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Top IIoT Platforms

Competition is fierce among businesses in today’s data-driven world. Tech markets have an increasing number of vendors vying for attention in all kinds of niche industries, and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms are no exception. As of 2018, there were 150 IIoT platforms in existence, providing a plethora of options for businesses that use such platforms.

Each IIoT platform includes an operating system and computer hardware. It conforms to a set of standards that allows software developers to create various applications for the platform, with the most successful cases cutting consumer costs in product development, maintenance, and increased production. The potential impact on value, costs, and operations is immense.

Business owners and other decision-makers have a variety of factors to consider when choosing which IIoT platform will bring their particular business the best results. Each specific industry and its desired goals are unique, and IIoT platforms should be selected with that in mind. The choices are vast, and the stakes are high. Which IIoT platforms are current favorites, and what individual characteristics may make them the right choice for a particular business? Here’s an overview of the top contenders.

GE Predix

Described as “one platform delivering multiple outcomes,” Predix, owned by General Electric, can adapt to multiple industries. Its use can lead to reduced downtime, increased output, and higher efficiency. Companies using Predix have created differentiated services leading to the generation of new revenue sources. Baker Hughes, for example, has leveraged the power of the Predix platform to become more resilient to market swings and differentiate its manufacturing capabilities.

Predix is one of the only GE products that is growing, and all indications are that it will continue to do so with the expansion of the IIoT. This may be because Predix consistently delivers IIoT platform essentials such as keeping assets (equipment and other inventory) connected, using cutting-edge technologies, providing analytics and machine learning, processing large-scale data, and providing asset backups.

Here are some other features that make Predix an industry darling:

  • It is designed to handle high volumes of data rapidly. It works very close to real time with little downtime, and it can process large amounts of data coming from a variety of sources all at once. This results in specific actions that are determined by all that data, such as changes in traffic signals based on real-time use of highways and intersections.
  • It supports the data collection, local apps, analytics, and secure cloud connection that are the cornerstone of many operations.
  • It connects assets and then gathers and analyzes the information quickly in order to make adjustments.
  • It offers a scalable platform for any computing need, delivering connectivity, apps, and intelligence from the plant floor to the data center for both small and large companies.
  • It connects to industrial assets to collect data and then sends control signals. It has the ability to unlock access to almost any industrial data source. Data can then be filtered, processed, analyzed, and sent to Predix Cloud for processing.

Bosch IoT Suite

Bosch’s IoT Suite consists of various cloud services and software packages meant to help IoT developers create, implement, and maintain IIoT applications in a fast, easy, and secure way. This platform allows developers to build, implement, and operate cloud-based and IoT applications that are highly scalable.

Some interesting features of Bosch Suite:

  • It is an Open Service Gateway Initiative (OSGI), meaning it is built on top of a Java-based open source framework. This allows for an application that is made up of a bundle of components. These components can communicate locally as well as across the network. From a customer’s perspective, this allows for usage without a contract with a specific vendor.
  • The open source concept allows for customers to influence the future development of the Bosch IoT Suite. This happens organically as they participate in the open source project communities.
  • Bosch Suite reliably connects and manages devices, sensors, and gateways.
  • It provides a secure system, regulating the use of the service and information via authorization.
  • It supports creating digital representations of all assets (digital twins).

Siemens Mindsphere

Similar to Bosch IoT Suite, MindSphere relies on a partnership with several open platforms, in this case, Siemen’s Platform-as-a-Service along with Amazon’s Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure and Alibaba public cloud services. This extends the capabilities and connectivity of Mindsphere while also increasing industrial applications, analytics, and innovation through collaboration.

Mindsphere also:

  • Offers customers different predefined packages, including those designed to connect and monitor, analyze and predict, and digitalize and transform.
  • Aims at targeted, but ever-changing outcomes, adjusting to the growth of a company toward digitalization over time.
  • Features the secure connection of assets with hardware or software connectivity solutions.
  • Offers easy development, deployment, and testing.

Adamos

Focusing specifically on mechanical engineering, Adamos’ goal is “to combine the know-how from mechanical engineering, production and information technology and establishing standards for digital production” with customer-focused IIoT solutions and products. The IIoT platform offered by Adamos is another open platform that allows the user to remain independent from any specific vendor. Adamos is a collaboration of leading engineering and technology companies, and the platform provides comprehensive functions to support the efficient processing of data and the creation of digital applications.

To efficiently process data and support innovative digital applications, Adamos offers:

  • A focus on machine connectivity and management
  • Data visualization
  • Real-time data analysis
  • Integration of third-party applications
  • Separate yet integrated modules, allowing users a “cafeteria-style offering” of only the modules they need

Proficloud

This platform from Phoenix Contact provides a professional, integrated cloud solution for the industrial internet of things. The solution includes PLCnext technology hardware and cloud services ranging from data storage to visualization that will help enable a company’s transition into the digital age.

Phoenix Contact provides products and solutions for all aspects of automation within the world of industrial automation. The company has been finding solutions in the areas of machine building and automation for over 100 years, although the IIoT has obviously only been around for a fraction of that time.

Proficloud provides:

  • Flexible and secure cloud-based data services that can be accessed worldwide
  • Direct access to device data from the field level, allowing for global monitoring and data storage
  • Historical machine data monitoring to prevent or reduce unplanned downtime
  • The potential for increased savings using needs-based display and evaluation of energy data across locations

IIoT Platforms for All

As shown from this overview of some of the most widely-used IIoT platforms, there are commonalities in what is necessary for any choice: Device management, integration, data and application management, analytics, support, reliability, cloud computing, and flexibility. By considering the many options of various platforms and the requirements of the particular industry, each IIoT client can choose the platform that will best usher their venture into the optimized, data-driven future.

Interested in IIoT and IoT? Here are some other quick reads

Sources:

  1. https://www.techopedia.com/definition/3411/platform
  2. https://www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2018/nov/perspectives-on-manufacturing-industries-vol-13/iiot-platforms-source-of-new-profit-or-inflated-hype/iiot-platforms-source-of-new-profit-or-inflated-hype.html
  3. https://www.channele2e.com/syndicated-research/top-15-industrial-internet-of-things-iiot-platforms-forrester-wave/2/
  4. https://www.quora.com/Which-are-the-top-3-industrial-IoT-IIOT-platforms
  5. https://www.ge.com/digital/iiot-platform
  6. https://www.ge.com/digital/sites/default/files/download_assets/Predix-The-Industrial-Internet-Platform-Brief.pdf
  7. https://www.networkworld.com/article/3224893/what-is-edge-computing-and-how-it-s-changing-the-network.html
  8. https://www.dnvgl.com/services/data-smart-asset-solutions-digital-twin-65556
  9. https://www.google.com/search?q=osgi&rlz=1C1QJDA_enUS617US617&oq=OSGi&aqs=chrome.0.35i39j0l5.5556j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
  10. https://www.bosch-iot-suite.com/
  11. https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/global/en/topic/mindsphere-whitepaper/28842
  12. https://www.adamos.com/en
  13. https://www.adamos.com/sites/default/files/2019-02/factsheet_adamos_iiot-online_en.pdf
  14. https://www.phoenixcontact.com/online/portal/us?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/usen/web/main/resources/entry_page/entry_page

Published By David Hoysan

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.

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