Smart Sensors for Industry 4.0 and IIoT
TE Connectivity (TE) manufactures smart sensors with the packaging to support harsh environments, low current consumption, and a variety of measurement types to enable the growth of Industry 4.0 and IIoT.
Smarter Factories with Sensors
Smart Sensors create an opportunity to read measurement properties to predict failure, monitor levels, and increase efficiencies to create a smart factory. Accurate measurements in harsh environments and conditions expand the reach of sensors to various types of equipment and processes. From miniaturized sensors with multiple digital output signals to wireless sensor technologies, TE offers various solutions to enable Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of things (IIoT).
As industrial robotic automation advances, sensing technology will continue to be the foundation for data collection that will help transform manufacturing floors into the connected, cost-effective, and reliable factories of the future. Learn how sensors are driving this evolution.
Monitoring sensor output signals over a period of time can offer insights into equipment failure. From bearing vibration to rising temperatures, as properties change, the decline in performance or need for part replacement can be predicted to avoid catastrophic failure, downtime, and cost. Filtration is another area of maintenance; as an example, differential pressure sensors can be used to monitor pressure across a filter to predict hydraulic or pneumatic filter maintenance.
For industrial condition monitoring and predictive maintenance applications vibration specification parameters are considered critical to ensure long-term, reliable, stable and accurate performance including: wide frequency response, measurement resolution, low drift, and operating temperature.
TE Connectivity (TE) designed a survey for engineers on a variety of topics related to IoT design. We got responses from 180 engineers ... primarily senior engineers with a stated interest in consumer, industrial, and automotive IoT. Our survey explored IoT applications and design methods and then identified common challenges that exist across this space.
The Internet of Things is changing everything — everywhere. Yet the path and scope of those changes seem very unsettled — particularly for design engineers who have to fully understand and embrace the changes and how to best leverage them in new designs.
With this in mind, TE Connectivity (TE) designed a survey for engineers on a variety of topics related to IoT design. We got responses from 180 engineers ... primarily senior engineers with a stated interest in consumer, industrial, and automotive IoT. Our survey explored IoT applications and design methods and then identified common challenges that exist across this space.
So where do we stand just now, and is it just hype?
We think our survey assesses the opportunities and separates the hype from the reality. Here’s what we learned.
First, 5G will continue to expand the proliferation of IoT.
5G networked devices can be just about anything. With the ability to connect to thousands of devices at once at exceptionally fast speeds and low end-to-end latency, engineers anticipate 5G will have a significant impact on IOT applications. Nearly 60 percent of respondents believe the advent of 5G will mean getting data faster and that, in turn, will result in new applications of all kinds for IoT.
Second, engineers see several areas that they expect to dramatically shape IoT.
Here’s what we learned.
- 29% said the ability to capture different kinds of data was critical.
- 26% said gathering more data faster from applications was significant.
- 25% cited lower current consumption in IOT devices that would enable networks to reduce power consumption overall and therefore also diminish strain on data transmission.
- 19% mentioned the importance of smaller, miniaturized components.
Third, engineers think IoT requirements are not being fully met in a number of areas, and ranked these areas as most important:
- Hardware endurance: 57%
- Measurement accuracy tied with measurement stability: 52%
- Sensor intelligence: 46%
- Processing speed: 31%
- Cloud analytics: 16%
These last two areas – processing speed and cloud —were considered less vital.
Fourth, we found that miniaturization is universally seen as key to IoT development.
- 85% of survey participants overwhelmingly agreed, and 47% thought this was very true.
- Another 38% felt it was somewhat significant to the continued proliferation of the IoT.
- At the same time, 15% believe sensor miniaturization has already gone as far as is needed.
Fifth, we talked about how IoT is expected to evolve into what experts predict will be a pervasive network that connects virtually every aspect of our lives.
Survey participants see three common major challenges when designing for IoT.
The first two challenges were finding the right hardware and connectivity. Nearly half of respondents — some 49% mentioned these two challenges. We don’t think that is surprising given that today there are multiple wired and wireless options to connect IoT devices. All of these connectivity standards and technologies serve valuable purposes yet taking on all of those standards from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth to Ethernet is a significant undertaking.
The third challenge was security — 44% mentioned this. Others mentioned developing the right software at 43% and cloud computing issues, trailing at 14%.
Sixth, when we asked how many engineers have really started their IoT solution design — we discovered that most seem to start at the same point.
The vast majority of engineers are beginning with hardware choices — 78% — while only 22% started by specifying software.
At TE Connectivity, we think all of these findings are exceedingly relevant today. We believe we are in the midst of what we call the fourth industrial revolution — the convergence of physical things with the Internet of Things. It’s why we think this data and our analysis is so important.
From the data, it is clear that IoT is here to stay, it’s growing, and will impact design engineers moving forward. TE Connectivity has extensive experience with engineers worldwide. We expect the growth of connected things within the next five to ten years to be very significant — and we plan to play a key role with our products. Let’s work together on the IoT opportunity.
Reach out to us today.
Keep Production Running
Certain manufacturing operations require assets and raw materials to build products. Sensors help confirm raw materials are available in inventory. A shortage in material can result in production downtime and potential loss down the supply chain. From the overall level to bubble detection, sensors are available to confirm assets are ready for use.
In many cases, assets in factories are stored in a liquid state. These liquids can be corrosive in nature, requiring special handling and management. If the sensor comes into contact with the liquid, it is required to be manufactured from compatible materials. Whether it is the factory or supplier of the chemicals that monitors the liquid level, submersible pressure transducers can be used to measure the hydrostatic level of the storage tank. When transmitted to the cloud, factories or suppliers can schedule deliveries to ensure production continues uninterrupted.
Efficiency with Sensors
Reducing cost and emissions in building controls continues to be a priority for many smart factories. Similar to smart home applications, sensors can provide data for pressure, temperature, and humidity to increase efficiencies in HVAC and refrigeration systems for the overall factory and factory equipment. From miniature digital sensors embedded in controls to wireless sensors installed in the process, TE provides a wide variety of sensor technologies and options to use for building automation applications.
Sensors are an integral part of most heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) systems — helping to not only maintain a comfortable indoor climate but also to increase the efficiency of the HVAC systems. They also enable integration of HVAC systems with building automation systems.
Traditional factories are evolving into smart factories by incorporating sensors. Replacing dial gauges with sensors allows for more accurate readings as well as collection of data in harsh areas. The data from sensors can enable Industry 4.0 process automation by collecting the data at a central point and optimizing systems based on feedback. Additionally, sensors are available with displays to understand conditions at the equipment.
Difficulty reading pressure measurements in awkward spaces throughout your process can compromise your operational efficiency. TE’s M5800 digital display transducer offers visualized pressure value readings for demanding , harsh applications. The 310° rotatable display enables easy viewing and on-demand adjustment.
Safer Data Storage
Security of data continues to be a high priority related to Industry 4.0 and all elements of the Internet of Things. While the sensors provide the data, the transmission of the data through gateways and the cloud requires greater care.
High security data storage enclosures require reliable and effective means to detect and protect the system and it’s data against physical tampering. TE Connectivity (TE) tamper detection sensors offer a high security solution for physical data protection.
TE Connectivity tamper detection sensors (TDS) offer a high security solution in a space efficient form factor for the detection of physical tampering in small, high security enclosures. For more information on our tamper detection technology, complete the form to the right to connect with our TDS product experts today.
Explore Our Smart Factory Experience
TE sensors are the backbone of the growing IIoT, serving thousands of applications across hundreds of industries. We’ve created a sample of what that looks like—a virtual tour of the connected factory.