Industrial Automation & IIoT – 5 Key Benefits

Industrial Automation & IIoT – 5 Key Benefits

Rising technologies and expediting innovations are invariably changing the makeover of Industrial world in one form or other. Development of IoT is considered as one such major event that has become inevitable for majority of Industries. The future of automation and manufacturing is in the hands of IoT which is the real game changer of modern day Industrial revolution. Industries are striving hard to achieve better productivity, management of processes & assets in order to lead the race of Industry 4.0. Therefore, Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) assist them in providing high speed & efficient system in running flexible production processes. This blog discusses about the impact of IoT in Industrial automation.

IoT – The key for Industrial Automation

In the era of smart manufacturing, Manufacturers & Industrialists in every sector have a significant opportunity at hand where they can not only monitor but also automate any of the complex process involved in manufacturing. While there may be systems to track progress in plant but IoT technology provides far more intricate details to managers. IIoT enables Industries to operate in a much potent way with sophisticated software tools to monitor and boost for next process iterations. The goal of sound Industrial internet strategies is to breakdown organizations process, data & automate the collection of data across operation. It provides deeper, wider, & smarter analysis of data to an enterprise.

Predictive analysis

The industry should consider & analyse multiple factors to have an effective smooth functioning . The journey from precise functioning of machines to achieving the goal of quality standards, everything needs to be analysed. IoT connects components such as machines, tools & sensors to a networks providing an easier management & access for manufacturers. This helps them detect machine degradation & predict failures without any personnel to check for machine impairment on a daily basis. The Application learns from data over time and co relates multiple KPIs to detect failure in advance.

Assets Tracking

If the manufacturers didn’t track the work in progress (WIP) right, the overall cost of production will increase. This is especially for factories that manufacture products based on their customers’ order. Real-time tracking is a great asset for enterprises as they work from remote locations. IoT assures them to easily track devices, stocks & many other resources. The IoT powered solutions like ERP system can securely track equipment & machines remotely enabling Industries to save money, reduce risks & create new revenue channels.

Better Product Quality

Any Industry can run great if their product quality is superior, enabling high sales, less wastage & boosts productivity. However a faulty machine can hinder product quality. IoT helps in calibrating, sustaining machines and ensures the better production & product quality. Any fault or change in machinery can be sensed & alerted to take immediate & appropriate actions. The product quality metrics can be co related to produced on the daily basis to estimate the exact completion time and the exact loss due to the quality issues.

Diminishing Downtime

IoT is capable of detecting machine failures & losses through sensors. Devices when connected via internet can improve overall performance & resolve problems while minimizing downtime costs. This helps in detecting glitches at the shop floor and record the data in order to avoid delays & minimize downtime.

IoT enables Industries to gain more visibility, collaboration on the three key factors of Machine, Material & Man against time and streamlines it; helping them to ease industrial race.

We create frameworks and tools for enabling Industrial automation and also complete solution for the Manufacturing execution System and related manufacturing automation.

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Building World class IoT Manager Application – Best Practices

Building World class IoT Manager Application – Best Practices

Developing an IoT Application spans across multiple technologies.  It is mandatory to ensure every component involved  is made the best.  So that every one can work together in the best possible way.  Our previous posts  design the Edge,  design the Data  and  designing the IoT agents are a few  articles targeting how you should get your edge device ready for the collaboration. This article covers the best practices for building the IoT manager application.

Technologist always view implementation in their own best known protocol.  Having said that MQTT is the most preferred protocol option of implementing the Edge device communication. . But one of the worst advice give across the web for building manager application is just subscribe to the Broker for all the topics using (#) as another MQTT client and collect data and with that do whatever you want to do.  But we need much more for building manager application. Here are the few requirements for building it.

Need for Complete data

You need the complete data to perfectly design the manager application. People often misinterpret Payload that comes in the messages as a complete data. But beyond that, you need the security keys used, the IP address, the local time of message receipt, the confirmation acknowledgement states, error packets if any, number of connections / connections and a lot more information.

State of Message Delivery

MQTT is best for communication between the Broker and edge device. But the state of delivery of the various QoS levels are limited to the Broker and the client.  The subscribers are not provided with it. This is not only applicable to MQTT, but for any protocol. The IoT manager application should be able to know the state of each message delivery for all the transaction with the edge devices seamlessly.

Security & State of Device

In any IoT Implementation, especially in Industrial ones, the uptime of the edge device is important. So monitoring the edge device for the connectivity and also generate Uptime reports for the connectivity can be done. The manager application needs the complete edge device status data for reporting. Security can be monitored closely when we have the edge device error rate, frequent change in IP or security keys used  and more with the manager.

Behind Gateways

In almost every implementation, there is going to be a gateway behind which there is going to be a lot of sensors / actuators. These edge devices needs to be managed individually by the IoT manager application. We have designed our Platform in such a way that the gateways can send a particular MQTT packet to the platform conveying the individual device details behind it. Such an information will be available only with the Broker and cannot be passed on to some other  edge device.

Mobile won’t work 100% on MQTT

The even worser part is the same advice is provided for the mobile IoT application development as well. All protocol communication except FCM push will be closed by the Mobile OS when the app goes to the background. You can use MQTT to send messages to be broker when it is not avoidable, but never listen to MQTT by keeping it alive at the background. You are going to drain a lot of battery.

How should I build IoT Application

MQTT is a great protocol for edge device communication. But not for the manager / control application. The best way to implement is to closely integrate your application with the data. In our MQTT Broker we store the data into the data store which can be queried directly by any application. We also provide an option to extend the storage, so that the developer can store it anywhere he want and REST API for integration. So choose a MQTT Broker that provides the option for data storage and you can write your application over it. You should be able to directly talk to the MQTT Broker to manage the device (not via MQTT).

If your MQTT Broker does not allow direct integration, allow the broker to store all the data into a Database and build a module that can expose all the data via REST for your further processing. REST provides all the information as available in the data store / big data storage for your processing which is mandate for building a world class IoT manager application.

Feel free to try our products from our downloads page.  Schedule a free consulting now for knowing the best practices for building your IoT Application today.