Industrial IoT, through the MindSphere lens
Industrial IoT fits in the broad context of Industry 4.0, which in turn relates to the need to go beyond industrial automation to derive insights from many industrial data sources. Many modern manufacturing sites already rely on sophisticated automation, and lots of operations data is already being stored. Recent conversations with customers reveal a variety of initiatives that they have undertaken to measure and characterize machine availability, system productivity or product quality. To bring all this data together, one can build a system on a public cloud, thereby making it convenient to access the same system across all manufacturing facilities of a company. Alternatively, one can pick a platform that runs on popular public clouds (such as AWS IoT or Microsoft Azure IoT), but is specialized to enable focus on industrial problems, as is the case with the Siemens MindSphere IoT platform.
Persistent recently joined the Siemens MindSphere partner program to facilitate customer access to software that increases agility in –
- acquiring diverse industrial data types, either through Siemens data acquisition devices such as MindConnect Nano or by direct use of protocols such as Modbus,
- developing applications, via low-code tools such as Mendix, or by porting existing applications, and
- using out-of-the-box analytics tools, or advanced machine learning that can run on the underlying cloud infrastructure.
As an example, Persistent has made available its factory automation solutions to further reduce the time it takes to start, say, an energy management initiative. Various core electrical energy metrics, available out-of-the-box, can be combined with historic data or, say, weather data to augment best practices for plant operation.
Siemens has organized a MindSphere partner ecosystem (led by Florian Beil), through which customers can gain access to the combination of companies that focus on shop floor equipment as well as those that, like Persistent, can lead data and software integration across various subsystems in the industrial enterprise.