classic | mobile


SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


Smart factory technology to power the Industry 4.0 revolution
September 2018, System Integration & Control Systems Design

Many areas of the industrial sector are undergoing transformation, as robots, vehicles and control systems connect to the Internet. This networking trend is enabling unprecedented levels of automation, not only at the factory level, but in all business processes.

The term ‘networking’ can cover different levels of communication, each with different needs. As a result, different levels can use a specific, often tailored network, based on requirements such as volume, transmission, security and determinism of data. Based on functionality, industrial communications networks can be classified into three general levels: field/device level (sensors, electrical drives, etc.), control level (PLCs, motion controllers, etc.) and process/company level (scada, ERP, etc.).

The advent of the IoT and Industry 4.0 has added the ‘cloud’ to the networking landscape. Remote, secure, yet easily available data in the cloud supports a possible widespread future for highly automated companies, one that is already becoming a necessary prerequisite for companies that want to be competitive and efficient in an increasingly challenging market.

Networks are the enabler for smart sensors

One of the critical elements lies in the speed with which changes are taking place. The evolution of fieldbus provides a good example. The adoption of buses compared to traditional, analog interfaces took several years to be accepted as a new standard. In fact, there are still companies that prefer the old way of doing things. We are now moving on to the adoption of real-time Ethernet buses, but at a seemingly higher speed than the previous step.

Many new and exciting technologies are now available and the union between the IT and industrial automation worlds is taking place. This is giving rise to scenarios unattainable until a few years ago. Networking, in its broadest sense, is the enabling element of the new industrial revolution.

There are different levels of communication and each requires different hardware and software features. Smart factories are looking to get a lot smarter, more flexible and dynamic, so networks need to respond to these goals. The high performance and reliable communication technologies that are entering the market will outperform those currently in use. These technologies will make it possible to transfer large amounts of data in real time or with minimal delay, connect a large number of individual devices in a very reliable way and with the highest data security standards. Increasingly, wireless technologies are being used more and more; both within the plant and for remote connectivity.

In order to achieve the potential of modern networks, all levels of communication need to be involved. With Industry 4.0, the boundaries of the different levels shift from what is currently in place. The field level remains a dedicated layer, but the devices on it will incorporate more and more intelligence including smart sensors that are able to perform many processes autonomously.

Many of the efforts to develop IoT platforms have focused on the enterprise level in a top-down approach. Although indispensable, this level actually only collects about 10% of the data, therefore limiting the ability to support predictive maintenance and component performance optimisation. Unless a discrete IoT system is used for the remaining 90% of critical component data, enterprise systems cannot exploit their potential to truly transform business activities. Discrete IoT systems can provide immediate value regardless of enterprise level systems, while supporting their long-term objectives.

The Parker solution

With its centralised strategy coined ‘Voice of the Machine’, Parker is an example of a company developing and implementing its own IoT solution that supports extensive autonomous monitoring and control. The strategy comprises hardware including smart sensors and IO-Link, plus a common set of standards, principles and best practices.

From a technological perspective, companies such as Parker have focused efforts on minimising the challenges that have prevented industry operators from exploiting the IoT to solve operational problems, such as downtime, predictive maintenance and maintenance time itself. Although the IoT can still be considered to be in its relative infancy, the technology has reached a point of evolution that can provide significant value in many industrial applications.

For more information contact Lisa de Beer, Parker Hannifin SA, +27 11 961 0700,,

Supplied By: Parker Hannifin Sales Company South
Tel: +27 11 961 0700
Fax: +27 11 392 7213
Share via email     Share via LinkedIn   Print this page

Further reading:

  • PSY extends its offerings
    December 2018, PSY International, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    PSY International, a recognised systems integrator for a number of well-known international brands, was recently appointed as an integrator for AC/DC. Paul Young, a director of PSY International, explains ...
  • Craft breweries benefit from digitalisation with modular Siemens automation
    December 2018, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Indust. & Drives, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    Deutsche Beverage Technology (Deutsche Beverage) supplies turnkey engineering solutions for breweries, with its main customer base in the high-growth craft beer sector.
  • PC-based control simplifies building revitalisation
    December 2018, Beckhoff Automation, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    PC-based building automation from Beckhoff is characterised by its openness, reliability, ease of use and long-term product availability. In the revitalisation of the Eurotheum high-rise building in Frankfurt, ...
  • Yokogawa’s Centum VP R6 upgrade at ArcelorMittal South Africa
    December 2018, Yokogawa South Africa, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    ArcelorMittal South Africa’s Vanderbijlpark facility is one of the world’s largest inland steel works. Cold Annealing Plant Nr.2 (CAPL#2), has been running on a Yokogawa COPSV CFCD distributed control ...
  • End-to-end system integration from Hybrid Automation
    November 2018, Hybrid Automation, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    Hybrid Automation, an engineering solutions company, was started in October 2005 by member Sachin Singh in response to the need for a Siemens systems integrator. The company’s workshop and office is situated ...
  • Flexible tower light from Rockwell Automation
    November 2018, Rockwell Automation, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    Rockwell Automation has introduced the Allen-Bradley ControlTower 856T 70 mm Tower Light system to market. This new system incorporates brighter LED illumination and a broad offering of visual and sound ...
  • Continuous baggage tracking
    November 2018, SICK Automation Southern Africa, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    Delayed, damaged or lost baggage reduces customer satisfaction and generates additional costs. International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 on baggage tracking is intended to encourage ...
  • Using IIoT analytics to build customer solutions
    October 2018, Parker Hannifin Sales Company South, IT in Manufacturing
    Parker’s Voice of the Machine platform contextualises the data collected from machines.
  • Veolia completes landmark project for Umgeni Water
    October 2018, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    Part of the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme (LTBWSS), the plant, constructed at a cost of R1,4 billion and funded by Umgeni Water and the Department of Water and Sanitation, will eventually supply ...
  • Plug-and-play IIoT development kit
    October 2018, RS Components SA, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    RS Components has launched an IIoT development kit for the Harting modular industry computing architecture (MICA) edge computer. The kit is a simple plug-and-play system that enables fast digital condition ...
  • Robot-assisted machinery for the fish industry
    October 2018, Beckhoff Automation, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    Fully automated deboning and filleting of fresh fish.
  • AST’s automated fire extinguishing systems
    October 2018, Alien Systems & Technologies, System Integration & Control Systems Design
    Restoring protection after a fire is an integral part of the service.

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.