What Is IIoT? Things You Must Know About IIoT
With our previous articles, we had explained IoT(Internet Of Things), how you can start learning IoT, future predictions of IoT, and how it can impact the business.
Now it’s time to move forward with the technology upgrades and introducing a new term with you which is IIoT-” Industrial Internet Of Things”.
What Is IIoT?
The IIoT or the industrial internet of things is the broader term which means the use of IoT(internet of things) technologies, applications, and innovations within the industrial process to enhance manufacturing systems that leisures to achieve higher milestones.
IIoT is also known as Industrial Internet or Industry 4.0, aims to revolutionize the way of manufacturing by incorporating various IoT technologies like machine learning, AI, and Big data. These technologies and their applications are put together to automate the manufacturing process.
This will empower the acquisitions and the accessibility to harness a larger amount of data at a lesser span of time and at a greater speed and velocity. Thus establishing Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication which is done through MQTT protocol and less human intervention making the manufacturing system more smooth and fast like never before.
Various innovative industries and companies have already begun implementing the IIoT in their industrial framework which includes connecting various devices or machines and synchronizing them together with the use of software applications and tools to make them communicate with each other.
This M2M communication is done with the innovative technology of IoT where:
A network of intelligent devices, smart computers, and objects that are connected to the same internet connection. They collect and share a huge amount of data among them. And the collected data is then sent to a cloud-based server where all the data are stored and then provided to the end-user when requested or commanded.
Today, IoT is being used through applications in various fields like home automation systems, hospitals, schools, e-commerce websites, and in big organizations and companies where a large amount of data is being shared.
What are the Benefits of IIoT?
The integration of IIoT within the industrial framework can benefit the industries and organization to:
- Establish M2M communication to collect and share data within the machines which results in improved connectivity;
- Improves the scalability and efficiency of acquisition;
- Time-saving and cost-effective as it requires less human intervention, require predictive maintenance;
- Allow the industrial organizations to process the flow of data from the factory place to the officials and the executives. Thus, the business can get the real-time data of the going on the manufacturing process. This will help them to take precise actions on time.
- Lastly, IIoT will smoothens the operations, make it more safe and reliable;
Things You Must Know About IIoT
Big Data Collection & Analysis:
IoT is the network of devices and objects communicating together and sharing data, it is needed to all the IoT projects whether it is big or small. So, now we know that IIoT is the larger concept, so the flow of data here would also be more in quantity which is called “Big Data”.
In each IIoT, the collection, sharing and analysis of big data has its own characteristic. Like the type of data, quantity, analytics and the methods of collection involves highly complex mechanism that are done by using the sensors and the software tools/applications. The sensors and the software involves are deployed at a local, regional or over a global scale according to the needs. So, no matter is your IIoT project is big or small, you will have need to analyze the concept of big data, collection methods, sensors, software tools and its deployments.
Industrial IT Applications and Protocols:
Second most important thing is the industrial specific applications and protocols that connects the industrial devices and machines with the data storage mechanisms. These forms the enterprise side of any business to meet the industry standards.
If you are aware of the term Industrial IT then you should also know about the protocols such as OPC, MQTT, DDS or AMQP which connects the industrial devices together. And also there are various industrial specific applications like SCADA and MES providing the platform for the industrial IT world.
So, there is a big challenge ahead in choosing the correct platform and applications that suits your project better.
Many big industrial IoT deployments have physically controlled environments like climate conditions, high heat, poor ventilation, humidity, cold and other natural challenges that occurs without any prior notice. Not only that, proper power flow is also a main concern for the industrial IT deployments. They deploy the sensors to withstand various harsh climatic conditions.
But this is a big challenge for small or medium sized industrial IoT deployments, where they may have to face unfavorable climate conditions. In such places of harsh environment, it is difficult to equip sensors and other sensitive network devices.
So, in such cases the industrial IoT needs to deploy ruggedized IoT sensors and network hardware which can help them to cope up these of environment challenges.
Quality control is a major factor for the industrial IoT that differentiates it from other IoT projects. Because there is various key aspects which one should keep in mind like raw materials used in manufacturing process, various industrial products involved, constructions, agriculture and production.
Industrial IoT deals with these processes with automatic quality control methods. It depends on the sectors of industries what type of quality-controlled data are being collected and its methods used. As it should properly vertical to the specific industry.
Improved Supply Chain Visibility:
Identifying the areas of supply chain matter to every industry. It is a critical thing that matters to every industry. Many industries regulates the supply chain through computerized methods by using built-in digitized silos. But this method may lead to blind spots to the supply chain which will ultimately costs higher.
Thus, now the industrial IoT projects have redesigned the supply chain mechanism to provide a transparent end-to-end supply chain. This improves the supply chain visibility and manage the costs.
The world of IoT revolves around sensors, devices, software tools, but in industrial IoT also involves retrofitting industrial equipment along with the IoT sensors. The retrofitting industrial equipment includes manufacturing equipment, forklifts, and storage containers.
Some of the Industrial IoT projects have greenfield installations along with new manufacturing tools and equipments. But these will also need to have updated legacy processes and upgraded tools to meet with Industrial IoT standards.
Energy efficiency is another driving factor for implementing the industrial IoT. There are a variety of ways to achieve this which includes deployment and implementation of smart sensor data in “HVAC”. And installing smart lighting systems within manufacturing units along with integrating AI technology applications to the plant equipment. This will keep the industrial place running at an optimal levels.
Also, identifying the areas to upgrade and modernize the plant will help make it more energy efficient and improve it regulation.
Merging The Industrial & Enterprise IT:
In many industries, the plant unit works independently from the enterprise or the corporate unit. It means that the manufacturing equipment are connected with the network that is not connected with the corporate units. They have a separate network connection. So they both work independently. So there is always been a gap which hassles the flow of data and other factors such as security, technologies implemented and the processes.
But with industrial IoT, some groups like Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) are developing the framework to build the bridge between the two. So the industrial IT and the enterprise IT will work as a single unit which will improve the overall industrial IT framework.
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