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The Future of IoT and Composition Measurement Systems

At a recent ISA Analysis Division Symposium, in Pasadena, California (April 2017), Chet Mroz gave a thought-provoking presentation on the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to chemical and gas composition measurement systems. While IoT has become a reality for many industries, it is slow to catch on in the process analyzer realm, mainly due to the sheer complexity of most analyzers.

However, it’s becoming more imperative to find cost-savings and new efficiencies with respect to managing analyzer data as companies become leaner due to economic and human resource issues. Dr. J.D. Tate, senior technical leader of Dow Chemical, sums it by this statement made at the 2016 Yokogawa Users Conference & Exhibition, “In 2003, Dow had 15,000 analyzers and 153 people in the analyzer group. Today, we have 22,000 analyzers and fewer than 45 people. Our group is losing 432 years of experience in the next five years,” Tate said. “It’s the same everywhere. Something has to give.” To truly benefit from analyzing all the available Big Data, companies like Dow and others will need to embrace smarter technology producing more reliable instrument diagnostics and requiring fewer people in the process.

Furthermore, process analyzers have to be less of a standalone device with extensive support infrastructure and join the newer trends driving automation and connectivity towards a fully integrated manufacturing and production environment. This not only calls for more intelligent analyzers than what are commonly in use today, but a paradigm shift in the very design of process analyzers and their sampling systems—perhaps, more like a single sensor—which will allow measurement data to be remotely monitored and seamlessly merged with other operations and business-critical information for easy mobile access, deeper analysis and increased usability in decision-making.

Could IoT be the answer?
IoT is definitely here to stay in our personal and business lives! According to Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), the Internet of Things began in 2008 and 2009, when more things or objects, like smartphones, tablet PCs, etc., were connected to the Internet than people. This was the start of what some are now calling the 4th Industrial Revolution, characterized by cyber-physical “Digital Transformation” tools that are on course to positively impact global industries well into the 2020’s. In addition to IoT, or IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), and in Europe, Industry 4.0, other emerging technologies include Cloud Computing, Edge Computing, Big Data Analytics, etc. When looked at holistically, it is the convergence of IT (Information Technology), OT (Operations Technologies), and ET (Engineering Technologies) that will deliver powerful solutions like providing real-time measurement data for in-depth analysis by anyone, anywhere.

How does HINT fit in?
Hint’s Analyzer Management and Data Acquisition System (AMADAS) is on the cutting edge of Digital Transformation. It provides the necessary infrastructure for managing and maintaining analyzers in the field and in the laboratory with a minimum of resources. With its built-in intelligence, this software can easily interface with the most advanced analyzers, and will continue to adapt as the process industry keeps evolving. Whether the future turns to automated sensor/detection technology to measure chemical and gas composition, or carbon nanotubes (CNT) used as chemical sensors, or even drones are flown around to collect such information, HINT is committed to helping you manage and analyze data with IIoT-ready software solutions.

Conclusion
In a nutshell, the Digital Transformation age, a.k.a the 4th Industrial Revolution, opens up opportunities for innovators to design and develop lower-cost, simpler analyzers that leverage the Internet and Cloud capabilities and reduce manpower requirements, while also running on low power and minimum support infrastructure with the potential to save thousands of dollars in operating costs.

We’re excited to collaborate with such entrepreneurs as well as our customers to meet the industry challenges of today and tomorrow.

Click here to contact Chet Mroz for more information about “IoT: A New Paradigm Shift for Enterprise Composition Measurement Systems.”

Chet Mroz
Executive Advisor
HINT Americas, Inc.


HINT is the leader in AMADAS technology innovation. The company recently expanded the team in Houston, Texas with the goal of making more accurate measurement a reality for oil and gas, petrochemical, and potentially life sciences industries. The expertise of our specialized consultants comes from vast experience working with end users and having also worked as engineers in the field of flow measurement.