Smart Industrial Solutions

Implementing IoT into Harsh Environments

With Industry 4.0 rearing it’s head, IoT technology is slowly taking over the world as industrial players continue to realise the viability of an interoperable digital ecosystem. In optimising data feeds, analytics and actionable insights, IoT implementation is helping to create smarter, more accurate and more reliable data feeds. Yet the path to deployment has been challenging in certain industrial settings, calling for increasingly ruggedised technology.

IoT.nxt, while rapidly expanding into other markets including Europe, the Far East and the US – was born in South Africa. Often regarded as the innovation tip of Africa, doing business there has presented massive opportunities as well as unique challenges to the company. As a result, IoT.xt has had to think creatively when developing highly competitive solutions at scale.

As environmental factors continue to impact the deployability of industrial IoT solutions, what specific challenges do practitioners face and just how is IoT.nxt leading the global charge for IoT with its ruggedised solution?

The harshest implementation environment

For countries such as South Africa, embracing IoT comes with various environmental and utility infrastructure challenges. In particular, IoT deployment faces constraints in four key areas across the industrial landscape:

1. Internet penetration rate

The internet penetration rate is just 16% in Africa, with several countries suffering from poor connectivity. This creates a major barrier to the adoption of IoT when devices must rely on the internet to maintain connections and share crucial data.

2. Network capacity

With so many connected machines and devices, IoT networks must maintain an infrastructure that adequately supports all data “hungry” devices. However, the low bandwidth in Africa poses a challenge to developers who may have to deal with limited network capacity.

3. Interoperability and standards

The number of varying standards is increasingly a global issue for IoT operators. Different industries utilise different standards to support their applications. This makes it difficult for many IoT operators to interoperate numerous sources of data and heterogeneous devices.

4. Data management

The single biggest benefit of IoT is the generation of data. Yet when everything is so connected, there are large chunks of data being turned out every second that hold the risk of being misused, stolen, or simply creating an information overload that sends businesses reeling. Managing the enormity and security of all this information poses a great challenge to IoT operators.

Surmounting the insurmountable

The key to IoT.nxt’s global success has in many ways resulted from having to work in such a difficult home environment. CEO and co-founder of IoT.nxt, Nico Steyn says “Developing our technology with African constraints in mind created competencies in areas global players wouldn’t think of.”

It’s true that, without legacy infrastructure in place, Africa can leapfrog in a number of areas where other developed countries would struggle.

On this front, IoT.nxt is leading the global charge in IoT with its comprehensive edge capabilities. The IoT.nxt solution is capable of withstanding some of the harshest environments, no matter how remote or rugged the landscape. So how does it work?

Ready, set, configure

Ruggedised to suit an industrial environment, the durability of IoT.nxt’s technology stack ensures competitiveness and relevance for years to come. As a flexible end-to-end solution, IoT.nxt connects non-IP based devices through our intelligent edge gateway, Raptor, with IP enabled devices, consolidating them into our centralised platform, Commander.

Once implemented, you are given a single, horizontal view of all systems and devices in your entire business ecosystem. Better still, the Commander dashboard can be accessed remotely, enabling for real-time visibility and in-shift optimisation without disruption.

Staying ahead of the problem: IoT.nxt in practice

Quick to install, IoT.nxt’s technology can be overlaid onto any industrial infrastructure. From universities to server rooms, our solution can unlock opportunities for organisations to move into the future by giving them a comprehensive view of all their assets. With these insights, companies can shift with supply and demand as well as resource availability to better engineer their growth. To put this into perspective, here are some examples of how IoT can optimise operations within different industrial landscapes:

Mining, oil and gas sectors

In the mining, oil and gas sectors, the costly impact of asset downtime is a continuing problem. As soon as a part breaks and components fail, all productivity slows to a halt. Yet, with IoT technology, the gap between the edge and the core of operations is closed by adding intelligence into the process.

The IoT.nxt solution integrates into all mining assets and critical systems to detect failures ahead of time as well as prescribe solutions to mitigating such problems. By offering users real-time insight into critical systems such as water, air quality and location of personnel and equipment, true operational efficiency can be achieved.

Smart farms

When it comes to farming, the cost of implementing new technology can seem alarming but optimising operational processes to make farms “smart” has far-reaching results. Imagine having the ability to predict, monitor, and adjust all assets within a farm automatically. From optimising irrigation systems to managing livestock – with IoT technology, it’s possible.

IoT.nxt’s solution overlays onto current farm operations, without disruption, to offer deeper insights into every moving part of a property. Such control in the agriculture sector is invaluable and IoT.nxt makes it affordable. Where other systems may rip and replace existing infrastructure, IoT.nxt protects previous investments and amplifies its benefits across your value chain.

Leverage your existing ecosystems

Regardless of the industry, legacy system, and environment – IoT.nxt can leverage every part of your ecosystem to increase ROI and generate meaningful data. By marrying interoperability and interconnectivity, IoT.nxt will help you break down data silos to allow for informed decisions. It’s not about ripping out existing infrastructure to make room for new technologies – it’s about making the most of all data collection and increasing the efficiency of your operations. It’s your business, only better.

If you’re interested to know more about IoT.nxt’s platform, speak with our expert team today to see how we could help your operations.


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