Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Mobile IoT, Machine Learning

@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

Manufacturing a Digital Future | @ThingsExpo #IoT #IIoT #M2M #Sensors #MachineLearning

Avoiding the roadblocks on the way to IIoT

Manufacturing a Digital Future

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects the entire manufacturing enterprise - from acquiring components to manufacturing, storage and delivery - in short delivering an enterprise-wide, holistic view of the entire work flow. But traditional networks present a significant roadblock to deployments in smart factories and connected plants. This article discusses two fundamental building blocks required to start building smart digital manufacturing: industrial-grade hardened network and real-time alarm and notification system.

When we talk about smart manufacturing, we are really talking about leveraging IIoT to create a complete digital environment that gathers, exchanges, collates and enables the analysis of real-time data - from the factory floor, to the back office and right along the supply chain. Not only will this allow manufacturing and industrial processes to become more automated, but it will enable management systems to produce actionable insights across the entire enterprise, resulting in better and faster decision making.

It's the network, stupid!
IIoT is not a single technology: it is a whole raft of new generation technologies - sensors, new applications, machine-to-machine interfacing, machine learning, predictive analytics, geo-location, wearables and augmented reality. The network infrastructure is what brings all these technologies and solutions together - without it, you have disparate collections of smart technologies never achieving their potential.

In the manufacturing and industrial sectors there are specific network requirements that you just wouldn't need in an office or retail environment - so should the networks be the same? The answer, of course, is no.

The hardened network
Unreliable connectivity on LAN or WLAN can be a disaster for the highly automated processes in today's production lines. Even minimal network disruption caused by inefficient data transfer, bottlenecking or data loss can have ramifications along the entire production chain. And not only does patchy wireless connectivity mean mobile assets and workers can't operate efficiently, it can also be a serious safety risk.

Bringing together controllers, sensors, IP-Video and wireless-enabled assets on busy manufacturing floors or industrial sites requires a network backbone that can maintain its reliability and quality of service in the face of the heat, dust, electromagnetic interference and vibrations caused by machinery and heavy vehicles. This is why a hardened network based on rugged components is vital to ensuring a reliable and secure manufacturing network, while being able to easily expand the network to incorporate new assets and technologies as they become available.

Built to last - the network requirements
How do you build a hardened network to support connected plants and factories? First, the switches, access points and routers need to be able to offer the same level of capability as you would find in any other advanced network - embedded security, dynamic network performance tuning for real time application delivery and reliable broadband IP connectivity. But this needs to be built using network hardware with industrial grade form-factors, hardened to operate in more extreme conditions.

Fair-weather switches not good enough
Outside of the protected and climate controlled data centers, the campus network needs to be able to handle a much wider range of conditions. Hardened industrial-grade switches, which can operate in environments ranging from -40°C to +75°C, are a crucial element in a network subjected to continuous or fluctuating extreme temperatures. Non-hardened switches in the plant or at remote locations could severely limit the reliability and lifecycle of the equipment, putting operations at risk.

Temperature is not the only factor that can impact the network at the hardware level. Humidity levels or the airborne particles in dust need to be protected against, and that's where the convection cooled fan-less switch models can offer greater reliability and a longer lifecycle. Hardened switches are also designed to withstand the greater shocks and vibrations caused by heavy machinery and vehicles as well as greater EMI/EMC variance.

Safety first, during and last - there's now an app for that
Safety and security isn't an afterthought in the manufacturing world, so it shouldn't be when laying the network foundations of the connected factory. Gone are the days when the only alarm system available would sound across the factory floor and everyone downed tools and made for the exit. Modern manufacturing with real-time data communication needs - and indeed can have - a centralized alarm and notification platform that pushes out notifications that are accessible from apps on smart devices, as well as fixed telephony and computer stations.

Safety is paramount. Automatic alarms and emergency notifications should be added to the network and are critical to alerting supervisors to fires or employee injury. A network that can collect and aggregate alarms from different subsystems to a centralized platform can provide the responsiveness a 'smart factory' demands.

A universal notification service will provide the right alerts to the right people, at the right time, enabling them to respond quickly and appropriately to a given situation. These can also integrate into other safety and security systems such as CCTV and Building Management Systems to ensure fire detection, video and surveillance, intrusion detection can be easily managed through a single - and reliable - solution.

As well as emergency and safety notifications, engineering alerts can be directed straight to the right engineers. Notifications can be in the form of audio and text notifications, be routed to DECT/Wifi handsets, or sent directly to smart devices via an app, email or SMS - providing the flexibility needed across the full range of manufacturing and industrial settings.

Made to measure - choosing the right network for the connected factory
The Industrial Internet of Things is growing. Before you can even start to think about what new technologies and services to introduce, you need to ensure that you have the network in place to deal with the stresses and strains of the production environment - this means building an industrial-grade hardened Ethernet and a comprehensive notification system to keep the manufacturing environment safe for the employees.

More Stories By Heitor Faroni

Heitor Faroni, as Director of Solutions Marketing, is responsible for the strategy, messaging, go-to-market and business development of network solutions at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Prior to this he created the Enterprise NA Bids and Proposal team. Previous to Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, he held the positions of Director of Strategic Initiatives and Vice President of Products Sales at Verso Technologies. At Clarent Corporation and ACT Networks Heitor held the position of Director of Sales Engineering for Latin America.

Heitor has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in both enterprise and carriers markets. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the Brazilian University of Campinas (UNICAMP).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant th...
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
What is the best strategy for selecting the right offshore company for your business? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, will discuss the things to look for - positive and negative - in evaluating your options. He will also discuss how to maximize productivity with your offshore developers. Before you start your search, clearly understand your business needs and how that impacts software choices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.