Meanwhile, Back In Barcelona…

Behind the bustle at IoT Solutions World Congress.


We recently wrapped up another successful IoT Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC), hosted by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) in Barcelona. We’ve been participating in the Congress since its inception three years ago, and this year was particularly exciting given the Catalonia Independence Referendum happening at the same time. Even with this as a backdrop, the event attracted 50 percent more delegates than last year, which also grew 50 percent over 2015.

Busy Times at the NI Booth

A busy booth is always welcomed at a trade show, and the delegates this year asked different questions from previous years. In 2015, we found ourselves discussing existential questions like ”What exactly is the IIoT?” and “What does the future look like for these technologies?”

Fast-forward two years and urgency is in the air. Engineers from a broad set of industries are ready to get to work implementing the Industrial IoT. I personally had the chance to speak to delegates about instrumenting wastewater treatment plants; controlling the smart grid and pharmaceutical machines; testing connected cars; and even launching (and landing) rockets! A colleague, whom I won’t name, said she had achieved “nerd-vana.”

Our Submission for the 2018 “Beautiful People of the IIoT” Calendar

Here’s a rapid-fire list of my other highlights:

Winning With Time Sensitive Networking (TSN)
At the annual IoTSWC award ceremony, the TSN Testbed for Flexible Manufacturing won the award for Best Testbed. The testbed has dozens of member companies, and is hosted by NI in the USA and Bosch in Germany. The selection committee had to consider 27 other testbeds managed by the IIC, so I’m sure pinpointing a winner was difficult. Congratulations to all the engineers who have spent so much of their time proving out TSN and ensuring interoperability between each other’s products!

Jamie Smith of NI (the one wearing a tie) joins other TSN Testbed members for some major fist pumping.

Enlightenment From Innovari
Innovari CTO Corey Catten may have become the Justin Timberlake of power transmission and distribution based on the mob waiting for him after his talk. He described in detail how Innovari’s platform (based on NI’s Single-Board RIO) is adding approximately 1.21 gigawatts (soft g) of power to places like India and Kansas City.

The company does this by coordinating the electricity usage of power-hungry things like HVAC systems across an entire grid. Innovari calls this a “virtual power plant,” and I can see why utilities, regulators, and heavy users of power are excited.

Corey Catten, CTO of Innovari

CompactRIO Gets Edgy
Everyone’s favorite edge node, CompactRIO, was featured outside the NI booth by several other exhibiting companies, including Cisco, Deloitte, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, and PTC. For delegates looking for a turnkey solution, we pointed them to our work with Deloitte, HPE, and PTC.

Staying on Trend
Our booth might have been full of real-world IIoT systems, but we aren’t taking our eyes off the future. During the IoTSWC, we released NI Trend Watch 2018 into the wild. Of the five trends profoundly affecting our customers (and the world), two of them relate specifically to the IIoT: “Three Mandates for Successfully Managing Your Things” and “Automating Engineering Insights With Machine Learning.” Be sure to give it a read before your next cocktail party.

Sore feet aside, we’re all feeling energized after such a great event. We’ll keep up the pace and promise to deliver another great set of IIoT successes at IoTSWC 2018. See you next year!

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