We often talk about the Internet of Things (Io T), the connected home, car, even
connected cities (aka smart cities), but
it’s not very often that we dive into the
Industrial Internet of Things (IIo T)—
the technology that will transform
companies, boost economic growth, and
create a future where people, data, and
intelligent machines come together as one. A tight integration of
the physical and digital worlds, the IIo T is positioned to greatly
increase productivity, efficiency, and operations of industries
across the globe.
Combining Big Data analytics with the IoT, the opportunities
for the IIo T are limitless in a multitude of industries. Areas such
as aviation, transportation, manufacturing, power generation,
healthcare, distribution, even oil and gas, will be directly
affected. However, much like the Io T, the IIo T will face
challenges with security, data storage, system integrations, just
to name a few, that could potentially delay the move toward the
Industrial Internet future.
Though not often discussed, there are many misconceptions
between the consumer Io T and the IIo T, a major difference
being the environment. The IIo T is comprised of devices in
industrial settings, such as a factory floor, public lighting system,
within the energy grid, or part of a high-speed train system.
The requirements for the IIo T are also very different than
those set for the Io T—there is a need for constant control,
faultless security, and unshakable reliability particularly in harsh
environments (extreme heat or cold, vibrations, loud noises,
sandy and dusty areas, etc.).
As you may have noticed on the cover, our issue focus
hones in on designing for the harsh environments I previously
mentioned, this time specifically relating to a component that
is chosen very early on in the design phase—the printed circuit
board (PCB). On page 10 you’ll find our cover story, “Reducing
PCB Failure Rates Due to Vibration and Acceleration,” where
we discuss why it’s important to integrate simulation during
product development in order to reduce failures in whatever
unforgiving environment it ends up.
In the age of connected things, new challenges arise. Having a
motion detector connected wirelessly and ensuring long battery
life is the ultimate challenge for designers, but that’s not all.
Motion detectors will need to adapt to different environments
and detect more than just human motion—cue: passive infrared
(PIR) sensors. You can continue reading about PIR sensors in
our tech focus on page 14 (“Enable Machine Learning with an
Advanced Motion Detector Using PIR Sensors”).
Lastly, a major area to consider when designing for the IIo T is
computing—specifically, how to choose an industrial computing
platform. Dive in to find out how on page 18 (“How to Choose
the Right Computing Platform for IIo T”).
As you can see, the IIo T future is coming—whether it be next
year or 10 years from now, in a dusty old factory or in the lights
surrounding your parking garage. Companies and industries alike
need to be ready to make the move in order to capitalize on the
transformation and the probable economic growth. Designing
critical systems with the expected enormously high level of
reliability, especially those to be installed in harsh industrial
environments, will not be an easy feat.
Editor in Chief, ECN
Editorial Content Director, DEG
Twitter: @JanineEMoon + @ECNonline
Jeff Bader, Micron Technology
Harrison Beasley, Global Semiconductor Alliance
Carlos Castillo, Engineering Manager position,
Midmak Medical Device Division
Stacey M. DelVecchio, 2014 President, Society of Women Engineers
Tom Donofrio, Central Semiconductor Corp.
Christian Fell, FRABA Inc.
Joshua Israelsohn, JAS Technical Media
Dan Jones, Motor/Motion Controls expert
Anthony Le, Spansion
Ron Moore, Avnet Electronics Marketing
David Niewolny, Freescale Semiconductor
Robbie Paul, Digi-Key
Steve Sargeant, The Marvin Group
Aung Thet Tu, Fairchild Semiconductor
Rick Weitfeldt, Qualcomm
IIoT: Where the Physical
and Digital Worlds Collide
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