‘Industry 4.0’ and the next wave of embedded machines

Each year, billions of dollars are spent connecting industrial machines, automating manufacturing operations and coordinating these often disparate automation systems. But connecting these machines to the Internet of Things gives them the ability to join an intelligent network that can help reduce the significant costs associated with automation.

Connection to the IoT also means that industrial machines immediately can transmit essential operating data — including energy consumption and status. This adds a continuous stream of useful data for plant managers and industrial engineers that can be mined across a facility’s machines to detect key trends and worrisome failures. In other words, vital micro machine data gets aggregated into a valuable macro view of a facility.

I think of IoT in industry as plug-and-play meets industrial machines. When a new piece of equipment is installed, it presents itself to the control system along with its operational constraints and energy profiles. The control system then can incorporate these to form a control strategy for that machine. As a result, the machine becomes part of an intelligent, machine-led optimization engine, where resource availability, product demand and energy costs are weighed to provide the best production schedule and negotiate the price of the product. … (Read more)

Source: GreenBiz.com