Episode 269’s Sponsor: Silicon Labs
Silicon Labs, a leader in secure, intelligent wireless technology has launched their 2023 Tech Talk schedule. This year’s Tech Talks include a dedicated technology series for Matter, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and LPWAN in order to help you build the development skills needed to deliver cutting edge IoT products. Join Silicon Labs experts, industry leaders for these one-hour, live virtual trainings created for developers by developers. Accelerate your device development today by registering at silabs.com.
Remote Management with IIoT is a powerful way to increase operational efficiency. Tomas Mikolaitis and Pranas Aksamitauskas of Teltonika join Ryan Chacon on the IoT For All Podcast to discuss Remote Management with IIoT and Industry 4.0 as a whole. They explore what Industry 4.0 is, technologies being used in IIoT, leading use cases in IIoT, why Remote Management is so powerful and important, Remote Management use cases, IIoT vs IoT, biggest challenges of implementing IIoT, and the future of Industry 4.0 and IIoT.
Tomas Mikolaitis is the RMS product owner for Teltonika Networks. Tomas comes from a technical background with 5+ years of experience in different B2B segments. Knowledge gained in the information technology industry helps him to successfully navigate the IoT market.
Interested in connecting with Tomas? Reach out on LinkedIn!
Pranas Aksamitauskas is the Operational Marketing Project Executive for Teltonika Networks. Pranas comes from a marketing background with over ten years of experience in different B2B segments. Knowledge gained in the manufacturing, automotive, and technology industries equipped him with the necessary skills to navigate the IoT market successfully.
Interested in connecting with Pranas? Reach out on LinkedIn!
About Teltonika Networks
Teltonika Networks is a rapidly growing technology company, manufacturing professional network connectivity equipment for international markets. Through long-term experience and research and development of industrial network devices for IoT and M2M communication, they have developed a wide portfolio of products for the most complex areas of Industry 4.0, Smart City, and Green Energy. Teltonika Networks controls every stage of the product development cycle, which enables them to respond quickly and flexibly to market needs and changes while ensuring reliability, security, and ease of use. As a part of Teltonika IoT Group, all of their products are manufactured and assembled in a modern factory in Lithuania which allows them to ensure highest quality standards.
Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:
(02:56) What is Industry 4.0?
(06:36) Leading use cases in IIoT
(11:53) Remote management use cases
– [Ryan] Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the IoT For All Podcast. I’m Ryan Chacon and on today’s episode, you’re going to learn about what Industry 4.0 is and means, as well as the power of IoT remote management. And I have two members of the Teltonika Networks team, Tomas Mikolaitis as well as Pranas Aksamitauskas. Those of you unfamiliar with Teltonika, they are a technology company focused on manufacturing professional network connectivity equipment for international markets. Fantastic guests today. I think you’ll get a lot of value outta hearing from both of them. Please feel free to subscribe to our channel, hit the bell icon so you get the latest episodes as soon as they’re out, as well as give this video a thumbs up. Before we jump into it, a quick word from our sponsor. Silicon Labs, a leader in secure, intelligent wireless technology has launched their 2023 tech talk schedule. This year’s tech talks include dedicated technology series for Matter, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and LPWAN in order to help you build the development skills needed to deliver cutting edge IoT products. Join Silicon Labs experts, industry leaders for these one hour live virtual trainings created for developers, by developers. Accelerate your device development today by registering at silabs.com. That’s the letter S, the letter I, L-A-B-S dot com. Tomas and Pranas, welcome both to the IoT For All Podcast. Thanks for being here this week.
– [Tomas] Great to be here. Thank you for inviting us to join your podcast.
– [Ryan] Yeah, I’m excited. Yeah, I’m excited to have you both here. Let me kick this off by having you both give a quick introduction about yourself and a quick overview of the company, if you wouldn’t mind.
– [Tomas] Okay, so I’m Tomas Mikolaitis. I’m product owner of Teltonika Networks Remote Management System. And my main goal of course, you know, to talk with our customers, look for best ways how to improve our system and of course, now be the guy who provides information for customers but also takes back feedback and improves it over time since again,
– [Ryan] Gotcha.
– [Tomas] We are working in that place.
– [Ryan] Perfect.
– [Pranas] So I’m Pranas Aksamitauskas, Operational Marketing Project Executive at Teltonika Networks and mainly, my daily task, to take care of marketing projects. And we both represent the company Teltonika Networks. That’s how I like to say we’re a company that manufacturers tiny boxes that gives connectivity to everyone. But if talking seriously, we are industrial network, connectivity equipment manufacturer from Lithuania.
– [Ryan] Okay.
– [Pranas] And basically, our portfolio consists of industrial modems, gateways, router switches.
– [Ryan] Gotcha. Fantastic. Appreciate those overviews. So I wanted to jump into our conversation today kind of centered around Industry 4.0, remote management, all that kinda good stuff. But let’s start high level and if one of you wouldn’t mind just kinda giving a quick overview to our audience is, when they hear the term Industry 4.0 or industrial IoT, what does that exactly mean and how does that kinda compare to just IoT in general?
– [Pranas] Actually, if we start talking about Industry 4.0, we can go back to the roots of that. And from the beginning of industry all the time on every level of industry evolution, the main purpose, main goal was to have better efficiency and greater productivity. And at first, how to say, industry of old harnessed the steam power to make advantage of it and after that, it was introduction of production lines and later, computerization. And when we are going to talk about Industry 4.0, it could be called like, optimization of computerization because in this, we are not only keen on, how to say, how to say, that only rely on computerization of production lines, but on interconnectivity of it. So in this case, IoT is the one of key component in industrial equipment. And it’s not only, how to say, control only one production line or production equipment, but very important to say that they has ability to communicate together with other equipment and also communicate with controlling platform that is far, far away from that factory, so.
– [Ryan] Sure. Fantastic and when we’re talking about kind of Industry 4.0, industrial IoT space and how it connects to, as you mentioned, IoT being a component of that, what technologies are really leading the way in industrial IoT?
– [Pranas] Actually, everything started to be, how to say, more affordable when networking technologies and protocols developed and, how to say, it started to be easy, adaptable and easy to use in industrial environment. And in this case, if we talk and compare IoT itself, like the main, how you say, bubble or so and industrial IoT is like a smaller part of it.
– [Ryan] Okay.
– [Pranas] I’d say because IoT, it’s a very wide term, we can call smartwatch or smartphone connected to the SMART 2e and streaming YouTube at our house. It’s like IoT, but it’s a bit different when it comes to industrial enrollment and industrial IoT, how to say, has different requirements, different complexity.
– [Ryan] Okay.
– [Pranas] And it’s not only, how to say, dedicated to person’s convenience, but has a huge focus on return on investment, also.
– [Ryan] Fantastic. Yeah and I would love it if now that we’ve kind of given a quick overview of Industry 4.0, IIoT, the technologies, what about, I guess to bring it full circle for our audience, can you talk about some of the use cases that are kind of leading the industrial IoT space, just kind of talking through kind of what the main focus of those use cases are and then kind of what they’re accomplishing?
– [Pranas] Actually at first, we can think that only that use cases related with manufacturing are important and useful in IoT sector. But actually, it’s wider picture because industrial IoT can be used whenever if, let’s say, on-time demand is needed because with variety of different sensors, different equipment, you can see what’s going on right, what’s going on wrong, and at which point. And you can react immediately or even give this decision making to, how to say, artificial intelligence or so. So even human decision making is not needed at some times. And from smart manufacturing, the use cases could be also the smart agriculture smart building management or so. And I have one quite interesting use case from my experience from our clients when in farming industry, there was used cameras and various sensors connected to AI system where the wellbeing of the animals were watched and analyzed and through the motions through the, how to say, that behavior of the animals, would make decisions. Maybe there’s something wrong with them or not and to keep an eye because in that places where there’s a lot of different items or in this example, animals, persons cannot look after everything and IoT system can do that.
– [Ryan] Right, right. Yeah, it sounds like kinda the remote management element of what IoT technologies enables is super important in especially the industrial space. Can you talk to kind of that point a little bit more and why remote management is so powerful and important, especially in industrial as opposed to, I know it’s important in other industries obviously as well, but just kind of, it seems to provide a lot of extra value in the industrial space, companies being able to do more with less, they’re able to handle things remotely, become more efficient as an organization. But just if we’re talking about remote management in general as it relates to the industrial space, why is it so powerful and important?
– [Tomas] I think in this case, we have to look why remote management is required in the first place.
– [Ryan] Sure.
– [Tomas] And if you’re looking, it’s very narrow perspective, it can be in my opinion, three cases, you know, monitoring, accessing or controlling. And if you look at a classic way, how in the past, before, you know, all IoT structure and use cases were done, the remote management existed like, you know, simple thing calling to person to get in a place to check what’s happening. But now we are talking not about no huge substations where, you know, you can have local team. We are talking about small things or thousands of locations with hundreds of sensors, cameras, computers, et cetera. And naturally, you know, if you want to have a profitable business, you have to think how to make things efficient in this place. And the only way to think forward is to go with remote management, since the power it comes here that when computers and machines are way better to track what’s happening, perform parallel actions for inferior updates, for reconfiguration,
– [Ryan] Right.
– [Tomas] As Pranas mentioned, with the use cases of animals, the same thing. You know, you can be alerted on small things but for a person, it still kinda looks at everything okay. So reaction time can be reduced and again, predictive maintenance with remote management is now enabled since the personnel can easily, you know, start investigating what’s happening remotely and react,
– [Ryan] Right, right.
– [Tomas] And fix, maybe change configuration and, you know, keep things still running or, you know, can dispatch the team with the right tools, right parts and start analyzing what’s happening there and fix ASAP.
– [Ryan] Yep. No, absolutely. I’m glad you mentioned the predictive maintenance side of things ’cause that’s a really hot topic and big leading use case in the industrial space where the ability to monitor the machines, you know, processes remotely and understand where things are potentially going to go wrong or where there are potential issues that could arise and being able to handle that is pretty big. Are there any other kind of, as it relates directly to the remote management and even predictive maintenance to this degree, are you all seeing kind of anything from a use case standpoint that’s kind of surprising you or standing out on that front as of late?
– [Tomas] Currently, no. At Teltonika, we have run various use cases. So again, yeah, every time we see how our partners’ using our devices and our systems, we’re always interested to know how that imagination comes. But in my perspective, I have maybe really three use cases which really stood in my mind. So one is the coffee machines with those predictive maintenance. I talked around the one company from Switzerland, if I remember correctly, what they are doing, they still have all those on-the-man teams, which traveling on site to maintain the coffee machines. But the difference they mentioned when they integrated IoT with remote management is that now they’re traveling on site with purpose and they’re know what they gonna do. Maybe they just have to fill the coffee. Others are bringing the spare parts, the machine parts to ensure that you’re providing best service and you’re ensuring that people are getting coffee, in that case.
– [Ryan] Yeah.
– [Tomas] But there’s also other use cases we have. For example, we have really interesting use case with slot machines where a customer has, since again we’re talking here about money and those companies are really strict about security where they have a really interesting use case that every month, they have to change the password for their routers. And now to my knowledge, they have around 10,000 devices running and imagine that the person has to change the password for all of those 10,000 devices. It can be quite tedious and it’s not scalable. With IoT and remote management, this becomes from a hundred person job, one person job and instead of months, we’re talking about hours and this is the strength where IoT coming and with that is also coming onboarding and of course, management, security updates, et cetera where very interesting use case, and the last one, the third one that was just struck in my mind is that the company is maintaining vending machines and the credit card readers require software to update its manager for them. And it was interesting to hear from them that when after moving from standard approach where a person is traveling on-site to perform upgrade and moving to remote management through the system, single update paid for the whole system, remote management, the integrated device, et cetera. So we can see how efficiency in matter tenfold increases in company. And this is quite significant, you know, to hear from the customers where simple thing, like having a secure access to the end device changes the whole business approach.
– [Ryan] Fantastic. Yeah, those are great kinda examples of what’s been going on in the space from a use case standpoint. I’m still amazed at all the different kinda use cases that pop up in the different industries and what IoT’s enabling, so I appreciate you kind of running us through those. Well I wanted to quickly kind of transition away from kind of the overview and the use case side of things and talk about some of the challenges you all are seeing in the industry right now, especially in Industry 4.0, industrial IoT kind of use cases. When it comes to the implementation of IoT solutions, the adoption of IoT solutions in these industries, what are you seeing as the biggest challenges in the space right now with the companies that you’re talking to, working with and so forth?
– [Tomas] I think, yeah, you know, we can talk about the most common mentioned word, security.
– [Ryan] Okay.
– [Tomas] Since at this point every company can have from 10 devices and I mentioned up to 10,000 devices. So you can see, I think we all read the possibilities that, you know, your fridge can be one of the bots in the botnet. So as a service provider, we’re having this play a role where we have to ensure all our partners’ network security, device security and look, you know, that single breach can, you know, unleash the power of million devices, you know, into the whole network. So, you know, the security is really a huge part and as we all know, the most security breaches are coming, not for example, from a buggy software. The most security breaches are coming from the weakest link, which is in most cases are the person, you know, using a five symbol password like password or 777. And from the developer of such remote management platform in IoT business, we have to force users to use strong passwords so at least, you know, eight symbols, capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, special symbols. Two-factor authentication, now it’s a mandatory thing, you know. We even cannot rely with the hardware getting so powerful. We cannot even rely on those strong passwords. We have to give additional factors in this place. And, you know, communication between devices and server, web accessibility, et cetera, all those parts are in the role of our hands and we have to look at security at this point and we have to prove that security in some way. So this is quite a challenge that comes for us. But of course, there is other challenge we see in IoT business and of course, it comes, you know, from elder generation where they see the stereotype that only proper maintenance can be done by person who is in place,
– [Ryan] Yeah, yeah.
– [Tomas] Directly interacting with.
– [Ryan] Right.
– [Tomas] And that is, I think, the way bigger challenge to overcome since only with good examples, with good use cases, you are showing that it’s possible to do things with IoT remotely. And since, you know, sometimes the problem is just not even hardware wise. It’s software wise. You have to change update or just change config, wrong configuration. You know, I think we saw quite a many use cases where a single true or false statement changes whole things. So, I think this is the two big challenges for us we have to look at.
– [Ryan] Yeah, the last point you mentioned, I’m glad you brought it up because it’s interesting when I’ve talked to a lot of guests on this podcast that are in different industries. Anytime industrial gets brought up, there always seems to be a lack of flexibility that they’re battling with, with the companies they’re talking to whether that’s buy-in from upper management, whether that’s getting the approval to be able to even do a pilot for a lot of these implementations, mainly because they’re in the boat commit to what you said. Like in their mind, it only can be done one way and bringing in new tech to their existing systems and existing processes only in their mind is a disruption to the way of what they know. So it takes a lot to kinda convince them. And I think what we’re seeing universally around the industry a lot is the need for more success stories, case studies, kind of examples of IoT actually being successful from a deployment standpoint in as many industries and solving as many use cases as possible because that allows those individuals who are maybe kind of stuck on the fence of when it comes to adoption, giving them more insights into what IoT can actually do for their business. And it’s not just taking people at their word. It’s actually seeing competitors, seeing other industry players succeed, implementing IoT, will it then kinda help encourage them to kinda get over that hill of adoption, for sure.
– [Tomas] Yep. Yeah, I agree, totally, you know. And of course, you know, the same is true also on the other side if, you know, if IoT fails, you know, we’re getting not one step back. We’re getting 10 steps back.
– [Ryan] Oh, sure.
– [Tomas] So we always must care, you know, and ensure that we always think of what we are doing and of course.
– [Ryan] Oh, totally. Very good point. Absolutely. So the last thing I wanted to ask you both before we get off here is, so as we are now in 2023, what does the future kinda look like in your mind for the Industry 4.0 industrial IoT kind of space? What are you most excited about? What are you looking forward to? Kind of, what do you think is gonna happen?
– [Pranas] Actually, the future will be very interesting, actually, because we do not completely understand how connected we are at the moment. And if we look, I don’t know, 10 or 15 years back, the present day could look like a science fiction movie or so because our daily lives are connected to our house appliances. For example, you can get a notification from your fridge that the milk is low or so. But what I’m happy about, that industrial IoT is getting more and more affordable and it’s not just for big enterprises, big manufacturing companies, but they are accessible and affordable for small companies and for these companies, industrial IoT lends to increase productivity, efficiency, and also the profits, what is the main goal of the business and allows not to increase the cost at the, how to say, the same scale or so. So, the demand for industrial IoT will be growing, definitely, in the coming years. And the reasons why this happening is that more and more industrial IoT and in general, IoT are used in our daily lives.
– [Ryan] I agree with you. Thomas, anything on your end that you’re seeing kind of from your perspective that you kind of are looking forward to or excited to see kinda going forward?
– [Tomas] From my perspective, you know, I think, you know, from remote management looking in our, you know, where we are going as Teltonika, more and more, you know, seeing an ability to control remotely, you know, and less time spending on the road and most time taking decisions and having, you know, business running and not, you know, wasting resources in the place for work, which does not give any added value. So, you know, as mentioned, sitting in the car and driving around, checked.
– [Ryan] No, I totally got it. Yeah, perfect. So thank you both for taking the time. What I wanted to ask you just before I let you go here is, for our audience out there who wants to learn more about the company, kind of what you have going on, follow up from this discussion in any way, what’s the best way they can do that?
– [Pranas] I believe the best way is to visit our website, teltonika-networks.com. And also, it will be nice to have all the viewers of this podcast to follow us on social media, on LinkedIn and Facebook.
– [Ryan] Okay. Perfect, well make sure we include all those links, website and so forth in the description and all the material that goes out. But otherwise, both of you, thank you so much for taking the time. Fantastic conversation. I really appreciate you taking the time to kind of talk to our audience a bit.
– [Tomas] Thank you for inviting us, as well.
– [Pranas] Yeah, we are happy to have this opportunity.