As you already know, the term Internet of Things (IoT) is used as the network of digital & mechanical objects and interconnected computing Devices.
The application of IoT concepts and hardware in the manufacturing industry is called the Industrial Internet of Things (aka IIoT). People also refer IIoT as Industrial Internet or Industry 4.0.
IIoT uses machine learning, machine-to-machine communication and automation to work. Using IIoT can help companies in improving scalability, connectivity and cost efficiency among other benefits.
For an example, a proper setup of IIoT can help an organization in saving money by predicting maintenance timings, improving security and offering other data to ensure that quality product is manufactured.
There are some challenges though
Given that IIoT has potential to make manufacturing more beneficial, it is sure that investing time and resources on implementing are more than worth the money. However, there are some big challenges that industry will have to deal with before the benefits of IIoT can be maximized.
Concept of IIoT (or even IoT, in this case) is fairly new and making sure that different IIoT devices will work together is still a fairly complicated task. To achieve full interoperability, the industry will have to build and implement standard protocols, compatible interfaces and architectures.
No matter what device it is, if it is connected on internet, there is always a risk that it can be Hacked. Having a bullet-proof security is a big challenge for IIoT. As IIoT devices will always be connected to network, the network setup and IoT software has to be secure enough so that no vulnerability can be exposed.
Optimizing power efficiency
Generally, IoT devices don’t need that much power and in the case of Home IoT, the power-consumption is not a big concern. However, in case of IIoT, the picture is a bit different. Within some years, there will be potentially billions of IIoT devices installed and working in different industries, these will require a lot of power. Making sure that devices are as much as power efficient as possible will be an important task.
Finding common development environment
The software development process is different for IoT than traditional computers. Normally, developers who produce software for embedded devices work with C while most developers who work with cloud technologies work in Java, Ruby, Python and other languages. For quality software production for IIoT devices, it has become necessary for the industry to find out and implement common development environments.
Future of IIoT
IIC (or Industrial Internet Consortium) is working for architectural framework of Industrial IoT and we can expect that Industry 4.0 will keep increasing pace in its implementations, adoption and improvements.
We should soon see IoT machines who not only have Ethernet connectivity, but also support 3G and LTE Modules. Apart from that, we will also be seeing new IoT protocols as well as improved classic ones which will result in faster, easier data transfers between more compatible devices.
What do you think about IIoT? Have something to add? share with us in the comments below.