An Introduction to IWoT: How the Web of Things Helps Solve Industry 4.0 Challenges

An Introduction to IWoT: How the Web of Things Helps Solve Industry 4.0 Challenges

Ángel Retamar, Daniel Ibaseta, Andrés G. Mangas, Iván Gallego, Irene Alonso Canella, Lucía Fernández
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 46
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3805-9.ch005
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The major drawback of the industrial internet of things is the lack of interoperability across the plethora of IoT platforms. Cross-platform services often require the development of complex software components for protocol translation, device discovery, and thing lifecycle management. As a result, these systems are too expensive and hard to develop. The W3C Consortium launched the Web of Things Working Group to develop the standards for open interoperability in the internet of things. This chapter presents the web of things specifications for systems architecture and communication protocols and how they can be applied in industrial domains, building the industrial web of things. Finally, this chapter shows that this industrial web of things is built upon a network of systems and devices linked with universal open standards such as enterprise systems, which are nowadays communicated through the conventional “web of pages,” as a key player in the Industry 4.0 revolution.
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There are some key challenges that The Internet of Things has to face to be adopted by industry: a) aggressive environments, b) real time, c) trust, d) silos and e) lack of standards. Each one of these challenges establishes restrictions and needs in the devices themselves, the companies and the people.

Aggressive Environments

Industrial platforms for data gathering, for example, a production chain, are designed to resist the aggressive industrial environment where it might be exposed to high temperatures, electrical noise, electromagnetic fields, dust and many other threats. However, the integration of The IoT in the industry requires, in many cases, the integration of microprocessors very sensitive to temperature, electrostatic and/or hits. These apparatuses might be suitable for an office environment, but they are not really appropriate for a hazardous environment. Device protection, as hardening or waterproofing, is essential in an industrial environment.

This all concerns physical requirements, but there are some other problems to take into account in an industrial environment, like connectivity. One of the key factors of The IoT is, obviously, the internet connection: no device is an The IoT Thing until it is connected. However, a public regulation, such as ATEX normative for hazardous and potentially explosive environments, usually restricts wirelessly connectivity. It might not be an internet access point (Ethernet cable) or a wireless connection (Wi-Fi) in key areas of a given industrial facility; it might even not be possible to deploy one. Because of this lack of conventional connectivity, devices must rely on other ways of communication, stronger, wider and shielded from the environment.

Real Time

In terms of industry, The IoT has strict requirements such as bandwidth, latency, and determinism. Industrial machines often need a millisecond precision for decision-making, so the thing that monitors it must react, at least, with that precision. It also has to be scalable and adaptive, for example, a bakery industry that needs a lot of sensors to measure ovens temperatures and control them, so that each oven must be accessible and respond to temperature updates quickly. Also if a new oven was added it should not affect the rest of them or the whole system.

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