The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is a term often heard but not fully understood. So what is it, exactly, and why should you care about it? As someone who works in the industrial sector, the IIoT is a term you need to be familiar with. But with all the information available online, knowing which is accurate can be daunting and confusing.
This guide will serve as the be-all, end-all of information on the industrial internet of things. We’ll explore what it is, how it’s being used, and its potential implications for the future.
What is the Industrial Internet of Things?
Industrial Internet of Things, or simply IIoT, is an extended use of the internet of things (IoT), particularly in the industrial sector. It focuses firmly on machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, machine learning, and big data. IIoT enables industries and enterprises to achieve better efficiency and reliability in their operations.
Also known as Industry 4.0, IIoT uses smart sensors and actuators to improve and optimize industrial processes. It encompasses industrial applications such as robotics, medical devices, and software-defined production processes. The driving principle behind this is that smart machines are better than humans at communicating important information and analyzing data more accurately.
How Does Industry 4.0 Work?
IIot is a series of intelligent or “smart” devices connected to create systems that analyze, collect, monitor, and exchange data. Each Industrial IoT consists of the following elements:
- Connected devices that can sense, store, and communicate information about themselves;
- Private and/or public data communications infrastructure;
- Data storage that’s generated by the IIoT devices;
- Applications of analytics that generate important information from raw data; and
These intelligent assets and edge devices transmit information straight to the data communications infrastructure, where it’s converted into actionable information on how a certain piece of equipment or machinery works. This information can be used for predictive maintenance and business process optimization.
Industries that Make Use of IIoT
The IIoT is still in its early developmental stages, which means that there are a limited number of applications for it. However, there are a few industries that have been early adopters of this technology and are reaping the benefits:
The manufacturing sector has been one of the biggest benefactors of IIoT technology. By connecting devices and machines to the internet, manufacturers can collect data on how their products are being made and identify areas for improvement. This helps them to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing waste and downtime.
The transportation sector is another industry that has greatly used IIoT technology. By connecting vehicles to the internet, transportation companies can track their location in real-time, which helps to improve route planning and optimize fleet management.
The healthcare industry has been an early adopter of IIoT technology. By connecting medical devices to the internet, healthcare providers can monitor patients remotely and identify potential health problems before they become serious.
Benefits of Industry IoT
Many benefits come with implementing IIoT technology in industries and enterprises:
- Improved efficiency and productivity: By connecting devices and machines to the internet, It can help to automate tasks and processes which can lead to increased workplace productivity and overall efficiency.
- Reduced downtime: It can help identify potential equipment problems before they lead to costly downtime. This can help to reduce downtime and keep businesses up and running.
- Improved safety: It can help improve workplace safety by monitoring conditions and identifying potential hazards.
- Increased flexibility: It can help businesses become more flexible by allowing them to adapt quickly to changing conditions.
- Improved decision-making: It can help businesses to make better decisions by providing them with real-time data and insights.
Risks and Challenges of Industry IoT
Like with any new technology, there are risks and challenges associated with IIoT. Some of the most significant risks and challenges in IIoT include:
- Security: One of the biggest risks associated with IIoT is security. Because IIoT devices are connected to the internet, they are vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks. This could lead to data breaches and loss of sensitive information.
- Privacy: Another risk associated with IIoT is privacy. Because IIoT devices collect and store data, there is a risk that this data could be used to infringe on people’s privacy.
- Cost: Another challenge associated with IIoT is cost. IIoT technology can be expensive to implement and maintain. This could make it out of reach for some businesses, especially small businesses.
- Interoperability: Another challenge associated with IIoT is interoperability. Because different manufacturers make IIoT devices, they might not be compatible with each other. This could lead to problems with data collection and analysis.
The Difference Between IoT and IIoT
The main difference between IoT and IIoT is that IoT is focused on consumer devices and applications, while IIoT is focused on industrial applications. IoT is mainly used for smart homes and connected cars, while IIoT is used for industrial robots and medical devices.
Another difference between IoT and IIoT is that IoT is mainly about connecting devices to the internet, while IIoT is about connecting devices and machines to each other. In addition, IIoT is also about using data and analytics to improve efficiency and productivity.
The Future of IIoT
Industry 4.0 is still in its early developmental stages. However, it can potentially revolutionize how industries and enterprises operate. In the future, it is expected to become more widespread and commonplace. This will likely lead to more benefits and opportunities for businesses and consumers.
Implement IIoT using DATAMYTE
If you want to incorporate Industry 4.0 into your business operations, you should consider using DATAMYTE. Our quality management platform offers various software and tools that will help you plan how to implement IIoT in your business.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard, in particular, is a workflow automation software that helps you create a comprehensive IIoT implementation workflow. This software is designed to help you manage and monitor your machines and collect and analyze data.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard can help you with:
- Data collection and analysis
- Process improvement
- Quality control
- Machine monitoring
If you want to learn more about how DATAMYTE can help you with IIoT implementation, please book a demo with us today.
If your business wants to stay competitive, you need to consider incorporating IIoT into your operations. The industrial internet of things has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses operate and will likely become more widespread in the future. So if you belong in an industry where IIoT is applicable, start looking into how you can take advantage of this new technology.