Industrial Internet of things

Embrace the IoT and rise to the challenge of the smart city and Industry 4.0!

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IoT and Industrial IoT solutions allow the rethinking of traditional architectures and provide new ways of acquiring and harnessing data. Easier to deploy, less expensive and able to communicate over very long distances, they are revolutionizing how we collect information.

IoT and Industrial IoT solutions allow the rethinking of traditional architectures and provide new ways of acquiring and harnessing data. Easier to deploy, less expensive and able to communicate over very long distances, they are revolutionizing how we collect information.

The Internet of things consists of three main components: objects, networks and platforms. Objects capture information directly on the ground. Built using specific infrastructure, networks transmit the captured data to an analysis platform. This can take place over very long distances of up to several kilometers. Platforms can be either cloud-based or local (“on premise”) and are used to decode messages and centralize data for further use.






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From things to a platform

A connected object usually has its own power supply and transmits the locally acquired information it has. It has its own representation in IoT architecture. Its physical existence is thus literally digitized within the device management platform. This principle can be extended much more widely by using the IoT as a machine to digitize a physical context, up to the scale of an entire plant.

Of course, conventional SCADA tools can already monitor and control any type of management, production or processing procedure. This phenomenon is known as automation and these technologies have been around for several decades. However, they are still expensive to implement as the acquisition, communication and use of data requires infrastructure that is costly to deploy and maintain. They have not therefore been widely used beyond simple process management. However, with the advent of the IoT and LPWAN, the costs of deployment within a plant, data transmission and processing have been drastically reduced. As there is no longer any need to lay cables throughout an entire facility, the principle of monitoring and SCADA control can now be much more widely implemented.

The next challenge lies not in the acquisition of data but in its application. Big data, deep learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) are the next phases in digital transformation. Digital SCADA platforms will therefore play a central role in the coming revolution.

OT/IT convergence

There are many SCADA solutions devoted to automation (this is OT: operational technology), and lots of products from the world of information technology (IT) dedicated to IoT. Few of them, however, support native convergence of both worlds. Codra is proud to be a pioneer in this area, offering OT/IT convergence already built into its Panorama SCADA platform.

In practical terms, this is modeled through interoperability of the communications equipment both within the automation ecosystem itself, as well as between the enterprise information system and industrial information system. Interoperability also extends to the processing systems, the Panorama platform being both standalone and secure and also open to third-party applications. This approach allows you to establish a powerful digital backbone within your plants and across installations, capable of converging the best of OT and IT technologies within a single application.

The IoT component has been built into our SCADA platform at different levels. Firstly, through integration of the client & server MQTT protocol (known as an MQTT broker), and through integration of connectors directly linking to the cloud back offices of the main LPWAN network operators, based on SIGFOX and LoRaWAN technologies. We are also researching the integration of other technologies over the longer term. In the case of LoRaWAN technology, the LPWAN network can also be as a private network.

The native interconnections developed in the Panorama platform allow for administration of the objects (commissioning / decommissioning) as well as data processing and analysis.  The data received (P-Load) can be plain text or encrypted. This enables local decoding of messages for greater security. In all scenarios, the data collected can be correlated and contextualized with the advanced analysis functions of an industrial SCADA tool.

This OT/IT convergence, achieved through the interoperability of platforms and communications equipment, allows companies to develop new services to increase their competitiveness and address new markets. In the industrial sector, it is now increasingly common to buy a utilization rate rather than the machine itself. The hyperconnectivity of the machine allows the designer to guarantee availability rates. These developments also have an impact on preventive maintenance. This shift of the economic model has already been introduced in the aerospace sector for certain aircraft engines. In the future, this “servicialization” may extend to vehicles of all types… and why not even to coffee machines?


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