Drill & Blast

Internet of Things daunts some companies

The survey conducted by global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon found that almost 60 per cent of its clients and property industry representatives believed their organisations were not undertaking enough research and planning for the Internet of Things (IoT). It also found that although 40 per cent were interested in using blockchain for business, they were unsure how to apply it.

The IoT refers to the connections in a smart building that link devices and sensors, analytics, machine learning, business systems, the cloud, productivity and artificial intelligence. It is anticipated the IoT will gradually become an integral part of devices, plant and equipment in the quarrying space.

Peter Greaves, Aurecon’s buildings of the future leader, said the data demonstrates that the built environment understands the value that the IoT and blockchain will deliver but lacks the confidence to select the right technologies.

“Forty-four per cent of respondents said that choosing the right technology and applying it effectively to enhance building value and operations concerned them most about the IoT,” Greaves said.

“Blockchain has made significant progress in other industries compared to the built environment, meaning the time is ripe for disruption, but this feedback shows there is a need for greater education.

“As an industry, we are at the forefront of change and it’s a very exciting time to be having these conversations to consider how our future offices, homes and community buildings can be enhanced by technology to improve life for end users,” he said. 

The report – entitled Easy Life, Complex Technology – also investigates how buildings will utilise the IoT for improving building and equipment maintenance to increase efficiencies in business operations and amplify business performance.

Construction materials industry

According to Stuart Corner, an information technology commentator and the publisher of the IoT Australia website, there are several key challenges preventing and delaying the adoption of technologies like Blockchain, automation and the IoT in the construction materials industry.

“Industrial processes are the domain of operation technology, which has traditionally been quite distinct from information technology, with different technologies and communications protocols,” Corner told Quarry.

“Any successful and useful application of IoT to any production or industrial process requires the integration of operational and information technologies [OT and IT] and close collaboration between those working in these domains. This is not easily achieved.

“Security is always one of the biggest concerns with IoT and the approaches of OT and IT differ considerably as does the impact of security breaches on any kind.”

According to Corner, who was a presenter at CMIC 16 in Melbourne, there have been demonstrable benefits across a range of industries that the implementation of IoT can optimise routine maintenance and predict failures.

In the short to medium term, Corner believes there is likely to be a convergence of IoT and materials technology in the form of smart materials that can provide information about themselves and their environment, in additional to responding to commands.


More reading:
Are you prepared for the fourth industrial revolution 
What is the Internet of Things 
OEM introduces innovative industrial IoT platform 
A holistic view of network connected quarry improvements 
Melbourne the focal point for innovation

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