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Industrial IoT (IIoT) systems – industrial devices connected to the internet or local networks – collect and transmit real-time data. They are part of what is known as the industry 4.0 revolution.
Among the various sectors, the oil and gas industry is one of the industries revolutionized by IIoT. It can use many of its advantages, as long as the data and networking remain secure.
For example, IIoT devices can be used for remote site monitoring and inspection. With the right combination of IIoT and monitoring technology in place, it’s possible for workers and site supervisors to keep tabs on equipment and site systems without needing to be on site at all.
Oil and gas work environments are often naturally dangerous, with certain types of industry work sites, like offshore oil rigs, being some of the most stressful environments. Remote monitoring with IIoT can help pull back non-essential staff of those platforms, reducing operating costs and ensuring that the fewest number of workers possible are exposed to dangerous conditions.
IIoT sensors can be installed in high-value oil and gas equipment or machinery for the purpose of predictive maintenance (PdM) and system health analytics. These sensors can then record and transfer that equipment’s telemetry, the constant stream of measurement’s emitted by that machine over time.
With the real-time information provided by this telemetry, an AI-powered predictive model can pick up on subtle variations in instrument timing, pressure, vibrations or temperature — to predict when a piece of equipment needs repairs or is about to fail, according to oilmanmagazine.com.
Some advanced predictive maintenance systems can even shut off equipment before it fails — reducing the risk that the equipment runs to the point of damaging itself and potentially injuring nearby workers.
However, IIoT applications are exposed to cyber security threats. Remote connection is problematic because hackers cand detect the entrance pathway. The devices are generally built with and therefore inherit the lack of security of existing ICS (internet connection sharing) without adequate security. Compromised data can lead to equipment damage, regulatory issues and personal safety hazards, according to iiot-world.com. Security measures must be applied in order to prevent cyber attacks on IIoT equipment.