Industrial Internet of Things From Device Level to Cloud Computing: This is How the IIoT Strategy Takes Shape

Author / Editor: Mike Edwards* / Gerd Kielburger |

From the device level to the Cloud, customers are finding efficiencies — When Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) announced in April this year that the company had established a new business unit, its formation was to help manufacturers harness the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This will allow them to more efficiently gather and analyze a broader range of data across multiple operations and plants to use data to transform entire enterprises.

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(Picture: Honeywell)

The Digital Transformation unit was formed so that HPS customers could more rapidly deploy technologies that will allow them to better manage and analyze data.“When you look at the Industrial Internet of Things — part of that is the things themselves,” according to the unit’s engineering director, Andrew Duca. IIoT is the Cloud, analytics, Big Data and a lot of other technologies.

Endusers are more and more interested in understanding how they can leverage these new technologies to better their businesses, make their operations safer, more reliable and increase their efficiency. “Honeywell’s deep expertise in IIoT allows us to solve customer challenges by consolidating data in the cloud from multiple disparate systems, applying higher-level analytics and leveraging experts who are often physically remote from the customer site,” said Andrew Hird, vice president and general manager of the new Digital Transformation unit.

According to Hird HPS is in a unique position of being the recognized leader in automation and control room solutions for a wide range of process industries, “plus we have advanced knowledge in connectivity with OPC UA, cyber security and advanced software development.” OPC UA is Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture, a machine-to-machine communication protocol.

A big part of the IIoT strategy at HPS, said Duca, “is the things that we have — all the things are controlling these manufacturing plants and refineries — we make a large number of them and they are connected into our digital control systems (DCS), so we are doing process control at that layer onsite.” According to Duca HPS is also offering advanced business solutions like operations management and manufacturing execution systems running in that environment, but these new technologies open up a huge new opportunity for providing new value to customers and endusers.

Optimizing business

By bringing more data together at a faster rate with the Cloud “we’ve got arguably a huge amount of storage capacity that’s unprecedented from what you’ve had on site historically,” stated Duca. That can bring together much higher frequency, data from more sensors, data that might not be necessarily required so much for process control. But when someone starts tapping into it for analytics it can be extremely valuable for optimizing the business — making it much more efficient or more productive or profitable.