The IIOT and Plant Operations

I fully get the idea of IIOT in the sense of historian or asset management (maintenance specifically) applications.  There is no question of the need for monitoring a lot of data in process industries and if you need to connect with all possible sensors on a machine tool, there could be some interesting applications.  My limitation is imagining the true effect on the typical plant environment.

It seems to me the most obvious point of disinformation or information gaps today is between the existing applications in nearly every enterprise as they affect the plant floor or value chain.   The improvement of end user information is not likely to have much effect on the three day production schedule of an automotive plant.  Another issue in this value chain is the ability to better share product data (PLM), again not an IIOT question.

The Internet of Things seems to me to be a great step in increasing information availability but the direct impact on the plant production environment seems minimal compared to some other objectives such as:

  • Separate data from the application and invert the historical manufacturing paradigm by bringing the data to the application instead of the application to the data.
  • Provide actionable data, trust and visibility across the supply/value chain.
  • Orchestration of standardized decision workflows based on structured adaption and autonomy.
  • Deploy applications that can share data, data that can share applications and applications that can connect to applications to achieve horizontal enterprise views and actions.
  • Build applications that cross different time constraints and seams, including the supply/value chain.
  • Provide applications that do not lose control of state.
  • Provide an enterprise level platform to manage and support applications/processes that can be company-wide standards yet specific to the existing local plant information system infrastructure.
  • Deliver information tools that can differentiate company performance and provide a competitive advantage through operational and information management techniques.
  • Deploy evolvable and plainly easy to understand applications/processes.
  • Develop Information management concepts that allow operational processes to be company owned intellectual property.
  • Support an information management infrastructure that is easier to manage, less costly and more supportive of users.

For me, I am still looking for the IIOT application impact.  I know they will become obvious but I guess I need some new and different examples for input.