Lovers of acronyms will be stoked with multinational tech giants, Honeywell and SKF, who’s latest project has taken IoT (Internet of Things) and made it IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things). Lovers of symmetry will be less impressed. But may come around when they see what IIoT involves.
The joint pilot project is aimed at taking generalised IoT applications and honing them into industry-specific solutions. They’re kicking it off in a South American copper mine, with aims of creating a digital yardstick for all future IoT applications within a range of industries.
Mining and manufacturing are the first in their line of sight; however, they can see the IIoT expanding into pretty much any industry that involves heavy machinery. The digital juggernauts claim they will be able to improve machine efficiency and reliability, thus boosting competitiveness and profit margins for their industrial customers.
Honeywell and SKF: who are they?
The two companies were born a year apart—in 1906 and 1907—and have been teaming up on projects like this for years now. Over their long evolution Honeywell and SKF have always remained a few steps ahead of the game. Think of them like the Blues Brothers, just without the epic car chases. Their mission involves making life easier and more profitable for a whole range of industries covering everything from construction and transport to aeronautics and defence.
SKF specialise in a broad range of applications but have a particularly high level of expertise in the monitoring of bearings and lubrication. With Honeywell’s strength lying in software development and data consolidation, the pair are bringing together the kind of expertise just one company alone couldn’t hope to achieve.
So how does this IIOT work?
Together, Honeywell and SKF are developing a user-friendly ‘digital ecosystem’ capable of capturing and analysing the vast amounts of data a mine’s worth of machinery would have to offer. Using the data analysis system, operators will be equipped with valuable tools to help eliminate unplanned down-time and general inefficiencies.
According to SKF president and CEO, Alrik Danielson:
“The number of potential data collection points in a modern factory is increasing exponentially, but this data will only generate value for operators if it is analysed and acted upon to improve a machine’s performance and profitability. Our collaboration with Honeywell will make this possible.”
Vice president and general manager of Honeywell, Shree Dandekar, was equally verbose when describing their planned system implementation:
“Leveraging the IIoT gives manufacturers real-time access to operating information from an incrementally larger data-set across not only one site or plant, but across an entire enterprise. By creating an ecosystem of software and hardware manufacturers with unmatched domain experience, we will be able to better understand the risks and demands on the operating units and ultimately provide a higher level outcome for our customers.”