Advantech Connect Online Partner Conference focuses on digitalization

May 26, 2021
Leaders and experts at Advantech Connect Online Partner Conference show users can implement IIoT for competitive advantage

Big personal and technical changes are no picnic, but they're easier to overcome with friends, colleagues and expert partners. Digital transformation is just such an epic challenge, which is why Advantech presented useful strategies and solutions at its recent Advantech Connect Online Partner Conference. The IIoT part of the three-month, online event kicked off on April 14 with the Transformative Industrial IoT Track that was highlighted by Advantech's leaders and subject matter experts.

Read the highlights from Advantech Connect 2021

The track's leadoff session, "How transformative technologies digitalize industrial IoT," was delivered by co-presenters Linda Tsai, president the Industrial IoT Group at Advantech, and Jash Bansidhar, managing director of Advantech Europe.

"Digital transformation worldwide has gathered speed as companies seek to harness the power of data and optimize their operations," said Bansidhar. "The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the drive to digitalization as users seek ways to operate remotely or reduce close proximities. In short, business models for many companies have changed significantly and often irreversibly."

Because the only certainty is that change will accelerate as transitions to Industry 4.0 continue, Bansidhar reports that one source of strength is the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT). "AI is going to turbocharge industrial IoT on two levels," he explains. "First, it will impact data by augmenting sensors with intelligence. Second, AI will analyze inbound data in real-time or batch mode as it plugs into the start and the end of the IoT spectrum. The future of industrial automation lies at the convergence of AI and IoT."

Foundation for Co-Creation

To highlight its hardware and software history and overarching technical competence, Tsai reported that Advantech specializes in industrial IoT sensing modules, communications gateways, computers and PC-based automation controllers.

"We focus on what we're best at, and harness the expertise of our Co-Creation partners to deliver comprehensive, durable and future-proof AIoT solutions, including data collect, data connect, data compute and control," said Tsai. "At the data collect layer, Advantech offers data acquisition (DAQ) gateways that support many types of sensors. For data connect, we provide advanced technology with proven, industrial-grade quality. Advantech's connectivity gateway is the foundation for establishing a reliable IoT network. For data compute and control, we not only provide a full range of computers, from DIN-rail automation controllers to scalable-performance IPC, but also provide a selection of I/O modules. People talk about connecting many of our devices, machine-to-machine, but the real value of IoT applications is the data they generate to deliver commercial benefits and competitive advantage."

Infrastructure to transform

Tsai added that digitally transformative technologies are at the heart of Advantech's efforts at each layer of the IIoT value chain. These means leveraging 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), time-sensitive networking (TSN), smart sensors and low-power, wide-area networking (LPWAN).

"Our 5G routers and IIoT devices are for industrial applications," said Tsai. "By collaborating with several partners, we can streamline the deployment and maturation of IIoT and communication services that enable the future of smart manufacturing. For example, Advantech already has IIoT communication gateways that are 5G ready. With regard to AI, we know the power of deep learning and its potential opportunities. Advantech also has innovation solutions in this area, especially in smart city applications. We've developed IIoT applications powered by Nvidia. This partnership is taking huge steps toward reality in AIoT applications.

Tsai reports the question that Advantech is asked most often is: how do you manage IIoT devices in large-scale and across different platforms? "It's a good question and our DeviceOn/BI is the answer. This open-cloud IIoT platform provides device management for Advantech's sensing modules and IoT gateways. It's also tunable for real-time monitoring and optimized, smart asset management that helps companies make successful digital transformations."  

Read the highlights from Advantech Connect 2021