Singapore’s commitment to increasing productivity through innovation and mechanization has propelled the city-state forward on an Internet of Things (IoT) crusade. Through targeted investments in various technology centers of excellence, the local government is helping drive industrial innovation forward. But industrial application of IoT scratches only the surface of the state’s total technology agenda. The resource-scarce nation is seeking to leverage its formative strength, talent, to transform itself and add value to the global marketplace by building the world’s first Smart Nation. Smart Nation aims to leverage IoT technology to improve the quality of life of its citizens, infrastructure and industrial sector, in a bid for Singapore to remain one of the most economically competitive and livable cities in the world.
The industrial sector factors heavily into Singapore’s Smart Nation equation, with the manufacturing sector representing close to 20 per cent of the country’s GDP. When applied in an industrial context, IoT has the potential to increase productivity, safety and competitiveness of both the enterprise and the economy. By helping solution providers overcome the most difficult “first-adopter” stage for new IIoT technologies, Singapore’s economy stands to gain a first-mover advantage and establish itself as the IIoT technology and business hub of Asia.
Internet of Things (IoT) Explained
This latest technology buzz phrase is taking not just Singapore, but the world, by storm. But what exactly does IoT mean, and how pertinent is the concept to the world of chemicals? For starters, IoT can be loosely defined as a network of physical objects that are linked to one another through the Internet. More concretely, it refers to physical objects, equipment or machinery that are fitted with various types of data collecting sensors.
To complete the IoT puzzle, cloud-based applications analyze the data that is collected by sensors, eventually enabling machines to communicate with other machines, applications or users. The application of IoT is not limited to any particular industry, device or user, but rather can be employed in virtually every sphere of life.
As an example, new smart metering systems in homes digitally provide energy suppliers and end users with consumption data. Smart meters automatically send meter readings to suppliers, and show users how much energy they are consuming in near real time. Provision of this data results in more accurate energy bills, and increased energy awareness among consumers, ultimately leading to cost savings and more sustainable living practices. Now just begin to imagine what IoT can achieve at scale, and within a large chemical facility.