Avnet set to pilot IoT for predictive maintenance
Avnet CIO Steve Philips

Avnet set to pilot IoT for predictive maintenance

Technology distributor Avnet is reportedly about to dip its toes in with the Internet of Things.

According to CIO.com, technology wholesaler Avnet’s CIO Steve Phillips, has been planning to make IT more open to the company’s requirements. Phillips plans to test a software-defined network (SDN) and a predictive analytics solution using the Internet of Things, following other CIOs who have been focusing on cloud analytics and security.

Three years ago, Avnet installed sensors to monitor temperature, and data would be sent to a control system to lower or raise the temperature as necessary, cutting power consumption costs by $8m (£5.5 million). This year, they are planning to use sensors to monitor machine performance, and inform employees of potential breakdowns which will bypass interruption.

SDNs can create efficiency by improving data traffic management, and with traffic increasing due to video streaming, cloud software, analytics and other information intensive activities, efficiency is vital. Phillips plans to prototype his SDN, and test a pilot project later this year.

Avnet has operated with waterfall methodology (a sequential design process, used in software development processes – Ed) until recently, as they realised that when IT solutions were delivered, the requirements had changed. Phillips has said Avnet will be reorganised as bimodal, and will try emerging technologies like SDN and IoT. Its SAP record system will continue using the waterfall method, but will be upgraded.

In order to address challenges in the move to an agile and bimodal company, Phillips is being assisted by IT outsourcing services provider Garter and Infosys, and is using business and IT staff to work on agile projects.

Industrial equipment manufacturer TVH Group will be discussing the results of their predictive maintenance solution at The Internet of Manufacturing conference, in Munich on 5-6 April 2016.