The Second Industrial Revolution was world-changing, so it only makes sense for the fourth one to be twice as nice. The internet of things (IoT) has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the latest industrial revolution. IoT enables smart homes and security systems to provide optimal security and convenience. With all the great things IoT can do, it’s no wonder it’s made itself at home in the manufacturing industry.
The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is changing how manufacturers create products, manage supply chains, and engage with customers. So, what is it, and what can it do for your manufacturing company? You’ll find the answers to those questions in this short introduction to the industrial internet of things.
The industrial internet of things is a network of machines that gather data from their environments and share it with people and other machines. IIoT devices connect to the manufacturer’s intranet and gather and share data with other connected machines and people.
IIoT enables smart machines to think like humans in some ways. However, they’re capable of doing things humans cannot, such as collecting and analyzing data in real time. IIoT software provides connectivity for machines and is the hub to which the information they collect goes.
IIoT technology is still relatively new, meaning that factories are still finding ways to use it. However, industrial companies are already doing some amazing things with IIoT solutions. We’ll discuss some of those in the next section.
IIoT isn’t a concept. It’s a practical technology with numerous use cases in factory settings. Many manufacturers are undergoing digital transformation processes to begin harnessing the power of IIoT themselves.
The most common use for IoT is to enhance operational efficiencies. The data acquisition abilities of industrial IoT provide operational insights for the optimization of product quality and costs. A great example would be a pressing machine that uses advanced analytics to determine the optimal pressure to use on a piece of metal.
Another one of the many ways industrial companies use industrial IoT is to provide predictive maintenance of their operational equipment. Industrial IoT devices use real time to predict when a machine will need maintenance, avoiding unplanned downtime.
IIoT enables industrial equipment to provide feedback on worker safety, helping companies identify newer and safer best practices. Manufacturers also use them to create digital twins on which industrial companies can provide safety training. They can even use digital twins to plan factory layouts before installing the real equipment.
As you can see, IIoT has plenty of use cases, but how do they benefit industrial companies? The main way in which industrial IoT helps businesses is through improving operational efficiency. Via artificial intelligence and automation, IIoT enables workers and machines to do less while yielding the same, or better, results. Increasing the overall efficiency of your manufacturing processes will reduce power generation and human errors, thus operational costs.
Another way IIoT benefits industrial companies is it enables them to provide product configuration for manufacturing customers. Customized products are the wave of the future, and IIoT makes it cheaper and easier to design products to specifications for different clients, improving their service quality and product offerings.
The industrial internet of things is the future of the manufacturing industry. You can expect the number of smart factories in the U.S. to increase as latecomers to the IIoT revolution try to catch up. The operations technology of the future is already here, and it provides connectivity, reliability, reduced uptime on products, supply chain management, and more. Indeed, the industrial applications for IIoT are amazing and plentiful. The most exciting thing about it all is we’re only just beginning.