystems transmitting critical telemetry and control data to each other. Currently, tier-one suppliers and OEMs in aviation have failed to broadly implement security technologies such as secure boot, secure communication and embedded firewalls on their devices, leaving them vulnerable to hacking. While OEMs have begun to address these issues, there is much more to be done.
Sectigo offers solutions so that OEMs, their supply chains, and enterprises can take full advantage of PKI and embedded security technology for connected devices. Our industry-first end-to-end IoT Platform, made possible through the acquisition of Icon Labs, a provider of security solutions for embedded OEMs and IoT device manufacturers, can be used to issue and renew certificates using a single trust model that’s interoperable with any issuance model and across all supported devices, operating systems (OS), protocols, and chipsets.
Much like the automotive industry, the aviation sector has a very complex supply chain, and implementing private PKI and embedded security introduces interoperability challenges. With leading avionics manufacturers introducing hundreds of SKUs per year, maintaining hundreds of different secure boots within a single aircraft is complex, cumbersome, and ultimately untenable. Using a single homogenous secure boot implementation greatly simplifies the model.
Purpose-built PKI for IoT, such as the Sectigo IoT Manager, enables strong authentication and secure communication between devices within the airframe. Using PKI-based authentication prevents communication from unauthorized components or devices and will eliminate a broad set of attacks.
Embedded firewall technology provides an additional, critical security layer for these systems. This is particularly relevant for attacks such as the Boeing 757 attack via the airline Infotainment Wi-Fi Network. An embedded firewall provides support for filtering rules to prevent access from the Wi-Fi network to the control network.
Icon Labs embedded firewall has been has deployed in airline and automotive systems to address attacks such as these. In both instances, our embedded firewall sits on a gateway device in the vehicle or airplane to prevent unauthorized access from external networks or devices into the control network, or from the Infotainment network to the control network. We continue to see interest in this area, indicating manufacturers are beginning to act.
From Cockpits to Control Towers
Securing connected devices in aviation is not limited to airplanes. The industry requires secure communication between everything on the tarmac, from cockpits and control towers to provisioning vehicles and safety personnel. For that reason, Sectigo provides an award-winning co-root of the AeroMACS consortium, which addresses all broadband communication at airports across the world and calls for security using PKI certificates to be deployed into airplanes, catering trucks, and everything else on the tarmac.
Future Proofing with Crypto Agility
It’s worth noting that aviation is also uniquely challenged by the tenure of its components. Unlike devices that are designed to last for months or years, airplanes are designed to last for decades. Advances in quantum computing, which many experts believe is just around the corner, threaten to make today’s cryptographic standards obsolete. Aeronautical suppliers need to be prepared for this coming “crypto-apocalypse” and to update the security on their devices in the field while the devices are in operation. Sectigo’s over-the-air update abilities provide the cryptographic agility to guard against this upcoming crypto-apocalypse (listen to the related Root Causes podcast).
The ecosystem has fast work to do. Manufacturers must secure the CAN buses in their existing, and future fleets – whether those planes idle on fenced tarmacs, or in airplane hangars. In the meantime, CISA counsels that aircraft owners restrict access to planes avionics' components "to the best of their abilities,” leaving passengers to hope security soon extends beyond their TSA experiences.
Read this blog online at https://sectigo.com/blog/how-pki-and-embedded-security-can-help-stop-aircraft-cyberattacks
We had gone from a time when the video call was deemed stuff of the future to being able to switch on appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwaves, and more remotely, i.e. from wherever you are. The latter is the outcome of this nifty phenomenon called the Internet of Things. Moreover, while a lot of us may have been struggling to wrap their head around the fact that pretty much everything can be connected to everything, IoT has already evolved to give the world with what is now referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things, a.k.a. IIoT.
Though, IIoT is fundamentally similar to IoT; the former is differentiated from the latter utilizing the targeted environment. As the name suggests, IIoT is meant for industrial purposes. Under the purview of IIoT, equipment, including all types of machines and sensors, are connected to the internet to communicate with each other. The data generated by the connected equipment is stored and processed to deliver a plethora of benefits to companies, such as improved management of the facility, predictive maintenance, and more. It also helps companies to leverage their EHS data in a substantially better manner. To help you understand the potential of this combination, we have compiled a list of the top benefits it delivers.
- Employee safety: With wearable devices, including personal protective equipment, have played a crucial role in transforming how companies ensure the safety of their employees. It is done in a million different ways, such as by detecting human presence far too near equipment, sounding alerts, and switching off the machine in question. It can also be used to identify abnormal levels of specific gases, chemicals, and more via sensors on employees’ person and prevent any untoward incident.
- Keep an eye on equipment: Unforeseen downtime for equipment can translate into massive losses for the company. Whereas for employees, it can mean a risk to their safety. In this context, IIoT collects data on all equipment in the facility, makes use of advanced analytics and machine learning to predict faults, if at all. In addition to that, the data thus gathered can also be used to monitor maintenance schedules and even predict if a particular piece of machinery may need an unscheduled service in the future.
- Environmental management: Industries make use of a variety of devices that serve to help them with their environmental management-related efforts. Case in point, continuous emissions monitoring systems — they keep an eye on the emission levels of things like particulate matter, dangerous organic compounds, and more to help businesses ensure compliance with emissions-related regulations with absolute ease.
The digital world has long proven that it is a potent sea of advanced technology-based tools that can bring on transformation in the blink of an eye. IIoT is a prime example of technology’s prowess. When combined with workplace health and safety management software, businesses substantially gain access to a robust tool that will assist their endeavors in the context of gathering, tracking, and processing data that will fortify their EHS efforts.
When Refrigerators Attack - How Cyber Criminals Infect Appliances, and How Manufacturers Can Stop Them
Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Systems, Sectigo
Homes and businesses worldwide are vulnerable to attacks from cyber thieves and other bad actors – and not just through their computer networks. The embedded electronics inside appliances present an easy path of entry. It’s already been happening. According to Business Insider and Proofpoint, one of the first refrigerator incidents occurred in late 2013 when a refrigerator-based botnet was used to attack businesses.
Some of these attacks, such as infecting appliances with botnet malware, don’t really have much effect upon a family’s security and safety. In fact, if a “smart” refrigerator gets infected by a bot, the homeowner might not even notice anything wrong.
However, connected-appliance based cyberattacks are not limited to just refrigerators – and they are rarely one-off incidents. Almost any type of appliance can be hacked and used to host a botnet that could attack the web. According to Wired Magazine, a botnet of compromised water heaters, space heaters, air conditioners and other big power consuming home appliances, could suddenly turn on simultaneously, creating an immense power draw that could cripple the country’s power grid.
A bot, quite simply, is an infected computer. Many cyberattacks, like the Mirai Malware and the Dyn attacks, infect a network of computers, including “smart” connected devices such as home appliances, security cameras, baby monitors, air conditioning/heating controls, televisions, etc., and turn them all into compromised servers. These compromised servers then act as nodes in an attack and together create a botnet. They can participate in a variety of coordinated attacks, infecting other devices and expanding the network of bots, or participating in Denial of Service attacks.
Caption: A bad actor or cyber criminal can send infected messages to a home or business network that targets various appliances or machines. Once infected, that machine is under the control of the bad actor and can be used to send out thousands of infected messages to new targets worldwide. The botnets can also send out millions of dummy messages to a single target – overwhelming it and putting it out of service.
Without any apparent symptoms or notice, a criminally enhanced refrigerator could be generating and sending out thousands of attacks every minute. In addition to the homeowner or business manager never realizing what is going on, these attacks may be unstoppable until unless the machine itself is disconnected from its web connection.
Additionally, the infected refrigerator could spread malware from the kitchen to the home’s “smart” TVs, to the home’s computer networks, to other smart devices in the home, and even to connected smart phones. Every target could be transformed into malicious bots that distribute millions of infected spam messages and cyber-attacks.
So how do we combat this threat?
Unfortunately, end users really have no power to fix this problem. There is probably no way for a homeowner, office manager – or even an experienced refrigerator repair person – to talk to a refrigerator’s electronics. No way to get into the appliance’s software and middleware to identify and kill an infection. However, if the homeowner suspects an infection, they could disconnect the refrigerator from the its internet connection to make it “dumb” again.
Fridge caught sending spam emails in botnet attack - In the first documented attack of its kind, the Internet of Things has been used as part of an attack that sent out over 750,000 spam emails
It is up to device manufacturers to protect against these attacks.
So how do manufacturers combat this type of attack? How can they ensure that appliances in homes and offices do not get infected to cause mayhem?
Security starts in the design process for the refrigerator itself, as well as for the appliances’ various electronic components and control surfaces. Most appliance manufacturers get their control sub-assemblies from a wide network of smaller manufacturers, sometimes with a worldwide supply chain. These suppliers need to make sure that the chips and sub-assemblies they use are secure from hacks.
Two important security practices can be utilized by appliance makers:
- Embedded Firewall with blacklist and whitelist support – Protect appliances and edge devices from attacks by building firewall technology directly into the appliance. An embedded firewall can review incoming messages from the web or over the home network and, via a built in, and regularly updated blacklist, reject any that are not previously approved.
- Secure Remote Updates and Alerts – Validate that the firmware inside the device is authenticated and unmodified before permitting installation of any new firmware updates. Updates ensure the incoming software components have not been modified and are authenticated software downloads modules from the appliance manufacturer.
Most consumer and device manufacturers have heard about the potential for attacks on smart devices like door locks, baby monitors, and home thermostats, but this risk awareness needs to expand to types of connected systems – including appliances. An infected refrigerator sending out malware is not just a funny story. These systems have been attacked and used to spread malware. Ensuring the security of these devices is necessary to protect home network, slow the spread of malware and even protect credit card numbers or other personal data stored in smart home devices.
# # #
EXTRA PROOF POINT FOR COLUMN
Author Bio - Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Solutions, Sectigo
Alan has 25 years of experience in telecommunications and the embedded software marketplace. He is VP of IoT, Embedded Solutions IoT at Sectigo, the world’s largest commercial Certificate Authority and provider of purpose-built, automated PKI solutions. Alan joined Sectigo in May 2019 as part of the company’s acquisition of Icon Labs, a leading provider of security software for IoT and embedded devices, where he was CTO and co-founder, as well as the architect of Icon Labs' award-winning Floodgate Firewall. He is a frequent industry speaker and blogger and holds multiple patents related to telecommunication and security.
Prior to founding Icon Labs, Alan worked for AT&T Bell Labs and Motorola. He has an MS in computer science from Northwestern University.
Sectigo provides award-winning, purpose-built and automated PKI management solutions to secure websites, connected devices, applications, and digital identities. As the largest commercial Certificate Authority, trusted by enterprises globally for more than 20 years, and more than 100 million SSL certificates issued in over 200 countries, Sectigo has the proven performance and experience to meet the growing needs of securing today’s digital landscape. For more information, visit www.sectigo.com.
The end of 2020 will see over 30 billion devices connected to the internet, empowering the lives of residents all across the globe.
This sounds too good to be accurate, but seeing the trends we are witnessing right now, it will eventually turn out to be this rapid!
A few years back, the idea of a smart home would not have appealed to you since you were not reasonably familiar with home automation concepts.
Today, however, the tables have turned. Technological homes, with easy access to home automation systems and smart home devices, are a popular choice among millennial homebuyers.
People who have already invested in their dream home are looking forward to upgrading their sacred space with automated devices.
But what exactly is home automation?
If you are still not familiar with the term, let’s get you caught up first!
Home automation or put, smart home technology refers to a range and suite of automated devices and home appliances that are connected to a single point of the network, shared by them commonly, with the ability to be controlled and managed remotely and independently.
In other words, home automation devices refer to essential home system devices that can be controlled entirely by the homeowners, with full access to their management, single-handedly from a remote location.
Home automation system works like a centralized unit, just like any smartphone app, only this one resides with you under your roof.
From audio/visual devices to security cameras, thermostats, lighting, other major and minor appliances around your home.
Everything can be controlled remotely while being connected to the common home internet connection, and controlled via manual means or employing a smartphone.
The future is now!
Home automation device turns out to be a great luxury in today’s era. They often lead you directly into the sphere of high-functionality devices, which was not possible a few decades before.
This technological development of the course is still expanding and will continue to grow for several decades until our lives have become more straightforward, more convenient, and more comfortable than ever before.
Smart home devices or Smart City like these are leading us to relive our animated fantasy and enter a world that resembles The Jetsons.
The futuristic Jetsons family has offered us our share of adrenaline, right from the very beginning and continues to do so even today.
Imagine being able to control the smallest, yet the most significant changes around us!
The lighting, the temperature, your security provisions, your food, drink, and clothing habits; all with a touch of simple screens and voice control actions.
Spoilt by the feasibility of choices
The idea of reliving your childhood fantasy, just like the Jetsons family might sound like a massive deal to you but is not too far away.
The concept is not too far out of our reach. It is not too much of a technological cliche as well.
The future is now and is feasible and easily accessible, more than what you can think!
There is, of course, a bundle of benefits that comes along with this easy access.
The benefits of smart home automation on a global scale
It is very convenient
The prime reason why people opt for smart home automation devices on a large scale is because of the convenience it offers. People gain full access, remotely, to their entire home.
This even includes controlling the temperature of their homes through devices. As stated before, controlling the heat, the music, the multimedia content you get, the audio and visual aids.
Every single element offers you the luxury to spend your time as per your likings, without having to be bound by responsibilities of any kind.
You do not always have to get out of the comfort of your cozy bed on a chilly winter night to switch your lights off.
With simple touches over your smartphone and simple gestures, you can do that!
You do not necessarily have to take some time out of your busy schedule to get updates from around the world; voice-controlled smart devices will keep you updated of the news briefs while you work.
You are safe at all times
Another reason that adds to the popularity of smart home automation systems is the fact that you can finally live in peace, even when you are leaving your home to go on a vacation.
It sounds like a miracle to homeowners in quiet towns around the globe; however, it is very accurate!
You can rely on technology to check up on the safety of your belongings and your home, without having to rely on neighbors who are, of course, friendly, but are humans capable of simple errors.
Smart security setups can micromanage your home’s safety, even when you are miles away! You will be notified automatically, without any delays in cases of abnormalities.
It is excellent for people of all ages!
Smart home automation also takes excellent care of the elderly population, sometimes better than us humans.
They do not require manual devices to take care of themselves, rather smart help monitors them every second of the day and helps them with their medication, moving around, calling medical assistance and other necessary support.
Home automation systems are energy efficient
Not to forget the energy efficiency that we gain from smart home devices.
The endless use of AI-powered tools around the house does not put a significant impact on the balance of our ecosystem. It aims at restoring the balance.
You save energy, improve the overall efficiency with the help of smart home technology.
The lights switch on and off automatically, through smart sense, when you leave your home without turning them off.
The intelligent sense detects your presence and warmth to do the necessary tasks, thereby saving up energy and carbon in the environment.
On an individual level, it seems fun and exciting, to be surrounded by devices that manage your daily routine as per your linkings, but on a global scale, this has turned out to be a game-changer for tech corporations.
The amount of interest generated via smart home automated devices has turned out to be a significant force, turning the tech markets around on a massive whirlwind.
The biggest Mobile Application Development Company are today competing against each other, to outdo each other.
Facebook, Google, Apple, Windows, anyone, and everyone is in this rat race to be the ultimate winner. Bigger and more convenient solutions are being thought about, as far as the significant-tech corporations are concerned.
Thousands of billions of dollars are being budgeted entirely to develop AI and IoT based devices to make today’s homes and families futuristic.
The overall statistics state that the smart home device markets have managed to cross $70 Billion mark in 2018 and will continue to increase by over 15% on an annual basis.
This way, the market is expected to reach over $150 billion by 2025. The growth is tremendous and is, of course, driven by a lot of factors, that have already been mentioned above.
These factors and the convenience these automated devices offer have managed to drive considerable growth towards the market in the form of willing families and individuals who want to incorporate technology into their lives.
Watching the trends and the boom in the smart home automation system markets, Governments all across the globe are taking measures to increase the stability of these devices, enhance the security these devices offer and to manage and regulate their benefits and uses around the planet.
Together, major tech corporations and the Governments are aiming at making the world more tech-friendly!
The way businesses are carried out today has changed at the fundamental level with IoT. By connecting sensors and devices with the internet, we have reached a new height of progress and innovation, which was not previously possible. This new height is all about data connectivity, analytics, and automation. In the coming times, we will see more of IoT enabled devices and systems getting common in our lives due to the traction gained in terms of home automation and industries. The industries which understand the potential of IoT implementation are more likely to flourish and drive innovation in the niche during the next decade.
What is IoT?
IoT stands for Internet of Things which can be called as a network of physical objects which communicate and interact with each other as well as their environment through an internet connection. This simply means that with more number of devices around us being connected over the internet, it will enable companies to control them remotely, collect more amounts of data as well as enable automation.
The effect of IoT has increased drastically across different industries today. The way IoT has revolutionized them and is playing a key role in its progress has to be well noted.
IoT in Manufacturing
The contribution of IoT in the manufacturing industry is very high and you can say that it is the one that enjoys the highest IoT investment. The investment is taking place at two levels. One is working towards cost reduction and optimizing systems called as inward facing and the other is towards improving customer usage called as outward facing.
Manufacturers are making use of IoT to carry on predictive maintenance, optimize their processes and to monitor equipment. In order to enhance the productivity and efficiency of manufacturing operations, the use of IoT devices in terms of smart manufacturing is playing a huge role. Smart manufacturing is all about making the existing manufacturing equipment equipped with sensors. This may not be required with the new manufacturing equipment as they have such sensors pre-installed.
Smart planning is all about offering the supply chain with the smart floor. Information can be captured in real-time and actionable insights can be put to use. Smart manufacturing is all about covering each and every area in manufacturing, which includes plant operations, inventory control product design, demand & supply management, etc. With smart manufacturing, manufacturers get complete visibility of the business which helps them to optimize the supply and demand chain while streamlining the business processes.
IoT in Transportation
If we try to look into IoT investment, then you will find that IoT holds the second highest position in this arena. One of the best gifts that we have from IoT is self-driving cars. Some of the big names in the industry like Uber, BMW, Ford, GM, and Google have been heavily investing in this area to make use of innovative technologies to come up with self-driving cars. Such kind of self-driving cars will simplify transportation, reduce pollution and even save more lives by preventing accidents.
More number of public transportation and freight vehicles is using sensors to optimize fuel consumption, schedule maintenance and fleet management. Even some of the vehicles come with digital data recorders which record driving under heavy acceleration so as to indicate the driver of any fatal accidents which might occur.
IoT in Agriculture
By using IoT technologies, farming and agriculture have been able to make greater benefits. With the help of IoT device installations, the farmers are able to collect valuable data which reveals about their livestock and crops in a number of ways. They can survey land using drones and even measure the resources available on the farms. When all these things come together, it helps the farmers with a new way of carrying out things like precision farming. The role of IoT in agriculture and farming will increase significantly as the demand for food keeps on increasing.
IoT impacting Healthcare
As per many experts, it has been said that the healthcare industry is going to be one of the main areas where spending on IoT will be considerably high. We already have a number of equipment which does things in a better way like share patient reports and images, helps with ICU management, real-time location systems, finding problems and troubleshooting and medicine dispensing. It is possible for IoT to streamline the data coming from medical service providers and send them back with the help of technologies like mobility solutions and wearables.
When medical devices are connected with IoT sensors, the doctors will get right information delivered that too with reduced errors. This positively affects the quality of service and diagnosis process. The use of smart beds is also increasing across a number of hospitals. Such beds are capable of sensing the patient and adjusting it automatically so as to offer proper support.
Improving patient care at homes is possible using IoT applications. Smart medication dispensers can notify the patient automatically when it is time to take the medicines and can also be used to upload the reports on the cloud platform for the doctors to check and make changes in the dose.
IoT has proved itself and so it is going to stay here for a long time. The use of IoT across the healthcare industry will keep improving as they are looking for better ways to leverage technology so as to improve efficiency. With data sharing becoming simpler in the coming times, the use of IoT applications across the sector will grow too.
IoT in Retail
What if one day you don’t have to worry about the shortage of supplies in your fridge? What if it can order the items on its own when the stock in the fridge starts to go low? The potential of IoT in the retail industry is high. It is time for us to face smart retailing. A smart supply chain which is based on IoT already exists. There are applications for automated delivery systems, real-time inventory management, product tracking, auto-billing, etc. and here, new trends are visible fast.
With a smart retail store, it is possible to analyze and understand the shopping journey of the customers through footfalls. Earlier, businesses carried out long surveys to understand the market demands and this was an expensive affair. Now the use of foot-traffic monitoring has increased as a part of smart stores to analyze the areas where the customer is having a problem with finding goods and which are the best selling products. This way it will become possible to assign an executive to the customer so as to help with quick shopping. Based on store traffic monitoring, businesses can improve the in-store shopping experience. This way, by making use of mobile devices, retailers will have a better chance to engage customers and implement new digital marketing strategies.
With the online marketplace growing exponentially, retailers are looking for ways to grab the attention of the customers and bring them to their stores. For the same, they need to get their hand on data and analytics, which can help them increase footfalls. Based on the data and analytics, IoT can help retailers make the right decisions. Keeping it short, retailers should focus on using IoT applications which can be used to serve the customers in an enhanced manner.
IoT in Fintech
When we talk of fintech businesses or financial services organizations, their main concern is security. This is the reason why they depend on the network of visual sensors and cameras, which can offer them reliable facilities. When it comes to IoT deployment, the financial services organizations are quite good in numbers and even they are good at visual analytics adoption. Financial companies are going for mobile phones as their endpoint choice along with sensors and cameras. When it comes to IoT implementation, financial forms have many goals to achieve, but the main one is to have better connectivity for their networks as well as employ greater security for their services.
IoT in Smart Homes & Buildings
IoT has greatly influenced the way we live and work. If we talk about living space, IoT has brought to light the concept of the smart home automation system. This system is all about different connected products which work towards making life more convenient, more comfortable and more pleasant. By using intelligent homes, it becomes possible for the homeowners to build up a pleasant environment within the four walls while working towards efficient energy management and enhanced security through proper customization. To build and monitor smart homes, a number of IoT technologies are available.
Some of the leading consumer product manufacturing companies in the market are Philips, Haier, and Amazon. You can get news headlines to read to you while you are working, by asking Alexa, the voice assistant of Amazon Echo.
A perfect example of a smart home design is Philips Hue. This bulb offers you 600 to 800 color lumens to choose from. It can change based on your mood. This product is compatible with other smart home platforms like Apple’s iPhone Home Kit and Amazon Echo.
In the coming years, the number of smart home devices is going to go high. The smart appliances will includes washing machines, refrigerators, TV, dryers, etc. Then you have smart home energy equipment which provides for thermostats and smart lighting while smart home security systems which include cameras, sensors, alarm systems, etc. Saving energy and reduction in electricity costs can be seen as the major advantage of IoT implementation in smart home concept.
IoT impact on energy
One of the early adopters of IoT is the utility industry. It is possible to make a better recording of energy consumption using smart meters. This will help the companies offering utility services to efficiently and accurately bill their customers based on consumption.
Moreover, with the help of smart meters, it will become possible to track down and send back to the grid the amount of energy the users of green technologies consume. And based on that, credit them and pay some incentives as a part of encouraging them towards using environment-friendly options.
If you are looking for the next level of automation, then IoT is the answer. In the coming time, IoT implementation will become more comfortable with the innovation of new technologies and it will make things faster and secure too. This makes life better at home, as well as at work. IoT is adding in more and more things to the digital environment and it is to make everything easy right from smart kitchen to smart offices, smart traffic to smart parking spaces.
Source - Salesforce
“By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human” – Gartner
Prior to jump into depth to sharing about ‘customer experience optimization through AI technology’ let’s first understand ‘what is customer experience?’. The perception or the value created about the brand to the customer, is called customer experience. The process to increase the awareness with positive intent towards the brand, is called customer experience optimization.
To optimize the customer experience, Business needs to first of all understand all moves to be taken by customer while landing initially onto portal to either purchasing the product or services without facing any hassle. Nowadays, AI technology has been implemented across all industries due to have its immense capability to drive strategic data as well as to respond customers quickly that cause business growth.
Problems that can be solved using AI:
Nowadays, Customers have multiple options when it comes to choose any product or service so Business should be proactive indeed on planning for futuristic action to engage the customer in order to compete with their potential competitors in the market. AI captures the existing data of current business and suggest the next step to be taken by implementing machine learning algorithm.
How AI plays a key role in making customer experience optimized
AI uses the machine learning algorithm to deliver human sense to customer. AI boost up the business process in such a way that the same service can be delivered in a quick and effective way. Being a customer, we face challenge in accessing support service such as long waiting time to connect with support agent, immediate actions to be taken on account, accessing personal details securely in no time etc. While accessing service or product solution, customer stuck at some point and they look for urgent help by contacting Phone/chat support team through number of channels such as Phone, email, web chat that usually consumes more than expected which may cause customer interest toward the brand.
Rather than getting help from support team, Customer always shows their positive intent to resolve the issue by self that enables customer to find the answer quickly, perform the required actions within no time, no additional charge with high secure, share less their sentiment to other human in very secure way. AI helps the customer to access key information based on their keywords they input to the application. Rich collection of content is prepared that allows computer system to sense the customer need and when required, customer access the custom fit content in no time.
Impact/Benefit of Artificial Intelligence on Business:
AI helps the business to automate and improve complex analytical tasks, to look at strategic data in real-time, adjusting its behavior with minimal need for supervision as well as to Increase efficiency and accuracy.
Below are the following benefits that are accessed by business on AI implementation:
• Increase operational performance that results less effort & time
• Helps stakeholder to take business decision quickly
• Eliminate human error with AI based algorithm
• Prediction analysis through analytics
• Data extraction through solid algorithm
• Increase Profitability
• Intelligent advice suggestion
One of the interesting part about AI, it follows pre-trained machine learning models and out-of-the box services that integrates with key customer experience process and solutions. AI can be used in almost unimaginable number of ways including sentiment analysis to understand the next move of a prospect/customer and recommend products based on customer interest.
The benefit is not only limited to customer; it is very useful for support process where agent access the knowledge base which contains the information that need to be shared with customer. Each of the little information can’t be memorized by human henceforth AI comes into the picture that helps the support team to guide the customer in right way quickly. AI provides the prediction analysis, and data plays an important role to succeed. AI utilize the captured data into computer system and apply the algorithm to make custom fit solution for end users. With consideration of customer intent, AI is solving many business problems on continuous rate that makes the AI as disruptive solution.
The oil and gas industry is rapidly getting revolutionized by the Internet of Things. By adopting IoT applications in this industry, it will become possible for them to multiply their profits all the while concentrating on improving safety measures.
As per the experts, it is possible to boost the profit numbers as well as get rid of any unplanned outages by choosing to go with IoT implementation. It is said that by 2019 the global IoT market is said to reach the worth of $1.7 trillion.
Some of the ways in which IoT is said to revolutionize the oil and gas industry are:
Every business is based on the idea of generating revenue and when we are looking at things from the perspective of the oil and gas industry, they are said to have a huge impact on the global GDP. As per the study of Oxford Economics carried out in 2015, in the time of few years, the adoption of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) at the industry level will increase the global GDP and it is expected to reach around $816 billion in a decade.
With oil prices staying low, it now becomes impossible for the oil companies to make huge profits and so, it is time for them to grab the new opportunity by investing in innovative technologies. Spending some money on such technologies would be better than working on cost-cutting ideas. As the industry will start becoming more competitive the saved time and financial benefits received will turn out to be very invaluable.
Enhanced operational efficiency
Today the majority of the workforce in the oil and gas industry is occupied by the Baby Boomer- aged people. This means it will not take much time for them to retire and soon their place will be left vacant. By using remote visibility and big data analysis together, it will become possible for the companies to properly manage their assets as well as optimize productions by learning from their findings. It is possible to bring down the time needed for troubleshooting from days to a few minutes, simply by opting for IoT. This will help the business to put their time into the operational areas.
Safety risk reduced
One of the main concerns in the oil and gas industry is safety. Now this means both externally and internally. IIoT can help the industry to know and point out different potential issues before they become capable enough to be safety hazards or real problems. Efficient and constant regulation of oil rigs becomes possible with remote troubleshooting. When you have proper IoT implementation in this area, you can be sure of lesser potential dangers in terms of work and less traveling for the employees.
For the oil and gas industry, data plays a very crucial role and big data is not a new thing here. When we compare it with other industries, accuracy and efficiency are very much valued here.
It is possible to see the evident economic difference by increasing efficiency through smaller improvements. Accurate and quick data is what helps with gaining profits in the oil and gas industry. With proper Industrial IoT integration in oil and gas industry, it is possible to monitor oil production in real-time by making use of sensors embedded in thereand it becomes possible for the companies to gather information by applying right automation within data communication systems. This helps them to make informed decisions after properly assessing their assets.
The basic idea here is that by building an effective IIoT environment, the companies will be able to collect useful information from the massive amount of accumulated data. When we talk in terms of IoT, the pumpoff controllers that are present inoil and gas companies are said to play a key role in IoT implementation and this helps the industry to enjoy the benefitsof web services.
End-to-end connected pipeline
This industry needs to have a proper pipeline system to transport huge amounts of oil and natural gas. The cost-effective and safest way to achieve this is by embedding IoT sensors to the central controlling system of the pipeline. By 2025, it is expected that there will be 64 billion devices which will be responsible for sending and collecting data. The IoT sensors used in those pipeline systems monitor different parameters like pressure, temperature, flow, etc. Such information helps in real-time controlling of the moving resources. In order to smoothly control the flow within the pipelines from remote locations, IoT smart valves are installed at different points on the pipeline.
Reduced environmental impact
We can say that right from reducing traveling to bringing down safety risk, IoT implementation in this industry is said to cause a decreased impact on the environment. Some of the benefits of IoT implementation should be the focus in the oil and gas industry are the less emission of carbon, avoiding oil spills, using less energy and avoiding any expected accidents. With IIoT implementation, it is possible to control and monitor resource and energy usage.
A small amount of data which are captured by the legacy systems from the equipment are used up by the oil and gas industry. This data is analyzed for better insights. Now, by using a large number of data points over multiple devices, it will become possible to collect data simultaneously and then combine them together to know about any potential failure in the machines and equipment. By properly using IoT in this industry, it is possible to predict productivity, increase efficiency as well as prevent equipment failures.
Wrapping it up
If we look at the supply chain in the oil and gas industry, proper integration and implementation of IoT in here is said to influence and affect everything right from operations to customer engagement. This industry is here for a long time now and IoT has the power to change it very rapidly towards growth and profits in the right manner all the while making it self-sufficient to catch up with the strong competition.
For years, I have been written about the promise and perils of the Internet of Things (IoT). In many of my articles I described how the IoT could help transform society and kickstart the next industrial revolution. However, I think after talking these summer days with people outside this "industry" that most of them are lost with the IoT. We still cannot define in a unique and clear way what IoT is and much less explain how thanks to IoT it will change our lives, without using the example of the connected refrigerator.
At the beginning of 2015, I wondered if we would be able to build the Internet of Things. Taking a look at the most recent IoT Landscape I continue seeing how the fragmentation of the market, the lack of standards and the challenge of security continue damaging the growth of IoT. The evolution that not the revolution of IoT, has been slower than I expected and desired. Today not only Telcos admit IoT is failing to meet expectations.
Why are we lost in IoT? Let´s see some arguments.
Lost in IoT connectivity
With so many IoT connectivity options on the market, choosing the right one for your project can be complicated. It scares me to think that billions of devices will be connected in a few years to decentralized IoT networks and with no interconnectivity between them, unless we use millions of edge nodes that transfer messages among devices connected in multiple networks. If it is already difficult to justify the ROI of a use case considering a single type of connectivity, it is almost impossible to justify that these devices can communicate with other devices on different IoT subnets.
In case we consider the doubt small, we add the issue of end-to-end security and the need in some use cases networking in meshes with no single point of failure. Here comes new IoT technologies such as Blockchain to help or to confuse.
It seems that it is easy to get lost among so much connectivity technology. Isn’t true?
Lost among hundreds of IoT Platforms
At least we already intuit some of the platforms that will survive among the +700 that some analysts have identified. I have only been able to analyze with more or less depth about 100. Surely my methodology of Superheroes and Supervillanos will advance the end of most of them.
It is no longer just one IoT Platform, stupid! Although they want to make it easy for us, companies like AWS, Microsoft or Google add concepts such as Serverless, Data Lakes, AI, Edge Computing, DLT and all the artillery of Cloud services to the core features of the IoT platform. I get lost in its architecture and I feel that if I get too close to one of these black holes, they will end up absorbing me.
Glad to know that “Verizon retools ThingSpace IoT platform to focus on connectivity” and system integrators are they are abandoning their in house development to embrace leaders vendors’ products.
The IoT analysts are also not helping much with its reports. IoT Platform vendors are disputing relevant positions in their graphs but we are lost when do not see any vendor in the leader quadrant of Gartner and most of them are Niche Players.
Lost between the Edge and the Clouds
In “Do not let the fog hide the clouds in the Internet of Things” , I warned about the degree of complexity that Fog / Edge Computing added to the already complex solutions in the IoT Clouds. Now nothing seems to be of great value if we do not include Edge Computing in our IoT solutions. And there our confusion arises again.
The Babel tower of Alliance & Consortiums is consolidating but we keep losing in acronyms. Industrial Internet companies felt relief with the news “ – The Industrial Internet Consortium® (IIC™) and the OpenFog Consortium® (OpenFog) unite to combine the two largest and most influential international consortia in Industrial IoT, fog and edge computing. While The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF) is defining the next generation edge computing standards for industrial operators.
Lost in the Proof of Concept (PoC)
Businesses are spending $745 billion worldwide on IoT hardware and software in 2019 alone. Yet, three out of every four IoT implementations are failing.
Microsoft launched a new research report — IoT Signals — intended to quantify enterprise internet of things (IoT) adoption around the world. The survey of over 3,000 IT team leaders and executives provides a detailed look at the burgeoning multi-billion-dollar segment’s greatest challenges and benefits, as well as related trends. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that 30% of respondents say their IoT projects failed in the proof-of-concept stage, often because the implementation became too expensive or the bottom-line benefits were unclear.
There are technical reasons for example the use of Rasberry Pi or Arduino boards in the PoC and realise that you need other more expensive hardware for the project.
There are economic reasons when you try to escalate your PoC to real implementations and then the ROI doesn’t look as well as in the pilot.
There are organization reasons when leaders are failing to go all in. If you can’t get the CEO on board, then the probability to finish in the PoC is almost 100%.
If you are lost in the PoC, these tips can help you implementing IIOT.
- Solve a problem worth solving
- Keep it quick and simple
- Manage the Human Factor
Lost in select the right IoT Ecosystems
In Harbor Research article “ Has Anyone Seen A Real Internet of Things Ecosystem?” ,dated November 2013, the analyst firm wrote that no really significant ecosystem or network of collaborators had emerged in the IoT arena in spite there was early and very interesting efforts being made by several players. This article does not need changes.
Since I wrote “The value of partnership in Industrial Internet of Things”, I have heard, read and repeated hundreds of times how important it is to belong to an IoT ecosystem and how difficult it is to choose the one that suits you best.
All or at least most of those who read my articles know that there is no company in the world, no matter how great it is, it can do everything in IoT. Creating an IoT ecosystem either horizontal (technology) or vertical (industry) requires a lot of talent managers able to maintain win-win transactions over the time. And according to the results, it seems to me that it is becoming very complicated.
I am working in an article in which I will analyse 4 examples of IoT ecosystems that represent a big portion of the value chain in the multiple IoT markets: IoT Hardware Ecosystem, IoT telco Operator, IoT Cloud Platform Vendor and IoT System Integrators. Hope this article could help you, if you are lost with IoT ecosystems.
Remember, you are not the only one lost in IoT
When it comes to achieving a return on their investment from IoT, businesses really need rethink how they are deploying it so that they can manage remotely and secure their assets, use the sensors and devices data to make better real time decisions and be able to monetise it. However, for both to happen, and for IoT project to not end up in the purgatory, businesses need independent and expert advice at several levels to find the right people to lead the project and the right technology and partners to make implementation successful.
Thanks for your Likes and Share.
The swift evolution of technology over the past decade has presented the world with a profusion of novel tools and resources that offer countless benefits to a wide variety of industries across the globe. A prime example of one such brilliant resources is the Internet of Things (IoT), which offers immense scope to enhance business operations, especially the ones involved in fleet management. The ability to connect the fleet’s vehicles to not only presents opportunities to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency but harness new opportunities for business growth as well.
Moreover, it is so immense is its potential that researchers believe this market will be worth $15.87 million in another five years. That estimate, though massive, isn’t entirely surprising. Just look at the needs driving the need for IoT in fleet management — companies need to innovate, optimize efficiency, and keep a better eye on their operations and the personnel involved. To be able to do all of this, they need a versatile tool like IoT. Allow us to walk you through some of the other benefits provided by IoT in the context of fleet management.
- Monitor fleet: With the vehicles in the fleet connected, managers gain seamless access to an overview of their fleet’s activities. They can then analyze incidents, trends, and more to make adjustments in the process accordingly. It will help them to extract the most performance out of their fleet. They can also look at traffic data and road hazard data to put together the ideal route for the fleet vehicles.
- Utilize data better: Fleets generate massive amounts go data — including that about things like kilometers driven, speed, fuel consumed, and vehicle usage among so many other things. It is imperative that these factors both be tracked and managed efficiently at all times. Thankfully, IoT saves you the hassle of doing it manually; since all the requisite devices, including the vehicles, systems, software, and more are all connected in real-time, data is gathered and analyzed as it happens.
- Improved maintenance of vehicles: Once again, since cars are connected to the internet/cloud, it becomes easier to keep an eye on them for any issues and faults and execute proactive maintenance services. This ability to continually monitor the health of a vehicle helps save costs associated with unforeseen maintenance and vehicle downtime.
- Track driver behavior: IoT can also be used to collect data about things like driver pattern, fuel efficiency achieved, and more to gauge drivers’ productivity. Furthermore, it can be used to ensure that drivers don’t break traffic laws and conform to other regulations on the road and provide the appropriate training they are found by not submitting to any such factors.
As you can see, with GPS tracking fleet management solutions, businesses operating in this market stand to gain a plethora of benefits, including enhanced productivity, improved efficiency, and significantly improved customer service. So, it is only fair that your business can benefit from the many advantages IoT has to offer for fleet management.
Emerging technologies have completely changed the landscape of every business, and event planning and management is no exception. Gone are the days of manual registers and paper flyers as the event management industry is swiftly moving towards technologies like internet of things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) to find unique ways for enhanced attendees engagement.
What is IoT? How is it transforming Event Management Industry?
The Internet of Things or IoT is the concept of connecting any computing devices over the internet to collect and share data using embedded sensors without human intervention.
The opportunities offered by IoT are in abundance to transform any industry. Further, it plays a significant role in revolutionizing event management industry, by rendering mesmerizing experience to the event attendees.
The event industry relies on tons of data, including speakers, potential attendees, caterers, venues, attendees’ check-ins, and payments. IoT has the potential to provide a treasure of attendees data to the event planners and managers to make informed decisions. Information extracted from the data can be utilized for better planning, management, and engagement of the event.
Let’s discuss some of the major applications of IoT in Event Management:
- Automated Online Registrations: Manual registration of the attendees at the events is one of the biggest hassles in event management. Nowadays, Smartphones are already equipped with technologies like BLE, NFC, GPS, Wi-Fi, and more. Theses connectivities can be used by event managers to automate the registration process for attendees at the event. Attendees can check-in with the online registration portal when they are around the venue by enabling BLE in their smartphones. An automated notification can be sent to the visitor’s phone, directing them to proceed towards the collection booth to collect their event badges. Hence, it indeed cuts down waiting time and workforce costs required to manage onsite registrations.
- Smart Catering: It’s challenging to keep track of what most of the attendees will prefer to eat. However, everyday objects such as coffee makers and other food making equipment can be connected with IoT. With the help of the log consumption of edibles at the previous events, event managers can accurately predict the estimation of various eatables that saves you money as well as minimizes food wastage.
- Intelligent Lighting: IoT can control the lighting of the entire event in a much more cost-effective and efficient manner. With the adoption of smart lighting, event managers can monitor and manage the lighting systems of the whole game anytime, anywhere just at a click from their mobile phones.
- Enhanced Security through Smart Buildings: Internet of things has transformed simple buildings into “Smart Buildings” that comprises of doors & windows, air conditioners, and more that can be monitored and controlled centrally. With Smart buildings, you can control doors to either stay open to welcome your guests (visitors) or get locked to keep the unwelcome guests out of the premises by integrating video surveillance systems.
To conclude, online event planning solution helps the event manager to create amazing and engaging experiences for their attendees.
Note: this page contains paid content.
Please, subscribe to get an access.
Note: this page contains paid content.
Please, subscribe to get an access.
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to power your home with clean energy, and yet, many Americans don’t know how to make the switch. Luckily, you don’t have to install expensive solar panels or switch utility companies…Continue
Anyone unfortunate enough to fall victim to a burglary or natural disaster understands …Continue