Industrial Internet of Things
In what seems like just a matter of decades, the world went from anti-tech to full digitization. Over 4 billion people across the globe use the Internet. Roughly 77% of Americans own a smartphone. As busy as humanity is, it’s also plugged in and evolving rapidly. And with this new era comes industries plugging into the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
A vital element to industry 4.0, IIoT is the link between yesterday’s traditional tech methods to today’s digital transformation. Though it didn’t happen overnight, the Industrial Internet of Things transformed and is still transforming many industries. Smart cities, a self-improving manufacturing sector, a thriving robotics industry and more are so close that the world can taste them.
Enterprises across all industries are looking into IoT development, though some sectors would benefit more than others. Transportation and logistics, the hospitality industry, healthcare, energy, finance, agriculture, retail and manufacturing would all benefit the most from the Industrial Internet of Things and other smart tech.
What exactly is IIoT, though? How is it enabling industrial digital transformation, and what are some current applications it can be used for? Let’s take a deep dive into not just the term, but also areas where it can strengthen an enterprise the most.
Also known as Industrial Internet, IIoT is a giant network of connectivity that brings together people, partners, products, processes and more. Beyond that, it’s the extension and use of IoT in industrial sectors and for industrial applications.
The best of both worlds, the Industrial Internet of Things is where machines, equipment and entire infrastructures are embedded with sensors to be able to transmit data via the Internet.
This big data is then managed by software to improve employee engagement and business performance by facilitating the continuous optimization of business processes and operations through predictive analytics. When various conditions in supply chains have been met, IoT can instruct digital systems to carry out the next step autonomously.
Here are some real-world examples in the context of various industries and enterprises:
Preventive Transforms into Predictive
Essentially, IoT sensors enable the industrial world to shift from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Conventionally, preventive maintenance works well for equipment failures that happen due to age. Supply chains and warehouses typically have some sort of preventive maintenance schedule already established. That only accounts for roughly 18% of equipment failures, though, according to a study from the ARC Advisory Group in 2015.
Unfortunately, that leaves a whopping 82% of assets left to random failure causes. When you go digital, industrial IoT sensors on each piece of equipment can be monitored 24/7. When something needs to be repaired, managers and maintenance teams can be alerted with predictive maintenance software. Taking equipment offline for short maintenance bursts prevents costly unplanned downtime due to equipment failure.
Gain Supply Chain-Wide Transparency
The world is becoming more environmentally friendly. With that, however, comes consumers wanting to know where their products come from and how they arrive. This gives enterprises the opportunity to provide genuine supply chain transparency.
If a company is willing to maintain a transparent supply chain and commit to environmental change, a 2015 study shows 66% of customers are willing to pay more for the company’s product. Within the millennial population globally, that number jumps to 73%.
Supply chain transparency is possible through the Industrial Internet of Things because data is constantly available at your fingertips. Not only does this prevent disruptions that could cause a kink in your entire supply chain, but it also shows your shoppers that you have nothing to hide.
Real-Time Asset Tracking
Some may underestimate the power of real-time data.
Picture companies that make deliveries. No matter the asset they’re delivering, drivers can get stuck in traffic, trucks can need maintenance that’s causing more fuel use than necessary – it can be challenging, especially for those last-mile deliveries. Using real-time process analytics, though, IoT and GPS can sync in harmony to define routes that reduce time spent in traffic, reduce fuel waste, alert when a truck needs a tune-up and much more.
In another scenario, picture the cold chain transport process for chemicals, pharmaceuticals and even food and beverages. By fewer than 2 degrees in temperature variation, an entire shipment can be ruined, so there’s not much wiggle room. With real-time temperature tracking through sensors from the Industrial Internet of Things, the right team can be alerted of even the slightest increment in temperature variation.
Keep a Closer Eye on Inventory Levels
Finally, the age of counting by hand and relying on manual inputs is headed toward its end. IoT sensors can provide real-time location information for any product or asset in the supply chain. Keep an eye on your inventory levels down to the very last product. Avoid losses from shrinkage and theft to prevent shortages altogether.
What is the IoT and what are its advantages?
IoT stands for Internet of Things. It is a network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators and connectivity that enables these objects to connect and exchange data.
What companies use the Internet of things?
Some companies that use the Internet of Things include Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. However, IoT is typically most abundant in utility, transportation and manufacturing organizations, as well as finding use cases within the home automation, infrastructure and agriculture industries.
What are three applications for the Industrial Internet of Things?
Internet of Things, or IoT, is used in smart homes, smart cities and smart cars, among other smart devices or technological advancements.