TE Connectivity is partnering with a consortium of companies to launch a new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) testbed for sensors connected to the cloud and smart factory machinery.

A recent Control Engineering Europe article discussed the new testbed with Daniel Walldorf and Michael Hilgner from TE Connectivity. TE, formerly Tyco Electronics, designs and manufactures connectivity and sensor solutions for a variety of industries.

See also: Is security the biggest threat to industrial IoT?

The new testbed seeks to allow the analysis of IIoT production data by connecting operational technology and IT systems.

“TE Connectivity and three partners have set out to implement a testbed that shows how existing sensors can be connected to the cloud and machines upgraded for smart applications under the umbrella of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC),”said Walldorf and Hilgner.

They highlighted the role IIC in the testbed initiative. The Needham, Ma.-based organization of over 250 members is focused on developing and testing IoT ecosystems for smart factories and in other environments.

“(The IIC) is creating experimental platforms (testbeds) that will be used to put future technologies, products and applications through their paces to find out whether they are feasible and what benefits they offer to users,” they said.

Infrastructure needs upgradeable solutions

In developing the new IIoT test bed for testing existing sensors to the cloud, TE partnered with SAP, the OPC Foundation and ifm. This testbed is being used to demonstrate how energy consumption can be reduced through intelligent solutions that involve optimized data capture, transport and processing.

“The IIC testbed demonstrates how smart connectivity technology helps connect data from existing sensors to the cloud and then analyze it in an IT system in order to increase process efficiency – in this case, monitoring energy consumption,” say Walldorf and Hilgner. “Existing infrastructures in particular need upgradable solutions that minimize downtime, save costs and increase productivity. Pilot projects at TE’s own factories have shown that this approach also works in practice.”

Donal Power