MAR-APR 2017

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24 INTECH MARCH/APRIL 2017 WWW.ISA.ORG Convergence and commercial momentum Industrial Internet of Things evolution By Peter Fuhr, PhD; Marissa Morales-Rodriguez, PhD; Sterling Rooke, PhD; and Penny Chen, PhD I ndustrial instrumentation and sensors are purpose-built for applications. Rugged and proven for field applications in harsh environ- ments, such as on an oil platform or in a copper mine 5,000-feet below ground, these instruments require reliability and performance. Before the turn of the millennium, industrial technology—and information technology (IT) in particular—drove these systems, and they often exceeded the abilities of consumer products. However, as we stand today, commercial Internet of Things (IoT) technology has advanced rapidly, with industrial control systems lagging in intelligence and features. Experienced owner-operators of industrial facili- ties recognize the buzz surrounding the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), but often shun the notion of consumer-grade devices being installed and in- tegrated into an operational control system. During the ISA Process Control and Safety Forum (PCS) in Houston, Texas, in November 2016, ISA's Commu- nication Division convened a panel to focus on IIoT. Experienced industrial and control engineers on the panel expressed concerns and reservations with IIoT. Whereas some acknowledged an interest in the topic, others did not recognize it as an inevitable part of the industrial controls landscape. Granted, IIoT is still mostly a vision in the instrumentation and automation landscape; however, its place on stage is coming into view. During the opening ses- sion of PCS 2016, ISA President Jim Keaveney

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