In the past, computer as a tool required human interaction and attention in order to perform supportive tasks. With increased networking, independent communication between computer systems has also rapidly grown.
In the Internet of Things clearly identifiable “things” communicate with each other by means of an Internet-like structure or directly via Internet, whereby the human being as participant or operator of these “things” is not absolutely necessary. Therefore, IoT can be understood as a set of small or smallest embedded systems with a network connection that perform highly specialized tasks.
The Internet of Things in Industry
In industry 4.0, already connected machines communicate directly with each other. This is referred to as M2M (Machine to Machine) communication. The Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 have the same demands within a networked industry in the areas of networking as well as reducing operation and hardware costs or miniaturization, but with different approaches. While Industry 4.0 focuses on the “intelligent factory”, which is characterised by resource efficiency and adaptability, the Internet of Things focuses on the networking of intelligent devices.
There is a fluid transition between Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things.
From steam engines to industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 has no less ambition than to be the next industrial revolution and we are already in the middle of it.
With the first industrially usable steam engine (by Thomas Newcomen) in 1712, the foundation stone was laid for the industrial revolution in our society and Industry 1.0 was born. The introduction of conveyor belts around 1870 led Henry Ford to the beginning of assembly line production in 1913 and the age of industry 2.0 began. In 1969 Richard Morley introduced a semiconductor-based sequential logic computer, and in 1974 the first PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) was launched in Germany by Klaschka and Pilz. The triumph of the computer in industry was unstoppable from then on and continues to this day. This marked the beginning of the third revolution, Industry 3.0. With continuous improvement and increasingly complex automation technology, more and more tasks could be performed by robots. The emergence of networking and the Internet finally culminated in Industry 4.0, where people work hand in hand with machines and robots, as well as where all the machines communicate directly with each other in production processes.
One might think that all these revolutionary development steps were only the preparation for the imminent revolution.
The next logical step and thus the real revolution in the industry is the unification of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things.
Smart Factory, Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Production as well industrial automation change, everything is networked together. Intelligent automation components communicate with each other as real-world data is stored as dynamic information in networks. Dynamic data interchange occurs using algorithms, apps, and services. Humans no longer only communicate with the machine via the input terminal or touch screen monitor. Augmented reality has already become a part of H2M communication (Human to Machine).
Unified interfaces are used to merge company locations into a smart factory, while products and packaging are provided with smart tags. All of this happens in order to collect information about their production status, whereabouts and environmental information such as humidity or temperature. Networked embedded systems become more complex, distributed cyber-physical systems while smart products store information about their composition in order to dispose of them at the end of their lifetime in a professional and environmentally sound manner.
The Internet of Things not only revolutionises all areas of human life, but above all creates new forms of value creation. Linking all information in real time leads to synergies and efficiency, not only in terms of management decisions. In the manufacturing industry, targeted process planning and continuous monitoring of all production steps can result in a lower unit price and a simultaneous increase in production. The hardware components in regards to Internet of Things are often very specially tailored to their respective task and are characterised mainly by their longevity and a very low energy requirement. Resource conservation and a reduction in energy costs are the result.
The Internet of Things is everywhere, even on the go!
IoT is revolutionising our everyday lives not only in industrial production, but in all areas of life. Vehicle fleets of forwarders and transport companies are already equipped with intelligent computer systems which not only transmit current position data to the fleet management or send the driver a map with his next delivery addresses on the screen, but also take on more and more complex control and monitoring tasks in the vehicle.
The tablet PC or handheld of a logistics employee forwards inventory information or booking orders in real time, while delivery status and inventory lists can be called up directly.
Network communication is no longer limited to stationary systems, but is ubiquitous everywhere.
IoT and security
As almost everything in the Internet of Things communicates with each other, this harbours risks and gigantic attack surfaces for cyber-attacks. IoT devices and systems must therefore be protected with suitable security and encryption technology.
IoT and Data Respons Solutions
For more than 30 years, Data Respons Solutions has stood for high-quality embedded systems and customer-specific developments. Together with our strong partners, we supply IoT solutions and embedded hardware components for the Internet of Things that are perfectly tailored to your needs. Especially in the areas of security, performance, energy efficiency and ease of maintenance, we place very high demands on our products. In addition, simple operation is very important, especially in the IoT area. Our devices, which have been specially designed for the Internet of Things area, almost always have suitable software (SEMA cloud, IoT studio, …) and operating systems (Wind River®, Yocto OS, …) to enable uncomplicated integration into existing structures or to implement a connection to the cloud.