Smart Homes, Intelligent Machines and Transparent Supply Chains: The Internet of Things is Networking the World
When the wash cycle is complete, the cell phone flashes. When you drive your car into the garage in the evening, the lights in the house come on. When you leave the house again, the doors lock automatically and the alarm system is activated. Networked lamps, thermostats and loudspeakers have long since found their way into our lives and make all areas of everyday life easier. The technology behind many of these smart home applications is known as the Internet of Things.
A Networked World of Smart Devices
The Internet of Things (IoT for short) is a collective term for technologies that network physical objects with virtual systems. Vehicles, kitchen appliances or industrial tools are equipped with sensors, software and other technologies to enable data exchange with other devices and systems via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or RFID (radio frequency identification). The goal of IoT is to automatically capture relevant information from the real world, link it together and make it available virtually.
Sensors Capture and Process Data
Physical devices are equipped with sensors and microcontrollers that can be controlled via apps and software. In a digitally networked world, these sensors become important suppliers of information; they capture and process data and send the information generated to computers or smartphones. In an industrial context, the data acquired includes, for example, thermodynamic, mechanical or chemical parameters such as humidity, temperature, pressure, chemical composition or liquid level.
What Happens to the Captured Data?
The measured raw data is collected by data acquisition systems and converted into digital formats. The data is usually transmitted via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or telecommunication networks (e.g. NB-IoT) to an app, cloud or software. The connected devices are controlled via nodes or Internet gateways and generate recommendations for action based on the data. Sensors in the living room, for example, record the temperature and humidity. A smart thermostat processes this information and regulates the radiators in the room or reminds them that they need to be aired.
Industrial IoT as the Leading Technology of Digital Transformation
Industrial IoT (IIoT) refers to the application of IoT technology in an industrial context and is considered a leading technology in the digital transformation of industries. The IIoT is a key technology of Industry 4.0, which refers to the intelligent networking of machines and processes in the industry using information and communication technology.
The IIoT refers to interconnected sensors, instruments and other devices networked with computers for industrial applications. Smart sensors are integrated into manufacturing machines, energy systems or infrastructure. Connectivity enables data collection, sharing and analysis. With the help of the collected data, industrial companies can increase productivity and efficiency, optimize manufacturing processes and improve employee safety, among other things.
Better Control Mechanisms Through Networked Machines
The industrial Internet of Things optimizes exchanges between machines and provides helpful data. By continuously collecting this data, industrial companies can more precisely monitor how many resources they use, how energy-efficiently they operate and how much their machines produce. On this basis, manual or automated adjustments can be made to increase productivity or improve the environmental balance in the long term, for example.
IIoT Sensors as the Key to Transparent and Efficient Supply Chains
IIoT technology is also becoming increasingly important for the supply chain management. In a globally connected world, it is now more important than ever to have access to relevant information in real-time. Where is the shipment right now? Is the temperature in the container right and where can the supply chain be made more sustainable? Here, too, the intelligent networking of objects, containers and process steps via the Internet of Things promises support.
The IoT Solution from vitreo Closes Information Gaps in Supply Chains
vitreo has developed an IoT sensor that is non-intrusively attached to intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and makes all the status data of the IBC supply chain available to the people who need it at that moment via a simple and secure software solution. The cuboid containers are used, for example, to transport raw materials and intermediate products in the chemical, pharmaceutical or food industries. Sensor technology from vitreo ensures that the IBCs are networked. At every stage of the supply chain, IoT sensor technology helps extract data that is difficult or impossible to obtain by conventional means. By processing and analyzing this data, the efficiency, reliability and sustainability of IBC supply chains can be significantly improved. Measurement data such as fill quantity, location, temperature and pressure can be collected in real time and accessed online. The modern technology is easy to use and reduces costs, improves environmental performance and increases overall efficiency.