We live in a smart connected world. The number of devices connected to the Internet recently surpassed the total number of humans on the planet. According to industry reports, we’re accelerating on our way to an “Internet of Things” that will include as many as 50 billion connected products by the end of the decade. In this new world all manner of sensors, tags, and controls will become a part of both the manufacturing process as well as the smart products that such manufacturers produce. This transformation is taking shape across all manufacturing sectors.
For discrete manufacturers, the implications are huge. Historically, they have lost control of their product once it leaves the factory. With smart connected products, manufacturers can now experience true closed-loop, product lifecycle management where they can track, manage and control product information at any phase of its lifecycle at any time and any place in the world. This will allow manufacturers to:
However, the creation of smart connected products is not easy. To capitalize on this opportunity, manufacturers must assess their company’s strategy as it relates to everything from product design to sourcing, production, sales, and service. Manufacturers must be able to securely collect and respond to data from customers, suppliers, and now the products themselves. Long-term, this data will necessitate the development of advanced analytic capabilities. The more immediate need will be for systems that support remote product monitoring, operation, and optimization.
"We were looking for a cloud-based machine-to-machine monitoring application. We liked what we saw with regard to features, functions, and customers; and what really pushed us over the edge was the fact that our nationwide service and support partner was also using the platform."
— Larry Granger, PEP Stations
A leading promoter of sustainable mobility, Alstom Transport discusses the evolution of The Internet of Things (IoT), how it’s changing the way they think about product development and how its transformed their vision.
Internet of Things is a big evolution in the global market. And it has an impact on the trains, because there's lots and lots of processes in a train, so we sure think those processes in the subsystems are different things, interacting altogether, communicating altogether, and providing not only a lot of data, big data, but also basically a service which is expected, by a strong collaboration between the different subsystems in parts of the trains.
The visibility of Internet of Things could be around what we can do with our mobile phone interacting with trains or with display system. But there is much more things that we can do. For instance, we can analyze the number of passenger in the train and decide to adjust the air-conditioning. And so by do it, reduce the power consumption or to provide the temperature which is more comfortable.
And at the end, as a user of the train or public transportation system, we don't perceive the impact of all that, but it's there, and it's really creating more comfort, more pleasure to use those transportation systems.
So this evolution is a type of evolution that we have already in other domains, and it's arriving also in the railway transportation.
That vision where new services, new application, new functions can be added to the train with reduced modification in terms of architecture, is really what we have in Internet of Things.
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