IoT hype wave hits oil and gas

Internet of things announcements from Rockwell, Microsoft, Total, Kepware, OPC Foundation.

The December 2015 issue of the Rockwell Journal covers the Internet of things (IoT) with a chapter on how it will ‘fuel’ the oil and gas industry. Rockwell reports use of Microsoft’s ‘IoT services’ to deliver ‘collaboration and visibility unheard of in the oil and gas industry’ as ‘sensors, software and the cloud connect disparate assets, powered by a rich flow of data.’ One poster child for Rockwell/Microsoft’s IoT is Hilcorp Energy whose pumps stream data into the Azure cloud and on into engineers’ digital dashboards.

Total has launched ‘Plant 4.0,’ a corporate incubator for deployment of digital technologies (sensors, automation, big data, IoT and cloud computing) in its industrial activities. The ‘open innovation’ initiative aims to attract groundbreaking start-ups to help them test their technology in Total’s operations.

Kepware Technologies has teamed with Informatica, Splunk, and PTC unit ThingWorx to launch an ‘IoT Alliance’ program. The partners plan to grow the IoT market and shape its direction through ‘smart technology, thought leadership and marketing initiatives,’ leveraging Kepware’s platform.

OPC Foundation president and blogger-in-chief Tom Burke reports with pride that the official German Industrie 4.0 consortium has recommended OPC UA as the communication protocol of choice. The OPC UA work group is extending its architecture to support an IoT publish/subscribe capability and OPC is to evangelize its solution to other IoT/II bailiwicks.

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