Thursday, 19 November 2015

Growing Popularity of 'Internet of Things'

We all know how internet has made our lives easier than it used to be a decade ago. If we talk about business organizations, the use of internet has made business transactions much more quick and efficient than it used to be earlier. Businesses can easily get in touch with prospective clients sitting in far off places and make deals with them through internet. The latest concept of 'internet of things' has helped business organizations in more than one way.Through this, different objects/machines are connected to each other in such a way that one can receive and send data through them. In other words, it allows machine-to-machine communication between several devices. According to an estimate, the number of devices that can be connected through an IoT network is around thirty billion. This is the main reason why more and more industries and technologists are using this concept.

Business organizations are incorporating the concept of Internet Of Things in various departments, be it inventory control, asset tracking, individual tracking or security. It allows them to know about the condition as well as the location of the devices.  For example, a device such as a ship allows communication and relay of information to the business manager, who can then use this information to cut down cost and maximize revenue within the business. Another benefit of the concept of iot is that it helps to track and target individual consumers on the basis of the information provided by the devices.

Iot has not only benefitted business organizations, but individuals and society as well. Individuals can use this concept for safety, finance and health purposes. Since IoT allows automation of devices, healthcare sector can use it to monitor health of the patients. For example, a chip can be implemented into a patient and be used to check signs and symptoms of a disease or illness.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Difference between SCADA and DCS

As the internet bandwidth gets higher and higher, the difference between SCADA(Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and DCS(Distributed Control  Systems) is diminishing. Although a subtle line of discretion will always remain in their working, they are fast fading into each other. The basic difference, as suggested by the names, is that DCS is merely a control system, while SCADA is a control system too but it has the power to acquire data as well.

SCADA has been around for long, ever since Modbus became the preferred Machine to Machine (M2M) protocol. It was the top controller for low level intelligence machines, but it became a bit haphazard for a single system to control another system every second. Thus DCS started acting as a subordinate to SCADA. DCS was assigned most of the detailed work and its tasks were to take orders from and report to SCADA.

But the computers are so fast these days that the line of difference between Web Based SCADA and DCS is blurring fast. The difference is now only the region where you’re working, some workplaces call it SCADA and some call it DCS. But even after narrowing the margin, it is important to note how the two systems are actually different from one another. SCADA’s intelligence is distributed and even if communication is lost to the central hub, it can continue to control and monitor. DCS meanwhile, focuses on local problems and won’t be able to work if the communication goes haywire.

Basically, at control level a DCS is mainly concerned with the distribution control characteristics like control behaviours in field levels or local levels. SCADA on the other hand deals with control functions not only at the field or local levels but also at a supervisory level.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

What is Modbus?

We all by now, know about the massive craze over the ideology of internet of things, wherein, the internet is connected by various devices and items, rather than the usual human to machine one, that is previously, the machine was connected to the human, and that it would be up to the human to operate it, but now, machines can connect to each other, and can carry out commands without any human intervention.

The whole concept of machine to machine (M2M) has been an integral part of the internet of things, and has really helped in increasing productivity in many industries and has allowed people to connect their devices to hurry up many different processes. M2M usually includes the process of industrial instrumentation, where a device like a sensor or meter can capture an event, and then that is connected through a network, it can be wireless, wired or hybrid to an application that will then translate it into meaningful information.

Now, here is where the system of Modbus comes into play, which is a serial communications protocol, which was first published by Modicon, in 1979 to use with their programmable logic controllers (PLCs). But it has gradually become the go to communications protocol, because of its simplicity, the fact that it is openly published and royalty- free, extremely easy to deploy and maintain and is now commonly available as a means of connecting industrial electronic devices.

The use of Modbus, for industrial communication between the many devices has been a great help as it has made it easier to transfer information without the risk of misinforming or leaving out even the tiniest bit of information. Modbus has also been important in the inclusion of machine to machine communication within the corporate or industrial work environment.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Network of networks: Benefits of M2M communication

For years, the machines have been making our lives easier. We live in a world where we cannot even imagine the absence of cars, mobile phones, fridges, computers and other machines related to our daily routine!

But an emerging concept seems to be taking the ease to a whole new level. With the application of modern networking technology, the Machine To Machine (M2M) connectivity has become possible, and now we don’t even have to tell the machines what to do. The machines talk to each other and connect with each other through a system called “telemetry”.  This M2M communication makes workflows simpler and complex processes leaner.

Here’s a list of some of the benefits of M2M communication.

• Monitoring: The M2M system can observe the status of the devices connected to it and the environment around it. Modbus for example enables communication among many devices connected to the same network and measures the features such as temperature and humidity.

• Managing remote machines: Diagnosis and maintenance are important for cost effectiveness of machines. An M2M system lets you carry out such tasks remotely and you don’t even need to be on site for this. Travelling to fix things up is no more required.

• Optimization: Won’t you like it if your machine responds to the environmental conditions on its own and takes care of itself? With M2M communication, that has become possible. For example, a machine closes the skylight when it starts to rain. Also, it calculates the optimal routes for delivering supplies.

• Identification: With M2M communication, your machine would respond to you about the area that requires attention. A machine would send you signal when it needs maintenance or when it has started to show some irregularities! Thanks to M2M, the identification of critical problems has become so much easier!

We often think that the technology cannot get better than this and then it surprises us- all over again!