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Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

University of Washington_091921A
[University of Washington]


- Overview

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) uses smart sensors, actuators, and other devices to enhance manufacturing and industrial processes. IIoT is a subset of the Internet of Things (IoT). IIoT devices are networked to provide data collection, exchange, and analysis.

The Industrial Internet of Things is an important component of smart manufacturing. Smart manufacturing leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide actionable insights. For example, Industrial IoT solutions can use sensors to track the flow of assets in a factory. Autonomous robots can move products or pick and pack orders without human interaction. 

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is an integral part of Industry 4.0. The connectivity and data provided by IIoT enable Industry 4.0 to exist and remain efficient. IIoT is a key driver of Industry 4.0.


- The Technology of IIoT 

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to interconnected sensors, instruments, and other devices networked together with computers' industrial applications, including manufacturing and energy management. 

This connectivity allows for data collection, exchange, and analysis, potentially facilitating improvements in productivity and efficiency as well as other economic benefits. The IIoT is an evolution of a distributed control system (DCS) that allows for a higher degree of automation by using cloud computing to refine and optimize the process controls.

IIoT is a subcategory of the Internet of Things (IoT), which also includes consumer-facing applications such as wearable devices, smart home technology, and self-driving cars. Sensor-embedded devices, machines, and infrastructure that transmit data via the Internet and are managed by software are the hallmark of both concepts. 

For any business that deals with the production and/or transportation of physical goods, IIoT can create game-changing operational efficiencies and present entirely new business models.

IIoT is enabled by technologies such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, edge computing, mobile technologies, machine-to-machine, 3D printing, advanced robotics, big data, Internet of Things, RFID technology, and cognitive computing.

- The Use Cases of the IIoT

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is growing as enterprise IIoT teams and end users seek new use cases across industries.

From retail to energy to healthcare, IIoT solutions that combine devices, sensors, software networking and cloud computing are becoming a staple of business optimization efforts. 8 Industrial IoT Use Cases:

  • Retail and Supply Chain: Asset Monitoring
  • Manufacturing: safety sensors and automatic assistance
  • Food and Beverage: Environmental Tracking
  • Agriculture: Smart Irrigation
  • Manufacturing: Predictive Maintenance
  • Energy: Smart Metering and Remote Monitoring
  • Automotive: Digital Twin
  • Healthcare: Safe Patient Monitoring


- IIoT for Industry 4.0

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a network of connected devices in the industrial sector. It is a subset of the Internet of Things (IoT). IIoT devices include smart sensors, actuators, and industrial robots. These devices transmit data without the need for human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

IIoT is a foundational technology for Industry 4.0 initiatives. It uses smart machines and real-time analytics to make better use of data generated by industrial machines. IIoT can increase efficiency and reduce costs in manufacturing and services.

Some common applications of IIoT include:

  • Asset tracking
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Inventory management
  • Remote monitoring

Networks connecting Industrial IoT devices and sensors need to support multiple physical channels. For example, Ethernet cables can connect devices on the factory floor, but wireless technologies such as 5G, 4G LTE, NFC, RFID and Bluetooth can also be used.

- Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is a trend in manufacturing automation and data exchange. It combines physical production and operations with smart digital technologies, machine learning and big data. This creates a more connected ecosystem for companies focused on manufacturing and supply chain management.

Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the way companies design, manufacture and distribute products. For example, machines can automatically reorder parts, which means less downtime. 3D printers can also be used to create tools and parts.

Some characteristics of Industry 4.0 include:

  • IT-OT integration
  • Interoperability
  • Data driven decision making
  • Information transparency
  • Decentralization
  • Flexibility  
  • Exponential technology

<More to come ..>


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