GaryThumb14This announcement came to me yesterday afternoon. ABB is joining the Industrial Internet Consortium.

This announcement is interesting in a couple of ways. First, it reminds us that ABB is a large company that plays in the discrete (factory automation) space, as well as, power and process automation. Second, it is the first I’ve seen that ties the Industrial Internet Consortium to Germany’s Industrie 4.0.

Following is the press release:

ABB has for years advanced the Industrial Internet via the company’s control systems, communication technology and industrial sensors. These help customers use data to optimize operations on offshore platforms, in mining and robotics, aboard marine vessels and in the chemical and paper industries.

ABB will join the IIC starting in 2015 to foster collaboration among technology companies as they seek to establish global standards for the Industrial Internet. ABB will work with others to ensure that end users reap the benefits it promises: improved efficiency, reduced costs and higher revenue.

“This gives us more opportunities to influence what is happening in the development of the Industrial Internet,” said Claes Rytoft, ABB Chief Technology Officer. “The Industrial Internet holds incredible promise to transform manufacturing, energy and resource industries.”

The Industrial Internet reflects the accelerating application of sensors, software and improved communication technology, allowing engineers to leverage enormous volumes of data from industrial systems to boost efficiency.

The Industrial Internet is at the core of Industry 4.0, Germany’s initiative for increased computerization of manufacturing. ABB has actively contributed to the creation of the Industry 4.0 vision and is actively working towards implementation of this ambitious undertaking.

“The Industrial Internet is transformational – it changes the way we work,” said Dr. Richard Soley, Executive Director of the Industrial Internet Consortium. “The Industrial Internet presents new opportunities for cost savings, energy savings and other efficiencies.”

ABB centrally monitors thousands of industrial robots and for decades and has helped utilities collect data crucial for a deeper understanding of how to make their electricity grids safer and more reliable. And ABB has thousands of software developers dedicated to improving the functionality of the Industrial Internet, leading to leaner operations and faster response times.

Today, evolving communication technology and lower sensor costs, combined with higher performance of computers, offer new opportunities to collect, evaluate and integrate even more information from industrial facilities to boost efficiency, fine-tune maintenance and trim energy costs.

“The Industrial Internet makes it possible to collect and integrate much more information than we ever have before,” Rytoft said. “The question is, what will that lead to going forward? It’s still a bit early to say, but there are many exciting opportunities.”

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