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28 Feb

IoT-Expert Statement with Ancud IT

Cybus has a rich partner network. From time to time, we take a few minutes to interview an expert from one of our partners and give you an insider’s view. Today, we spoke to Clemens Krause from Ancud IT about the current state of Industrial IoT and how SME’s find a feasible and fitting approach for a start into Industrial IoT.

Clemens Krause is an IoT Expert at Ancud IT and part of the IoT laboratory. There, he is currently working on various research projects and deals with IoT technologies and their applications in the industry.

When talking about Industry 4.0, it seems to be an undefined sphere of unknown potential and solutions to a majority of industrial decision-makers. Especially mid-sized companies start learning to see Industrial IoT as a competitive advantage against other global players. What Do you expect to happen within the next 12 months regarding the Industrial Internet of Things?

I think the longer this market exists, the longer it will mature. As a result, there will be more differentiated and cost-effective solutions. Although this sounds positive, especially regarding the medium-sized companies in Germany, I still expect a rather slow adaptation, since the solutions shown are not yet sufficient. In addition, a lot of know-how in the field of Internet technologies must be created, which may mean a reorientation of the company itself.

When discussing Industry 4.0 for mid-sized companies, what are the most common challenges you come across? Is there a one-fits-all-solution to get manufacturers onboarded to a true digitized production environment?

I do not believe that there is an all-in-one solution, just as it does not exist for the Internet itself. It´s important now to create structures and gain experience in production-driven companies in order not to fall behind later.

Engineers still require a sound IT knowledge to implement practicable Industry 4.0 solutions independently. This may be the biggest challenge currently: The lack of knowledge about the connections between IT technologies themselves and the technologies the company is dealing with.

Looking back, what has been already accomplished in rolling out new IoT approaches? Can you name an example of a successful IoT implementation?

The last project we were involved in was a long-range RFID system. With this system, it is possible to record all RFID tags on a production line over 10m and to identify the used machine components.

Once manufacturers understood the potential for their own benefit provided by Industry 4.0, it became important to answer the question about digital services. What do you reckon as the right way to find a suitable IoT application or solution for one’s own use case? Is there a standard set of decision criteria?

First, I must disillusion you: There is no standard set of decision criteria. But there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your first or second step in the field of IoT.

Successful principles, that are seen in the enterprise IT market, are also becoming valid in IIoT. An IIoT solution should therefore offer the following:

  • Modularity enables stepwise migration and individual implementation in existing heterogeneous environments
  • Sustainability through open APIs, deep documentation and openness towards standards, IIoT concepts and for third party add-ons as well as wide support of protocols.
  • Vendor independence enables self-responsibility as well as a free market for consultants.

Start Small: Not every great idea has to be complex. The greatest ideas are simple ones. So, I recommend choosing the first handy idea and stick with it. Learn from mistakes and move on. Drop the complex ideas for now (even if they sound great to you, I assure you that there are plenty of better and simpler ideas).

Having a strong consulting and technical partner is good for the evaluation of ideas and for turning an idea into a concept. The partner may do even the development of an IoT solution. This way, you always remain a part of the development process, you can contribute and see your ideas grow and flourish.

Even the strongest partner or the mightiest IoT-solution may not protect you from failures and errors. Those are crucial parts of the learning and development process.

One final question to get a better picture of the current state of IoT: What do you think about how far the industry has come right now and how it is taking advantage of IoT? Is there more to come, or are we already there in terms of a digitized industry?

It cannot be denied that we are only on the threshold to a fully digitalized industry. Big Player adapted their existing solutions. But SME’s just begun to digitalize their business, create new business models or are in a position of doing so soon. There is a need for more autonomy in the digitization of industry, which can be achieved by opening the value-added chain, i. e. more flexibility between suppliers and manufacturers. The Cybus Connectware is a practicable solution which enables this “democratization” of IIoT.

I think it’s our obligation as an IT consulting company to ensure that especially SME’s can digitalize their business while being able to establish new IoT-services around their business model and enterprise knowledge.

Thank you very much for your time and your insights! Let’s talk about these topics again in a few months, to see what has changed.

Common Use Case: What can I get out of Cybus + Ancud IT?

From Business Intelligence to Machine Learning – Ancud IT’s expertise in industrial analytics and data lakes offers a very smart way to use production data to visualize, control and optimize production processes as well as associated service and maintenance activities. Together with our Cybus Connectware, we create the perfect end-to-end production and maintenance supervision solution.