INDUSTRIAL IOT

REPLY: The Internet of Things, Together With the Evolution of 5G and Edge Computing, Is Driving Industrial Innovation

Reply | September 02, 2021

Reply’s latest research “Industrial IoT: A Reality Check” explores two key areas that are driving the growth of IoT within the industrial market: smart factory and smart transport & logistics. By connecting machinery and tools, the Industrial IoT (IIoT) enables manufacturing companies to improve the visibility of their production in real time. The huge amount of data generated by Industrial IoT devices constitutes the fuel for optimising production, improving the delivery quality, introducing predictive maintenance, automating the supply chain and much more.

“Without the Industrial IoT, Industry 4.0 cannot exist. Data are the fuel for all “smart” use cases in the industrial world; Industrial IoT is the crucial element that guarantees the infrastructure to collect data, to send them to the cloud and to manage the feedback post-analysis, all as part of a virtuous circle of benefits to business”, explains Filippo Rizzante, Reply CTO.

Market growth

The research, carried out thanks to the data collected with the use of the proprietary Trend Sonar platform and the support provided by the Teknowlogy Group, also examines the main markets for smart factories and smart transport & logistics, grouped into two clusters: “Europe-5” (Germany, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands) and “Big-5” (the USA, China, India, Brazil and the UK).

Despite the though economic climate of 2020, both clusters saw a small growth in investments in smart factories, as well as in the smart transport & logistics area, while further and much more significant growth is expected by 2025. Overall, the smart factory market of the “Big-5” cluster, led by the US, is expected to exceed €86 billion by 2025, with strong investments in platforms, predictive solutions and remote monitoring. The smart transport & logistics market is set to exceed €15 billion. In the “Europe-5” cluster, on the other hand, the smart factory market is expected to nearly triple in all countries, reaching a total of over €23 billion in the five countries in question, with Germany in the lead. Platforms are set to experience exponential growth and businesses will invest to manage quality better and to reduce costs. Germany will also remain the leader in the smart transport & logistics area, but the other countries in the cluster will still see significant growth. This Cluster is expected to reach a total value of €3.6 billion in 2025.

The drive of 5G and edge computing

The adoption of low-cost sensors and 5G networks, driven by large investments by Telcos, will further improve the diffusion of Industrial IoT. For example, improved communication between autonomous vehicles/robots, artificial intelligence and machinery, combined with increased computing power and very low latency, is expected to improve not only the efficiency of plants, but also their safety. Moreover, the ability to create high-density private networks will enable a wider deployment of the Industrial IoT, as well as the connection of a significant number of sensors, machinery, vehicles and robots, complemented by a greater use of augmented and virtual reality to support “connected workers”.

Cybersecurity is a crucial factor

The constant growth of connected devices and their heterogeneity requires bold security management of the setup and maintenance policy of both devices and networks. Based on its experience, Reply believes that organisations need to adopt micro-segmented environments (on-premises and/or cloud-based), which are stable and ready to react to both traditional and new dangerous technologies and techniques, thus reducing the probability that new types of attacks will be successful. The analysis of IoT architecture, of industrial components and of entire infrastructures will help companies to eliminate existing gaps, vulnerabilities and threats in advance. But this is much more than merely a technological issue: training programmes aimed at employees, together with the study and continuous testing of all devices used will also be crucial.

From factories to consumers

If, in recent years, Industrial Internet of Things technologies have been adopted and used, above all, to improve the efficiency of factories and logistics centres, during the pandemic, new investments have been directed primarily towards improving worker safety. The long-term trend, however, is expected to directly involve final consumers. The success of so-called “connected products” is, in fact, accelerating investments towards solutions in which the collection and processing of usage data does not only involve production machinery, but also the use of finished products. The redesign of design, production and distribution processes of IoT-connected products is enabling the creation of value-added services and facilitating the ability to remotely update and maintain household appliances, cars, robots, electronics and entertainment devices.

About Reply
Reply specialises in the design and implementation of solutions based on the new communication channels and digital media. Through its network of highly specialised companies, Reply partners with major European corporations in the telecoms and media, industry and services, banking and insurance and public administration sectors, to devise and develop business models built on the new paradigms of artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, digital media and the Internet of Things. Reply’s services include: Consulting, Systems Integration and Digital Services. www.reply.com

Spotlight

At the network level, Telit has recognized that customers’ data can traverse different entities which will only increase customers’ exposure to threats due to the different levels of security that are involved. IoT solutions that employ Telit’s services can detect threats on cellular networks in real time. In addition, Telit has developed specialized APNs that ensure segregation between different customers when things are connected to a cellular network. The connection between the cellular provider and the cloud provider is secured by employing VPNs. Despite using high-end technologies, cellular networks open the door to a host of attacks like: SMS-Spoofing, DNS Poisoning or Denial of Service. They are not like traditional cyber-attacks. Telit’s deviceWISE Shield service can block and report the nature of the attack as well as the module identity and its location. In turn, these events are analyzed and relevant information displayed or pushed as an alert to the customer. The following screen shows how the alerts are received.


Other News
INDUSTRIAL IOT

Quectel Launches Connectivity-as-a-Service and Integrated SIM to Simplify IoT Deployments in Asia Pacific

Quectel | June 29, 2022

Quectel Wireless Solutions, a global IoT solutions provider, is continuing to build on the successful EMEA roll-out of its Connectivity-as-a-Service (CaaS) and is now launching global connectivity sales in the Asia Pacific region. This new launch complements Quectel’s heritage of providing innovative modules and antennas to support cellular applications and allows customers to simplify their edge-based deployments by purchasing SIM cards and connectivity management alongside modules, antennas and design services. Adding connectivity broadens the Company’s portfolio and helps its customers to simplify the journey of designing, building, connecting and commercializing their IoT offerings. Quectel connectivity is available now in more than 190 countries via over 500 network operators, and currently provides 2G, 3G, 4G, NB-IoT and Cat-M connections. Connectivity from Quectel is available to the whole market and will particularly benefit deployments that can realize accelerated time-to-market and optimized business efficiencies from using a single supplier for module, antenna and connectivity. Embedded and integrated SIM (eSIM and iSIM) offerings are now entering mainstream adoption, and Quectel has recently launched the new BG773A-GL ultra-compact LTE Cat M1, NB1 and NB2 module which offers integrated SIM (iSIM) support. The iSIM capability of this new module provides huge flexibility and simplicity for integrators and IoT service providers, simplifying customer deployments which previously would have needed to have a local-market traditional SIM card installed and managed. With an eSIM or iSIM enabled module plus Quectel connectivity, the module, once powered up, will attach to the best available network. “Quectel connectivity is built on the backbone of service, quality and reliability, backed by Tier 1 providers and robust service level agreements (SLAs),” said Richard Hart, the Director of Global Connectivity at Quectel. “Our focus is on providing commercial flexibility for our customers to ensure they receive high quality connectivity that enables their IoT solutions regardless of where they are located in the world. Using self-optimizing tariffs, we can minimize the risk of additional charges when issues such as over-the-air (OTA) software updates utilize extra bandwidth and therefore prevent bill shock.” Alongside its long-standing global expertise in modules and antennas, Quectel also has significant experience in connectivity, having developed its QuecConnectivity platform that already manages more than 30 million SIMs in Asia. “Our module and antenna offering can now be combined with Connectivity-as-a-Service providing customers a single point of entry to Quectel’s full portfolio of products and services,” said Michael Wallon, VP Sales, APAC & ANZ. “By adding connectivity to our capabilities, Quectel is reducing complexity for our customers by simplifying and accelerating IoT device deployment, Quectel is committed to innovation that drives benefits for customers in the IoT industry, and our connectivity launch in the Asia Pacific region is another milestone in that journey. Quectel has helped IoT companies build a smarter world for more than a decade, now we will also connect a smarter world.” Patrick Qian, the Chief Executive Officer of Quectel About Quectel Quectel’s passion for a smarter world drives us to accelerate IoT innovation. A highly customer-centric organization, we are a global IoT solutions provider backed by outstanding support and services. Our growing global team of over 4,000 professionals sets the pace for innovation in cellular, GNSS and WiFi/BT modules, antennas and IoT connectivity. Listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (603236.SS), our international leadership is devoted to advancing IoT across the globe.

Read More

THEORY AND STRATEGY

Versatile Chooses Elevāt Machine Connect to Provide Advanced Agricultural Mobile Machine IoT Solution

VERSATILE | May 25, 2022

Today, Elevāt, a leading global IoT connected machines SaaS innovator, announced that Versatile, a division of Buhler Industries, Inc. (TSX: BUI), deployed the Elevāt Machine Connect platform across its entire tractor line for Model Year 2022. Since starting tractor production in 1966, Versatile has remained a leader for articulating four-wheel drive tractors. We manufacture all our tractors in our factory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As the only Canadian agricultural tractor manufacturer, we pride ourselves on our leadership in manufacturing, assembly, and research and development," says Erron Leafloor, Versatile. "When we decided to integrate IoT telematics software, sensors, and gateways into our tractors, we wanted to ensure the solution we implemented provided a seamless experience for our entire dealer network and our customers. We chose to work with Elevāt because of their willingness and ability to tailor their solution and the portal to our unique requirements. We have just begun to deploy the CBX system by Elevāt in our tractors; our dealers and end users are already excited about the benefits," continues Leafloor. The team at Versatile came to Elevāt looking for a solution that would support remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance and deliver capabilities like over-the-air (OTA) updates, geofencing and geotracking, and proactive telematics reports. Also, advanced features like virtual technician support and command and control supported Versatile's dedication to advanced innovation. They also wanted a fully white-labeled portal experience that aligned with the Versatile brand and delivered a customer experience that supported Versatile's long-held commitment to customer service." Adam Livesay, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Elevāt. ABOUT VERSATILE Versatile, a division of Buhler Industries Inc. (TSX: BUI), is the only Canadian manufacturer of agricultural tractors. The factory in Winnipeg, Manitoba covers almost 700,000 square feet with complete manufacturing and assembly capabilities and full research and development facilities. ABOUT ELEVĀT Elevāt's sensor-driven, cloud-connected, AI-enabled SaaS platform is helping equipment manufacturers, owners and users discover the hidden value of their machines while simultaneously enabling new revenue streams.

Read More

ENTERPRISE IOT

IOTech announces a major new release of Edge XRT, its software platform for time-critical OT systems

IOTech Systems | June 24, 2022

IOTech, the edge software company, has announced the general availability of Edge XRT v2.0. This is a major release of its open software platform designed for time-critical and embedded OT applications at the industrial IoT edge. Edge XRT 2.0 greatly simplifies the development of OT applications and enables faster time-to-market for new edge systems. It is hardware agnostic, independent of the silicon provider (Intel or ARM) and operating system. Users have complete deployment flexibility. They can deploy it as a native application, containerized and/or into a virtualized environment. With its small memory footprint and efficient use of computing resources, Edge XRT 2.0 is also suitable for microcontroller-based applications where CPU and memory resources are limited. This makes it ideal for use cases such as connected commercial or consumer electronic devices (e.g., refrigeration unit), medical device applications or automotive engine management systems. The product's open APIs make third-party application integration very easy. Major industrial OEMs and ISVs are leveraging the product's multi-vendor OT connectivity, cloud interoperability and high-performance, real-time edge processing capabilities to create a new generation of protocol-agnostic edge solutions. "As a configurable, embeddable, high-performance OT platform, Edge XRT 2.0 is unique, It provides a rich set of OT and IoT capabilities that our customers can easily use to create their own edge solutions. In most cases, this is through simple configuration without the need for lots of custom code." Andrew Foster, Product Director at IOTech The new release adds a number of important features including: OT connectivity: In addition the existing pluggable OT connectivity for Modbus, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT, BACnet and OPC UA protocols, the platform now supports PROFINET, S7, GPS and BLE. For protocols that support device discovery such as OPC UA, BACnet and EtherNet/IP, devices can be discovered and then onboarded easily without any manual configuration. A new MQTT API allows Edge XRT clients to easily manage the lifecycle of connected device/sensors, support read/write OT data access, control device discovery and resource scheduling. When deployed on an Azure Sphere device, an Edge XRT application can now be dynamically configured and reconfigured via a Device Twin running on Azure IoT Hub. IOTech has made scalability and performance improvements to address customer demand for concurrent access to an increasing number of OT devices and their data. Edge XRT is designed for high-performance edge computing use cases, such as industrial control and real-time signal processing applications across a variety of vertical markets. These include factory automation, renewable energy, building management, retail and hospitality. It also enables integration between the real-time edge applications and higher-level enterprise IT, SCADA and cloud applications. About IOTech IOTech builds and deploys vendor neutral software platforms and tools to support the rapid development, deployment and management of applications at the IoT Edge helping drive IoT innovation, global market adoption, velocity and scale. The company's products address the full spectrum of secure hard and soft real-time edge computing needs, dramatically reducing time to market, development and system integration costs for its partners who are the supply chains to multiple vertical IoT market domains. IOTech leverages an open-source ecosystem to collaboratively improve time to market, develop global channel partnerships and achieve pervasive adoption of its software products.

Read More

ENTERPRISE IOT

Blueforce Introduces Demographics Plugin for Stream IoT Sensor Processing and Cueing

Blueforce Development Corporation | July 14, 2022

Blueforce Development Corporation, a leader in edge-based IoT sensor fusion, cueing, and autonomous orchestration, today launched Blueforce Demographics Plugin, a composable service that delivers ultra-low latency gender and age group identification for use alongside of other sensors and services for enhanced recognitional support. The Blueforce Demographics Plugin runs as a composable service within BlueforceEDGE and is powered by Suspect Technologies, a recognized leader in cognitive services and redaction technology, and was founded by Jacob Sniff and Srikanth Parupati. Blueforce has partnered with Suspect Technologies given their successful record in public safety, but more importantly, their world-class auto-redaction technology that ensures privacy and anonymity while providing data-driven autonomous triggering of content, data workflows, and sensor cueing. The Demographics Plugin, combined with Suspect Technologies' CJIS-compliant platform, provides industry-leading accuracies of over 80% with sub-100 millisecond image processing, enabling quick response time and large-scale processing. "Jacob and the team at Suspect Technologies have a stellar reputation for AI that ensures privacy and anonymity. The Blueforce Demographics Plugin is an essential component for our entry into retail, sports and spectaculars, and other verticals where enhancing the customer experience and loyalty is paramount," Michael Helfrich, CEO at Blueforce The Blueforce Demographics Plugin for BlueforceEDGE was built based on customer requests for specific IoT orchestration use cases to include: Content and Ad Targeting: By providing accurate gender, ethnicity, and age group data, targeted content and ads on displays can be delivered to the right people at the right time with a more personalized experience for each and every customer. Impressions and Impression Time: Demographics can serve as validation that an ad impression occurred for a specific gender/age group and for how long, providing additional insights for out-of-home advertising and more. BlueforceEDGE software from Blueforce is an autonomous mobile edge compute software platform for forward IoT sensor fusion with edge-based processing for unattended ground sensors, AI/ML information services, and data interoperability. The Blueforce Demographics Plugin for BlueforceEDGE provides core demographics services while enabling disparate sensors and intelligent displays to interact with each other and leverage demographics across a wide array of autonomous operations. "The BlueforceEDGE sensor fusion product, combined with Suspect's leading video analytics, will have a large impact across smart city and commercial use cases. We feel honored to partner with a market-leading sensor fusion organization such as Blueforce to bring cutting-edge technology to so many organizations, which will help drive marketing operational efficiencies and safety," said Jacob Sniff, CEO at Suspect Technologies, Inc.

Read More

Spotlight

At the network level, Telit has recognized that customers’ data can traverse different entities which will only increase customers’ exposure to threats due to the different levels of security that are involved. IoT solutions that employ Telit’s services can detect threats on cellular networks in real time. In addition, Telit has developed specialized APNs that ensure segregation between different customers when things are connected to a cellular network. The connection between the cellular provider and the cloud provider is secured by employing VPNs. Despite using high-end technologies, cellular networks open the door to a host of attacks like: SMS-Spoofing, DNS Poisoning or Denial of Service. They are not like traditional cyber-attacks. Telit’s deviceWISE Shield service can block and report the nature of the attack as well as the module identity and its location. In turn, these events are analyzed and relevant information displayed or pushed as an alert to the customer. The following screen shows how the alerts are received.

Resources