The industrial internet of things (IIoT) includes the interconnecting of devices such as instruments, sensors, valves, and other components which are networked together via intelligent software in industrial applications. The connectivity of components provides a higher degree of automation which allows for the collection, exchange, and analysis of data improving productivity and efficiency while increasing system control and reducing costs. IIoT-enabled valves can identify and communicate data about the liquids or gasses that pass through them and the environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and airflow.
There are billions of devices interconnected from what is essentially the IoT (Internet of Things) from high end industrial applications that can be controlled from one central system to common consumer products such as household appliances that can be controlled from your phone. However, on the industrial side, IIoT is a significant part of conductivity in production operations. It is fundamental to acquiring data from hundreds to thousands of process and equipment sensors which then transmits the data to central computerized controls via wireless or hardwired networks in order to cost effectively monitor every aspect of a system. Ultimately, enormous amounts of data are gathered and analyzed to locate and solve problems and maintain system control which reduces costs of maintenance and increases service life of components via a distributed control system (DCS).
Industrial Flow Systems
Industrial flow systems which include valves, fittings, and other components for control and transmission of gases and liquids in high-pressure and high-temperature pipelines, use cloud-based, open IIoT operating systems.
Some of the more advanced process instrumentation valve and fitting manufactures incorporate cloud-based technology into their products to increase reliability, reduce costs and minimize the physical space required for valve rigs. All of this opens new possibilities that were too expensive or too complex to implement in the past. The Industry 4.0 revolution which has provided IIoT gives the tools to move to digital systems and connect valves and other components to the cloud. Previously, valves were only able to open and close manually. Today, IIoT valves can remotely sense the matter that passes through them, as well as various environmental conditions such a temperature, pressure, vibration, humidity, acoustics and more. Using a combination of machine learning, edge computing and the cloud, connected IoT process instrumentation valves provide customers with accurate and cost effective measurement and monitoring capabilities. Connecting valves to intelligent software controls allows device management, analytics and visualization never seen before, providing the display of parameters and historical data for each valve.
These IoT gateways can also be used to detect leaks, bursts, or deviations from normal operations in real-time through analytics. These technologies analyze data streams from the valves using machine learning models that run within a computer software execution environment through an open platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to create increasingly valuable solutions.
Safety and accuracy are top priorities when measuring and controlling temperature, pressure, level, and flow in a process system. The efficient measurement of these characteristics depends on functionality of components in the process instrumentation loop, from tap to transmitter. Transmitters are an important component in the system. They convert the digital signal produced by a sensor into a standardized instrumentation signal which is conveyed to a controlling or indicating device. The accurate readings of the transmitters depend on receiving accurate inputs of the vital components that feed results to the transmitter. Regardless of the efficiency provided by IIoT, the initial design and layout of a system is critical to the performance and accuracy of resultant measurements.
In addition, with the ongoing skilled labor shortage in oil and gas operations, chemical plants, the pharmaceutical and food industries, and many others, leveraging this automation using sensors that are driven by industrial IoT predictive and self-learning systems has significantly increased productivity.
Learn more about process valves, along with Ham-Let's process and instrumentation solutions IoT smart valves, in this BluPrint called, “Evaluation of Process Instrumentation Valves into the IoT Era.”