A few hours ago German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama formally opened the 2016 Hannover Messe, or Hannover Fair. Hannover Messe is a huge event with almost 200,000 visitors, and this year the USA is participating as the partner country. An annual event so large is not concerned with only one topic. The major Hannover exhibits are classified under the headings of Industrial Automation, Digital Factory, Energy, Industrial Supply, and Research & Technology. These topical headings are very aligned with the IIoT/Industrie4.0 vision.
While the Hannover Messe is multi-faceted there will be a lot of discussion by participants this year of their deliverables for the IIoT. The exhibition activity and non-stop meetings will really pick up today as the exhibit itself opens. What to look for in such a huge show? There will be a great deal to see, but speaking personally, I will be looking for IIoT news in 3 areas:
Integrated Sensing and Devices – This is old material, people say, and there should be nothing new here. I doubt that, and don’t think we have anywhere near reached an end to the road in terms of connected sensing and devices. There are ongoing and critical improvements being worked on in many supposedly mature areas (take Ethernet networks as an example). So I hope to see some exciting new ideas realized here.
The IIoT Network Edge – The need to bring a lot more resources to the network edge – where the things/assets are – is an important trend. This manifests itself in areas like Fog Computing, advanced IIoT gateways, embedded systems, and even on-premise clouds. There are a lot of different ideas here about how to deploy technology resources effectively, and some of these are new and will become important.
System/Device Management – This is another boring area, right? Historically that is true. But if you ask people about barriers to advancement, cyber security usually pops up as the biggest one. I would argue that more effectively managing networked industrial systems is a big part of the prescription for industrial cyber security. It also makes IIoT applications and deployments more “agile” in the sense that they can add or refine their behaviors and even their mission over time. This area is really more neglected than it is boring, and the IIoT may well drive some big improvements here.
“Reprinted with permission, original blog was posted here”
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