By Julie Pike, Sr. Digital Content Manager, Industrial Internet Consortium
2015 was an exciting year at the Industrial Internet Consortium. Not only did we hit the 200-member milestone (to date, we have 230 members hailing from 27 countries), but we also earned a larger role in Industrial Internet thought leadership - with our partnership with Fira Barcelona on the successful IoT Solutions World Congress and the release of some important whitepapers including the "Investment Strategies of the Industrial Internet". You can see other highlights from 2015 in our newly-released year-end video.
What 2015 will really be remembered for, though, is that progress was made and goals were achieved. The goals of the Industrial Internet Consortium have been, from the very beginning, to focus on Industrial Internet technology and security and to foster innovation through testbed development. While work is ongoing for security deliverables, the members of the Industrial Internet Consortium were able to present tangible results in the technology and innovation spheres.
Earlier this year, we released the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) - a technical document that reflects consensus on major architecture questions from top industry leaders. The IIRA was created to drive product interoperability and simplify development of Industrial Internet systems that are better built and integrated with shorter time to market and, in the end, able to better fulfill their intended use. The document states what the most important Industrial Internet architecture components are, how they fit together, and how they influence each other.
The IIRA is publicly available on our website and we encourage you to download it to better understand the technical requirements, methodologies, and roadblocks to adopting Industrial Internet systems within your organization.
On the innovation front, 2015 was the year that we publicly announced the first testbeds approved by the Industrial Internet Consortium. The nine testbeds that have been announced to date stretch across the breadth and depth of the Industrial Internet's capabilities. "Track and Trace" and "Factory Operations Visibility & Intelligence" focus on manufacturing, while "Communications and Control" turns the traditional power grid system upside down.
The purpose of the "Asset Efficiency" testbed is to improve the life of assets, reducing downtime and maximizing production. Meanwhile, "Condition Monitoring & Predictive Analytics" provides a multi-vendor, cloud-based predictive maintenance solution and offers continuous online measurements, automated analysis, and balance of plant coverage.
"High Speed Network Infrastructure" introduces high-speed fiber optic lines that bring the unprecedented speed of 100 gigabits per second to support seamless machine-2-machine communications and data transfer across connected control systems, big infrastructure products, and manufacturing plants.
Finally, our most recently announced testbed, "Industrial Digital Thread", provides a digital "birth certificate" to all machine parts to track them throughout their lifetime.
We know we still have a long way to go and more mountains to climb in our quest to accelerate the adoption and development of the Industrial Internet. Security is a pressing issue that our members are focused on right now; and we are only just beginning to look into the unique problems and solutions the Industrial Internet holds for each industry (see the Energy whitepaper we published earlier this year). However, the Industrial Internet Consortium's tagline is "Things are coming together" and with all of the progress that we have made in the past year, I think it is safe to say that things are coming together.
We, at the Industrial Internet Consortium, would like to send a huge "thank you" to all of our members for their hard work and dedication in the past year. We cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store.