Industrial Big Data highlights its usefulness for the economy

IN Events & Awards — 11 June, 2013

The Internet of Things? The Industrial Internet? Industry 4.0? We are talking about Industrial Big Data. Why that is, explained Mark Dohr: Big Data's usefulness for industry is illustrated. 

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For a connected economy: Industrial Big Data © Andrea Danti - Fotolia.com

"The Internet of Things vs. The Industrial Internet: What’s the Difference?" A good question, and one that is easy to answer. The Internet of Things is made up of all kinds of phenomena – from the much-discussed refrigerator that re-orders milk by itself before it runs out, to the inter-networked vehicle. The "Industrial Internet" has a much narrower definition. It describes the combination of innovative machines and facilities, with data communication happening over the Internet. The term "Industry 4.0" (in German "Industrie 4.0") has been used, and the term has been in common use, especially after the Hannover Trade Fair .

 When we speak of "Industrial Big Data", we not only mean the Internet of Things, but also the Industrial Internet. For us, the source of the data is not that important (machines, vehicles or computer tomographs); much more important is how the data can be used in industry. In this way, in the analysis of Big Data and the forecasts based on it (Predictive Analytics) in various areas, we arrive at some common themes:

  • The networked vehicle brings the "actors" involved in the auto value chain closer together.  OEM Development, Production and Sales & Distribution analyze data from the vehicle and share it with suppliers, retail, and with garages. The entire lifecycle is viewed. Added services can then be put in place. For example, park assist systems automatically identify the next free parking space and navigate the driver to it. Another example is the windshield becoming a projection surface that uses infrared cameras to show the driver where the side of the road is and that shows where the road ahead is when fog is present.
  • Logistics providers shorten their routes and reduce their gas consumption by analyzing GPS data and data from sensors in their delivery vans
  • In machines and facilities, Predictive Analytics enables automated analysis in real time. Production errors are quickly remedied and maintenance can be planned in a way that saves resources. The quality of service improves.
  • Machines communicating with one another (machine-to-machine communication) makes material procurement leaner and reduces the risk of delivery bottlenecks. Because sensors in the machines permanently capture data, changes in the data streams are quickly recognized. Manufacturing companies can quickly react to things
  • The entire health care industry is infused with and profits from Big Data. For example, a single MRI exam generates about three gigabytes of data. If that data is then combined and analyzed with data from other sources such as patient files and research study results, this not only is in the interest of the patient, but also enables the market introduction of new effective medicines and treatment methods.

 As society becomes healthier, the quality of life of its people improves. The Internet of Things becomes the Internet of People. When Industrial Big Data helps the economy, it also helps people. That is because competitive companies are the best guarantee for long-term secure jobs.

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