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The Many Facets of IIoT and its Impact on the Industry 4.0 Age

The Many Facets of IIoT and its Impact on the Industry 4.0 Age

These days, the term “Industrial Internet of Things” abbreviated as IIoT, has become quite common in the industry circles as the effect of digitization has slowly engulfed the businesses as a whole. In fact, IIoT amalgamates advanced analytics, brilliant machines, and people at the work front. In IIoT, a group of industrial devices are interconnected using the latest communications technologies, which results in a system that has the potential to collect, monitor, scrutinize, and deliver valuable insights which enable the industrial companies to make quicker and smarter decisions in business.

IIoT has created a great impact on the day-to-day functioning of industrial companies and has been successful in attracting powerful outcomes. Regardless of whether it is offering production data to determine extra capacity in a plant, or identifying corrosion occurring in a refinery pipe, or planning product development by including service and operations data into the product design cycle, IIoT and the related software is effecting complete transformation in the industries. In fact, IIoT is instrumental in bringing about unmatched levels of productivity, efficiency, and performance by integrating the capabilities of big data analytics and machine-to-machine communication. As a result, industries like food and beverage, steel, chemicals, automotive, etc. along with original equipment manufacturers, are enjoying the financial and operational benefits of IIoT.

IIoT  Impact on the Industry 4.0 Age

The Key Challenges Concerning IIoT

 Though IIoT clearly shows signs of changing everything from manufacturing to municipal management to agriculture to energy generation, it faces some major obstacles. Of course, the industrial space offers endless possibilities – greener energy generation, smarter and efficient factories, self-regulatory buildings that focus on optimizing energy consumption, cities that can readjust the traffic patterns to avert congestion, and many more. Although these aspects look quite promising, the implementation of the same poses a greater challenge.

Adaptability and Scalability

In order to adopt to the IIoT way of functioning, the organizations need to re-design and expand their industrial landscape. On the other hand, the IIoT systems need to be scalable and adaptive by way of software or added functionality which integrates well with the whole arrangement.

Dealing with Precision Issues

When you deal with precision machines which break down if the timing is changed by even a few milliseconds, following such strict requirements becomes essential to the health and safety of the operators, the machines, and the concerned businesses. The industry conglomerates are working hard to deal with this challenge using methods originally created for audio/video bridging, which involves the synchronization of video and audio.

Investing in Flexibility Is Crucial 

Investing in industrial infrastructure is quite a big deal. In other words, developing and implementing industrial Internet systems would turn out to be a huge investment in the coming years. In order to adapt to the changing requirements, you are required to create open platforms where hardware and software are well-integrated. Also, a concurrent network that can scale with new technologies is quite essential. 


Security is also a critical issue in the IIoT system. As these applications are built on hundreds of thousands of sensor nodes, the magnitude of threat inflicted to security is unimaginable.

Benefits of IIoT

As we have already entered the Industry 4.0 era where automation and Machine Learning algorithms have become part and parcel of the routine business activities, the several benefits of IIoT literally outweigh the concerns, in most of the global organizations.

Here listed are some of the benefits of IIoT:

Just-in-time manufacturing (JIT)

This method focuses on minimizing flow times within a manufacturing/production arrangement, reducing response times between the customers and suppliers, and enhancing active collaboration throughout a supply chain. By using the methodologies of IIoT, the basic metrics including uptime, throughput, fail rate, etc., are monitored continuously. Analyzing this data enables constant improvements in the entire manufacturing processes as well as the concerned personnel.  In fact, real-time data obtained from the IIoT devices and sensors offer helpful insights regarding manufacturing capacity, delivery schedules, availability of employees for the purpose of receiving products and offering updates on material accessibility, and many such tasks. 

Optimal Energy Efficiency

Energy bill is regarded as one of the greatest expenses that creates constant headaches for the manufacturers. However, there is good news coming up for these companies as IIoT enables them to determine how the energy is wasted and how this can be fixed in the problematic areas. In other words, the real-time data provides valuable insights like off-hour consumption as well as several other energy-saving measures that empower the managers to recognize operational inefficiencies and waste of energy. In fact, by bringing IIoT into action, information regarding how to attain higher efficiency from equipment/machines and how to deal with critical regulatory compliance issues and waste could be attained, which increases the cost savings to a greater extent. 

Machine Repeatability

While the machines carry out the operations, IIoT allows you to record high-frequency sensor data which facilitates the tracking of parameters like speed and temperature, vibration, etc., in a matter of milliseconds. Further, IIoT helps in enhancing the machine repeatability (the capability of the machines to duplicate or repeat the operations as per a given set of conditions/instructions within a particular range or tolerance) by offering data analytics to the manufacturers, thereby providing a quicker ROI at a minimal cost. 

IIoT and Industry 4.0

Predictive Maintenance (PdM)

Predictive Maintenance (PdM) has been the greatest value addition of IIoT to the manufacturing sector. In fact, PdM focuses on predicting the failure of machines or equipment and preventing it from occurring by performing the right kind of maintenance. In an ideal setting, PdM enables the maintenance frequency to remain as low as possible and averts unexpected reactive maintenance, thereby creating a more practical schedule for maintenance. Further, this can minimize the cost to a considerable level by reducing the production hours lost in maintenance, by cutting down the expenses incurred in procuring the spare parts and supplies, and also by reducing the time needed to maintain the machines/equipment. 

Quicker and More Informed Decision Making

The capabilities of IIoT empower the operations managers to be informed about any issues related to the performance of the machines/equipment. Similar to PdM, this enables the managers to take a proactive approach while taking decisions. Furthermore, a reduced downtime, greater product quality, and competitive edge in the industry are some of the facets which the manufacturers are gaining by switching onto the IIoT technology, along with attaining greater profitability and achieving higher customer satisfaction.

In short, the potential of IIoT and the related digital technologies in bringing about operational excellence is still left to explore.