Optimizing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) isn’t just about connecting machines and collecting data, but sharing it with the right partners to deliver the best value, according to participants in the “Industrial Internet of Things” panel at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “You have to bring people in through an ecosystem – a cloud of clouds,” explained Ronald Zink, director, on-board applications at John Deere & Company, which is working with farmers and growers globally to digitalize and optimize production through IIoT.
“We’ve embraced mobile and cloud tech in a bigger way,” said Mr. Zink, who went on to explain the company’s cloud ecosystem, whereby trusted advisers share data and information, enabling a farmer to look at soil on the field, determine yield potential, and consider weather, which can impact planting and harvesting. SAP is showcasing a farming platform at its stand at Mobile World Congress this week as well.
“Working together we have more opportunities,” agreed Angel Barrio, VP, M2M Etisalat, a leading telecommunications operator in the Middle East and Africa, but he also noted the important role of standardization. “We are working with our competitors, vendors, and developers to try to standardize as soon as possible in order to spread technology all over the world.”
Mr. Christopher Ganz, group VP, service R&D at ABB, a provider of power and automation to the industry, offered insights on work ABB championed to analyze electric signals from the diesel motors on cruise ships through data collected by sensors. The data is fed to the cloud in order to optimize energy consumption while monitoring and predicting repairs. According to Mr. Ganz, “we can move basic service data into the cloud and derive more information to optimize customer maintenance and operations. Then data can provide more value.”
Mats Myrberg, senior director, business development, IoT & research at Microsoft, presented a case study on monitoring a 150-year old elevator from the cloud. In his view, machine learning is the future of the cloud. Microsoft’s technology enables the elevator company to benefit from algorithms that predict when a machine is going to break down so that parts are shipped before it breaks.
“This is the third wave of Internet, some say,” he noted. “Industries that haven’t adopted Internet technology are now adopting and transforming.”