Industrial IoT: the answer to industrial digitisation

IIoT or Industrial Internet of Things is now a reality that has become a strategic priority for 94% of industry executives. We analyze the multiple advantages in efficiency and optimization that are guiding this decision, making the industrial sector a leader in the implementation of IoT in industry.

Written by:
Miren Zabaleta

What is the IIoT or Industrial Internet of Things?

The IIoT is a network of connected devices that enables businesses to monitor, compile and analyse data for informed decision making.

In other words, it is the application of the Internet of Things in Industry 4.0 with the aim of increasing efficiency and productivity.

The basis of the IIoT emerged in the 1960s, with the first examples of Machine2Machine communication. However, it was with the emergence of TCP/IP and HTTP protocols that the Industrial Internet of Things began to develop as we know it, while in 2012 the term Industrial Internet was coined.

In summary, the IIoT has the following characteristic elements:

  • Devices, including sensors, machines and GPS trackers.
  • ConnectivityThe network that links these devices to servers in Edge Computing or Cloud Computing models.
  • Data processing and analysis applications.
  • Interfaces for interaction with human operators.

Benefits of Industrial IOT

Applied to industry, this set of solutions creates an IIoT environment capable of leveraging the following benefits:

  • Boosting efficiency and productivity. Through the visibility generated by the IIoT, companies have access to information that allows them to develop Business Intelligence, making decisions based on data.

Production processes become repetitive and "just in time" production dynamics are generated, with better coordination between suppliers and customers, as well as information on delivery times, manufacturing and availability of materials and personnel.

In addition, monitoring equipment utilization is estimated to improve productivity by 10 to 25%, according to reports from ITIFresearch.

  • Economic savings in two main areas: the minimisation of downtime thanks to the predictive maintenance and the improvement in the consumption of energy resources.
  • Improving safety and working conditions for human teams by monitoring factors such as air pollution or machinery failures.

In this sense, 80% of those who have already taken the step towards implementing IIoT environments claim that they are achieving "better than expected" results, according to a study by the consulting firm Gartner.

You may be interested in: How to optimise the maintenance of your industrial devices?

Differences between IIOT and IOT

One could speak of the Industrial Internet of Things as the application of the IoT in industry. In other words, the IIoT is an offshoot of the IoT and, as such, both have common factors: they both involve interconnected systems based on data analytics and share some types of sensors or communication protocols.

However, the IIoT has its own characteristics:

1. The objective of the IIOT is to improve efficiency

While IoT is geared towards creating simpler and more satisfying user experiences, the Internet of Things in Industry 4.0 focuses on improving production efficiency and avoiding failures in activities with high security or economic risks.

2. Industrial IOT (IIOT) requires greater security.

While any IoT system should have security by design, vulnerabilities in IoT environments are more serious, ranging from fraudulent access to sensitive information to service disruptions through sabotage. In this sense, security in the IIoT needs to be more robust.

3. IOT seeks scalability

IIoT environments must be able to increase their working capacity, expanding to new devices without losing quality of service or performance.

4. IIOT improves accuracy and redundancy and reduces latency.

In the IIoT, it becomes more essential to achieve precision in execution and to develop systems that guarantee supply in case of failure (redundancies). On the other hand, it is crucial to reduce latencies (order execution time).

How to apply Industrial IOT in companies

  1. Detect needs and pain points. The first step for a successful IIoT implementation is to define what objective the company seeks to accomplish through technology.
  2. Integrate IIoT systems with current industrial organization systems (ERP, MES...).
  3. Commissioning of the IoT system and platforms, ensuring parameter control and security from the outset.
  4. Energy efficiency control.
  5. To make way for automatic and predictive maintenance.
  6. Full control over the IoT environment.

Recommended reading: IoT and SCADA systems, forced to understand and coexist in the digital age.

Examples of the use of the Internet of Things in Industry 4.0

There are multiple uses of IoT in industrial environments, from predictive and remote maintenance of infrastructure (estimated to generate savings of up to 40% of maintenance costs) to optimisation of energy resources.

These capabilities are driving the implementation of IIoT across all sectors. However, three sectors are at the forefront of implementation, according to a ranking published in ZDNet:

  • Manufacturing: aimed at optimising systems and saving costs, as well as verifying the quality of the final product.
  • Transport: with the aim of improving maintenance costs, fuel consumption and safety.
  • Electricity and gasutilities use IIoT systems for consumption monitoring and leakage prevention, among other things.

Beyond this ranking, there are also three key sectors where the IIoT has truly disruptive potential:

  • Power grids: Smart grids linked to the Industrial Internet of Things enable more efficient and sustainable energy management. Advantages include simultaneous visibility of consumption and production and predictive maintenance strategies.
  • Water: IIoT applied to the water sector facilitates real-time knowledge of the status of water resources and thus improves their management. This ranges from early detection of leaks to knowledge of actual consumption, while avoiding the high maintenance costs typical of the sector and the fragmentation of operational processes and dependence on manufacturers.
  • In the WIND SECTORIIoT helps to improve the efficiency, productivity and reliability of wind farms, and comes closer to meeting the requirements of the European Green Deal. In this way, it maximises system performance, reduces high maintenance and downtime costs, coordinates several systems in the same wind farm, and manages farms remotely.

Barbara's IoT technology technology facilitates access to data intelligence and greater operational efficiency for industrial companies in a variety of sectors,  

Want to learn more about IoT in industry and its benefits, seeing first-hand what it would mean for your business? Get in touch with us and request a demo to see how Barbara IoT facilitates more efficient, productive and cost-effective processes.