Internet of Things: networked transformation for all industries
The Internet of Things, IoT, continues to make enormous impact into the industrial, public and private networked world. By the end of 2020, there should already be more than 30 billion networked devices worldwide that can exchange and communicate directly with each other with a multitude of data. 95% of all new devices will have an IoT connection.
The Internet of Things describes physical devices that can be controlled via an application and an Internet connection, collect data and transmit it to the recipient as required. The user of the application configures different systems in order to let them “work” independent of time and location. When your hear about IoT you remember the so-called “smart home”. But the IoT can do much more. Against the background of digitization 4.0 in industry, machines can also be controlled and monitored accordingly. This would correspond to a high degree of automation, whereby man and computer are involved in the transfer of commands. The advantage: Bottlenecks, failures and wear can be evaluated and countermeasures initiated within a few seconds.
If one considers the technology of the IoT, in principle any device that has an Internet connection can be regarded as an IoT device. Manufacturers are making great efforts to give a large number of devices a practical added value of the connection so that they can also be used digitally.
IoT is also playing an increasingly important role at GRONBACH. Intelligent oven covers already inform the consumer today, e.g. for finished food.
The technical possibilities are extremely diverse. A look at different sectors reveals numerous perspectives for IoT:
- Home security (remote-controlled surveillance systems, e.g. cameras, video transmission, TV and light simulations, alarm systems, fingerprint protected doors, automatic connections to police and surveillance companies)
- Smart home (remote control of heaters, blinds, solar systems, boilers, charging stations for electric vehicles, lighting systems, thermostats, garden irrigation systems, sockets, routers)
- Automotive networking (safety systems, wear monitoring, repair order, IoT drives car itself, emergency management, car-to-smart home linkage)
- Smartphone as control module (Apps for smart home, home security and automotive, digital consulting and assistance, GPS positioning functions at any time and for the most diverse tasks)
- Medical records and medical devices (data transfer from device to device, storage of medical records for fast and location-independent access, automatic notification and dispatch of patient transports)
- Home-to-home stuff (watches connected over the Internet to receive and output commands, Alexa (Amazon), which can already execute numerous commands via voice input and control smart home devices, Google Home, TVs and phones, fitness trackers with direct connection to health insurance to reduce contributions)
- Attractions (tourism trips, e.g. visits to museums, which use their own bracelets to locate the position and communicate relevant information about exhibits)
- Kitchen (Coffee machines that inform via smartphone app as soon as the coffee is ready or as soon as water or coffee needs to be refilled. From a functional point of view, this example can also be adapted to stoves and refrigerators. Intelligent refrigerators even order missing products directly in the desired online shop)
- Bedrooms (Intelligent mattresses that measure the body temperature during sleep and lower or increase the integrated temperature accordingly. They also evaluate sleep disorders and provide digital information)
- Receipt of mail (Postmen are able to open the door themselves by scanning a barcode to deliver parcels and mails. This practice is already in use in over 38 cities internationally)
- Supermarket (IoT supermarkets know the buying behaviour of their customers and send the buyer correspondingly adapted offers as soon as they enter the store. The so-called “iBeacon technology”, which is based on bluethooth connections, is used here)
- Restaurant (Intelligent restaurants react to incompatibilities of their customers and can offer gluten-free meals in a separate menu, for example)
- Online-Shops (Tracking of the packaging and temperature condition on handover to the buyer, inventory management, delivery time monitoring, delivery confirmations – all just in time)
- Exhibitions (interactive info spots at the booth telling more about the exhibiting company)
- Connected cities (e.g. Barcelona. The city is already strongly IoT-networked and collects data on city and building security, data exchange between cities to improve infrastructures, traffic monitoring and traffic lights, parking management, waste management)
There are no limits to the variety of possibilities, provided that devices of all kinds have an Internet connection and provided that cities and municipalities offer free Internet in future in order to offer the consumer added value to IoT technology. Seoul, Tel Aviv and Helsinki are good examples that everyone can have a free WiFi connection in the 21st century.
Other countries, cities and companies of today will react strongly to this trend and offer significant added value in all directions.
App programming requires appropriate platforms such as iOS and Android, which are provided by Amazon, Google and IBM, among others. In addition to these large providers, there are well over 100 other platforms that have specialized for certain purposes.
Last but not least, an important aspect that has to be taken into account: the IoT is accompanied by an almost infinite collection of data, which must be treated in a consumer-safe manner under the strict aspects of data protection.
GRONBACH is a manufacturer and system supplier of mechanical components, OEM devices and complex components made of aluminum, stainless steel and plastic for various industries. We offer our customers high-quality services as a full-service supplier, from mechanical production and surface finishing to hybrid technology and toolmaking.