National Instruments industrial IoT lab unites rivals

Cisco, HPE, Intel and others help sponsor the lab to show enterprises that IoT systems can work

There are many companies vying to build the industrial internet of things, but the systems involved are so complex that those vendors also need to cooperate. A new lab at National Instruments, in Austin, Texas, is bringing some competitors together.

The NI Industrial IoT Lab opened on Wednesday and will house testbeds for applications like predictive maintenance, time-synchronized industrial networking and “microgrids” for renewable energy. It will also be a place where companies can show off joint solutions to customers.

One of the aims of the lab is to show enterprises that IoT works, said Jamie Smith, director of embedded systems at National Instruments.

“One of the barriers we face today is [gaining] wide industry confidence that these distributed industrial internet of things solutions are ready,” Smith said.

The opening brought together Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, known more as archrivals than as partners, as well as Intel, PTC, Real-Time Innovations, Analog Devices and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). They’re all sponsoring the lab along with several other players.

Vendors will use the lab to showcase their products to customers but also will collaborate with others to make sure all technologies developed for industrial IoT can work together. Those include communications protocols, processing elements, software and more.

On Thursday and Friday this week, the lab will host a plugfest where vendors will connect their products using TSN (time-sensitive networking). TSN, based on IEEE standards, is designed for synchronizing the clocks in industrial equipment connected over Ethernet. It should allow enterprises to gradually replace specialized industrial networks with Ethernet, integrating IT with so-called OT (operational technology).

Network Instruments makes compact, hardened systems that sit at the edge of an IoT network and collect, digitize, process and transmit information from a wide variety of sensors. The systems can also control equipment at the edge in real time using data collected there, Smith said.

The initial testbeds in the National Instruments lab came out of IIC, which was formed in 2014 to help bring together IT and OT systems.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?