Don’t Know What You Got ’til It’s Gone; Why Paying Attention to Backup Battery Power is Important

Chris Mangum, President & CEO

Power outages are a fact of life. Generally when we think of outages we think about freak weather events or big cities pushed to their generation limits during peak summer hours. All in all, we imagine power outages as events that happen to other people and are highly unlikely to affect us and our businesses. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Outages are increasing in prevalence and impact, and so backup power is taking on greater importance. Continue reading

MQTT: Winning the War of IIoT Protocols

Colin Geis, Director of Product Management, IIoT
Red Lion Controls

The IIoT revolution is in full swing, but there are several contenders in the protocol market for communicating plant floor data to IIoT cloud platforms. While the leader of this race to connectivity appears to be MQTT, alternatives like AMQP, STOMP and REST APIs (among others) provide a variety of benefits that make a choice less than straightforward. Even within the MQTT universe, despite its status as a standard, varied interpretations and implementation practices cause difficulties for those crafting a solution. Making an informed decision on which protocol to select needs to originate with a recognition of the goals of IIoT programs, an understanding of how this compares to traditional industrial communications objectives and protocol choices, and a review of the benefits and limitations of competing IIoT protocols and platforms. Continue reading

Specifying Intrinsically Safe Remote Monitoring Sensor Systems for Hazardous Class I, Division 1 Environments

Josh Schadel, Director of Engineering
SignalFire Wireless Telemetry

Wireless sensor networks frequently operate in hazardous areas where caustic atmospheres pose a safety risk to electrical equipment.   A Class I, Division 1 hazardous area is defined as an environment where combustible gas, vapor or mist is present or is expected to be present for extended periods under normal operating conditions.  An example is a tank or well level monitoring application that involves the storage of dangerous or volatile materials.   This top of the oil tank or well head presents a potential hazardous environment.  All the components of a wireless sensor control system operating in these types of hazardous applications must be properly rated for safe operation.  Continue reading

How IIoT and SCADA Systems are Melding Together

Dr Yair Poleg, PhD,  Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

For more than 50 years, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems have been at the forefront of monitoring industrial infrastructure through computerized means. Comprising a collection of cyber-secure, industrial-grade hardware and software to collect, analyze, and control information from sensors, SCADA systems are deployed around the world to monitor and control complex, fast-moving industrial processes that exceed humans’ abilities for manual oversight. SCADA applications include providing monitoring and control capabilities in power generation plants, HVAC systems, and large-scale manufacturing processes such as automated production lines.  Continue reading

Is BIM a Market into Which GIS Can Expand?

Christine Easterfield, Principal Consultant

The current worldwide market for GIS (geographic information system) is estimated to be around $3 billion. According to the scope of our research and in the traditional markets of government, public services and utilities, spending on GIS is expected to grow to just under $4 billion by 2020. But in an increasingly spatially aware world, are there opportunities for growth elsewhere? Continue reading

Share Remote Data, Not the Network

Bob McIlvride, Director, Communications
Skkynet Cloud Systems, Inc.

The Industrial IoT (IIoT) is promising to dramatically change the landscape of industrial process control. Managers and executives worldwide are waking up to the value of the data in their production systems, and are demanding access to it to boost efficiency and cut costs. Engineers responsible for devices and equipment at remote locations can use the IIoT to provide this data to users wherever they may need it. However, the question often arises: How to share the data securely? Continue reading

Using SCADA Data for IIoT Just Became Much Easier

Bert Baeck, CEO, TrendMiner

At times it seems hard to believe we’re already in the second decade of the 21st century; what is even harder to believe is that the majority of manufacturers are still only using technology that is at least 30 years old.  Many of these systems work wonderfully for what they are meant to do, collect and store data and monitor systems. However, these systems alone cannot help industrial companies meet the challenges of today’s global market. Continue reading