What Do You Know about Internet of Things?

11 The project entitled ‘Technologies and Toolset to Positively Control Manufacturing Sectors regarding the Internet of Things’ has been a successful bilateral application for the competition under the Federal Program ‘Research and Development’ which was prepared by the SPbPU in cooperation with Indian colleagues from the Institute of Technology of Bombay (IITB). The competition is co-funded by the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia and the Ministry of Science and Technology of India.

The project is to be implemented in 2017-2019 by the team of researchers at the Higher School of Software Engineering of the Institute of Computer Science and Technology under the supervision of Prof. Vsievolod KOTLYAROV. The determinative trend for future goods and services manufacturing is the use of the Internet networks with network-centric command and control. Such an approach is undoubtedly promising provided that complex intellectual network-centric systems are highly reliable with efficient operation. At present, this problem is a fundamental one, therefore the study of the theory, development of technology and a prototype for a software package to provide a standard solution for creating reliable and efficient manufacturing sectors regarding the Internet of things is an issue of a particular concern of the research group’s work within the framework of the grant.

Usage of industrial networks of the Internet with netcentric control is the driving trend of the future material manufacturing of goods and services. The bright future of this approach is out of doubt provided these complex net-centric systems will function with high reliability. Such systems are characterized by complex multi-parameter operability modes controlled by a large number of criteria.

Today, Industry 4.0 is the paradigm of manufacturing of the future. Its essence is in organizing material manufacturing of goods and services on the basis of Internet networks which integrate information exchange among sensors, data ports, control devices, and other terminal objects with means of smart operational and strategic control of technological processes – the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). In IoT Data Processing Centers (DPC) are added to control processors distributed over the network nodes, which use pre-programmed rules and procedures of control. These computers analyze these rules, inference new ones and modify old ones based on the data on the network state which circulates in form of data flow, thus demonstrating the so-called net-centric control of an industrial network.

For example, modern industrial lines (workshops) consisting of multi-functional Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machines, 3D printers, and robots are integrated into a network which includes a DPC for creating the pre-conditions for efficient planning and optimal realization of technological processes to be run in parallel and adapted for low-volume or single-piece manufacturing in the areas of machine-building, raw materials processing, assembling of multi-components devices, etc.

On the first level data from sensors of the network, objects are gathered. This data describes the state and conditions of each object (machines, robots, warehouses, controllers, etc.) which allows the controllers of the second level to control the process of each technological “macro operation” (MO) by IoT network objects. Each MO initiates implementation of a concrete sequence of more trivial technological operations controlled by the embedded controller of the network object.

The second level provides managing planned sequences of technological MO performed by machines, robots, and automated warehouse. Also, it transfers data regarding network objects and their environment to the third level. These data streams create “data lakes” available for analytics on the third level.

The third level provides “data lakes” analytics which is used for dynamic planning of the whole workshop functioning. This planning includes optimization of implementing MO by network objects considering the possibility of concurrent implementation, synchronization, regions of allowed values for object states parameters, conditions for reliable execution, etc. As success criteria are specified for each network object in all working modes, the third level shall dynamically solve the task of multi-criteria planning as well as specify new rules of measuring state parameters of network objects or modify existing ones.

This approach is prospective without any doubt provided complex net-centric systems ensure efficient planning and highly reliable functioning. Industrial IoT systems are characterized by complex multi-parameter operability modes controlled by a large number of criteria.

According to the analytic agency Juniper Research, there are 13.4 billion online devices which are permanently in the network. By 2020 their number will increase threefold – up to 38.5 billion devices. The major areas where IoT technologies develop are transport, medicine, industrial manufacturing, and the like.


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