M2M: When machines talk back, it's a good thing

Skilled listeners know that even machines that haven't been networked communicate quite a bit through their behaviors: cycle time, throughput, vibration, motion, and wear—the sights and sounds of manufacturing. Most people know, or have heard, about people who can put a hand on a machine and diagnose a myriad of ills.

10/01/2005


Skilled listeners know that even machines that haven't been networked communicate quite a bit through their behaviors: cycle time, throughput, vibration, motion, and wear—the sights and sounds of manufacturing. Most people know, or have heard, about people who can put a hand on a machine and diagnose a myriad of ills. A few even can use subtle cues to optimize a line and even a plant. At the same time machines' increasing complexity is such that in-depth expertise is getting more rare. With machine complexity comes ability to communicate status, diagnostics, and a wealth of other information valuable to many areas of the enterprise and supply chain, creating opportunities, as more real-time information is available to more people to make smart decisions.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, interconnecting physical assets with each other and with people, is predicted to exceed $250 billion by 2010, according to Harbor Research (harborresearch.com) estimates cited at the recent "M2M In Action: Strategy Summit & Networking Event" in Chicago. (No current M2M market value was provided.) Whatever the number, the enormity seems understandable, since M2M seems to incorporate residential, commercial, personal device communications, as well as multiple industrial categories, including industrial networks, wireless communications, data acquisition, monitoring, human-machine interfaces, and the related hardware, software, and services, across all industries.

With this kind of diversity, some have been putting in place the elements of the disruptive, new M2M world, without even calling it that, suggests Glen Allmendinger, president, Harbor Research. Also called the pervasive Internet or the embedded Internet, M2M goes way beyond saving money. It will recreate the ways companies do business, what business they do, and the companies with which they align and compete, he says. Ultimately, technology will enable ability to communicate, control, and compute at a granular level. "We've had very little machine-to-machine real-time management. People have no idea how much change is going to be driven by the real-time enterprise, running more invisibly. Capital assets will be monitored in real time." The disruption created by wireless communications, he says, has helped people understand cheap and easy networking. "For almost no money you can monitor almost any asset, almost anywhere."

M2M will go everywhere, but initially, investments are easiest to justify for businesses that make (or could make) 8-15 times of their revenue after a customer's initial capital investment, Allmendinger explains. Value is added with greater communications and enhanced levels of service, predictive maintenance, better managing relationship through the product lifecyle, and capturing the aftermarket, not only by saving money, he suggests. This creates huge opportunities for premier diversified industrial companies, such as ABB, GE, Honeywell, Rockwell, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and others. They, and their competitors, may also benefit through "coopetition," combining cooperation and competition among quickly changing sets of partners, creating a network as the new face to the customer, he says. "You'll need to reorient business to where money is really going to come from. Economic value is generated around real-time knowledge of the asset. Once the technology-enablement step is complete, then it's about socialization, alliances, and ecosystems. How companies manage those alliances will be the central point of differentiation."

"Growth Opportunities and Business Models for the Pervasive Internet," a 20-page, Harbor Research white paper, is available at harborresearch.com/pdfs/hri_pi_opps_busmodels.pdf .





The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me