I was asked a question by an editor for a manufacturing magazine this past week regarding my thoughts on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). I stated that IIoT is the upcoming perfect storm of five factors in manufacturing:
- Moore's Law being applied to very small yet powerful credit card
size computers, such as the Raspberry Pi as well as a plethora of tiny
and easy to use sensors.
- Open-source prototyping platforms such as Arduino that make
it incredibly easy to program a variety of devices have created an
excitement in the industrial and commercial worlds. While Arduinos
provide excitement, there is a clear need for industrial quality
boards in manufacturing that can talk to a wide variety of IIoT devices
in a secure and reliable way.
- In the world of manufacturing, MTConnect has been the game-changing technology that has driven home the point that you cannot manage what you cannot measure. The more manufacturers monitor, the more things they want to monitor.
- Monitoring software such as our MERLIN (Memex Inc.'s award winning shop floor monitoring software) that can
speak to a wide range of devices and protocols that can provide
real-time dashboards with notification triggers and reporting to drive
down costs and drive up productivity in a secure and predictable way
will be the heart of
IIoT. No company does better in talking to the "last meter" than Memex.
- Finally, the Holy Grail of IIoT is the ability to tie all of this together by having a flexible enterprise level work flow management software that will effectively act as the 21st century version of ladder-logic that programmatically answers the question, "wouldn't it be cool if we could tie all of these devices together and ..."