Industrial IoT Stack Development: Professionalism requirements and constraints
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Industrial IoT Stack Development: Professionalism requirements and constraints

Purnima Ahirao

K J Somaiya College of Engineering
Vidyavihar, Mumbai

purnimaahirao@somaiya.edu

Shubhangi Motewar

Shan and Anchor college of Engineering

shubhangi.motewar@sakec.ac.in

ABSTRACT

Internet of things is considered to bring about a significant revolution in the digital world. Industry 4.0 is much talked about the revolution, which will change the whole digital ecosystem. In industry 4.0,   changes such as the digital supply chain, smart manufacturing, digital product services, and business models are proposed to be developed. This will transform the day to day life of the business industry, the manufacturing industry, as well as the people involved. Industrial IoT being part of the Industry 4.0 revolution needs to be geared up for the transformation. Organizations have already started with smaller IoT applications and looking forward to developing high-end applications suitable for real-world use. The industrial IoT stack consists of various components for development. These components are interdisciplinary in nature. Hence the professionalism and the skill required to manage and integrate these components is a more significant task. This paper discusses the various components needed for Industrial IoT and the skills needed for the successful development of high-end IoT applications. The paper also talks about the constraints encountered during the development of Industrial IoT application and its professional criteria.

Keywords : IoT, Industrial evolution, components, IIoT.

1. INTRODUCTION

IoT connects people to things through a wired or wireless network using sensors for the purpose of developing intelligent products and services. IoT represents the next evolution of the Internet, taking a huge leap in its ability to gather, analyze, and distribute data that we can turn into information, knowledge, and, ultimately, wisdom[1]. Industrial IoT focusses on products and services linked through sensors and networks during production. In other words, it is smart manufacturing that covers advanced technologies to encompass 3D printing, Augmented reality, etc. The different components involved in the development of IIoT are heterogeneous in nature. Each industrial environment has a number of diverse and context-specific requirements that IoT technologies are called to resolve[3]. The mapping required between the components and the professional involved in managing them is of the utmost requirement. The skills needed for developing whole IoT architecture has many practical implications. This research study focusses on the various layers in the Industrial IoT stack, the various components such as sensors, networking devices, accessing devices, technological aspects, and their correspondence to the professionalism features and its related constraints. IoT’s potential use faces some key challenges like skills shortage, security concerns and solution complexity. The report suggests that though IoT adoption is growing rapidly, the challenges mentioned remains unaddressed. So the IoT benefit cannot be experienced in its full extent. Microsoft is trying its way out for simplifying and securing IoT so that every business can get the benefit of its advanatages[4].  Presently IoT systems development tends to motivate technological advancements in computing. This surely paves its way for subsequent changes in the professional landscape. [5].  .

2. Industrial IoT stack layers

Fig 1: Layers of IoT stack

As shown in the figure. 1, the IoT stack consists of five layers, i.e. sensor layer, Integration layer, Network layer,  Processing layer, Business or application layer.

2.1 Layers of IoT stack

The first layer in the stack from bottom to top is the sensor layer. This is the physical layer wherein physically any object or thing can be connected using sensors like temperature sensor to record the temperature of an object to the upper layer. These sensors are real-time sensors. This layer can also be called as the data collection layer. The data from the sensors are passed on to the Integration layer for further processing. The data read over here because the sensor cannot read data; it can only record, so the integration layer is there to record and transfer the data from the sensor to the network layer. The network layer then helps in passing the collected data to the Processing Layer. The processing layer converts the data into useful information using business logic. The uppermost layer is the business layer, or it can also be called an Application layer which provides interface using any device such as laptop, computer, or mobile to the user of the system.

2.2 Technological perspective to the IoT stack

Fig 2. IIoT stack components

As shown in fig 2, the sensor layer has all the hardware components like temperature sensor, analog sensor, actuator, humidity sensor, etc. There are different types of sensors that can sense the characteristics of a given object according to the requirement. The integration layer consists of components such as RFID reader, Bluetooth devices, WSN’s, or Intelligent systems that extract the data sensed by the sensors in the sensor layer. Different data acquisition protocols like ZigBee, LORAWAN  are used in this layer for passing on the sensed data to the communication layer. The network layer uses a different set of protocols and networks such as WSN, cloud again, and mobile networks to acquire and store the data coming from the integration layer. This data stored on the cloud platform and uses big data to convert the raw data to useful and meaningful information. Here the cloud computing and Big data analysis techniques come in the picture. Figure 2: Technologies used in Industrial IoT

2.3. Professionalism criteria for IIoT

Fig 3. Mapping the IoT layer to professionalism Criteria

As per the stack of the IIoT, the involvement of professionals is heterogeneous in nature. As the IIoT layer goes up through a different level, each level requires different knowledge and skill set. The individual, an electronic and telecommunication field expert, is the right person to handle the sensing of critical data and its reading through the intermediate protocol such as RFID, WSN’s, BLE, and so on. These professionals will have sound knowledge about the working of the sensors and devices to read this data.

Without these professionals, the data will not be extracted from the sensor layer. The next layer will have Network engineers and professionals for handling network communication. These professionals will work on the transfer of the sensor data to the cloud through the use of different computer network protocols and communication channels. The smooth transfer of data is an important part of the IIoT stack. Hence expert knowledge of networking and communication medium is instrumental over here. Once the data is stored on the cloud, now it becomes the responsibility of experts on cloud computing to process and maintain the received data. The cloud owner or the cloud professional will act at the processing layer as an expert for handling a large volume of complex data and storage processing. The big data professional will be the next expert in the line up the IIoT stack to perform analysis of the large volume of heterogeneous data and convert it to some useful information. Then there may be a security expert to protect the information from getting hacked around. Security is a critical concern in the case of the Internet of Things applications. So there is always a need for security professionals to help the IIoT stack to remain secure and provide its services. The uppermost layer will need a software interface development professional to provide a better UI to the user so that the system can operate as per the requirement. This is a vital part of the system as the interface will be in the hand of the user through a varied range of devices such as computers, laptops, or handheld devices. The coding expert is the next skilled person to be included in the IIoT stack for application development. Then there can be an Artificial Intelligence professional in the uppermost layer to provide intelligent interaction experience to the system user.

3. Conclusion

The mapping of the layers of IIoT to the professional knowledge and expertise required is an essential part for the development of real-life IIoT solution. Development of IIoT application involves engineering professionals from many filed such as electronics, electrical, electronics and telecommunication, computer/IT and even Mechanical. It is possible for young professional or employee of the organization to learn and upgrade the knowledge required for the development. But this may take time and also a financial burden on the industry. Here the anatomy of the IIoT stack with the professional experts can be beneficial for the organization. If the project is distributed over the knowledge layers of the experts, then it will definitely lead to an efficient and high-end IIoT application.

References

  1. J. Bradley, C, Reberger, A. Dixit, and V. Gupta, “Internet of Everything: A $4.6 Trillion Public-Sector Opportunity,” Cisco, White Paper, 2013.
  2. S. Mitchell, N. Villa, M. Stewart-Weeks, and A. Lange, “The Internet of Everything for Cities,” Cisco, White Paper, 2013.
  3. Alex Vakaloudis,  Christian O’Leary, “A framework for rapid integration of IoT Systems with industrial environments”, 2019 IEEE 5th World Forum on Internet of Things (WF-IoT)
  4. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/overview/iot/
  5. Razvan Nicolescu, Michael Huth, Petar Radanliev, David De Roure, “Mapping the values of IoT”, Journal of Information Technology (2018) 33, 345–360
  6. Guizi Chen, Wee Siong Ng “An Efficient Authorization Framework for Securing Industrial Internet of Things” Proc. of the 2017 IEEE Region 10 Conference (TENCON), Malaysia, November 5-8, 2017
  7. Alex Vakaloudis,  Christian O’Leary, “A framework for rapid integration of IoT Systems with industrial environments”, 2019 IEEE 5th World Forum on Internet of Things (WF-IoT)
  8. http://doi.org.library.somaiya.edu/10.1007/s11277-020-07108-5
  9. https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en_us/about/ac79/docs/innov

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