From Flying Parts to Smart Pipelines, the Things of the Industrial IoT

In order for the industrial Internet of Things to take off, we need to ensure that billions of things are communicating, collaborating and sharing data efficiently and securely.
By Tim Butler

Some aerospace firms are using the tagged asset for more than the ATA mandates, as they see the solution as a platform to ask new questions that will allow them to provide additional services, greater benefits and qualitative value, both to their customers and for themselves.

Like flyable parts, other industries that use rugged equipment in challenging environments, such as oil and gas fields, can also improve reliability and personnel safety, by enabling networked assets to report maintenance issues, even in remote locations. Because these assets perform mission-critical functions under harsh conditions, solutions must meet the challenging requirements of industrial reliability, security, connectivity and backwards compatibility with legacy devices. Tagging these items with rugged, high-memory RFID tags creates smart assets for recording usage, inspection certificates and preventive maintenance, which is safer, faster and more cost-effective than replacing a large installed base of devices.

Each tagged asset can carry a wealth of data, from that item's manufacturing record throughout its lifetime of inspections and maintenance. This principle applies from the oil field and the factory to smart electrical grids, aerospace parts and highway infrastructure. The ability to tap into that data enables the use of prescriptive analytics to predict product failures and related maintenance issues. This not only improves safety standards, but also offers valuable insight into how to optimize business processes for the future.

A brave new world of smart, networked assets is being assembled in the Industrial Internet of Things, preparing for a future in which we can locate, identify, track, monitor, measure and analyze all manner of assets. The common thread that runs through all of these applications is an abundance of things communicating, collaborating and sharing data.

Real-time visibility of these assets, combined with improved collection, management and analysis of critical data, will allow businesses to operate in entirely new ways to achieve increased productivity, improved safety and reliability, faster time to market, and greater overall efficiency and profitability.

Tim Butler is the CEO of Tego, Inc.

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