IoT meets Industry (Part 3)
Following on from the previous two blogs in this series, you won’t be surprised to hear that at Senseye, were developing a product to make a more accessible predictive maintenance solution that can scale with the Industrial IoT. We want to deliver the benefits to organisations that have previously considered machine prognostics as unaffordable or too difficult to implement and work with.
It’s certainly a challenge – not just the application of cutting edge technologies – but the barriers that need to be overcome as the industry evolves and embraces IoT. Security is a key one although while the technology largely exists to deal with it, the commercial and political obstacles remain. So what do you do about that? Cultural challenges are also evident as maintenance teams, familiar with their reactive approaches to dealing with breakdowns, resist improvements which would ultimately lead to a streamlining in maintenance staff numbers.
However, there are three further areas that we are closely tracking that have more far reaching consequences beyond our own product. Firstly, the need for edge (or fog, as Cisco prefers to call it) devices to which some of the data pre-processing tasks can be offloaded to. It’s simply not feasible to send potentially vast quantities of raw data to the Cloud every second – especially in remote environments that rely on mobile connectivity. We’re seeing an increasing level of activity in this space – especially from innovative start-ups.
Secondly, sensor and node costs must continue to drop dramatically. In the industrial space where high quality accelerometers are needed, these are still in the thousands of dollars (per device!) which is a significant barrier to any firm, not just smaller ones. If the IoT is to become as pervasive as the hype has led us to believe, these need to come in at well below $100.
And thirdly, the almost complete lack of interoperability standards and protocols is once again creating proprietary silos and fiefdoms – the very thing that the IoT is supposed to be breaking down. This lack of compatibility stretches across the technology stack, from communications to application metadata. Some initiatives, like Hypercat, while potentially promising aren’t yet being adopted at a scale or rate to achieve critical mass.
It’s certainly a fascinating and dynamic time to be involved inside what can only be described as the IoT bubble. I am in no doubt that we as a company will need to bend and weave as it all evolves.
We’re currently running free trials of our solution for select facilities so give me a shout if you’d like to be considered.