Red Lion Controls, developer of industrial automation and networking products, recently announced the opening of a new Industrial Internet of Things Innovation Center in St. Louis, to build on their history of delivering products that enable the IIoT.
“Our IIoT Innovation Center represents a significant investment, and delivers on our commitment to develop products and solutions uniquely suited to drive connectivity in industrial environments,” said Mike Granby, president, Red Lion Controls. “We have been helping to enable the IIoT with cellular connectivity, protocol conversion and automation from before the concept even had a name. Red Lion has been connecting devices and moving data for years. We are ideally positioned to deliver the solutions needed to make the IIoT a reality.”
We wanted to learn more, so we chatted with Colin Geis, director of product management—IIoT.
Smart Industry: Describe the IIoT Innovation Center.
Colin: The center revolves around an engineering team that is focused on developing innovative solutions to drive connectivity in industrial environments.
Smart Industry: What's your perspective on the promise of the IIoT?
Colin: It will enable organizations to connect many different devices, including older equipment, and get them to “talk” with each other in a way that they could not before. By gathering data from both new and legacy devices, organizations can use that data and new analytical tools to improve efficiency, reduce waste and predict equipment failures and gain a competitive advantage.
Smart Industry: What are you most excited about with the near future of the IIoT?
Colin: Many of our customers and partners rely on our industrial-automation and networking products to extend equipment lifespans, improve process visibility and push control to the edge. These benefits result from IIoT-ready solutions that use protocol conversion, visual management, remote monitoring and industrial Ethernet to connect, monitor, control and network operations.
Red Lion is most excited by the influx of additional tools and technologies that are now available for industrial markets. While analytical and monitoring tools were once predominately used by data centers and enterprises, industrial customers are now incorporating these technologies to help drive efficiency. In addition, more people are joining the industrial workforce with fresh ideas. The combination of new technologies and resources results in new ideas and innovation being driven by the IIoT revolution.
Smart Industry: What is the most-pressing challenge we face?
Colin: One of the biggest challenges the market faces is how quickly technology and support processes will evolve as new analytical tools are applied. Businesses need to be prepared to make proactive moves to reduce costs and increase efficiency to stay relevant and competitive. The challenge for customers in the near term is how to best integrate IIoT tools into their existing businesses to extract the most value. It is important for customers to understand the value and importance of their existing equipment and options when devising IIoT implementation strategies.