IoT Platforms From the Top 10 Industrial Automation Vendors

IoT Platforms From the Top 10 Industrial Automation Vendors

Emerson sells value, actuators, pressure gauges used in processing plants plus a lot more. Emerson announced an IoT offering calledPlanetWebdigital ecosystem. PlanetWeb appears to be less an IoT platform but a collection of applications and services that support different Emerson products through connectivity services, analytics, and asset management.

The phrase software is eating the world reflects the increasing importance of software in almost everything we build, purchase, and socialize with. This rising importance of software has resulted in many traditional companies trying to become software companies.

Mindsphere appears to be fairly open to developers and has a defined API. You do need to register to get access. The platform does not seem to be tied to just Siemens physical hardware and goods. However, Siemens does offer a line of hardware devices, calledMindConnect, that can act as gateways to feed data into Mindsphere.

Feel free to add a comment if I have missed some information or if something is not correct.

GE Predixis probably one of the best known Industrial IoT software platform in the industry. GE Digital has spent billions to implement and market Predix and have embraced becoming a software vendor. Unfortunately, in the last year, they havecut back on Predix investmentbut I think it is clear they are still the leader in this space.

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The phrase software is eating the world reflects the increasing importance of software in almost everything we build, purchase, and socialize with. This rising importance of software has resulted in many traditional companies trying to become software companies.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

It would appear Mindsphere can run on-premise or a hosted cloud environment. Siemens recently announcedAWS supportbut also appear to run on MS Azure and SAP Cloud Platform

Fortiveis a large conglomerate of industrial automation companies. Unfortunately, I couldnt find any overall IoT platform offering.

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I thought it would be interesting to look at the IoT platforms being offered by some of the

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Rockwell Software, a subsidary of Rockwell, has a product lineFactoryTalk. It is not clear that FactoryTalk is an actual platform but just a number of different products with the same brand name. There is no mention of any developer program.

IoT Platforms From the Top 10 Industrial Automation Vendors

Unfortunately, I couldnt find any mention of an IoT platform from Mitsubishi.

Heres a breakdown 10 top industrial internet platforms and how they fit into the ecosystem. See which verticals they support.

ABB Ability does appear to have the concept of a digital twin, which they callAspect Objects.There is an interestingwhite paperbut not a lot of details on how a developer would use it.

Honeywell has a suite of IIoT solutions under the Connected Plant banner. Connected Planet appears to be a marketing term that brings together different Honeywell software applications. Honeywell does seem to be working on an integrated IoT platform, called Honeywell Sentience, but I could not find any details besides a fewpress releasesand acase studyon Microsoft Azure IoT web site.

It is not clear EcoStruxure is really open to developers. There is mention of SDKs but I couldnt find any details on the website.

Most of these vendors do a poor job marketing their IoT solutions. Lots of videos, talking heads and buzzword bingo but very little detail on the capability and technology. My guess is they are not really trying to market or sell an IoT software platform; they are selling complete solutions that include hardware and software. The marketing is a corporate branding campaign to capitalize on the IoT hype.

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Schneider Electric specializes in energy management and automation solutions. The Schneider Electric IoT platform is calledEcoStruxure Platform.It appears to be a set of software services running on MS Azure IoT Suite. There are industry-specific versions of EcoStruxure forBuildingPlant & MachineGridITandPower.

I thought it would be interesting to look at the IoT platforms being offered by some of thetop industrial automation vendors. The following is a review of each vendors web site. I was interested in 3 questions:

This is especially true for companies targeting the Industrial Internet of Things. Large industrial automation vendors, like Siemens, ABB, Rockwell Automation, sell equipment to companies that manufacture goods. They are also introducing IoT software platforms to help connect the equipment they manufacture and support. If you are selling process control equipment to the oil and gas or aerospace industry, the ability to provide predictive maintenance or asset optimization drives significant value to the manufacturer and automation vendor.

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IoT Platforms From the Top 10 Industrial Automation Vendors

opening their platforms to other ISVs or developers to enable third-party integration. This seems to be a significant weakness and will likely limit the innovation on these platforms.

Yokagawahas IoT solutions focus onEfficiencySafety & SecurityAvailability & Reliability, andOperations & Maintenance. It is not clear if they have a core IoT software platform or a number of different applications for specific IoT use cases. In 2017, they didannounce a partnershipwith MS Azure IoT, Foghorn, Bayshore and Tellit to implement an IIoT architecture.

ABB sells process control equipment to mines, oil and gas refineries, paper mills, etc. The ABB IoT platform is calledABB Ability. The platform appears to be very specific to ABB solutions. They do offer apartner SDKbut it is not clear how a developer would get access.

Some of the key features of the Predix platform include: Edge-to-Cloud connectivity, analytics and machine learning, digital twin, data management and application development tools. GE does a nice jobreaching out to developersand enabling them on the Predix platform.

This is especially true for companies targeting the Industrial Internet of Things. Large industrial automation vendors, like Siemens, ABB, Rockwell Automation, sell equipment to companies that manufacture goods. They are also introducing IoT software platforms to help connect the equipment they manufacture and support. If you are selling process control equipment to the oil and gas or aerospace industry, the ability to provide predictive maintenance or asset optimization drives significant value to the manufacturer and automation vendor.

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FWIW, Yokagawas web site was one of the easiest to read and understand.

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Siemens is one of the largest global industrial companies. They have invested heavily in their Mindsphere IoT cloud platform. TheMindsphere websiteis light on technical details but they do have a comprehensivewhite paper(registration required) and a decentQ&A section.

Overall, most of the industrial automation vendors seem to be creating IoT platforms and solutions that connect with their own equipment and target existing customers. This makes perfect sense since more and more I think we will see IoT solutions that focus on a particular industry vertical and these solutions will include integrated hardware and software.

Microsoft Azure IoT seems to be well-positioned in the industrial automation industry. Many of these vendors are using Azure IoT to host their IoT platforms. Microsoft is providing the cloud hosting and IoT infrastructure expertise and the industrial vendor providing the domain expertise. I would expect this pattern will repeat in other industries.

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