IIoT Helping Refineries and Other Businesses Boost Predictability and Reliability
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is bringing capabilities to businesses that once sounded like science fiction. Thanks to this interconnection of devices and technologies, monitoring, exchanging and analyzing information like never before is now possible. Best of all, none of these actions require human intervention.
Oil refineries in particular are finding plenty of great uses for all that the IIoT offers. Data collection and automation have long been used in the industry to some extent, but now an entire new world has been opened up.
GE has been making great strides in this regard recently, adding sensors to gas turbines, motors and other machines to connect them to the cloud and analyze the resultant data so they can find ways to improve their reliability and productivity. The firm anticipates that IIoT will be able to let them know which problems are likely to arise so they can be averted or dealt with rapidly before they turn into disasters. For example, an FCC turboexpander can be equipped with vibration monitoring to predict the need for repairs and schedule them before the unit shuts down entirely.
IIoT Spending Expected to Grow
GE is not the only firm that is betting big on IIoT. In 2012, global industrial internet spending was $20 billion; this figure is expected to rise to $514 billion by the year 2020, creating almost $1.3 trillion in value. In addition, the number of IoT devices that are connected to the internet is expected to more than triple by that time, rising from 10 billion to as much as 34 billion. It is believed that IoT devices will make up around 24 billion of this sum, while traditional devices like tablets and smartphones will account for 10 billion. Meanwhile, the amount of money spent on IoT solutions in the next five years is expected to reach just shy of $6 trillion.