How Industry 4.0 is Transitioning from Traditional PLC/SCADA to New Cloud IIoT

industry 4.0 header

As we discussed, in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, IIoT is nothing new. Industries have long relied on proprietary computer systems and sensors to monitor equipment and operations. But as we enter the fourth era of industry, Industry 4.0, these systems and sensors are becoming more interconnected and are leveraging machine learning to automate industrial processes.

four industrial revolutions
  PLC boards gather data and push it to SCADA systems.

PLC boards gather data and push it to SCADA systems.

One trend that is coming to the fore in Industry 4.0 is the movement to cloud IIoT. Traditionally, data gathered from industrial sensors is pushed from proprietary Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems for analysis, with lots of layers in between. But cloud IIoT is opening all this up and reducing the amount of layers from data capture to actionable intelligence.

Enabled by improvements to cloud reliability, security, and infrastructure tools, organizations are increasingly transitioning away from the traditional manufacturing control market - proprietary PLCs and SCADA systems – and leveraging new IIoT that pushes data directly to the cloud.

  Examples of IIoT dashboards.

Examples of IIoT dashboards.

Using cloud IIoT not only streamlines the data flow, but because industrial operators can use public cloud infrastructure, it is also a much more cost-effective option for data storage, processing, and analysis than previous proprietary data tools. Another big benefit of cloud IIoT is the accessibility to machine learning tools that help organizations make meaning of their big data output.

DVmobile is an edge-computing expert that helps organizations develop reliable, cost-effective cloud IIoT solutions. We’ve worked with engineering, lighting, and warehousing and logistics firms to develop custom IIoT solutions that migrate data analysis to the cloud and deliver more value from their most important asset: data.

For more information about how Cloud IIoT can be applied to your business, connect with us! 

shawn davison blog author

Shawn Davison

CEO at DVmobile, triathlete, and technological philosopher.


What is COSU?

corporate owned single use devices header

According to a recent study published in The Harvard Business Review, digitally transformed organizations—so-called “digital leaders”—quantifiably outperform their counterpart “digital laggards.”

What often distinguishes these “digital leaders” is their commitment to rethinking their business models and operations through the lens of digitization. One way that organizations are transforming their business models and operations is through corporate-owned, single-use (COSU) Android devices.

What is COSU?

COSU is a device configuration capability built into Android for Work. It leverages widely available, inexpensive, pre-built Android devices to create white-labeled hardware. Engineers can then leverage the free Android Open Source Project and tools available in Google’s Android Studio to efficiently build out custom interfaces.

Examples of COSU deployments include:

cosu nortek gcp panel
  • Kiosk single-function devices a.k.a. Smart Panels

  • Corporate-owned lockdown devices for individual users

  • Corporate-owned lockdown devices for multiple internal or external users

What are the Benefits of COSU?

This technology allows companies to experience the dramatic improvements of digitization without a significant drain on resources. For example, when companies want to mobilize or digitize a business process, they typically have two options:

  1. Find a pre-manufactured device with out-of-the-box, generic software

  2. Manufacture a custom embedded device and build software with the exact desired specifications

Both of these options are costly and time consuming. But because COSU leverages inexpensive, pre-built hardware, and allows engineers to easily build on top of existing OS, it enables engineers and product managers to accelerate the speed-to-market of their digital tools and experience significant cost savings.  

Additionally COSU configuration gives companies more control over how employees (and customers) use the product.  COSU configuration compartmentalizes the operating system to deploy in a locked-down environment, running a single application or a specific set of apps. Often just one application is intended to run on the device; that’s it. By locking devices down to execute on a small range of tasks, COSU can improve security, efficiency, processes, compliance, and user experiences.

COSU In Action

Here are three examples of how COSU Android devices manifest in the real world:

person using a touchscreen kiosk
  1. Retail – Have you ever experienced a kiosk that came to life as you approached, or one that predicted your order before you ever made it? Chances are that you interacted a COSU Android device for retail. Today’s Point-Of-Sale Mobile Kiosks – enabled by COSU - are moving beyond simple payment enablement to include voice integration, facial recognition and predictive order algorithms.

  2. Healthcare – As healthcare becomes more connected, COSU devices are helping healthcare providers manage patient data and provide secure patient communication. For example, COSU Android devices are hard at work:

    • Assisting labeling and code application of medical records

    • Administering drugs and monitoring patient care

  3. Home SecurityHome security providers, such as Nortek Security & Controls, are offering self-contained security and control platforms - complete with smart panel COSU Android devices - that allow customers to manage a wide range of home security variables, including:

    • Temperature

    • Lights

    • Alarm, and

    • Locks

family at home protected by 2gig brand products
nortek security and control 2gig brands

From Point of Sale, to Healthcare, to Home Security— Android COSU devices are helping a variety of industries transform their business models and operations.

Reach out and book a free consultation where we can discuss the needs of your business and how COSU can help.

blog author lauren berv

Lauren Berv

Digital Alchemist at DVmobile, hot salsa lover, and automation expert.


IoT & IIoT – One of These “Things” is Not Like the Other

industrial internet of things header

IoT is becoming more and more pervasive. From wearables to home security systems to personal voice devices, IoT is changing the way that consumers interact with their devices and the way that businesses consider their customers.

As we’ve previously discussed, IoT is the connection of “things” (devices/sensors/beacons/etc.) through the Internet that collect and transmit data over a network. When done well, IoT can help businesses connect with customers, build their brand and drive positive customer experiences.

But IoT isn’t just enhancing consumer brands. IoT is also reaching into the B2B world to help companies gather and interpret data to improve the efficacy of their goods, services and operations. (You can read examples of IoT for business at work here.)

One segment of B2B IoT that stands apart is Industrial IoT, or IIoT, focuses on the specialized requirements of industrial applications. While it sounds like IIoT would simply be another scenario of IoT for business, it is actually a different beast altogether. Here are just three ways that IIoT is different:

  IoT applications for industry have unique challenges and needs.

IoT applications for industry have unique challenges and needs.

The “Things” are Often Not “New”

For industrial applications, IoT is not the revolution it is within the consumer world. This is because in many industrial solutions, some form of IIoT has been around for years. For example, in most manufacturing plants, there are already sensors monitoring the pressure, temperature, viscosity, etc., of products being made. What’s new is the ability to connect these “things” (e.g. sensors) through a standard Internet Protocol (IP), so they can communicate with each other and compare and analyze the data they collect to provide richer insights.

One of the most significant challenges for project managers looking to implement IIoT will be gathering the buy-in and budget necessary to IP-enable legacy devices, like the pre-existing sensors mentioned above.

  Industrial environments have already been heavily controlled and monitored. The opportunity lies in new ways to process, present, and act on data.

Industrial environments have already been heavily controlled and monitored. The opportunity lies in new ways to process, present, and act on data.

No-Fail Imperative

Another factor that distinguishes IIoT from IoT is its no-fail imperative. IIoT solutions must be consistently reliable and secure because they’re governing systems wherein failure would have serious, perhaps life threatening, implications. For example, if the IIoT devices within a grid power system fail, the resulting power outages would disrupt basic services like communications, water and natural gas service. And if this failure occurs during the summer, the lack of air conditioning and refrigeration could severely harm human health.

As a result, of their no-fail imperative, IIoT applications are often:

  • Constructed to work within extreme environments. Exposed to intense heat? Ok! Submerged in corrosive liquid? Great!

  • Designed with resilience and redundancies in mind, so a failure in one area won’t stop operations system-wide.

  • Built with robust cyber security measures in place, so it’s tougher for hackers to disable.  

  UX/UI design is imperative for IIoT dashboards and monitoring screens.

UX/UI design is imperative for IIoT dashboards and monitoring screens.

Longer Shelf Life

IIoT is almost always custom made to the system it’s working within. Engineers have to consider multiples user types, scalability, existing (possibly outdated) sensors and a wide range of autonomy requirements. Thus, IIoT takes considerably longer to develop than a B2C IoT solution. It’s also built for the long haul. Industrial systems and applications aren’t switched out like consumer devices. They can be used for 20-30 years at a time, so any IIoT component must be built to last.


These are just three of the ways that IIoT diverges from IoT. For more information about how DVmobile helps organizations develop and support IIoT solutions, please contact us.

blog author jamie murphy

Jamie Murphy

Marketing Strategist, busy mama & blogger extraordinaire