New Solutions to Include Existing Industrial Systems in the Internet of Things

B&B Bringing Legacy Systems into Industrial IoT

EE Times, January 21, 2015

Improving industrial efficiency is one application for the Internet of Things (IoT) where a solid business case exists, and many companies are maneuvering to address this industrial IoT (IIoT) market. But while most companies are trying to formulate end-to-end solutions for new installations, M2M (machine to machine) communications company B&B Electronics is taking a different approach. It targets bringing legacy industrial devices into the IIoT, focusing on the endpoint connection while working with multiple partners to provide the other services needed.

The company is responding to market shifts, Mike Fahrion, B&B’s director of product management, told EE Times. “Historically we have been in the M2M connectivity space,” says Fahrion, “and we started to see a profound change in how people view connectivity in industry. M2M typically formed silos, with only one or two layers up and down the communications stack. Now, companies are looking more and more into building smart, collaborative systems.”

But the components of an industrial IoT are much more complex than those of M2M, Fahrion noted, making implementation difficult. “It’s not a technology barrier,” he said. “It’s due to a fragmentation of standards and approaches.” He added that there also was a fundamental problem: the need to connect legacy devices.

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