Which technology to chose?: Industrial Internet of Things Products 4.0

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Industry 4.0: IoT does smart manufacturing

Industry 4.0 manufacturing is all about the increasing connectivity of smaller and smaller components. It uses the data collected by physical things, either built products out in the real world, or components within a machine on the production line, to impact how these things themselves are manufactured. The more information that can be gathered by these objects, the more effective the manufacturing process can become.

Phases of earlier 3 Industrial Revolutions

1. 1760 to 1840 - Ushered in Mechanical production; railways and steam engine

2. 1870 to 1940 - Mass production; electricity and assembly line

3. 1960 to 2010 - Computers; semi conductors, main frame computing, personal devices, internet etc.

Top Industrial Internet of Things Wireless Options

Now let’s discuss on the technologies used in Industry 4.0 with a list of their advantages and disadvantages

WiFi needs virtually no introduction. Chances are, almost everyone reading this paper is very familiar with WiFi. WiFi standardization is one of the crowning achievements of IEEE, which standardized WiFi as 802.11. There have been many advances in WiFi, with “b” progressing over time to higher performance “ac”.

 

IDEAL INDUSTRIAL WIFI USE CASES
•Barcode scanners in factories
• Connected machines

BENEFITS
• Near ubiquitous network coverage in enterprises
• Inexpensive chipsets and modules
• Can be power efficient, if application and polling rate
is designed well

CONSIDERATIONS
•Friction for 3rd party devices joining WiFi networks
• Provisioning of credentials is difficult

Like WiFi, Bluetooth is something most designers are familiar with. While Bluetooth is very popular in the consumer electronics space, we have witnessed a growth in Interest in using Bluetooth in the industrial setting. This is primarily because Bluetooth is the least costly wireless technology on the market.

 

IDEAL INDUSTRIAL WIFI USE CASES
Light control
• Proximity monitors
• Disposable asset trackers (Active RFID)

BENEFITS
• Low Cost: disposable or competitive product lines.
• High datarates
• Long battery life

CONSIDERATIONS
• Very short range
• Requires key coordination at both endpoint and
Access Point
• Needs access point (phone or application specific device)

Mesh Networks

The number of Mesh technologies has exploded over the last 10 years. There are many mesh network options, each with strengths and weaknesses. ZigBee, Z-Wave, Thread, 802.15.4, and 6LoWPAN are all variations on a theme; they use short-range, high data rate wireless to build networks that depend on relaying data between nodes. Data is either trying to get to the endpoint or the access point. Configuring and optimizing mesh networks is a major undertaking.

 

IDEAL INDUSTRIAL WIFI USE CASES
• HVAC sensing and control
• Lighting control (high density)

BENEFITS
•Resilient physical system architecture
• Modification or expansion can happen without system
disruption
• Good power budget if designed correctly

CONSIDERATIONS
• Short range
• Link performance problems
• Deployment difficult
• Interoperability is often not possible due to
configuration differences and key management

Cellular Machine-to-Machine (M2M)

Using cellular networks to connect industrial IoT devices is an attractive option for many companies. Cellular networks exist in most (but not all) places, and network management is someone else’s problem—but these advantages come at a cost.

IDEAL INDUSTRIAL WIFI USE CASES
• GPS telematic trackers
• Smart meters
• Connected cars

BENEFITS
•Ubiquitous network coverage

CONSIDERATIONS
• Recurring cost
• Expensive chipsets
• Short battery life
• Expensive certification

Sigfox / LoRaWAN / Ingenu

Wide-area network (LPWAN) technology is the next big thing when it comes to Wireless Networking Technology. These are the three primary players to building large-scale, cellular-like networks, specifically for IoT. Sigfox and LoRaWAN are focused on uplink sensor data with small payloads. Ingenu is building a national network for machine communication.

IDEAL INDUSTRIAL WIFI USE CASES
• Automatic meter reading
• GPS tracking devices (in a defined area)

BENEFITS
•Power efficient
• Inexpensive chipsets
• Low certification costs

CONSIDERATIONS
• Low data throughput
• Networks do not exist everywhere
• Quality of Service not guaranteed in unlicensed
spectrum.
• Current provisioning and key management schemes
make large scale manufacturing difficult.

Symphony Link

Symphony Link is Link Labs’ primary product. It is a highly integrated wireless system for industrial sensor and controller networks. It uses the same type of technologies as some LPWAN providers, but it adds features to make the system useful for customer deployed scenarios.

IDEAL INDUSTRIAL WIFI USE CASES
 • Building controls
• Lock controllers
• Occupancy sensors
• Safety sensors
• Alarm devices
• Environmental sensors

BENEFITS
Automatic device provisioning and discovery
• Long range
• Long battery life
• Low latency
• High capacity

CONSIDERATIONS
• Low data throughput

• Proprietary technology

References : Siemens, IBM, Ernst & Young  Link Labs, YouTube