The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is a branch of IoT that revolves around the concept of connecting devices to the internet. IoT simply refers to all the interconnected devices such as smart watches and virtual assistants that make our lives easier. When applied on the industrial level, IoT becomes industrial IoT. Also known as Industry 4.0, IIoT is the technique of using smart sensors and actuators to streamline industrial processes. The introduction of IIoT has resulted in the automation of industrial operations that leads to boosting productivity, saves time, and brings efficiency. To understand IIoT better, let’s take a look at the meaning, benefits, and applications of IIoT.
Meaning & Benefits of Industrial IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is all about connecting physical items with the digital world. It involves the use of sensors to establish a wireless connection to the internet for sharing data. When the devices are connected to the internet, it enables sharing of real-time data that can be collected and analyzed for productivity and operational efficiency. When equipped with sensors and software, dumb machines turn into smart devices capable of tracking and processing data. Advanced data analytics systems are used to analyze data gathered from the connected system for improving operations.
Similar to how IoT has made consumers’ life easier, IIoT is increasingly used to streamline industrial processes and reduce costs. It enables automation and data-driven insights that can maximize workforce efficiency. The application of IIoT includes monitoring, automating, and predicting various industrial processes and outcomes. From factory floor monitoring to predictive maintenance, this technology can be used throughout the industrial setting for improving various operations. The various applications of IIoT offer benefits like increased visibility, better security, and superior customer experience. Setting up smart factories and implementing IIoT applications throughout the business can immensely benefit the manufacturers, supply chains, and warehouse managers. An IoT-enabled system can help businesses achieve:
- Cost reduction
- Better quality products
- Reduce equipment downtime
- Excellent decision-making potential
- Ensure safety and compliance
- Higher operational performance
- Increase flexibility and agility
Applications of IIoT
From manufacturing to agriculture, IIoT applications can be implemented across all industries. The major applications of industrial IoT include predictive maintenance, remote monitoring, and automation. IoT allows connecting machines which enables predictive maintenance. This is a great application of IIoT as it allows intervention and making repairs before it causes serious trouble. Predictive maintenance refers to using sensors and software for preventing asset failure. It becomes possible by analyzing data from machines to identify patterns and predict issues before they happen. For instance, manufacturing industries are adopting factory-wide deployments to monitor the performance and condition of critical machines. This helps in increasing OEE throughout the production line and saves both time and money. IIoT allows condition-based maintenance that uses real-time data. Earlier industries used to rely on historical data for maintenance which often leads to unnecessary maintenance costs or sudden equipment failure. But now IIoT sensors are embedded in the manufacturing equipment that provides condition-based maintenance alerts by recording temperature, humidity, vibrations, and other atmospheric conditions. This helps in collecting useful data that reveal performance and other issues related to the machines. Predictive maintenance provides benefits like reduce costs, increase operational efficiency, and lower machine downtime. IIoT also enables remote monitoring systems through a singular dashboard.