According to Wikipedia, “The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or things embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.”
Things in the IoT may refer to a large variety of devices from heart monitoring implants to automobiles with built-in sensors.
In 1999, the term was first recognized by Kevin Ashton, a British creative thinker. IoT is expected to present advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services beyond machine-to-machine communications and cover a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects) is anticipated to bring automation in almost all fields, while enabling advanced applications like a Smart Grid as well. A smart grid is a modernized electrical grid using analog or digital information and communications technology to gather then act upon information. A Smart Object enhances the interaction with not only people but with other Smart Objects. Smart Object can refer to interaction with physical world objects or to interaction with virtual (computing environment) objects.
The basic idea of the IoT is to have everything connected to a network, enabling information from all of these connected “things” to be stored, transferred, analyzed and used in new and, usually automated, ways via network connections.
The IoT is changing manufacturing, making factories and plants connected to the Internet more efficient, productive and smarter than their competitors that are not connected. In today’s marketplace, companies must increasingly do whatever is necessary to survive. Yet only approximately ten percent of industrial businesses are taking advantage of connectivity.
Industry attempting to accelerate product and service modernism and efficiently meet the increasing diversity of customer demand and regulation are more often turning to embedded software, sensors, and processors.
Also, manufacturers are now looking to higher-level decision-making by connecting all these devices to manufacturing execution systems (MES) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for multiple plant connectivity from the device to the enterprise level.
Rather than having one part of a plant communicating with another, the new object is how one plant can talk to another plant. Therefore, the use of devices on Ethernet in the manufacturing sector is quickly growing. The goal is to have data available across the enterprise.
Experts are predicting that there will be as many as 50 billion “things” connected to the Internet by the end of this decade. This means a four-fold increase in only six years.
Are You IoT-Ready?
To win in the Internet of Things world, companies must first realize the transformative influence of the IoT, then ACT. Industrial operations must be prepared to collect, analyze and capitalize on the information generated by customers, suppliers and the products themselves and be ready to recognize and evaluate new business prospects the product-generated data reveals.
Industrial operations must be prepared to collect, analyze and capitalize on the information generated by customers, suppliers and the products themselves and be ready to recognize and evaluate new business prospects the product-generated data reveals.