Industrial IoT: Understanding the Basics

TEKTELIC Communications Inc.
Industrial IoT
Illustration: © IoT For All

Due to the upcoming fourth industrial revolution, it is essential to understand the basics of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Its main goal is to provide smart solutions to manufacturing industries. IIoT offers a range of benefits for manufacturers that include innovation, maintenance cost reduction, improved efficiency, and lower unproductive periods. IoT devices can significantly help companies improve their operations. There are numerous applications of this technology, and it is constantly evolving.

If your business relies on smart tracking devices, it can improve operations by keeping track of goods in transit. These tools can even track customer satisfaction by monitoring their location, status, and condition. And if you’re a rental company, you can automate the self-return of equipment. Many global companies have already started using IoT-connected devices. For example, Ericsson has collaborated with an outdoor power tool manufacturer and equipment rental service to create a proof-of-concept device. In the long run, industrial IoT helps manufacturers increase efficiency in production and maintenance processes.

Besides providing more information about product performance, IIoT also improves operational efficiencies. Rather than relying on human labor, IIoT allows people and technologies to communicate and cooperate. It can make manufacturing faster and more cost-effective. It can also improve the security of production facilities. Finally, it can lead to substantial savings for companies. Smart devices can be used in factories worldwide, providing an ideal space for developing the Industrial Internet of Things.

What Is IoT?

IoT is a growing technology in the industrial sphere. It connects everyday objects to the internet, allowing them to communicate and operate from anywhere in the world. It is becoming possible for appliances and other devices to be programmed through the internet. Connected home devices can also cut monthly expenses. Adjusting the temperature based on the weather can save a lot of money. This technology will also reduce energy costs.

How Does Industrial IoT Work?

You may be curious about what industrial IoT is and how it works. Generally, industrial IoT is an ecosystem of connected objects and computing devices. Everything can connect to a network to exchange collected data. It’s pretty easy to connect multiple devices to an IP network and set the regular data analysis. This allows real-time data to be shared easily with other users involved in industrial processes. It also helps manufacturers reduce their costs and improve the quality of their products. Manufacturers can significantly benefit from the benefits IIoT technologies can bring.

Industrial IoT is a network of connected devices that connects machines. It connects machines and sensors in high-risk industries. What is more, the Industrial Internet of Things technology is becoming an essential part of the modern manufacturing industry due to its energy efficiency, remote access, and advanced analytics.

Previously, operations teams have used schedule-based maintenance, relying on limited analytics from control system interfaces. They have had to collect data for maintenance manually. This is costly, and the failure rates are unpredictable, making it difficult to plan production processes effectively. Industrial IoT, in turn, offers a smart solution that can significantly streamline operations. The smart sensors in the system can monitor the condition of all the physical devices. They track temperature, pressure, vibration frequency, and other metrics to determine their performance.

IoT vs IIoT

Generally, IIoT is a type of IoT. The former is a form of the Internet of Things that connects hardware and software components. The latter is more flexible and allows for greater integration of different devices and software into one system. In the case of IIoT, the technology is an integral part of the overall operating process. It provides real-time information and is crucial for manufacturing and other industries.

Implementation

The difference between IoT and IIoT lies in how these two technologies are implemented. IoT uses inexpensive connected sensors and devices for consumer convenience. IIoT uses more sophisticated devices to extend existing manufacturing and supply chain management systems, providing broader visibility, automated controls, and increasingly accomplished analytics. Both technologies provide users with real-time data acquisition and increase operational efficiency.

IIoT devices and applications are designed for rugged conditions in industrial environments, making them highly reliable and useful for predictive maintenance. These devices can usually be accessed from remote locations and monitor infrastructures without human assistance, sending all the big data analytics to the cloud platform. As a result, they require more robust communication protocols than IoT devices.

Integration

IIoT systems are designed to streamline production processes and improve the overall user experience by incorporating both technologies. While IoT systems use cloud computing to connect and monitor devices, IIoT systems integrate sensors in the field. Then, these devices use data analytics to identify patterns, which improves product and service quality in smart factories. This approach is already being used in industrial operations. What is more, IIoT is expected to speed up the adoption of smart products and services precisely in the manufacturing industry.

Industrial IoT platforms enable the creation and use of new products tailored to specific needs. One more difference between IIoT and IoT is the level of integration. IoT is generally more flexible, while IIoT tends to be more complex. IIoT devices have many more applications and capabilities, and they are vital for the future of any industry.

Application Pool

In contrast to IoT, IIoT is a network of connected and smart devices for industrial applications. While IoT is a network of consumer-based devices, IIoT is a network of industrial processes connected to each other. This type of technology is used to collect data and improve industrial processes.

The IIoT is more complex and expensive. It uses sensors and analytics to predict trends in the digital transformation sphere and make predictions to enhance manufacturing. The technology will also grow in scale, but the more advanced devices will be more expensive for device manufacturers. IIoT devices will be more powerful once they become mainstream and reach consumers. A significant advantage to both of these technologies is that they enable real-time decision-making. The more sophisticated these devices are, the more benefits they can provide to businesses. Both IoT and IIoT are a good fit for businesses.

What Industries Use IIoT?

If you have never used industrial IoT services for your business, you may not be sure whether IIoT systems are suitable for your business. That is why it will benefit you to discover all the opportunities industrial automation devices can bring. With a basic understanding of how to use an internet-connected appliance, you will be able to successfully automate tasks and integrate cutting-edge computing devices into your business.

IIoT can transform many industries, from agriculture, innovational technology companies, automotive industry, and top industrial IoT companies to smart cities and power and robotics firms. IIoT projects typically aim to automate, save, or optimize processes. These projects help companies with their goals and strategies, including innovation, customer-centric service offerings, and data-driven revenues. Industrial IoT also helps create ecosystems of value for businesses and allows them to be part of the digital transformation of entire industries.

Engineering Industry

IIoT is beneficial to process engineers. A digital manufacturing initiative in the engineering industry can help to store data more efficiently, establish energy management, and facilitate data collection. In traditional processes, engineers have to manually collect data, aggregate it, analyze it, and perform manual data visualization. But with IoT-enabled operations and wearable devices, these tasks can be automated, and workers can focus on improving processes rather than analyzing data and data sources.

Mining Industry

The mining industry also has a lot to gain from IIoT. The mining industry faces increasing pressure to produce more raw materials. Over the next decade, IoT will help manage these resources. Using cameras, sensors, and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, balancing the many different aspects of a situation will be possible. Ultimately, the technology will allow mining operations to shift from manual processes to algorithms.

The adoption of IoT in mining is helpful regardless of the company’s specificity. Whether IoT device is underground, near the surface, or in the field, it helps the company improve productivity, reduce costs, and boost efficiency. By connecting equipment and vehicles to the cloud, the mining industry can collect more data than ever before. This means that the equipment can be remotely controlled, and the operator can control it even from a smartphone app. AI analytics will help mining companies identify the most important information and optimize processes. By using data from the IIoT, there will be a space for machine learning, which will help mining companies to make more informed decisions.

Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing industries can also benefit from the IIoT. IoT-enabled sensors can monitor temperature and pressure by using RFID tags in their facilities, ensuring they stay within prescribed limits. Similarly, IIoT-enabled sensors can help manufacturers save energy and reduce costs. By monitoring machine performance, the technology can optimize the use of different facilities and mitigate operational risk. If implemented correctly, IIoT can dramatically change how products are made.

IIoT offers sensors to detect hazardous working conditions and alert workers and supervisors for manufacturing. Some manufacturing companies have started integrating IIoT into their manufacturing processes to boost efficiency. For example, a car with an IoT-enabled system can calculate a trip’s duration and check traffic conditions. Refrigerators can also correlate temperature with desired temperatures, and air conditioning systems can automatically adjust to the current weather. This emerging technology is being widely used in the manufacturing stage, so the products already have integrated sensors when they are released for sale.

The Internet of Things is becoming increasingly important in manufacturing. Its advantages are both technological and economical, and it is already starting to affect several industries, including aviation. It will continue to be an essential tool in the long run for manufacturers. The Internet of Things (IoT) will help manufacturers increase product quality and reduce costs. Poor setup or calibration is one of the most common causes of product quality degradation. Measured machine signals are a good indicator of machine performance, and intelligent devices can help. The IoT will help monitor these signals and report deviations from ideal working conditions, enhancing workplace safety. As a result, close observation of machinery will ensure that the product quality and reliability are maintained.

The use of IoT can also lead to new revenue streams. For example, connected products can help manufacturers shift from selling physical products to providing experiences, a critical business model for today’s marketplace. With the IoT in place, it’s possible to anticipate issues before they arise and prevent them from occurring.

Logistics

Internet-connected devices play a significant role in logistics management. These IIoT devices can be used for radio frequency identification of trucks, monitoring the physical objects on the move, and even insurance of worker safety on the road. IIoT is becoming a vital component of the digital economy and is transforming the world we live in. While the internet of things has changed the face of many industries, logistics is one of the leading industries. IoT devices help companies monitor their supply chains and improve employee productivity. So as you see, in logistics, aside from allowing companies to track and manage their inventory, industrial gateway IoT, smart machines, and artificial intelligence applications can also improve the safety of their employees and their customers.

Speaking about logistics, we should note that it is not only about trucks and on-land transportation. Aircraft manufacturing companies have recently started using IoT-based industrial security systems to detect issues and improve performance. In turn, this machine-to-machine innovational technology can increase productivity without additional personnel.

Healthcare

The most common industries are manufacturing and logistics. But IoT is not limited to these industries. For example, IoT technology is popular in the healthcare industry. IoT industrial applications can track components of medical kits, components for the production of certain meds, and other critical healthcare processes. Medical devices require close control and monitoring so that IoT industrial technology can be the simplest and the most effective solution.

IoT is already used by a range of medical institutions. For example, an international manufacturer of medical equipment, Medivators, successfully integrated IoT solutions into its services across the globe. The company saw a 78% increase in service issues and events without adding an additional workforce. Such an increase without other personnel will be not only helpful but also a cost-effective solution.

Other Industries

There is also a need to mention a range of other industries to apply IoT. Industrial IoT can reduce lead times and increase flexibility in goods production. It can help factories optimize inventory and asset management. It can also improve energy efficiency and reduce operational expenses. In addition to manufacturing, IoT is a great tool for monitoring the health and safety of production fields. A manufacturing company can use IoT sensors to gather data from multiple sources and analyze the information. IoT devices can be used in production lines and remote areas to monitor assets in some industries. It can even integrate with operational technology such as smart packaging.

What is more, IoT technology can be applied even in the banking industry. A bank that uses sensors will know which of its ATMs is more efficient. Besides, IoT devices in the banking industry will significantly increase cybersecurity. These applications are just some of the many industries that can take advantage of IoT.

Benefits of Industrial IoT

Predictive Maintenance of Connected Devices

There are many benefits for companies of all sizes when it comes to industrial IoT. For example, detecting malfunctions early can save millions in the global process industry. And with the ability to send out alerts when something goes wrong, operators can take immediate action before it becomes a bigger problem. IoT sensors and systems can help equipment rental companies implement preventative maintenance. By cutting the costs of sending mechanics into the field, monitoring solutions can help avoid costly breakdowns.

As you can see, IIoT solutions can significantly improve the manufacturing process while reducing costs. One of the main applications of IIoT is predictive maintenance. Machines that break down can cost millions of dollars of productivity. By using IIoT devices, predictive maintenance can be automated, reducing the need for manual intervention.

Optimization of Operational Efficiency

Besides saving money, another benefit of industrial IoT is its potential to make manufacturing processes more efficient. However, it presents a number of practical challenges, which may prevent most companies from taking advantage of its benefits. Currently, most companies have invested in operational technology, which is not designed to connect beyond the local network. Additionally, the data stream generated by these devices must be routed back into existing data management software systems. For effective work with connected devices, it is necessary to approach the choice of industrial IoT automation systems wisely.

The benefits of Industrial IoT are numerous. It helps manage the resources of cities. For example, it enables garbage trucks to optimize their routes and reduce the number of emissions they produce. Using industrial IoT technology in cities can help manage resources and improve efficiency.

Optimization of Processes

Industrial IoT can help businesses improve processes. Companies can automate processes and optimize production lines by collecting data from sensors. Usually, IoT industrial sensors are connected to a cloud computing system. This way, companies can access the information from anywhere they want. They can monitor their production line and use predictive maintenance. Then, they can also monitor and automate their supply chain. In addition, they can save on costs by reducing human intervention with the vast opportunities IIoT technologies provide.

A company can use IoT in many ways, including manufacturing. For instance, a factory may monitor its workers’ productivity. By using IoT, factories can also track how well they are performing. It can also improve the quality of products and services. The IoT in industrial settings can improve safety. Companies can monitor their employees’ safety by implementing an IoT-based mobile device.

How to Get Started?

If you’re new to IIoT, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s not an accessible technology to implement, so you should start small and test the waters with a small project. Choose one problem to measure or improve and get started on that. You’ll learn the technology, as well as how your company can operate with it.

The main thing is to choose the right guide who can help you onboard to the world of IoT technology. With a company that supports you and consult on any questions emerging, you will have an opportunity to integrate IoT in your industry smoothly and successfully.

Author
TEKTELIC Communications Inc.
TEKTELIC Communications Inc.
TEKTELIC Communications is a premier supplier of complete End-to-End IoT solutions. With a focus on providing ‘total solutions’ TEKTELIC leverages its world class IoT gateways, sensors and software to create enhanced value for its clients. With ...
TEKTELIC Communications is a premier supplier of complete End-to-End IoT solutions. With a focus on providing ‘total solutions’ TEKTELIC leverages its world class IoT gateways, sensors and software to create enhanced value for its clients. With ...