IIoT Webcast Series 2016, Part Two: Information Management for IIoT: Your questions answered

More answers about information management for IIoT, the topic of a June 2, are provided by speaker Sal Spada. Topics include single-phase circuits and power generation.

By Sal Spada June 3, 2016

Modern manufacturing plants collect enormous amounts of information each day. The difficult part has been managing that information flow, and more importantly, making better use of that information flow to affect change within the plant. The promise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the ability to use modern data management and storage tools to deliver actionable data to workers at all levels of the plant when they need it. Those answering questions below are:

Sal Spada, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group.

Additional answers from Spada follow below, related to using information management for the IIoT.

Question: Where should I start with IIoT?

Sal Spada: The answer really depends on whether you design and product machinery or you are a manufacturer. For the machine builder the opportunity is in providing the aftermarket services. So it is critical to develop the secure connection to the machine so that customers are not concerned with security of their plant. For the manufacturer, the starting point is also securing the plant. The benefits of IIoT are only available if the plant equipment secure. The point is that you will be moving large volumes of data to the Cloud for analysis, which needs to be moved securely.

Question: How will the IIoT impact the oil & gas industry?

Spada: IIoT promises to raise the availability of equipment in the field by incorporating predictive maintenance into most operator’s business practices. Today, most operators use scheduled maintenance practices. Implementations of IIoT are now targeting the predictive maintenance side because they have the compute power in the cloud to perform the analytics. In the O&G industry there are an enormous number of large motors, which would be one of the first target applications for leveraging IIoT.

Question: How will the IoT interact with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems? What are the challenges there?

Spada: SCADA systems could be incorporated as a potential gateway for data storage before it is moved to the cloud. The concept of gateways with edge analytics is now becoming a mainstream technology. It may be a natural evolution for a SCADA system to perform localized analytics.

Question: You mentioned maintenance and moving from reactive to predictive to preventive. How will IIoT help that transition?

Spada: One of the biggest challenges in predictive maintenance is the limited amount of compute power available on the equipment or machinery. IIoT ecosystems will leverage cloud computing infrastructure to analyze data streams from machinery. Furthermore, the same machinery being utilized in other plants will be used for comparisons. A larger database of information from a broader range of equipment will give machine builders better models of their machines, thereby being able to predict potential failures.

Question: Where are the dangers in sharing information in the cloud? Is it security, the potential loss of intellectual property, or are there other areas of security manufacturers should be concerned about?

Spada: Most companies I speak to are concerned with losing intellectual property. Production methods are a competitive advantage and the risk of exposing production processes is one of the biggest concerns.

Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

ONLINE extra

Watch the related webcast "Industrial Internet of Things Webcast Series 2016, Part Two: Information Management for IIoT" to learn more about this topic. 

Original content can be found at Oil and Gas Engineering.