Most of us are familiar with the term “apps.” If you combine the top repositories, like the Apple App Store, Google Play, and those offered by Microsoft, Amazon, and Blackberry, you come up with well over 5 million apps. We each have tens (hundreds?) of them on our smartphones.
Many of those are aimed at the Internet of Things. You could make the argument that they’re all based on the IoT in some respect. But in the industrial space, a different picture is painted. We need apps that are specific to our industry, to our equipment, and to the products we design and manufacture. You likely can’t go to one of the popular “stores” and download an app that will help control your automation system, at least without some level of tweaking and/or modification.
With or without an app, you’ve likely made a significant capital investment to be in the industrial IoT space, so it makes sense to maximize that investment, which is where the app could/should come into play. Just the ability to monitor and control your equipment from any location gives you a big advantage over past practices. But today’s modern apps add a ton of functionality, including things like inventory control, predictive maintenance, and insight into real-time inventory and shipping.
Not long ago, writing your own app or having it done for you, was a long and expensive endeavor. However, that’s not necessarily the case anymore. There are tools available that can get the savvy developer up and running relatively quickly. In the industrial space, apps are somewhat different than what the consumer is accustomed to. Basically, they’re an application of the platform to a particular industry and its needs. Within that smart solution, the mobile app would incorporate analytics, cognitive services, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc.
Avnet has the tools that can help organizations of any size create connected devices that run safer, smarter and more efficiently. This is accomplished through the use of both hardware and software solutions. In addition, the company has the in-house expertise to guide you through your entire Industrial IoT platform development, from conception to prototype to deployment, with a realizable goal of streamlining and maximizing your manufacturing output.
Avnet’s tools are built on the company’s existing IoT Connect platform, which already contains a host of solutions, including a smart factory application with remote management. Having some of that work done ahead of time lets the developer “pre-vet” the solution, greatly hastening time to market. Because Avnet understands the underlying similarities between a host of industrial deployments, the best choices are already made for the developer so he can focus on the top layer, which likely includes the user interface.
In other words, Avnet pre-constructs a base that can be customized to add in the different components and specifications required by the customer for his specific needs. Key areas, where the advantages will be obvious include smart factories, fleet management, worker and asset management, and predictive maintenance.
The key to develop such an app comes back to ROI—what does it cost to develop the app verses how will it affect my bottom line. In terms of cost, there are elements that go beyond actual dollars. There are questions like:
- Do I need to shut down my equipment at any point to realize the app?
- Can I be guaranteed that the information I receive is accurate?
- Is my data safe?
- Am I designing something that’s future-proofed?
These are vital questions, but they just scratch the surface when it comes to protecting your valuable assets. The bottom line is that Avnet can help deliver on the promise of app development and deployment, while ensuring that ROI goals are met in a timely manner. You’ll get the jump start that you need, and gain the foundation that helps you rise above the competition, and more importantly, stay there.