The Role of IoT in Industrial Automation

Internet Of Things Applications
Internet Of Things Applications

The potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) is widely being utilized in the industrial sector. IoT made it possible to automate the industrial processes and it helped to boost the efficiency of these processes along improving productivity and increasing the profit. Therefore, IoT has become an inevitable part of every industry. If you are planning to automate your business processes using IoT, we list some of the important internet of things applications and benefits for helping you to decide whether it is for you.

Benefits of IoT in industrial automation

IoT provides a lot of benefits for businesses. Following are some of the important benefits you will get by industrial automation with the help of IoT.

  • Great accuracy
  • Enhanced efficiency and performance
  • Cost-effective
  • Less errors
  • Lower power needs
  • Quick completion of processes
  • Easy control and maintenance

If you want to keep up with the latest technological innovations, then IoT can be a great asset for you, as it can automate your industrial processes, thereby providing you better control over your business.

Internet of things Applications

IoT has a wide range of applications in the industrial field. A few of them are listed below:

Security

IoT can be helpful to improve the security of your workplace. Fire sensors are a great example of applications of IoT in enhancing the security of your working premises. You can design different sophisticated and efficient security systems based on the specific requirements of your businesses.

IoT devices can constantly monitor the safety indicators so that they can identify the potential threats and save your workplace and employees from all the accidents.

Process Automation

With the help of IoT products, it became possible to automate the business processes, thereby reducing the need for the human workforce along with improving the efficiency of processes. It can provide a centralized system for controlling and coordinating all the tasks associated with your business.

Easy Maintenance

When connected with machines, IoT systems can monitor their working and can detect any anomalies in their working. Hence, it can indicate the problems associated with a machine before it breaks down. This will help you with the maintenance of different machines which are used for your business.

Data Analysis

IoT systems are capable of fetching real-time data associated with your business. Hence, you will be able to analyze all the data related to the different processes of your business. This will help you to optimize the processes and to solve the existing problems and to find out the potential threats.

IoT Will Become More Mainstream in the Future

IoT Enabled Devices

Internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated objects, computing devices, mechanical and digital machines that are provided with unique identifiers. In other words, it is the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

For instance, your apple watch is a part of IoT. The whole city of Barcelona is composed of IoT enabled devices. Over the last years, IoT has lead to many changes in the world and by 2020 there will be 31 billion devices associated with the Internet of Things.

IoT Devices

Now you might have got a general idea of what IoT products are — you’re right now using one to peruse this article. PCs and phones just make up a small part of IoT. IoT gadgets include whatever that can interface with the web to send and receive information. There are IoT coffee machines that can send warnings when you’re running out of coffee. IoT beds can control your sleep and balance the temperature to optimize your sleeping pattern. More practical applications of IoT include connected autos that can drive and renew themselves.

Stores like Macy’s are utilizing iBeacons to send clients rewards and greetings on Black Friday. Beacons are small Bluetooth transmitters that can interface with applications associated with gadgets like iPhones or iPads. This technology allows businesses to communicate with their clients and enable to contact them wherever they are.

IoT Platform

The associated devices themselves form only 50% of the IoT equation. To make an IoT gadget work, you should need an IoT platform. IoT platforms enable designers to deal with the applications they created, to store, share and analyze information. Consider the iOS and Android stages. iOS and Android platforms enable engineers to make applications quicker and for much less cost. Unlike smartphone applications, engineers can browse many IoT platforms. Google, Amazon, and IBM are a couple of the significant platform suppliers.

These IoT gadgets and stages around us achieve a variety of tasks. As per Forbes, 84% of the developing IoT applications will be ruled by few ventures: Industrial IoT (24%), Smart Cities (26%), Smart Homes (14%), and Connected Health (20%).

From the above discussion, it should be clear that the future will be filled with IoT devices. It is a growing technology that can bring drastic changes to the way we interact with each other and control day to day activities.

Role of IoT in Home Automation

Best IoT Projects

In the modern world of automated innovations, life is becoming more simpler and less demanding in all fields. Home automation is a recent technology that can modify your home to do different tasks automatically. Nowadays automatic frameworks are preferred over manual frameworks.

Home automation is already a buzz word, as the second generation homeowners grow, and now they need home automation more than water, shelter, and electricity. The greatest advantage of smart homes is solace and comfort, as automated devices can manage things like temperature and lighting which frees the homeowners. Smart homes with associated products improve potential outcomes to make our lives easier, progressively profitable, and agreeable.

As IoT home security is the wave of the future, there is no doubt in the demand for IoT devices. With the advantage of IoT, the demand for home and office automation increases much. The smart home or office devices are secure, and accessible from anywhere in the world. Home automation is a pleasant context for IoT, by interfacing the IP passage straightforwardly to the Internet or through a home/private entryway. This framework can be operated remotely by a Smart telephone, PC, or different gadgets.

Home Automation will empower the client to utilize a Home Automation Systems dependent on (IoT). Now all the modern homes are mechanized through the web and can control all the home machines. The client commands can be taken by the Wi-Fi modems, which has an interface with this modem. The status of the system can be viewed through LCD. This is how an ordinary IoT based Home Automation works to control all your home apparatuses. As the cost of IoT devices in the market reduces and by understanding the benefits of these products, the demand for smart homes increases. The very next logical step is smart cities, which will take IoT to a top level.

The IoT gadgets in Home Automation have extreme applications in energy. We can control the temperature of heating devices with gadgets like tablets, laptops, smartphones and other devices containing sensors that are connected to the network. With the assistance of IoT innovation, you can control gadgets as and when you need them.

Home Automation is creating big possibilities. The fast development of home-based automation, along with machine-to-machine communications will lead to best IoT projects over the next 5 years.

Predictions for Iot Security Next Year

IoT Cybersecurity

One thing is certain in each December: experts of most industries make predictions on what is in store the year after. IoT experts too have come up with their own predictions. They say that it is a fascinating time ahead for cybersecurity. They did not hold back when making their predictions for 2020. Here is a rundown of some of their predictions when it comes to IoT device security.

  • Shorter validity times are likely for Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates. So, companies will have to start adopting automation to facilitate certificate management.
  • Users will need to have more awareness about security because malicious actors exploit free DV (domain validated) certificates to display the padlock icon on their sites.
  • Hackers will keep finding vulnerabilities in devices because IoT cybersecurity is not the greatest priority when these are made. Some improvements have been seen, but the industry hopes for more.
  • The year 2019 saw the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as well as the failed New York Privacy Act (NYPC). There is a drive for a nationwide privacy act, but in the Trump administration, that is less likely to happen. Even so, users are concerned about privacy violations. American states are implementing their own decrees to fill the holes, but this move is going to make compliance extremely tricky for organizations. This is because of the pieced together nature of implementation.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology will standardize a quantum-proof algorithm by the period 2022 to 2024, starting a universal attempt to deploy the algorithm. Organizations that emphasize cryptographic agility and inventory cryptographic systems will have an easy time implementing it. However, other companies will not find as easy to do.
  • A quantum computation device is going to resolve an economically significant issue in 2020. This will start a new age of financial investment in speeding up quantum computing’s development, on the basis of the presentation of practical advantages. The implementation of quantum-proof cryptography will have to progress.
  • We are going to see more exploits on public IoT-enabled devices, which will make regulators strengthen their stance the on the internet of things security. More governments around the globe will bring in the internet of things security regulation.
  • Industries will unite in a bid to make standards for protecting IoT devices against threats they face.

Industrial Internet of Things

Industrial Internet Of Things

With the wide popularity of the internet of things (IoT), a lot of advancements and developments have happened in the field to use its potential and possibilities in other fields. As a result, a lot of advanced IoT products have born. One such advancement is the Industrial internet of things (IIoT).

What is the Industrial Internet of Things?

Industrial internet of things is referred to the use of actuators and smart sensors to promote the manufacturing and industrial processes. It is also known as industrial internet and Industry 4.0. This technology leverages the potential of smart machines as well as real-time analytics to utilize the data that the dumb machines have produced over the years for improving the efficiency of business processes.

The driving principle behind IIoT is that the smart machines are capable of performing better than humans at capturing, processing and analyzing data in real-time. They are also good at communicating important information for the betterment of business by helping to make decisions more swiftly and accurately.

The sensors and actuators that will be interconnected can pick up the problems and inefficiencies in the processes sooner, thereby helping to solve them as soon as possible. It can be helpful in saving time and money and also for supporting business intelligence (IB).

IIoT will be especially helpful in the manufacturing industry, as it has great efficiency in controlling quality and for supporting sustainable and green practices. It can also promote supply chain efficiency and its traceability.

In an industrial setting, it can be utilized for a variety of purposes including enhanced field service, predictive maintenance, asset tracking and energy management.

How IIoT Work?

This technology is a network of intelligent devices that are interconnected to form systems that are helpful in monitoring, collecting, exchanging, and analyzing data. An industrial IoT system consists of:

  • Intelligent assets that are capable of sensing, communicating and storing data about themselves;
  • Private and/or public data communications infrastructure
  • Applications and analytics that produce business information from raw data; and
  • People

Intelligent assets and Edge devices transfer data directly to the data communication infrastructures, where it will be converted into actionable information including the working of specific machinery, and all other information regarding the business processes. This information will be then utilized for predictive maintenance and for optimizing business processes.

Benefits of IIoT

One of the main advantages of IIoT is the predictive maintenance it provides for businesses. This helps organizations to produce data that can be helpful in predicting the problems occurring in the future and for taking preventive measures in advance. For example, the real-time data about the working of a machine can be used to predict the defects or failures associated with it before it happens. This will help an organization to address those issues in advance.

Another important advantage is the improved field service. The data collected by IIoT systems can assist the field service technicians in identifying potential problems in customer equipment before they become a major issue. This will help the technical experts to fix the issues before they cause inconvenience to the customers.

Asset tracking is another benefit of IIoT. Manufacturers, suppliers and customers can utilize asset management systems to find out the location, status, condition of the products, etc. throughout the supply chain. This system will send alerts to the stakeholders immediately if the goods are damaged or are at the risk of being damaged. Hence, preventive measures can be done to remedy the situation immediately.

IIoT can also provide enhanced customer satisfaction. When the products are connected to IIoT services, the manufacturers can see and analyze the data about how their products are utilized by customers. This data will enable manufacturers to design products based on the requirements of the customers, thereby providing better customer satisfaction.

Facility management is one of the other perks provided by IIoT. Manufacturing equipment is prone to wear and tear. But the IIoT system can monitor the activities of equipment by sensing the vibrations, temperature and other related factors. This will help to address the issues before the equipment is down.

IIoT vs. IoT

Even though the industrial internet of things and the internet of things use many similar technologies including sensors, cloud platforms, connectivity, data analytics, machine-to-machine communications, etc., they are used for different purposes.

IoT applications are used to connect devices between multiple verticals, including healthcare, enterprise, agriculture, consumer and utilities, and also government and cities. The main examples of IoT products include fitness bands, smart appliances, etc. that generally do not create emergency conditions if something goes wrong.

On the other hand, IIoT applications connect devices and machines in many major industries such as oil and gas, utilities and manufacturing, etc. Therefore, the downtime or failures in the IIoT system can result in highly risky conditions or life-threatening situations.

Another difference between these two is that, the IIoT system is more concerned with boosting efficiency and promoting health and safety, whereas, the IoT applications are more user-centric.

Things to Consider While Choosing IoT Companies

IoT Companies
IoT Company Selection

An IoT platform remains to be the heart of the IoT ecosystem, mostly regardless of the IoT solutions that you plan to adopt for your business. Waiting around to find the perfect IoT platform is a bad idea as you cannot really get to your work until you get an appropriate IoT platform. You will need to make the decision of choosing an IoT platform before you start the journey with IoT. 

Creating a reliable and compatible platform for IoT is often challenging, which is the same reason why the market is so full of smart applications end solutions. These applications and solutions are often offered by IoT platform companies who master this field for many years. 

Most of the IoT platform is built with the same motive even when they vary so much when it comes to factors such as authenticity, user experience, device management, and ease for use. 

There are many deciding factors that can help you in picking the right IoT platform for your business. Listed below are a few among them.

Scalability 

The complexity of handling the data increases along with the growth of the total number of connected devices. This makes the scalability factor important while picking a vendor for your IoT platform. As the number of connected devices increases, the risks that is associated with the hardware, as well as the data, also increases. 

It is very important to make sure at the beginning itself that the IoT platform would be able to perform the data load while connecting more devices. Always look for a vendor that provides you platforms with optimal performances and increased scalability for the devices you connect. 

The right platform for IoT can support many devices, maybe millions, each of them having different technological requirements, but providing continuous understanding from the data that would be collected, and that too, without compromising on the efficiency. 

Intelligent Edge Devices 

Intelligent Edge Devices can often be one of the unnoticed concerns of IoT platforms while evaluating its offerings. As you move further in your journey of the internet of things, you would mostly move towards distributed, offline, edge intelligence. 

Always make sure to provide edge intelligence capabilities for extending the power of the cloud to smartphones and other IoT devices. These capabilities are helpful in facilitating intelligent edges that have the ability to bring computer power, intelligence, data and applications to all the places where your data exists. 

Ways to Protect IoT Devices

IoT Device Security
IoT Devices Protection

Internet of things devices are great creations that bring organization and simplicity in our lives. However, you have to secure these in the right way. Fortunately, there are some easy steps to take to ensure IoT device security.

Secure Your Wireless Router

Firstly, confirm that the Wi-Fi equipment unit is secure. Otherwise, it can be exposed to many security threats. So confirm that you are not using the settings that came with your router. Rather than the default settings, it requires a unique and strong password, which is not easily guessable. You will also wish to enable WPA2 encryption, plus turn off remote access software and hardware to make it virtually impossible for hackers to access your devices.

Have Unique Passwords for All Devices

Every single device needs both a unique password and username. If they get access to a device, which you might consider insignificant (such as a connected machine for making coffee) hackers can access everything on your network.

Continue to Update Your Devices

There is no better way to be sure that firmware and software of your devices are not vulnerable than to keep them updated. Software companies release updates to help fix issues or plug holes in security. Therefore even if getting the notification is a tad annoying, you should not ignore updates when these become available. You should install them immediately (or confirm that your IoT products are configured to update in an automatic way).

Disconnect Unused Devices

If you feel that you have not been using a connected device, like ‘smart fork’ for instance, that much, disconnect it. Turning devices from online to offline when you are not using these, can help reduce the ‘attack surface’. The term ‘attack surface’ refers to the total of the various points where the hacker can attempt to input or extract data.

Avoid Dumping Your Old Devices

If you are not using a gadget and choose to dump it, then do not just throw it into the recycle bin. You should not chuck desktop computers, mobiles and laptops in it anyhow, and IoT gadgets are also no exception. Hackers can discover smart things in rubbish containers and can learn information regarding you. Old smart bulbs can also reveal plenty of personal information when these are infiltrated.

So, check your device manufacturer website for ways to remove your data from it. Be sure to follow any kind of procedure they suggest before dumping your old IoT devices.

Top Five Applications of IoT in Retail Businesses

Internet of things devices
Applications of IoT

IoT has been a game-changing technology across all industries. As per Statista data, the total number of internet of things devices in the world will reach just above 30 billion by next year. Most adopters consider IoT vital to their company’s success, so these devices are likely to exceed 75 billion in six years.

Whether connecting existing or new devices, retail businesses are finding many reasons to adopt IoT. So in what way are they using it to drive retail business results? Here, we will list the best IoT usage scenarios for retail businesses.

Making Retail Supply Chain As Good As Possible

The capability to track goods in all parts of the retail supply chain is a big differentiator in all segments. This accounts for most use cases of IoT in retail in this list. Real-time and transparent data concerning shipping status, shipping location, conditions, delays etc., helps businesses keep goods on the shelf and keep their customers satisfied.

Some of the advantages of IoT solutions are shipping traceability and transparency, immediate insights, plus automated warehouse processes.

Managing Stock

It can be tricky, time-consuming and costly to track levels of inventory and keep goods in stock. So retail businesses turn to this technology to optimize their inventory. This accounts for the second-most use cases here.

IoT can identify the location of goods immediately as well as track and send notifications on inventory that accumulate in fitting rooms. It can scan for gaps in display shelves and for product locations, and send notifications on mislabeled or misplaced goods.

Keep Staff and Shoppers Safe

Keeping employees and customers safe is an additional priority for retail businesses. Security and surveillance account for third-most used cases of IoT in this segment. IoT security and surveillance solutions monitor for any suspicious behavior, potential safety hazard and person of interest, sending notifications when any issue is detected.

Preventing Loss of Products

Retail businesses reportedly have an average stock reduction of 1.38% this year. Unsurprisingly, loss prevention makes up the fourth-most uses cases. It is possible for IoT to prevent loss of goods by keeping un-purchased items from going out and detecting missed products at checkout.

Reducing Energy Consumption

As retailers look to cut down energy usage expenses and reduce their total emissions, they are turning to this technology. For 40% of retail businesses, a top cause for embracing IoT is energy optimization.

What Are The Features Of IoT?

Internet Of Things
Internet Of Things Features

Internet of Things or IoT is an interrelated system of people, computing devices and digital machines which are provided unique identifiers to transfer data across networks.

IoT is used in asset management, supply chain and inventory management, data center management, fleet management, surveillance and security monitoring, mobile device management, retail, healthcare, and building management. Some of the salient features of IoT include:

Open and Independent

The Internet of things is considered to be open and independent. IoT helps its users to connect to various platforms. When you can connect to various platforms with unique identifiers, why get stuck with specific architecture, set of enterprise applications, development configurations, sensors, protocols or controllers. companies should make sure that their platforms are free from the problem of vendor lock-in.

Distributed Architecture

To understand the real value of the internet of things, you require an elastic distributed architecture that shrinks dynamically. Your platforms should have the intelligence to run in thin edge devices. They should also be able to run advanced analytics and key responses. In addition to all this, they should be able to modify and manage models, edge apps and analytics.

Market-Leading

The platform should have high recognition among top analysts and should have a lot of satisfied customers. These make them trustworthy and give confirmation that the platform has achieved real success.

Rebrandable

It is important to have a platform, which will be able to develop an app from pre-packed solutions for private instances and multi-tenants. By this, platforms will be able to offer internet of things to their customers without any interruptions.

Modular and Future-Proof

IoT platforms should be able to connect to any sensor, network, machine or device over any network. They should offer development choices that are flexible with the platform as a service (PaaS), edge, hybrid or software as a service (SaaS). The platforms should be low-code and should have solutions for API management, machine learning, portfolio management, enterprise integration, predictive analytics, and business process. Flexibility allows you to quickly update IoT and improve the scale and growth of platforms.

Strategic Partnership

Make sure that your platform provider has partnerships across hardware providers, Sls, technology providers and VARs. These partners help us to customize and build various vertical requirements.

Design-Time Tooling and Free Methodology

Access to portfolio management tools like a resource library supports processes, work packages and practices which help you to plan, manage and model your information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) assets.

What is in Store for IoT and How to Be Ready for the Future?

Because of the arrival of more and more high-end connected devices, we are on the brink of a fresh period of enterprise productivity. Experts forecast that over half of fresh businesses will operate on IoT by next year, which will make these more automated than before and will save these millions in enhanced productivity. However, with promises such as these being talked about, several managers ask: in what can the internet of things help my company work smarter?

There are many ways in which it can help accomplish your goals, but a question to ask those businesses that already use IoT is this: Are You Prepared?

What Is Going To Happen In the IoT Industry?

As per an estimate by International Data Corporation, spending on IoT will reach up to about $1.2 trillion three years from now. With that in mind, it is predicted that $6 billion or so will go to the making the internet of things solutions, including software development, system integration, device hardware, data storage, connectivity and security. Those investments are also expected to produce $13 trillion six years from today.

Right through this development phase, platforms that allow you to see incoming data, as well as to exercise the ability to manage digital technologies, will keep being the glue which holds IoT together. These platforms enable the internet of things to achieve the transformation potential of it, allowing businesses to manage their devices, analyze data and automate their workflows.

Concerns over Data Security Will Cause Regulation to Happen

There has been an increase in the number of IoT devices, and this has meant that privacy and security concerns are also increasing across the world. Last year, the EU (European Union) put GDPR into practice. General Data Protection Regulation has caused similar privacy and security initiatives in many countries. These procedures will keep helping to protect the user data and regulate the way companies and marketers can harness IoT devices as this market evolves. If you do not know, IoT is an evolving market.

5G Will Increase the Extent of Internet of Things Possibilities

With fifth-generation internet connection, the mix of responsiveness, reach and speed could just unlock the complete capabilities of growing and developing technologies. This will offer a significant boost to autonomous cars, virtual reality, drones and IoT.

The Forbes magazine predicts 5G to officially be an internet of things enabler in the years to come, which will help innovators get the tools that they require to solve previous issues and create conveniences.

Forbes noted that, “Manufacturers will [also] expand and redevelop their factories and warehouses to support 5G networking, infrastructure, and security to create new 5G products and remake and reimagine old ones.”

Because of this extent of development, you will have to make sure that your business has a solid strategy for adoption to make an internet of things ecosystem, which will work securely and efficiently.

Connected Business Intelligence Will Thrive

Of late, the process of investing money in the connecting of artificial intelligence and IoT has been considerable. Microsoft recently announced their vision for both Intelligent Edge computing and Intelligence Cloud computing. Together, these provide a comprehensive solution which will allow devices to do AI tasks locally, yet stay internet-connected for management functions and to provide real-time insights. This creates a beneficial framework for discovering solutions to daily business problems and inefficiencies.

When IoT evolves, we will likely start seeing the state of affairs for this technology develop considerably beyond conventional use cases that we see nowadays. This could mean intelligent buildings, smart cities, and intelligent task management, helping the workforce to be more productive and society be much more efficient than before. Therefore, we will keep seeing companies focus a lot more on storage requirements and safeguarding as they make good use of every benefit of IoT.

Tips to Help Make Your Business Ready For an Internet of Things Future

The future looks promising for IoT, but businesses should implement preparatory measures to make the maximum use of this technology, and remain safe in doing that. Below are some things you will have to think about when you implement IoT devices.

Appointing Specialists to Interpret Business-Related Data

IoT sensors offer a limitless flow of information, which could give businesses insights into the way to make efficiencies better. It is important to be able to convert this data into normal language to get the maximum benefits through it.

However, it is a huge task to organize large amounts of information derived out of IoT devices. Companies should have data managers and analysts on staff who are tasked with interpreting the data to respond to and take strategic calls based on that data.

Preparing for Data Storage Requirements

IoT devices often gather lots of data, so you will have to find an appropriate storage location for everything it collects. Investing in your local storage system is an option. The other option is to rely on a cloud data storage provider. The latter is likely to be a cost-effective option than the former.