IIoT or the Industrial Internet of Things typically refers to the implementation of IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities in the industrial and manufacturing processes. So, IIoT is a part of IoT, the network of interconnected devices that can collect, exchange, and analyse data to provide critical insights. Such insights will eventually help make industrial and manufacturing processes more efficient.
Industrial IoT or IIoT is also known as industrial internet and Industry 4.0. The technology incorporates ML (machine learning), Big Data, automation, and M2M (machine-to-machine) communications to harness the power of data collected by sensors.
So, IIoT not only enables businesses to access a larger volume of data at a greater speed but also ensures faster and efficient processing and analysis of the collected data with no or minimal human intervention. All these will ultimately translate into reduced costs, greater profits, better safety, better decision-making, and increased efficiency.
In the industrial setting, the manufacturing sector is predicted to benefit immensely from IIoT, especially in areas like quality control, equipment maintenance, safety, energy management, and supply chain traceability and efficiency.
For example, IIoT makes predictive maintenance possible, which enable businesses/industries to manage their equipment more efficiently. With the help of real-time data generated by IIoT systems, it is possible to know the actual condition of a machine or equipment. So, instead of guessing, manufacturers will know when a machine/equipment failure will occur and schedule the maintenance activity accordingly. Predictive maintenance will cut down costs and machinery downtime, and increase productivity and safety significantly.
Another benefit of IIoT is the more efficient tracking of the supply chain. It can help track the location and the condition of products throughout the supply chain so that preventive actions can be taken immediately in the event of any damage to the goods. The entire inventory can be tracked in real-time with the help of IIoT to get accurate estimates of the available materials. This helps optimize supply, reduce costs, and prevent slowdowns.
IIoT can also play an important role in energy management. Energy is one of the main expenses for manufacturing companies. But, bills usually reflect the total energy consumption. Bills don’t give a breakup of energy consumption by individual devices. Here, IIoT can step in and can give a complete breakup of the energy consumption data to the device level so that specific inefficiencies can be detected. This will help reduce energy bills and thus, costs and wastage.
Apart from these, IIoT can help industries provide a safer work environment by improving workers’ safety and security. It can enable businesses to identify potential hazards with the help of sensors. IoT wearable, on the other hand, can track workers’ vital health information such as heart rate, blood oxygen levels, temperature, etc., to reduce risks associated with working in extreme environmental conditions.
So, IIoT is going to transform the way industries and manufacturing units are working presently. It is going to revolutionize almost all areas of the business to make the future industries more productive, efficient, and safer to work in.