Today, many users want more than what the traditional sensor provides. Users want centralized data storage with contextualized global data accessibility for all levels of their organizations to enable the highest collaboration and effectiveness. There are changes in the way the leading users are deploying sensors, using a smart connection through IO-Link or Digitally to improve and distribute real-time data to all levels of the manufacturing organization through workflow and other complementary technologies.
Industrial companies are in a unique position. Unlike in other IoT segments, such as consumer applications or smart home, industrial manufacturers are likely to both consume connected products for use in their own operations and produce connected products for use by their end customers. The products that industrial manufacturers consume require additional levels of security and reliability. This is why IoT applications used in industry must adhere to the requirements of Industrial IoT (IIoT), which ARC defines as “the transformation of industrial products, operations, value chains, and aftermarket services that is enabled through the expanded use of sensors, digitization, networking, and information systems.”
Automotive manufacturers, for example, are rapidly adding incremental value-add through in-car connectivity and associated applications, but are also planning for the use of a new breed of connected machinery in their production facilities. The unique demands of this dual use make it vitally important that the entire organization (up to and including the C-suite) understands the value proposition inherent in intelligent management and visualization of connected products. The awareness of dynamics in this area will help in the selection of appropriate automation equipment that can leverage IIoT.
Universal and smart sensors are sensors with some built-in intelligence. ARC talks about smart photoelectric sensors if a sensor:
- Communicates more than its measured variable, e.g., status information such as “lens dirty” or “broken cable”
- Has built-in intelligence to self-adjust to the environment or the detected object
- Can communicate with the controller or other devices to receive parameters
- Is enabled for band-sensing, which is the sensing within a defined area, ignoring everything else
ARC Advisory Group defines the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as connecting intelligent physical entities, such as sensors, devices, machines, assets, and products, to each other, to internet services, and to applications. The IIoT architecture builds upon current and emerging technologies, such as mobile and intelligent devices, wired and wireless networks, cloud computing, Big Data, and analytics.
ARC has just published a comprehensive updated market analysis report on Photoelectric Sensors that provides a quantitative assessment of the market and associated analysis. While the report is primarily focused at supporting the strategic planning efforts of current and prospective suppliers, it includes much information that end user organizations would find helpful, including both technology and industry trends and information about the leading suppliers.
About ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com): Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.
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About the Author:
AnalystRajkumar is part of the discrete team and his main areas of focus are industrial process equipment and control systems.
Prior to joing ARC, Rajkumar worked as a Market Research Analyst for the Research & Consulting division of Beyond Blue Advisory, Bangalore. He was responsible for providing insights and reports based on market research, consumer research, demand forecasting, and competitor analysis for various industry verticals across the globe.