The IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is a special subcategory of the Internet of Things (IoT), used in the industrial sector. It involves equipment and analysis platforms which are connected to the internet, environmental sensors, complex industrial robots and much more.
Unlike the IoT, whose main feature is the creation of consumer devices, such as wearable objects, products for smart living or driverless cars, the IIoT is specifically designed for industry, but with a wide range of applications.
Applications of the IIoT in different kinds of companies
More and more companies are discovering the benefits of the IIoT. Embracing this new industrial concept can be a real breakthrough for a business. It helps create commercial opportunities and can provide a significant advantage over the competition.
The environments in which the Industrial Internet of Things can be applied are many and often very different from one another. This choice can favour a real revolution in operational efficiency, by facilitating production or simplifying the work of employees.
One of the sectors where the IIoT is most often used is production. A good example of efficiency is monitoring equipment, which is capable of foreseeing any potential problems autonomously. This translates into quicker maintenance interventions and therefore reduced downtime.
For those companies that use primary materials in production, the IIoT can be a precious ally. By setting up an inventory system powered by sensors and connected to the internet, the task of ordering supplies when stock is running low is taken care of by technology. This allows waste to be minimised and time to be used optimally.
Another frequent industrial application of the Internet of things is connected with the maintenance of air conditioning systems. Using a system with sensors that can monitor the state of its individual components, requests for maintenance work can be managed by the software, whenever necessary.
The healthcare sector can also benefit from the IIoT. This technology can be particularly useful when monitoring patients’ state of health. Thanks to sophisticated sensors and the integration of AI technology, doctors can make increasingly accurate diagnoses much more quickly than in the past.
The most interesting IIoT technologies
As mentioned above, the environments in which the IIoT can have applications are many. This great variety has led to the development of some very interesting technologies, which are also transferrable (with the necessary modifications) to other sectors. Here are some examples:
- Digital Twin: based on the creation of a computer model of a real object or process (such as the weather conditions), which enables the its behaviour in certain situations to be studied. Through observation, precious data can be obtained and applied to the real life scenario;
- Electronic Logging Device (ELD): this technology is still being developed, but it is designed to replace the paper logbooks used by lorry drivers. Thanks to special sensors installed in the vehicle, it is possible to monitor parameters such as speed, remaining driving time and reaction speeds. As well as being useful from a safety point of view, an ELD can provide significant savings on fuel;
- Intelligent Edge: as it involves working with large amounts of data via the internet, any use of the IIoT must also prioritise security. The Intelligent Edge is the place where the data is analysed, processed and interpreted, ensuring greater protection against interception or violation attempts.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith