Archives : engineering

  • IIoT-Industrial Internet of Things

    IIoT-What it Is and Does

    IIoT is a term that isn’t even remotely new but many people haven’t heard it. While IoT is a network of intelligent machines, devices and items that share data, IIoT takes it a step further.

    IoT shares data to a cloud base where it is then shared with end users in a way that makes it helpful This allows them to better their bottom line and speed the work. Industry 4.0 is changing all that we do in factories, making the process faster, cleaner and safer.

    Using IoT in manufacturing is called IIoT or to use another term for it. Industry 4.0. It is changing the way that factories work and that companies create goods. IIoT is making life easier by increasing the amount of automation that we use in schools in factories and in homes.

    Many companies have begun to leverage the power of IIoT by using connected and intelligent learning machines or devices in their factories and manufacturing methods.

    IIoT can vastly improve the efficiency, increase the time savings, improve scalability and connectivity of course and cut the costs of nearly every type of manufacturing in existence today. It does so by the use of predictive maintenance and improved safety in the plants as well as offering more efficient operations. The data that it provides offers us a more accurate view of what is happening and even what may happen in the future, preventing lost time due to down machine times.

    The major stumbling block seems to be the problems with security that IoT and IIoT have seen in the recent past. One of the largest breaches and DDos attacks in history came into play due to IoT connections. Technology writer Margaret Rouse observed recently, “A major concern surrounding the Industrial IoT is interoperability between devices and machines that use different protocols and have different architectures.”

    Companies are concerned, and rightly so, about their security and operational issues. With so many sensors and smart connected devices being used together there has been a massive explosion in vulnerabilities in security for most companies which use IIoT.

    With IIoT being one of the primary trends that are shaping the new industrial revolution, ensuring security is of paramount importance. How do you see our ability accomplish that improving. What will do the job for us?

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    What the Heck is a Co-bot?

    The bogeyman of manufacturing is automation & robotics. You either love them or you really hate them. About half of the manufacturing employees in the world have heard how robots are going to take over the business and they will be out of a job. Nothing could be further from the truth. While some very dangerous or very difficult jobs may be taken over by robotics, for the most part the use of robotics in manufacturing is taking place alongside and with the help of their flesh & blood counterparts.

    Those interactions with co-bots, or robots working in cooperation with humanity, are providing some of the biggest improvements in manufacturing that we’ve seen in decades.

    Co-bots got their start about 20 years ago but they have only been commercially available for about 10 years.  They were invented originally in the 90s and some of the grants that went into researching them came from giant motor companies such as General Motors. They wanted robots that would work in collaboration with humans, helping them with lifting and other things.

    In the latter part of 1996, two people at Northwestern University came up with the cobots of today. GM called them IAD or intelligent Assist Device, but the Cobot term stuck and was more rapidly accepted.

    What are the Benefits of Co-bots?

    It’s a whole new world so far as the competition in manufacturing. With AI and Machine learning and many other things, falling behind your competition simply isn’t an option. It’s the fast and easy way to be out of business. Co-bots can help you to do more and do it more quickly. Simply stated they are the way to get ahead of the competition and stay there.

    They are suitable for small to midscale production and they offer you a far improved return on your initial investment. Co-bots also offer you a much safer work environment because they can do much of the difficult and dangerous work that you require completed.

    The other added benefit of co-bots is they still require engineering and tech support.  Many engineering jobs that seemed obsolete are now back in play so don’t neglect hardware engineering specialization. It’s back in vogue.

    Co-bots, no matter how you slice it, are the wave of the future. Companies need to take a hard look at what they have to offer. In manufacturing as in any other technology driven arena… you either ride the wave, or you sink.

    James Kemper is the president of W. H. Meanor & Associates, an executive placement & training company specializing in engineering & manufacturing careers.  Register to receive regular blog posts and industry specific articles at: http://eepurl.com/dtKsDL or visit at www.whmeanor.com

     

     

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