Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has the capability of changing the way we make, operate and service the product. While the potential benefits of the IIoT are significant, there are no easy answers to the inherent fundamental complexity – how to begin, assess and transform the product as smart & connected in the digital transformation journey.

WHY TO DO THE TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT FOR SMART & CONNECTED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT?

  • To understand the current state of product in the digitization space from edge sensor to data visualization to the last mile reach.
  • To set the product digitization roadmap targets as per the industry and system of system trends.
  • To bring clarity on the digitization requirements from minimum viable product to smart & connected product to autonomous product R&D and production.
  • To manage the digitization initiative business case and its cost-benefits analysis    

ELEMENTS OF TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT FOR SMART & CONNECTED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

1. Sensors & Edge Device: Mechatronics based products are nowadays significant. Embedded systems of the products consist of sensors, data acquisition, signal processor, actuators, power supply, programmable automation controller components and advanced system like edge/fog computing. Maturity level of these edge embedded systems are assessed based on evolution of the product include real-time monitoring to autonomous system.

2. Connectivity: Connectivity is the bridge between the edge device to the cloud or on-premises for data communication for further business process application and analytics. Assessment on the communication is depending on the industry need and focused on single solution or multiple technologies, Field Area Networks, wired, cellular, LPWAN, and many other wireless options.

3. Storage & Processing: Data from sensors can be stored in private, public, or a mix of private and public cloud or on-premises. Due to the velocity, volume and variety of data could IIOT systems produce, assessment will be focused on the incoming data storage for subsequent processing, normalization, integration, and preparation for upstream applications.

4. Analytics: IIOT analytics is defined as the scientific process of transforming data into insight for making better decisions. Various levels of analytics maturity can be distinguished in the assessment, depending on how much of the decision process is automated, and how much is left for human intervention.

5. Enterprise Application & Integration: Business model is a significant element in deciding the Enterprise Application & Integration. There are IIoT use cases where remote monitoring & diagnostics application must be integrated with customer relationship management application from the beginning for the business model roadmap, example any consumption based business models like Water as a Service. Here the monitoring, process optimization, alarm management, statistical analysis, control logic, logistics, consumer patterns are processed as per the business process management. Based on the product business model roadmap the enterprise application & integration requirements should be developed, supported and managed. And the requirements shall also consider the application implementation in desktop or mobile or both.

6. Data Visualization & UX: Collected data from edge devices would be processed for analysis and insights on the product performance for efficient operation & maintenance. Users of the IIoT analytical insights are not analytics experts in most of the cases, they could be the product end operators or maintenance engineers. The assessment focused on the various levels of visualization & user experience includes visualization, immersion, interaction and collaboration using different technologies like data representations, augmented reality and virtual reality.

7. Standardization & Security: IIoT standardization and security is critical since the massive scale of recent DDoS attacks and that brought down many popular online services and just indicated what is possible when attackers can leverage the unsecure IoT devices as malicious endpoints. Here the assessment focused from physical device to cloud to enterprise applications.

ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK FOR THE EVOLUTION OF SMART & CONNECTED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT - A dynamic assessment framework that provides a structured approach to questioning the current product state in digitization space to enable the disruptive business models.

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Above data is a specimen of a product with Sensors & Edge Device at Level 2. Following are the insights from the assessment.

1. Existing product doesn’t have control system or programmable logic controller.

2. Product parameters measurement sensors mounting through product retrofit or redesign.

3. Data acquisition & signal processor is required to process and collect the sensor signals.

4. Product uses the power supply through external or inbuilt.

5. IIoT device enclosure (room /external environment) with IP grade.

6. Communication interface based on remote monitoring & diagnostics application.

7. Sensor data communication is unidirectional to cloud or on-premises server.

8. Device level utility not available to configure the sensors and connectivity to IIoT enterprise application.

OUTCOME FROM THIS ASSESSMENT, EMPOWERS THE ORGANISATION AND DIGITIZATION TEAM FOR:

  • Stakeholders’ strategic alignments
  • Business plan and investments
  • Digitization multi-year program plan and execution
  • Technology implementation roadmap
  • Digital customer experience alignment

Maxbyte has arrived the above assessment methodology and Digital Transformation Journey approach from its end-to-end IIoT implementation experience and enabling disruptive business models. In this approach one of the activity is Assessment for Smart & Connected Product Development which empowers the business leaders to drive digitization initiative in the organisation. To upfront combat the inherent challenges of smart & connected product development, applying these dynamic assessment frameworks will help to implement disruptive business models with smart & connected product and reduce the time-to-market, particularly in trying to compensate for inadequate IIoT implementation approach.

Want to know more about this novel approach and Digital Transformation Journey? Attend our Ignite session on Wednesday, May 24 at 4.00 PM where I’ll be talking in detail on the different steps of Digital Transformation Journey. Connect with us at Booth # 406 to understand on how to develop smart connected products and operations powered by Thingworx and harness the power of IoT.

Author: Ramshankar CS, CEO – Maxbyte Technologies
ramshankar.c.s@maxbytetech.com