IIoT Strategy and Architecture
Industrial IoT (IIoT) extends IoT concepts to industrial environments. The terminology varies, ranging from traditional industrial control systems (ICS) — which often include distributed control systems (DCS), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems — to latter-day concepts such as smart manufacturing platforms and peer-to-peer and industrial cloud computing, all in support of a move to Industry 4.0. Whatever the label, these ecosystems provide connected analytics and control to support automation that minimizes risk and reduces cost. This is the fuel that supports both the digital transformation of industry and the automation of everyday systems such as HVAC, lighting, physical security, signage, and communications.
The challenge lies in knowing where, and how, to deploy innovations in the IIoT realm. When implementing these systems, there are thousands of options for sensors, interpreters, translators, event generators, loggers, controllers, storage, and transport. Starting with a clear strategy and architecture is vital, as it will remove guesswork and ensure that these systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time, both internally and with external partners.
At Rule4, we live by these four design fundamentals in the IIoT realm:
- Interoperability — The ability of machines, devices, sensors, and people to connect and communicate with each other.
- Information transparency — The ability of information systems to create a virtual copy of the physical world by enriching digital plant models with sensor data.
- Technical assistance — The ability of IIoT systems to aggregate and visualize information comprehensively to help humans make informed decisions and solve urgent problems on short notice.
- Decentralized decisions — The ability of information systems to make decisions on their own and to perform their tasks as autonomously as possible.
- In addition, cybersecurity must be integral to every IIoT architecture, but is often overlooked. We apply our deep expertise in this realm to create a secure and functional IIoT environment.
Let Rule4 help you build a solid road map for IIoT innovation in your environment. Contact us today.