Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IMC conference tackles IoT deployment at Hannover Messe

Steve Rogerson
April 11, 2019



Major industrial IoT providers took on the practical issues of deployment during the IoT M2M Council (IMC) conference at last week’s Hannover Messe in Germany.
 
The conference agenda included panel discussions focusing on the complexities of edge computing in manufacturing, new choices in device connectivity including low-power, wide-area options, and selection criteria for IIoT software platforms.
 
For example, Syed Zaeem Hosain, founder and CTO of Aeris, addressed the problems of sourcing IIoT software platforms. And Didrik Moe, who is in charge of IoT business development at BICS, explained how one SIM could accelerate access to the global IoT ecosystem.
 
Martin Kaufmann, a senior director at mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat, looked at the trends for IoT use in logistics. He predicted that $2.5m would be the average ship owner investment over the next three years in IoT products and services and that everyone of the owners surveyed planned to use IoT for fuel consumption monitoring by 2023 so they could meet emissions regulations.
 
This, he said, would lead to 14% average cost savings through the use of IoT within the next five years. But just over half said getting data off the ship was the biggest obstacle for IoT adoption, which is where satellite communications could help.
 
Jan Metzer, a specialist IoT architect at Amazon Web Services, said that the company’s mission was to make sure the company’s customers knew the state of everything, all their devices, so they could better solve business problems.
 
Examples included Pentair, which provides beer and water filtration systems to large industrial brewers. With AWS IoT Greengrass, it can ingest operational data to the cloud over time for machine learning and big data analytics, and deploy the output of those analyses down to local devices for local execution. And chip company Analog Devices uses IoT sensors on manufacturing equipment to analyse vibrations for predicative failure and maintenance assessments. Analog is able to detect and predict machine failure to reduce downtime, which can save its customers millions of dollars per hour on the manufacturing floor. Analog runs on AWS services including AWS IoT Core.
 
Hosain and Metzner later joined Fred Yentz from Telit and Robin Duke-Woolley, CEO of Beecham Research, on a panel that looked at the IMC’s RFP template. This has been created with inputs from more than 100 adopter members of the IMC as well as prominent software vendors including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, PTC, Red Hat and Wind River.
 
Yentz also talked about what should be considered with industrial IoT platforms. Top of the list was making sure the connection was to the real industrial world of things because without that the platform was not for IIoT but just IT. He said the platform should easily support asset deployment and lifecycle management and should give access today to the IT domain and in the future to cognitive cloud services.
 
David Delarosa from Telit looked at what was needed at the edge of IIoT networks, such as the ability to manage real-time data ingestion. Systems, he said, should be easy to deploy and easy to manage.
 
Myriam Recha, a director at Vodafone, discussed NB-IoT and how Vodafone had made it to 89% network coverage in Germany. She give an example of how this could be used in retail and explained that Vodafone certification ensured that an IoT service ran smoothly in the network worldwide.
 
And Volkhard Bregulla, vice president of manufacturing at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, discussed the importance of creating and managing a data pipeline in manufacturing and automotive operations. This can be used in motor racing, for example, to look for changes that can be made to the car of driving strategy.
 
Kim Bybjerg, vice president at Tata Communications, said the top five things to consider with IoT connectivity were having the right data plan, coverage, security, control and management, and scalability.
 
The picture below shows from the left Recha, Bydjerg, Moe and Kaufmann.
 

 
With more than 25,000 enterprise users and OEMs that buy IoT products and services as members, the IMC is the largest trade group dedicated to the global IoT and M2M sector. Board member companies include 1NCE, Aeris, Amazon Web Services, Avnet, BICS, Digi International, HPE, Intel, Kore, Micro-Ant, MultiTech, Orbcomm, Pod Group, PTC, Semtech, Sigfox, Tata Communications, Telit, U-Blox, Verizon and Vodafone.