Multinational Instrumentation Conference and Exhibition (MICONEX) held its 30th exhibition from November 25 to 27, 2019 in Beijing with around 500 exhibitors. As a leading process automation exhibition in China, it was organized by the China Instrument and Control Society (CIS) and is one of key indicators for the process automation market in China. ARC Advisory Group attended this fair with many other visitors who were from design institutes and EPC firms, plus technology end users. ARC observed that this year’s event was involved with exhibitors and users from discrete/factory automation for the first time.
Ready for the Era of Industrial IoT
Although the technologies of sensors and instruments are mature, and there have been no notable changes for a couple of years, we still observed that more intelligent and more connected products and solutions were showcased in this fair. Furthermore, “Sensing as a Service” and Industrial IoT-based solutions were presented well, with lots of vivid references instead of “shop window”. Many suppliers are transforming themselves from a hardware provider to a smart manufacturing solutions “orchestrator” by leveraging domain expertise and new technology based “XaaS” platform.
There was an impressive booth from CQUPT (Chongqing University of Posts and Communications) IIoT lab in this year’s fair. Firstly, this lab showcased their IPV6-based industrial Internet platform, IoT Protocol Testbed, and Network Diagnosis Systems. Secondly, an Industrial IOT-based chip was introduced for fully Interconnected Manufacturing Network. It can be embedded into the communication “edge” and make it possible to an industrial environment. Thirdly, ARC finds that CQUPT IIoT lab not only attended Hanover in 2013, which mainly focuses on discrete automation, but has also been working with NAMUR for several years on Work Group- WG0.2 (Intelligent Manufacturing), whose members are from process industries.
End Users’ Awareness of “Blue Sky” and Safety Issues
With dozens of years’ industry investment, production capacity reached a historical high level in China. To keep a sustainable development mode, environment protection and production process safety have become hot topics. Safety culture was well cultivated to protect plant assets, personnel, and environment. At the same time, it provides considerable opportunities for automation suppliers. Due to stricter regulations, end users look for high quality and reliable emission monitoring systems. In this fair, emission monitoring, gas detection, and safety management related booths attracted more visitors. However, these products and solutions are not for basic process control or even operation optimization, but for risk mitigation or social responsibility. Many end user visitors were looking for friendly real-time monitoring solutions for personnel location and/or emission across the site.