Industrial Internet of things

At a glance

The Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) is a division of the Internet of things in which everything revolves around industrial applications. Examples of IoT often revolve around the optimization of everyday life, e.g. Smart Home. IIoT is specifically about optimizing economic value chains through networked devices. Here, it is mainly machines and other technical devices that communicate with each other (M2M).

Internet of Everything expands the application areas of the Industrial Internet of things

IoT and IIoT are essentially limited to a network of sensors and devices. Internet of Everything (IoE) is a concept that goes further: people, processes and data are also integrated into the network by technical means (e.g. wearables) in order to effectively automate more and more tasks. In the long term, IoE could lead to processes from all areas of life increasingly running automatically. In industry, for example, even complex workflows from production and logistics could be automated to such an extent that hardly any human input is required.

IIoT places higher demands on safety and reliability

In everyday IoT it is desirable that applications function reliably and securely, e.g. that notifications arrive correctly on the smartwatch or that the smart home control works error-free at all times. If the systems are shut down once, this is annoying, but rarely has serious consequences. This is much more critical in the IIoT: if autonomous production chains suddenly fail or a system becomes vulnerable, high damage occurs. Even an unreliable machine in a system can bring the entire value chain to a standstill and cause damage running into millions. For this reason, it is of the highest priority in such applications that the devices involved and the entire network are extremely robust and protected against unauthorized access. For example, some machines can detect whether they need maintenance and report this to a technician or even do the job themselves.

Advantages of the Industrial Internet of things

The Industrial Internet of things offers the opportunity to optimize services and the production and distribution of goods, thus increasing efficiency in industry.

Autonomous value chains
If all areas of a value chain are in constant communication with each other, the entire system can theoretically work autonomously. Machines report, for example, when they have finished their work step so that a workpiece is automatically transported to the next station. At best, people only must intervene directly in the production chain in the event of a malfunction.

Real-time data optimize processes
It is not only pure logistics companies that depend on delivery times being precisely adhered to. In just-in-time production, for example, it is important that the required parts are available from the supplier at exactly the right time. If suppliers have the routes of their goods continuously communicated by tracker, autonomous production can independently respond to delays and, if necessary, bring forward other orders. Internal sensor data can also be used to respond flexibly and automatically to changes in operating procedures.