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What is IIOT and How is it Improving Industrial Efficiency Around the World?

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While the term IIOT or the Industrial Internet of things may sound like some really complex technical terminology, it is just an extension of something you’ve experienced in your everyday life. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a system of interrelated, internet-connected objects that can collect and transfer information without human intervention over a wireless network. You may not be aware of what their use is in the commercial world, but I’m sure you would’ve come across them in your everyday life. Does it still sound to be something foreign? Look at this example.

What is a device you put on while going for your morning run? Your fitness band, isn’t it? The fitness band you put on in the morning is an example of a device using the Internet of things. It monitors your physical activity, sleeping hours, or other items such as heart rate. It uses the data to form algorithms and derive meaningful conclusions.

Another example could be a voice assistant, which is gaining popularity recently. It is interconnected with other devices such as your mobile phone or laptops, collecting and transferring data.

You may have understood your homes’ functionality but might wonder how the Internet Of Things could be used in industries. They probably won’t need voice assistants or fitness bands over there.

IoT is much vast than just a few everyday home devices. In fact, they are just the tip of the iceberg. The Internet of things is extensively used in everything, starting from factories, government sectors, homes, commercial estates, research centers, or manufacturing units. Everyone is slowly but surely adopting this new way of life.

The Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) refers to the extension of the Internet of things (IoT) for use in the industrial sector and applications. It is the use of smart sensors and actuators to enhance the manufacturing and industrial processes. It is being used widely in industries worldwide, improving their efficiency, processes, and safety. Let us look at how the adoption of IIOT in industries is proving to be helpful:

Optimal Resource Utilization

Manufacturing units, in particular, are concerned about optimal resource utilization. Be it the materials, human resources, or machinery time; any manufacturer would want to maximize their output. The application of IoT tools in their manufacturing processes helps optimize manufacturing processes, detect any wastage of resources, and identify production efficiency opportunities.

Industrial-Internet-of-Things
Credit: Lenny Kuhne/Unsplash

Cut Down on Costs

Previously, in most manufacturing units, when the machinery would actually stop working or even break down, that was the time for servicing and repairs. Having your machinery services at that endpoint rather than getting them serviced properly increases the costs. It is quite simple that if you spend money to repair something when it has broken down rather than regular maintenance, it would cost more.

Also, it would halt the production processes if a piece of essential machinery breaks down, leading to less production.

With IIOT solutions, companies can minimize this downtime by adopting predictive technologies. These technologies help in anticipating the issues and resolving them before they halt the manufacturing process. Use of Alarm Logging and Notification software, for example, would help in sending out a notification to the concerned people beforehand about any issues that may come up.

Increasing the Safety of the Workforce

Working in factories or hazardous workplaces requires extra safety. It is always better to have extra eyes on the functions being performed to ensure that the safety protocol is followed.

For example, IP cameras use thermal imaging to detect events like a worker not wearing a protective helmet and send out a warning.

Sensors’ use by workers working on hazardous machinery gives out warnings by sensing the sounds, temperatures, or frequency within the proximity of particular machinery and giving out alerts.

Industrial Automation

Industrial automation refers to controlling the industrial processes and machinery through the use of logical programming commands and powerful machinery. It helps in minimizing the need for human intervention in the operation of industrial machinery.

This process is gaining popularity in manufacturing industries, helping out increase the efficiency of the production process.

Industrial-Automation-with-IIOT
Credit: Kateryna Babaieva/Pexels

Product Quality and Standardization

Manually checking every product’s quality and the standard is a laborious and costly task that would require a lot of human resources. While it is time-consuming, its importance cannot be undermined. The quality of a business’s products is its central selling point and what makes them stand out. However, manual checking is always prone to errors and mistakes on the part of the checker. IoT solutions are the answer to this problem.

IoT sensors can be fed the details of the product specifications and the standard quality, which they can check against the product being examined. It would help free up many human resources hooked up in this task to be used in other production processes, ultimately increasing productivity.

Inventory and Logistics

IIoT tools can be used to decide on the inventory and warehousing requirements to be optimal for the frequency of orders and the inventory maintenance level. Also, products of various kinds require different conditions to store them. Information on temperature, time, humidity, etc., can also be decided and standardized through IIOT tools.

Optimization of logistics by keeping track of the downtimes, volumes, routes, and locations in industries like freight or transportation is gaining popularity. All of this data can be tracked to create an optimal supply chain, cut down the costs, and maintain an efficient process.

IIOT is an up-and-coming tool transforming the way industries function around the whole world. Adopting such tools has a significant impact on the efficiency and safety of production processes in all industries.

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