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Hannover Messe 2017 shows IIoT gaining traction: IHS

Hannover Messe 2017 shows IIoT gaining traction: IHS
Despite uncertainties spawned by various geopolitical events of recent, the industrial sector is showing signs for further growth down the road as more and more end users turn to automation and smart factory solutions to achieve further savings and operational efficiencies, catching on with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) trend.
 
That was the general sentiment felt during Hannover Messe 2017, according to Alex West, Principal Analyst at IHS Markit, in a report titled “Hannover Messe 2017: Insights from IHS Markit.”
 
West started off by saying the industrial sector had been shaken by tumultuous geopolitical events of recent, for example Brexit and the outcome of the US presidential election. However, West said the show still reflected an overall positive sentiment for the near term.
 
“An upbeat industry outlook is expected in the second half this year and also in 2018 for products closely linked to the oil and gas industry,” West said. “The industrial automation space managed to expand a slight 0.6 percent in 2016 following a disastrous contraction of -4 percent a year earlier. This year, the market is projected to grow a modest 1.5 percent, IHS Markit forecasts.”
 
According to West, a number of themes could be discerned at the show this year, including cost-cutting, production efficiency, downtime reduction, quicker time-to-market, product customization, and lower development costs.
 
He cited Tetra Pak as an example. “It was buoyed by new digital tools that enable the company’s cloud-connected machines to predict exactly when equipment would need maintenance, averting many potential breakdowns in the process. The company started a six-month trial in early 2016 of conditioning monitoring, supporting 11 customer lines with the new service. Results show that downtime during this period was eliminated by up to 48 hours for each packaging line, saving up to 30,000 euros for customers,” West said.
 
At the same time, the show demonstrated growing popularity of the IIoT or Industry 4.0 concept, he pointed out, citing some companies as examples. “ABB once again highlighted its smart sensors, which are built on the outside of LV motors with embedded vibration and temperature sensors possessing Bluetooth connectivity. Analytics is performed in the cloud and displayed on an app,” West said. “Schaeffler/FAG announced a new version of VarioSense, its intelligent bearing. Aside from speed and temperature, the new bearing includes a vibration and load sensor.”
 
Microsoft meanwhile showcased its industrial solutions too. “For the manufacturing industry, Microsoft is evolving its support of Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA), the machine-to-machine communications standard for industrial automation. Microsoft said manufacturers can use OPC UA to preconfigure factory devices from the cloud, via its Azure IoT Connected Factory solution,” West said. “The company also announced Microsoft IoT Central, a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, which it said could potentially increase the speed at which manufacturers can innovate and bring new products to market.”


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