The Internet of Things (IoT)

has the potential to significantly alter how systems work and how businesses run because it can dramatically increase automation while also enabling deep visibility thanks to the vast amounts of data that can be gathered, analysed, reported on, and used to take action — frequently without the need for human interaction or involvement.

With the use of sensors, data collection may be done effectively. Devices called sensors react to inputs from the outside world and use that information to display, transmit for further processing, or work with artificial intelligence to make judgements or change operational conditions.

When employed in an Industrial Internet of Things, sensor data is used to inform managerial and commercial choices, as well as to enable customers and users to utilise a company's goods and services more effectively.

More and more sensors will be employed to monitor and gather data for analysis and processing as the IoT project grows. An overview of some of the various sensor types that will power the IoT initiative's data collection is provided below:


Level detectors

A signal is produced by level sensors when a liquid's level is compared to a standard normal value. Fuel gauges, for instance, provide a constant level measurement of the amount of fuel in a vehicle's tank. Additionally, there are point level sensors, which provide a go/no-go or digital representation of the liquid level. Some cars include a light that turns on as an alarm to alert the driver that the fuel is going to run out completely when the fuel level tank is extremely close to empty.


Image sensors

Image sensors are used to take pictures that are then saved digitally and processed. A couple of examples include facial recognition software and licence plate readers. Image sensors can be used in automated production lines to identify quality problems, such as how effectively a surface is painted after leaving the spray booth.


Nearby sensors

Through a variety of various technological designs, proximity sensors can identify the presence or absence of items as they get close to the sensor. These methods consist of:


  • Technologies that employ induction to identify metal objects which are beneficial
  • Technologies known as capacitive, which rely on items with different dielectric constants from air.
  • Technologies based on photoelectricity, which use a light beam to illuminate and reflect back from an object.
  • Using a sound wave, ultrasonic technology may detect objects that are getting close to a sensor.


Detectors of water quality

The requirement to be able to feel and quantify characteristics related to water quality is dictated by the significance of water to humans on earth, not only as a source of drinking water but also as a vital component in many industry processes. What is perceived and monitored, for instance, includes:

  • Presence of chemicals (such as chlorine levels or fluoride levels)
  • Amounts of oxygen (which may impact the growth of algae and bacteria)
  • Conductivity of electricity (which can indicate the level of ions present in water)
  • pH scale (a reflection of the relative acidity or alkalinity of the water)
  • Turbidity values (a measurement of the amount of suspended solids in water)


Chemical sensors

These can be used to monitor the conditions of industrial processes by identifying the presence of specific chemicals that may have unintentionally seeped from their containers into areas where people are present.


Gas detectors

Gas sensors, which are similar to chemical sensors, are calibrated to find flammable, poisonous, or combustible gas nearby. An illustration of a specific gas that can be identified is:

  • Bromine (Br2) (Br2)
  • Combustible Oxide (CO)
  • Chlorine (Cl2) (Cl2)
  • Dioxide of Chlorine (ClO2)
  • Ethylene (C2H4) (C2H4)
  • Alcohol - Ethylene (C2H4O)
  • Formaldehyde (HCHO) (HCHO)
  • Hydrazine(s):\s(H2NNH2, CH3NHNH2, [CH3]2NNH2) (H2NNH2, CH3NHNH2, [CH3]2NNH2)
  • Hydrogen (H2) (H2)
  • Sodium Bromide (HBr)
  • HCl (hydrogen chloride)
  • Cyanide in Hydrogen (HCN)
  • Alcohol Peroxide (H2O2)
  • Sodium Sulfate (H2S)
  • Nicotine Oxide (NO)
  • Carbon Monoxide (NO2)
  • Ozone (O3) (O3)
  • Phosphorous Oxide (C3H6O)
  • Sulphate of sulphur (SO2)


Smoke sensors

Smoke sensors or detectors often use optical sensors (photoelectric detection) or ionisation detection to detect the presence of smoke conditions, which could be a sign of a fire.


IR (infrared) sensors

Technologies using infrared sensors pick up the infrared light that objects release. These kinds of sensors are used by non-contact thermometers to measure an object's temperature without having to touch it directly with a probe or sensor. They can be used to monitor patient blood flow or blood pressure as well as analyse the heat signature of electronics.


Movement detectors

Acceleration sensors, commonly known as accelerometers, measure the rate at which an object's velocity changes, as opposed to motion sensors, which measure an object's movement.

This modification could result from rotational motion, a rapid vibration that causes movement with speed variations, or a free-fall scenario (a directional change). One of the numerous technologies used in acceleration sensors is:

  • Hall-effect transducers (which rely on measuring changes in magnetic fields)
  • Sensitive capacitors (which depend on measuring changes in voltage from two surfaces)
  • Piezoelectric detectors (which generate a voltage that changes based on pressure from distortion of the sensor)
  • Rotating sensors
  • Using a 3-axis system, gyroscopes or gyroscopic sensors are used to measure an object's rotation and calculate its rate of movement, or angular velocity. The orientation of the object can be determined using these sensors without needing to physically view it.


Humidity gauges

In order to determine how much water vapour is present in the air or another gas, humidity sensors can measure the relative humidity of those gases. In order to produce materials, controlling environmental factors is essential. Humidity sensors allow readings to be obtained and adjustments to be made to minimise rising or falling levels. HVAC systems frequently use this technology to keep targeted comfort levels.


Sensors using light

Optical sensors provide an electrical signal in response to light that is reflected off of an object, which can then be used to detect or measure a state. These sensors detect the interruption or reflection of a light beam brought on by the presence of an object. The various optical sensor types include:

Via-beam sensors (which detect objects by the interruption of a light beam as the object crosses the path between a transmitter and remote receiver).

  • Sensors that reflect back light (which combine transmitter and receiver into a single unit and use a separate reflective surface to bounce the light back to the device)
  • Sensors for diffuse reflection (which operate similarly to retro-reflective sensors except that the object being detected serves as the reflective surface)


SMART systems

Examples of the SMART systems for industry we cover:

  • Smart Agriculture – Soil moisture and temperature
  • Smart Buildings – humidity and temperature
  • Smart Cities – air pollution
  • Smart Industry – BMS, we can integrate into your building management system
  • Smart Logisitcs – SCM – supply chain management – dynamic purchasing systems
  • Smart Utilities – Monitoring energy gas, water usage,
  • Smart Healthcare – Bed sensors, blood pressure sensors, oxygen monitoring, SCM, Asset tracking
  • Smart Education – digital registrations, Asset tracking, maintenance management, Energy monitoring, lighting
  • Smart Social Housing – Tracking, monitoring and proactive maintenance combined with smart automated ordering systems.

Electriko utilise resilient private secure data networks for both real-time and push notification data streaming.


Digital Twinning

The fourth wave in industry, known as Industry 4.0, is underway connecting the physical world to the digital. To bring these together, manufacturers are developing smarter, better-connected machines that use big data, machine-to-machine communication and machine-learning technology to optimise productivity.

Digital twinning, the mapping of a physical asset to a digital platform, is one of the latest technologies to emerge from Industry 4.0. It uses data from sensors on the physical asset to analyse its efficiency, condition and real-time status. Up to 85 per cent of internet of things platforms will contain some form of this by 2020, according to Orbis Research. 

To save money and time during manufacturing, data gathered by digital twins predict breakages before they occur and report them to human operators. Businesses can order parts from companies that supply automation components before the issues arise, lowering the likelihood of downtime brought on by malfunctioning equipment.

According to Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at industrial automation company EU Automation, "Designers historically had little opportunity to test and alter their prototypes." Yet, digital twinning enables producers to make changes to a virtual prototype as the product is being produced. As the final structure becomes more efficient as a result of simulation analysis, this model requires less time and money to produce.


For more information on our digital twinning services contact us on