Embracing the edge with predictive maintenance and industrial IoT

With the Internet of Things (IoT) on the mind, Dell Inc. has been fairly busy since it created a dedicated IoT division just over two years ago in 2015. That division has been working towards developing IoT solutions, and earlier this year the company released its latest IoT devices for remote spaces – or the edge – with the Dell Edge Gateway 3000 series.

At the release of the Edge Gateway 3000 series Andy Rhodes, the vice president and general manager of Dell’s IoT division, said it was clear how critical connecting devices at the edge of the network will be. The 3000 Series, for example, aims to securely collect, transfer, and analyze data from devices such as vehicles, refrigeration units, digital signs, or even rooftop HVAC units.

That example is missing one critical area of IoT: Industrial IoT (IIoT). This brand of IoT aims to connect industrial equipment no matter how remote – a particularly important application when looking at the Canadian landscape.

Enter global automation technology provider, Emerson. The company, whose Canadian office is based just outside of Toronto in Richmond Hill, Ontario, has taken those Dell Edge Gateway devices to offer go-to solutions for chemical, oil and gas, and power companies that center around a control valve condition monitoring and wireless valve monitoring solutions. Essentially, Emerson can detect wear and tear on pumps or rotating equipment by collecting vibration data and predictive indicators, as well as collect sensor data to analyze and predict potential mechanical failures.

“With IIoT, we can provide a higher level of service to customers through the ability to securely connect to industrial equipment and leverage automated data collection, cloud-based visualization, and analytics,” said Mike Boudreaux, director of connected services at Emerson, to CDN.

Emerson has been integrating Dell IoT Gateways with its own operations technology for IIoT. Dell provides the IT technology and Edge Gateways that allow Emerson to connect and transfer data to the cloud, which is then integrated with Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Previously, the two companies also partnered for automated solutions, and Dell EMC has been a key Emerson supplier.

And the IIoT industry that Emerson resides in is just taking off. Boudreaux says that in this particular industry, adoption of new technology moves at a relatively slow pace, meaning that the technology that is available in the present may take three to five years to achieve widespread adoption, let alone what technology may be coming in the future.

“Customers will go through the process of testing and evaluating technology at a small scale before it is accepted and expanded more broadly within a single site, or even to other sites. So, we expect that we’ll continue to see greater adoption of existing technology, such as wireless sensor networks and sensing technologies related to vibrations, acoustics, wireless temperature, pressure & flow,” Boudreaux said.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Radu
Alex Radu
is a staff writer for Computer Dealer News. When not writing about the tech industry, you can find him reading, watching TV/movies, or watching the Lakers rebuild with one eye open.

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