Downward Migration of Ethernet and Wireless Enables Manufacturing Internet of Things
Keywords: Ethernet, Wireless, Internet Of Things, Business Performance, Production Efficiency, Asset Optimization.
The concept of an "Internet of Things" (IoT) has morphed from its origins in RFID to one that encompasses all networked devices, both within and external to a manufacturing operation. Along with intelligent sensors and machines, IoT encompasses cloud computing, analytics, Big Data, mobility, and universal visualization. The primary value propositions of improved business performance, production efficiency, and asset optimization remain the core objectives behind implementation of this enabling technology concept. Creation of a platform for both product and process innovation is also central to the IoT concept.
In a manufacturing context, these objectives are achieved through the ability to gather data locally from the myriad of sensors, devices, machines and other entities operating on the plant floor. This data is then made available globally via a cloud or similar infrastructure platform to all sanctioned parties for use in analytics, optimization, and a variety of other applications.
The push to adopt an Internet of Things in manufacturing coincides with a concurrent enabling trend toward use of industrial Ethernet and wireless network technologies within the production environment. These technologies not only offer incremental benefit over dedicated automation solutions in many applications, they also favorably position manufacturers to support the data transfer requirements inherent in IoT.
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