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Smart ‘connected’ industrial things is driving explosive growth in IIOT: Timothy Butler, Tego


Everyone is talking about IoT – In the next five to ten years, billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat, and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices, and energy.

Last month, Tego announced its new smart asset platform for lifecycle and service management, regulatory and process compliance, and authenticity management. Products and components that previously could not share any intelligence about their origins, status and maintenance needs, now can. Timothy Butler, CEO, Tego, in an interview with Techseen tells us more about the platform and the scope of IoT in the near future.

Techseen: You have recently launched an IoT-based operating system called TegoOS. What kind of solutions can be deployed using TegoOS? Can you name a few clients using it currently and what has been the feedback so far?

Butler: Small, medium and even global companies looking for an inexpensive, highly scalable way to digitize their industrial processes and products can use TegoOS. It is also for companies who want to see an immediate ROI from an IIOT solution without having to invest in all the infrastructure to get started on their own.

To date, the aviation industry – driven by Airbus and Boeing – were the earliest adopters of Tego’s asset intelligence solution. The main reason for use are the operational benefits gleaned from a digital, interoperable, distributed solution to manage data and information on parts, components and aircraft systems for safety and security reasons. Tego’s largest global aerospace customer is B/E Aerospace.

Aerospace FBO’s and charters are currently beta testing our solution to digitize their processes for maintenance of their planes and facilities along with digitally connecting documents and assets to other cloud based applications.

Global pharmaceutical companies are currently beta testing TegoOS for the purpose of digitizing manufacturing processes, enabling streamlined manufacturing and tighter regulatory compliance. This is important for compliance with the FDA’s 2017 Drug Quality and Security Act. There are also some medical device companies interested in TegoOS for storing data on products and consumables that undergo sterilization for integrity (brand) management of consumables.

Techseen: How does TegoOS ensure a secure storage and retrieval of client data?

Butler: Tego’s asset intelligence platform (AIP) has a significant patent portfolio supporting its unique features that enable data and information to be stored, managed and maintained on assets. Some of the AIP features around secure storage on the asset include:

  • The platform’s unique memory, which survives through rugged manufacturing processes
  • The collection, storage and management of data on any asset over time
  • The ability to store both structured and unstructured data on the asset.

Specifically, security of the data in the AIP platform, is characterized in the following ways – the NSA level encryption of data in its memory, the manner in which memory can be partitioned into public and private areas, and its counterfeit proof / anti-clone memory structure.

Lastly, because of the resident nature and lack of broadcasting of the data and information on one of Tego’s smart asset – this makes it more difficult for hackers to get at or re-direct data for malicious use.

Techseen: Do you feel IoT would be responsible for an overflow of undesirable data in the future?

Butler: Frankly, no…there will continue to be a significant increase in the digitizing of all things driving the increase of data. IoT is an approach to address that reality. Currently the IoT and specifically the concept of smart “connected” industrial things is driving the explosive growth in the IIOT.

The problems confronting this model are the large amounts of telemetry data streaming back to the enterprise, which is costly, and which requires much analysis to achieve the kind of operational efficiencies and ROIs that are being promised.

This is a stumbling block for many – partly because the cost of these enterprise platforms are predicated on the connection costs and partly because of the unclear pathway to an ROI from all the data that requires managing and parsing. While this is an issue now, the day will come when those problems are worked through.

Techseen: According to you, what effects will all this data collection, and the injection of intelligence into devices, have on privacy and personal autonomy?

Butler: Just like the lessons we have learned and are experiencing regarding privacy and personal autonomy of our individual data, this will be an ongoing point to address via tools, technology and public policy. Privacy and interoperability on a decentralized intelligent asset is an issue that will require market education, training and customer understanding. Different use cases driven by various industries will drive data standards and best practices.

Tego’s AIP is poised to capture and drive the natural evolution of how best to capture, share and keep some data private, encrypt other data sets and how best to leverage a smart (locally enriched with data) asset.

Techseen: Can you comment on Tego’s engagement with start-ups, SMBs and non-traditional innovators in the space?

Butler: Tego works closely with the Industrial Internet Consortium as a small business technology member. Tego also chairs the IIC HealthCare task force leading the discussion of IoT technology for the over 250 member companies. Tego has always been at the forefront of innovation working with other SMB’s to provide joint solutions. In fact, TegoOS grew out of that involvement as we saw an unmet need for asset intelligence capability and IoT infrastructure in those companies that do not have the ability to do it on their own.

Techseen: TegoOS claims to reduce human intervention by enabling connected devices to automatically update their maintenance needs. Do you think the rise of IoT-enabled services will lead to a dearth of jobs in the future?

Butler: Tego’s vision with connected devices is to enable better jobs by removing tasks and activities not requiring human intervention. Again, this has been going on for many years in industries. We are leading the transition to the next generation of workers so they will have qualified, interesting and sustainable jobs that are valued by society.

Tego’s value is in embedding things with the right data and intelligence to be accessed at the right time, by the right person to take action. So Tego actually relies on personnel and enables the improvement of processes and people to complete with jobs.

Techseen: What trends have you observed in the US when it comes to advancement of IoT and autonomous technology?

Butler: IoT and autonomous technology offer the promise for automating and monitoring repetitive processes in the industrial sector. There are still so many processes involving rote, repetitive, error-prone process tracking and information flow that if digitized would greatly improve the speed, reliability and security of our world.

As we experienced the transformation from mainframe computers to PC’s, as we experience the transformation of our phones to digital devices, we are next experiencing the transformation of our things from dumb physical objects to intelligent digitized assets that can act on their own if needed.

Techseen: How do you see IoT being integrated in users’ lives in a meaningful way over the next 5 years?

Butler: The world around us will become enriched with data and information. Decision making will be at our fingertips – we will be able to influence our lives, our jobs, our companies to perform better, provide safer products and to do it less expensively and more effectively.

Sharmistha Mukherjee
A tech savvy humanBOT, Sharmistha is a professional writer A tech savvy humanBOT, Sharmistha is a professional writer who engages in technical writing to simplify the use of a product or service. With a high inclination towards IoT and Artificial Intelligence, she fancies exploring all plausibilities around the subjects. Her interests revolve around connecting to people and excavating the "unexplored" through first hand investigation.