Published on February 28th, 2021 | by Ali Dino0
What Opportunities do IIoT Solutions Provide?
Undoubtedly, we live in a time when the fourth industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0, is taking place before our eyes. A key role in this transformation is played by IT solutions known as the Industrial Internet of Things. In this article, we look at the opportunities modern IT solutions provide to users.
What is the Industrial Internet of Things?
Internet of Things is a concept whereby individual devices can directly or indirectly collect, process, and send data via the Internet. IoT is a fairly broad term that refers to various devices – including household appliances, industrial devices, and small consumer electronics. Interestingly, according to estimates, already up to 50 billion devices are connected to the Internet and can use the solutions offered by IoT.
As the concept of IoT is clearly developing in the industry and has a real impact on increasing production capacity, we can distinguish the concept of IIoT – Industrial Internet of Things. This is an area of IoT focusing on IoT solutions dedicated to the industry.
What do the possibilities offered by the Industrial Internet of Things allow?
IIoT is primarily about solutions supporting the operation of machines and industrial facilities. IIoT solutions aim to improve the efficiency of production and logistics processes and to better manage production infrastructure. What exactly are the possibilities of IoT used in manufacturing companies?
- You can monitor various types of assets, even in real time. You can also monitor the efficiency of your production in real time. In the event of downtime or inefficient operations, you can receive appropriate alerts.
- Employees can connect remotely with an expert in a given field thanks to advanced technologies in remote support. In addition, you can implement interactive work instructions for employees that significantly affect work performance (especially in companies where a large proportion of employees only have short work experience).
- You can implement quality management and process control system based on information from multiple sources.
- IIoT allows you to implement the best and most modern operational practices, which results in increasing the efficiency of production lines.
- Production planning and resource management (human and materials) are a big challenge for many companies. Thanks to IIoT, this process can be significantly simplified and even automated.
Interestingly, Industrial Internet of Things solutions are end-to-end, which means that they can be implemented in one plant and duplicated (replicated) in all buildings of a given company around the world.
What does the IIoT solution include? Usually it is a device with Internet access (machine, PLC or miniaturized computer). In addition, Wi-Fi or Ethernet connectivity is important. Another element is data, including the way it is collected, stored and processed. It should be emphasized that data play a key role. Typically, data processing is linked to a cloud platform that provides secure data hosting. The whole thing can (but does not have to) be completed with a dashboard for data analysis and machine operation monitoring.
What are the advantages of using IIoT? The main purpose for implementing IIoT solutions is to obtain comprehensive information on operational and production processes. The collected data allows you to streamline operations, make better use of resources, improve the quality of customer service and reduce costs. On the other hand, the network of communicating devices and machines allows to detect the source of failure faster, which ensures greater safety and reduces the risk of production downtime (in the case of manufacturing companies).
Today, IIoT is becoming more and more popular. The development of IIoT results from the fact that we are still observing technological innovations on the IT market, and the computing power of computers is constantly increasing, the use of optical fibers is increasingly seen, the speed of data transmission is increasing and the miniaturization of electronic systems is progressing all the time.
When talking about IIoT, it is worth noting what the concept of Industry 4.0 is. The concept of industry 4.0 comes from the fact that the impact of the IIoT is seen as the fourth industrial revolution. The first industrial revolution is associated with mechanization (the invention and implementation of the steam engine brought production into the era of industrialization). The second industrial revolution is related to electrification. It was electricity that displaced steam engines, thanks to which production lines could produce goods in series. The third industrial revolution is digitization. Increasingly efficient computers and data processing systems made it possible to control machines by means of software. As a result, greater efficiency and automation have been achieved.
Industry 4.0 is a collective term that means the integration of intelligent machines and systems to increase efficiency. Industry 4.0 is about not only the technology itself, but also changing the role of human resources in industry. The key factor here is the connection of many devices to the Internet and intelligent and fast data exchange. Therefore, the goal of IIoT and Industry 4.0 is to bring about a situation in which people, machines and IT systems automatically exchange information during work. As a result, the Industry 4.0 environment offers access to virtually any useful information at any time, from anywhere. The combination of skilful use of data with appropriate software provides opportunities to obtain excellent performance results.
To sum up, IIoT is the solution for the future for modern and efficient production plants. The implementation of modern IT solutions is the basis for building a competitive advantage.