3 Industrial Apps for 2016

Jan. 12, 2016
If 2015 was a year of study and analysis, then 2016 should be a year of testing and implementation. The exercise to define objectives is done, now begins the daily activity and effort to realize them.

January is typically the month of reflections and resolutions. A new year awaits us to improve on our past and aim at new targets. If this is true from a personal perspective, it is also true from a professional one—to carry out new projects, experiment with new solutions andnew business, and make some dream a reality.

With that in mind, I’m going to share with you my ideas for three applications I would like to create with Autoware during 2016.

Wear your info. In my opinion, 2015 was the year of the wearable device. All the big players in technology entered this market in 2015, sometimes following lesser-known but more agile and innovative companies. The level of activity in this market gave the wearable device sector the solidity and consistency it needed to begin seriously addressing the industrial world. For 2016, I propose the development of an application where important information can be constantly at hand for users, with needed information viewable with just a flick of the wrist. In the app I envision, the user's attention is called discreetly but effectively by vibration only when a response is needed, with the interface clearly providing the reason for the notification. A light touch from the user would allow them to interact with the system or at least declare their awareness of the situation.

Project2Service. There is a lot of talk about substantive changes coming to traditional business models and the opportunity/need to shift the focus in industry toward services. I believe this trend will impact the manufacturing sector faster than most people expect. I say this because we already have some customers beginning to ask for it. Given this scenario, I propose the development of an app that can provide solutions to recurring problems. The app would provide the analysis and necessary user engagement to help standardize and package a solution as a service rather than a project. By collecting project data, historicizing those data in the cloud, processing them and returning an analysis to users within a standard platform that all subscribers have access to, such an app could be the first step down the path toward transforming some key aspects of the manufacturing business model.

Internet of Something. TheInternet of Things (IoT)is often presented as a possible solution to a wide variety of issues. When you dig a bit beyond the surface, however, it turns out that relatively little has been done beyond the first prototype stages of such projects. For this reason, I would like to create an application to help users experience the IoT in a real world industrial context.Whether it is linked to production devices for coordination of the supply chain through the monitoringo f semi-finished or finished goods, or for the straightforward collection of data for predictive maintenance, I'd really like to be able to test the applicability of available technologies and measure the impact of the solution on a business to see how the theory can become real and under what conditions.

Luigi De Bernardini is chief executive officer at Autoware, a Certified Control System Integrators Association member based in Vicenza, Italy. For more information about Autoware, visit the Autoware profile on the Industrial Automation Exchange.

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