IIoT integrators set to transform the manufacturing industry

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With Gartner predicting that there will be 21 billion connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices by as early as 2020 - many of which will be cross-industry devices incorporating lighting, HVAC and building management systems - a recent Automation World article explored how this will impact the manufacturing industry.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in particular has many benefits for manufacturing enterprises, from predictive maintenance to energy management and operational efficiency – all of which can significantly reduce costs.
However, as the article points out, in order for the industry to realise these benefits, manufacturers need to embrace change. And this shift towards IIoT starts not with the IT team or the automation suppliers, or even the IoT vendors – but with the system integrators.
Existing integrators used to install automation and industrial control systems (ICS) are not geared up for IIoT technology, and there seems to be a disconnect between them and their end users.
At the CSIA Executive Conference, held earlier this year, one system integrator admitted that the integrator community needs to re-consider what they can do for customers to assist IIoT initiatives. Rather than just focusing on automation expertise, they should also be making more efforts to embrace IIoT – but, like their customers, they remain cautious.
This hesitancy paves the way for a new type of integrator – those specialising in smart devices in the commercial and residential sectors, and that are ready to enter the manufacturing world.
One example of such a company is CytexOne, which originally launched as an IT-managed service provider. Having branched out into 'smart home' technology and then smart commercial buildings, it recently announced a new industrial manufacturing practice.
As CEO and co-founder of the company – Dan Levine – explains, "most integrators have been doing what they do for 30 years and know everything. But they don't know networking and TCP/IP. So it is a big scary world that is coming in and they don't see the benefit."
He expressed his shock that the technology hadn't already been deployed on a wide scale, adding: "To us, it's just another data point. And when you start making the technology work together, the data you collect becomes more valuable."
To begin with, CytexOne will control the building environment, collecting information and providing a remote monitoring and management service. As its IIoT offerings catch on and the digital transformation takes over the plant floor, CytexOne will be able to work with automation suppliers and industrial control system integrators, too – that is, if they are ready and willing.
Here at KONsys International we are always looking for new System Integrator Partners for Smart Buildings and Industrial production plants.
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