Industrial IoT: Creating New Business Opportunities - InformationWeek
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3/5/2015
03:06 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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Industrial IoT: Creating New Business Opportunities

While the consumer IoT putters along, the industrial world is diving headlong into using connected devices. Here's how mining equipment maker Joy Global plans to use near real-time remote analytics to squeeze more productivity out of equipment.

6 Internet Of Things Building Blocks
6 Internet Of Things Building Blocks
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Joy Global's mining shovels are so massive that a good operator can load 400 tons of earth into a dump truck with just three swings. In the Internet of Things (IoT) world, that digging equipment is also kicking off two gigabytes of data every eight minutes.

And if a shovel operator takes four scoops to fill the truck? Thanks to all that data, Joy Global, by late April, plans to be able to spot that extra scoop within 10 seconds from a monitoring center more than 6,000 miles away from the mine site. The company will alert the mine's manager, who can figure out the problem and get that shovel operator back working at peak capacity.

Joy Global's plans point to what will become a rising arena of competition around IoT: Optimizing the performance of machines and the people who run them, in near real-time, and not just predicting and preventing things like when a machine might break down.

"We'll be able to do, from 6,000 miles away, what we're able to do today at the mine site," said Joy Global CIO Mark Shaver, discussing the initiative at the Fusion CEO-CIO Symposium in Madison, Wis., on Wednesday. "Within 10 seconds, we'll be able to say that the operator of that machine is not running at top efficiency."

Joy Global sells the Joy and P&H brands of mining equipment. The company's roots go back more than 100 years. Now, the company's expanding into a new, technology-enhanced service offering it calls JoySmart Solutions, developed in a partnership with IBM. It's all part of what Shaver called the company's "smart, connected mine" strategy.

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Joy Global plans to have two mine sites, one in Africa and one in Australia, using the JoySmart near-real-time analysis platform in April. It expects a mine near the Arctic Circle in Norway to be using the service later this year.

While the consumer IoT putters along, the industrial world is diving headlong into using connected devices. So far, the business case often has relied on predictive maintenance: Monitor equipment, predict that a failure is looming, and fix it before a breakdown. Preventative maintenance remains a big part of Joy Global's services, since a broken piece of machinery can cost a mine $1,200 to $6,000 a minute. But optimizing performance could be an even more powerful IoT driver for makers and buyers of industrial machines.

No place for downtime

(Image: via Wikipedia)

No place for downtime

(Image: via Wikipedia)

Services are a growing part of Joy Global's business, as more companies choose to pay for equipment use as an ongoing service, rather than to buy equipment as a capital cost. That model puts the pressure on equipment companies to keep their machinery running at a peak level, so analytics and monitoring like this become increasingly important.

According to Shaver, Joy Global had been doing monitoring and analytics on site. He said the company chose to partner with IBM to develop JoySmart Solutions because it didn't feel its existing systems would scale to the near real-time, global model that it needed. The company also wanted to go beyond maintenance alerts for more in-depth analysis of performance.

In addition to optimizing performance, Joy Global also makes a safety case for using remote analysis services. It has a product that supports the roof and walls of a mine, for instance, called longwall systems, that can have 8,000 sensors along a face assessing whether or not the equipment is adjusted and functioning properly. If those sensors can spot a problem, "then we're going to take some people off the face, and we're going to take them out of harm's way," Shaver said. "That's where we're headed. And we're going to do it from 6,000 miles to 8,000 miles away."

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Chris Murphy is editor of InformationWeek and co-chair of the InformationWeek Conference. He has been covering technology leadership and CIO strategy issues for InformationWeek since 1999. Before that, he was editor of the Budapest Business Journal, a business newspaper in ... View Full Bio
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Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2015 | 5:35:50 AM
Re: Industrial IoT
"I agree with you. But don't you think these will reduce the productivity of employees. At the same time I know it's not going to be easy."

Shamika, It won't going to affect your productivity. Those who need to work, will always; irrespective of any condition.
shamika
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50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
3/17/2015 | 5:58:00 AM
Re: Industrial IoT
I agree with you. But don't you think these will reduce the productivity of employees. At the same time I know it's not going to be easy.
Gigi3
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0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
3/17/2015 | 3:42:43 AM
Re: Yet with new opportunities..
"The new opportunities associated with IoT are quite attractive, and understandably are driving the continued investment in this tech convergence. However, as with anything new, there are significant risks that surface as well."

Pretty, you are true with new technologies. Most of the things are meant for human advancement and to make the system simpler and user friendly. But when it falls on wrong hands things may get complicated and get misused. 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
3/17/2015 | 3:30:54 AM
Re: Industrial IoT
"Adding in to it, I am on pins about the privacy concern you have raised. What sort of private activities will you get involved at work? "

Shamika, it can be a mobile talk, or browsing some website or ding any other activities other than your regular job.
Gigi3
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0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
3/17/2015 | 3:29:53 AM
Re: Industrial IoT
"i am on your side for some extent. However when it comes to banks, they use CCTV – video monitoring to capture both employee and customer behaviors. In that case do you still think it's is a privacy concern?"

Shamika, bank and financial institutions are exceptional cases. Moreover, they are monitoring only the visitors and not any of the employees in particular. But in industry it's in different angle, they want to monitor all your actions including how you are spending the time.
pfretty
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pfretty,
User Rank: Ninja
3/14/2015 | 11:37:37 AM
Yet with new opportunities..
The new opportunities associated with IoT are quite attractive, and understandably are driving the continued investment in this tech convergence. However, as with anything new, there are significant risks that surface as well. For instance, securing this seamless new network is going to require to a new philosophy. What organizations are using today is not going to work when introducing so many new avenues and moving so much more data across new nodes.  Time for a security evolution. Peter Fretty, IDG blogger working on behalf of Cisco. 
shamika
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50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
3/14/2015 | 1:25:47 AM
Re: Industrial IoT
Adding in to it, I am on pins about the privacy concern you have raised. What sort of private activities will you get involved at work? 
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
3/14/2015 | 1:24:09 AM
Re: Industrial IoT
@gigi i am on your side for some extent. However when it comes to banks, they use CCTV – video monitoring to capture both employee and customer behaviors. In that case do you still think it's is a privacy concern?
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
3/14/2015 | 1:18:19 AM
Re: Industrial IoT
@chris, I agree with you. The data monitoring will give you the true picture. However when it comes to different service industries, how can we convert it in to numbers?
shamika
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50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
3/14/2015 | 1:02:23 AM
Re: peak efficiency
@Thomas I agree with you. However depending on the industry, I think it is vital to monitor employee efficiency to track the productivity. This can be both qualitative and quantitative measures. 
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