I don’t know where I heard it, but the expression, “Data is plentiful, but expertise is in short supply…”, rings true. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensors enable more continuous measurements to made than was possible in a wired-only world.
In a Flow Control article, An Effective IIoT Entry Point is through Software Applications, Emerson’s Ron Fleissman describes how operational analytics in built-for-purpose applications can turn this data into actionable information to improve performance.
Ron opens highlight concerns around IIoT, which:
…include the security of the data gathered and where it will be stored, the cost of retrofitting existing equipment and the reliable functionality of the software.
Another challenge is in implementation.
And while the idea of going digital makes for a nice boardroom presentation, the reality is, in most scenarios, upgrading to an integrated and connected plant takes a considerable investment, re-engineering of the plant layout and upgrades to IT and equipment.
With the loss of expertise through retirement affecting many regions around the globe, digitalization is needed to help offset this trend.
Not only because of the digital background of the younger generation of workers, but also because not all the jobs left by the older generation will be backfilled, meaning there will be more work to do for fewer people. To meet the needs of the workload and to ensure the safety and productivity of the plant, new systems need to be put in place.
Ron highlights technology that can help with IIoT security.
A surprisingly simple solution to mitigating that risk is the use of devices with data diodes that establish a unidirectional security gateway. Combining this with appropriate protocol translations constructs simple systems that allow for the highly secure transfer of data from gateways that talk directly to sensors, such as WirelessHART gateways found on many of today’s newer flowmeter transmitters.
Operational analytics in built-for-purpose applications, such as those found in Plantweb Insight applications, can provide actionable information like:
- The health of the meters
- How much is flowing through each meter
- Which meters are not performing within set parameters
- An alert that warns of critical issues requiring immediate attention
Read the article for more on these applications, the benefits derived in a connected plant, and how this technology combined with collaborative work processes can drive safety, reliability, production, and energy consumption improvements.
Visit the Plantweb digital ecosystem section on Emerson.com for more on these technologies and solutions. You can also connect and interact with other IIoT and digital transformation experts in the IIoT & Digital Transformation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.