Maintenance Technology April 2017 - 43

INDUSTRIAL INTERNET OF THINGS

IIoT Trends: Pilot Projects
And Silicon Valley

T

he Internet of Things (IoT) presents an
interesting picture with regard to the
consumer and industrial playing fields. One
could be described as limping, compared with
the other that's maturing fast.
Industrial manufacturing, due to a focus on equipment and networking standards for the past 20 years,
is seeing the fruits of its labors through increasing use
of predictive analytics. One trend emerging in 2017
is the implementation of smaller IIoT (Industrial
Internet of Things) pilot projects that can provide
quick results. HIROTEC, a Tier-One supplier to
global automotive companies, is an example.
Justin Hester, senior researcher in the IoT Lab for
HIROTEC Corp., Hiroshima (hirotec.co.jp, hirotecamerica.com), described his company's pilot IIoT
implementation in a Mar. 2017 National Association
Manufacturing (NAM) webinar. "Another way to look
at it is I want to crawl, walk, and then run," he said. "I
want to start visualizing data and don't even want to
do augmented reality or predictive analytics yet. That's
where I need to go, but the company can't make that
jump from no IoT solution to a full, augmented reality
and predictive analytics tomorrow."
For the SCRUM project, the automotive supplier
and machine-tool maker started with eight CNCbased machines at its Detroit facility in 2015.
The project involved the use of Kepware
KEPServerEX from PTC (Needham, MA, ptc.com)
and OPC UA network solution to move variable
CNC-machine control data to the ThingWorx (Exton,
PA, thingworx.com) IoT platform to produce realtime data analytics for executives, plant managers, and
technicians. Hester noted that the control platforms
and data types varied greatly at this business unit,
which was one of the reasons for the pilot project.
"Project flexibility is needed, especially when
we're talking about IIoT technology," stated Hester.
"If you have this long lead time with a pilot-project
implementation, you learn what matters with the
organization. If you have a long, two-year project,
you're stuck."
HIROTEC's application is quite common in
industrial manufacturing, and one of the drivers
for success is the OPC UA networking platform.
This technology allows manufacturers to hold on to
legacy equipment and use data from those machines,
something that keeps CapEx costs down.
APRIL 2017

As more interoperability data solutions mature,
Grant Gerke
Contributing Editor
the space is seeing more entrants, including, recently,
Silicon Valley-based called Element Analytics Inc.,
San Francisco (elementanalytics.com). This company
is targeting predictive analytics for the continuousprocess industries. In Jan. 2017, it formally unveiled its
Element Platform. The platform takes unstructured,
operational sensor data from production "silos" to a
cloud-based system, where asset models help predict
equipment downtime.
Utilities (specifically
wastewater operations)
represent yet another
segment that seems ripe for
IIoT applications.
According to Jim Gillespie,
co-founder of Gray Matter
Systems, Pittsburgh (graymattersystems.com), a new
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
tool called ClariFind will alert
utilities on sludge overflow
failures and also predict
thickening failures related to
effluent not settling correctly.
How do such operations pay for new sensing
HIROTEC's SCRUM pilot project began
technology, equipment,
with eight CNC-based machines at
and better communication
the company's Detroit facility.
infrastructure?
In a recent blog post on
TechCrunch (techcrunch.
com), Gillespie pointed to "utilities selling solutions
to other wastewater operations as the power industry
has done." As an example, he described how the
Washington D.C. Water and Sewer Authority recently
commercialized its intellectual property and provided
a new revenue channel in the process.
Such reports are snapshots of industrial trends in
IIoT and predictive analytics. More success stories are
coming. Maybe consumer players will take note. MT

ggerke@maintenancetechnology.com
The Internet of Things is changing the maintenance
and reliability world. Keep up to date with our
ongoing coverage of this exciting use of data and
technology at maintenancetechnology.com/iot.
MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 43


http://www.elementanalytics.com http://hirotec.co.jp http://www.tecamerica.com http://www.graymattersystems.com http://www.ptc.com http://www.thingworx.com http://www.maintenancetechnology.com/iot http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

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