Internet of Things products are poised to take over both the commercial and consumer markets. While consumer products are developed expeditiously, it will be interesting to see which corporations will dominate the market for commercial and industrial IoT technologies. The internet of things patent landscape has been growing steadily since 2013, with patent applications topping out at more than 2,500 in 2015. For commercial applications, efficiency will be key in resolving unmet commercial needs for IoT. Who will lead the charge in developing state-of-the-art industrial manufacturing products in this space?
Worldwide IoT Patent Applications and Grants for Past 10 Years
Honeywell Stakes a Claim
Honeywell announced that they’ve partnered with Swedish SKF industrial bearings and lubricants company to develop an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform. The initiative hopes to create a digital program to analyze large quantities of plant machinery data in order to better determine where manufacturing inefficiencies exist. By collecting big data on operating equipment, the project hopes to eliminate wasted and lost time in industrial manufacturing.
Taking a look at SKF’s patent portfolio, one can see that its specialty is certainly in the production and invention of industrial components. SKF’s background developing the nuts and bolts of industrial systems will be crucial in understanding the necessary concerns of operating manufacturing plants and enterprise systems.
SKF Top 10 CPC Classifications- Granted Patents
Honeywell, however, has more technologies related to software and data processing in its own patent portfolio than SKF, which will be necessary to support the digital components of the project. Not to mention, Honeywell has significant experience dealing with industrial facilities, controls, automation and the instrumentation that goes along with these businesses.
Honeywell Top 10 CPC Classifications- Granted Patents
Source: ktMINE IP Platform
This partnership could suggest new horizons for Honeywell as revenues from their aerospace division fall and the market for Internet of Things products continues to grow. Patented innovations resulting from this joint development project will bolster both companies. The effort could have applications in other industrial markets, like smart cities, transportation, energy systems, and enterprise-level systems. For SKF industrial, this would be a big chance to grow their presence in markets outside of bearings and lubricants, especially in the United States. SKF industrial market has a share of 27% of the globe’s industrial and automotive bearings business.
In this industry, where information technology and physical operations meet, developing a comprehensive and worthwhile platform will be tricky. The difficulties that the Honeywell IIoT platform will face are numerous, as noted by the professionals at Automotive World,
“the root problem with IIoT will be the need to connect legacy systems and devices to cutting-edge IT systems.”
How to create a cohesive ecosystem between computer and machine in industrial processes should be top priority for Honeywell and SKF in this project. Otherwise, one could expect a lengthy adoption processes in Industrial Internet of Things technologies. While the IoT patent landscape continues to grow, both companies should keep an eye out for other innovators in this space.