Industry 4.0 is IoT opportunity

IoT, the internet-of- things, represents a huge business opportunity for European design firms. How to capitalise on this opportunity in Europe was the topic of conversation at the Embedded World exhibition in Nuremberg last week.

internet OT

The IoT is impacting all the main industrial applications for embedded systems in which Europe has a very strong design presence. These are industrial automation and the so-called industry 4.0 smart factory initiative in Germany, but also automotive and smart metering systems.

The drive to link electronics hardware to the internet in all these areas, which is the essence of IoT, is the big IoT opportunity for European designers.

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“The core competency of design in industrial automation in is definitely in Europe,” said Rahman Jamal, National Instruments European technology and marketing director.

“Linked to this is Europe’s strength in the automotive sector and smart grid,” said Jamal.

It is two years since German industrial giants, Siemens and Bosch identified the use of robotics and networked computing in smart factories was creating a new industrial revolution. This was dubbed – industry 4.0.

The German government believed the opportunity of the smart factory was so important it has put large investment into the project.

In Germany at Embedded World last week the IoT was seen an important technology for industry 4.0.

IoT is not only expected to impact the design of consumer products such as smartphones and household appliances, but factory automation systems.

Smart factories incorporate cyber-physical systems (CPS) which have communications links with each other. With IoT this communications is most likely to be via the internet.

“Cyber-physical systems are not only limited to smart factories, but also smart grid and smart healthcare systems also which are major opportunities for Europe, “ said Jamal.

According to Gartner, IoT is defined as a network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate, sense, or interact with internal or external environments.

Gartner predicts that the IoT could represent a market of 26 billion units this year.

The industry 4.0 is now seen as Europe’s main opportunity to win a share of this IoT market.

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