The development of information and communication technologies have revolutionized all sectors of the economy. The rise of the internet and big data mark the beginning of a new industrial age, but what are the true social and economic contributions of the industrial Internet of things (IIoT) in this new digital era?
The Industrial Internet of Things is part of a broader concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT). This is a system composed of devices connected to computer networks, where they can be accessed remotely via computer or smartphone. The IoT collects and shares large amounts of data, which is sent to the cloud where it is stored and shared with other users in a useful way. The internet of things refers to devices embedded in normal household devices, such as security cameras, lighting systems, or appliances. The Industrial Internet of Things refers to the same concept, but for devices used in the industry.
Use of technologies which are part of the IIoT can improve, among other things, connectivity, efficiency, and scalability for industrial organizations. Timely provision of data for decision making impacts productivity and profitability – in this way, industries benefit from improved predictive maintenance and greater safety.
Right now people and organizations are beginning to carry out a wide variety of their normal daily activities with support from internet-enabled technology. People have smartphones, wristbands or wristwatches to monitor their vital signs. Devices like household appliances, air conditioning, lighting, or even autonomous cars all have sensors connected to the internet. This connection helps to improve device experience, time optimization, security, and a variety of other factors. It is likely that with time more and more devices will be connected to the internet.
To give a better example, think of smartphones that can record usage of data, voice, video, audio, movement, location, and more in your device. Worries of Big Brother aside, these phones allow users to connect to other machines, they can serve as a remote control, or a personal data dashboard. They can receive alerts and notifications of events, they can contain electronic tickets to board an airplane or a train, the can process payment systems, and all this allows new ways of collecting, managing, and analyzing data about events in the physical world.
TheIoT connects security services, civil protection, firefighters, police, and other organizations in real time, through objects and devices with sensors that allow interaction with all the devices, people and other things connected to the Internet. All that is needed is a connection and an IP address, regardless of the type of connection used, be itWiFi, Bluetooth or Mobile Data.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is a universe greater than the IoT since it exists within automated environments that are producing connected objects. IIoT seeks to measure the performance of machinery within the industry and the productivity of people and will be able to make decisions to give instructions to machines.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) functions as a data collection system: interconnected devices that provide data to a network on the Internet. With this information it is possible to track, monitor, post, and analyze in real time; from there, implement strategies to solve industry problems, such as:
- Reducing waste
- Decreasing response time in crisis situations
- Preventing industrial safety problems
- Avoiding cost overruns
Currently, there are many different types of industrial processes that can benefit from using IioT. Some of these include:
- Facilities management: The devices can be used to anticipate problems caused by issues like humidity or vibrations, for example; increasing the effectiveness of them.
- Logistics optimization: Industry is becoming more and more connected in real time with customers and suppliers; all interested parties can track transport through the cloud and prevent future problems.
- Intelligent measurement: Smart devices can control the consumption of resources such as fuel, water, electricity, etc. With these operating expenses can be significantly reduced.
This technology is based on data in the cloud, a revolution that is already taking place in thousands of companies around the world to solve all their specific problems and adapt to their specific needs. These systems are used on demand and their costs are based on their use.
Higher connection speed and the ability to handle large volumes of data will only make the IioT more useful – it will allow more increases in productivity with increased large scale data analysis to answer many of the problems that arise in the production process.
The IIoT goes beyond technology, however. For companies to be successful in their fields, it isn’t enough for them to focus solely on the technological and infrastructure attributes they can offer. It’s also key that companies have excellent staff, to create a pleasant customer experience, to make sure workers are adequately trained, and are functioning at their maximum productivity.
For all this as well, the IIoT promises wide-ranging benefits for companies, logistics operators, their customers, and final consumers, providing benefits that extend throughout the value chain, including storage, operations, freight transportation, and deliveries.
Finally, it’s important to note, that implementation of the Industrial Internet of Things can be a process in and of itself. It requires a more robust Internet connection, due to the huge amount of data processed by the machines. It also requires greater cyber security, to prevent hackers from gaining access to critical data, and the devices themselves. It’s also important to have compatible platforms so that communication between robots, machines, and operators flows with the speed that the market demands.