6 Challenges to Adopting Industrial IoT
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is poised to unleash a new era of productivity and efficiency for industries around the world. But before this revolutionary technology becomes a practical reality, engineers must overcome a variety of obstacles. Here are six challenges to adopting IIoT, with answers and insights from industry experts.
Security and privacy must be improved due to network vulnerabilities, cyber-crime and data breaches caused by increased connectivity and data sharing. Since IoT devices communicate automatically, privacy can become an added concern.
"NXP strongly focuses on security with two different approaches for IoT nodes: integrated IPs for MCU / MPU (adding Secure Boot, Trustzone, AES / PKI dedicated blocks) and standalone secure elements to implement strong authentication and identity."
Distribution Technical Resource Manager, NXP Semiconductors
"A big part of the industrial IoT is the need for smart sensors and security. Within the Industry 4.0 revolution, smart sensors enable flexible reconfiguration so that the factory floor can accommodate different products on a common assembly line. Such smart sensor technology, like IO Link, keeps the factory up and running 24/7/365 days per year; progressing factory automation and efficiency."
Millions of building automation devices are operating on existing networks, using a variety of wired and wireless protocols, and must be interoperable.
"Atmel is helping to drive IoT security interoperability standards by taking leadership roles in industry consortiums such as OCF (Open Connectivity Foundation), Zigbee and Thread. Our products and standardization efforts are designed to ensure security and interoperability from the edge node all the way to the cloud service provider. In addition, we are working with key OEMs in the industrial and automotive industries to achieve similar objectives within their respective existing standards."
Industrial IoT requirements are far more stringent than those for the consumer market. IoT devices often operate in high-availability, mission-critical environments, requiring resilience, industrial-grade security, control services, autonomy and scalability.
"The Fluke Connect system utilizes a cloud dashboard to reduce barriers to having real-time, meaningful data about the performance of critical systems. Handheld wireless tools require less training, cost less, and come with fewer IT and integration hurdles. Technicians can take electrical, vibration and thermal measurements, save them to the cloud, and immediately view the data side-by-side."
"A big part of the industrial IoT is the need for smart sensors. Within the Industry 4.0 revolution, smart sensors enable flexible reconfiguration so that the factory floor can accommodate different products on a common assembly line. Such smart sensor technology, like IO Link, keeping the factory up and running 24/7/365 days per year; progressing factory automation and factory efficiency."
"Keysight plays a major role in IoT and IIoT today by providing equipment and services to solve a range of design and test challenges. For IIoT, in particular in the factory floor, Keysight's In-Circuit Test products - i3070 and i1000 - have the capability to provide information pertaining to the usage status of the systems such as uptime, downtime, in operation, etc., allowing customers to calculate their machine utilization and make decisions regarding preventive maintenance schedules and investments for additional capacity. In addition, it accepts machine-to-machine commands, thus allowing customers to make adjustments to their overall line operations, allowing the process engineer to take immediate corrective and improving overall efficiency real-time. Previously, this information would reside in a MES system waiting for someone to run reports if something went wrong."
The cost of implementing an IoT infrastructure will be expensive, and obtaining ROI from such a huge investment is a major concern for most corporations.
"Balancing time to market and quality is a key concern for industrial IoT, which has lead Cypress to focus on ease of use and training to help our customers quickly and efficiently develop reliable products. As examples, Cypress’s Creator software for our PSoC programmable system-on-chip and Flexible MCUs includes sample code projects and solution demonstrations that simplify designs, while our hands-on workshops for our Bluetooth Low Energy solutions have trained thousands of engineers."
Connecting all the devices over long distances using cellular and satellite technology will be key to enabling the Industrial Internet of Things.
"At ST we realized that wireless connectivity might represent a serious hurdle for many companies with expertise in innovative analog and digital functions as the key differentiators in IoT products. Knowledge and skills in Radios and Protocols might be long or expensive to acquire. To help solve this make-or buy riddle, ST offers a range of fully certified, self-contained RF modules to simply add WiFi, Bluetooth and sub-GHz connectivity to any smart connected object."
"Wireless communication and connecting “things” is not easy and there is not one technology fitting all. TI is leveraging its large portfolio with sensor, analog, wireless connectivity, micro-controllers, processors and cloud partners to deliver an end-to-end solution. The TI SensorTag CC2650STK which can connect 10 sensors to the cloud in less than 3 minutes is a great example on how TI is enabling to connect anything, anywhere, for anyone. Powered by the TI SimpleLinkTM ultra-low power wireless MCU platform, developers can enjoy a unique pin-to-pin and SW compatibility to migrate fast from 2.GHz to Sub 1GHz and go quicker to production. "
Many industrial systems are either custom solutions or vendor-defined black boxes, which pose a challenge since the data being collected is not easily available.
"Today’s industrial IoT applications are dominated by proprietary wireless protocols. To address this need, we have taken our IoT connectivity solutions to the next level with the recent launch of our Wireless Gecko portfolio of multiprotocol SoCs providing flexible support for proprietary stacks, Bluetooth low-energy and mesh networking software (ZigBee and Thread)."
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