What is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?
The IIoT consists of internet-connected machinery and the advanced analytics platforms that process the data they produce. IIoT devices range from tiny environmental sensors to complex industrial robots. While the word “industrial” may call to mind warehouses, shipyards and factory floors, IIoT technologies hold a lot of promise for a diverse range of industries, including agriculture, healthcare, financial services, retail and advertising.
What’s the difference between IoT and IIoT?
The Industrial Internet of Things is a subcategory of the Internet of Things, which also includes consumer-facing applications such as wearable devices, smart home technology and self-driving cars. Sensor-embedded devices, machines and infrastructure that transmit data via the Internet and are managed by software are the hallmark of both concepts.
Why Industrial IoT?
For any business that deals with the production and/or transportation of physical goods, IIoT can create game-changing operational efficiencies and present entirely new business models. The following are examples of ways in which IIoT technology could be applied in diverse industries.
- Production – This is the industry in which most IIoT technology is currently being implemented. IIoT-enabled machines can self-monitor and predict potential problems, meaning less downtime and greater overall efficiency.
- Supply chain – With sensor-managed inventory, IIoT technology could take care of ordering supplies just before they go out of stock. This decreases the amount of waste produced while keeping necessary goods in stock and frees up employees to focus on other tasks.
- Building management – IIoT technology could make building management simpler and more secure. With sensor-driven climate control, the guesswork and frustration involved in manually changing a building’s climate will be eliminated. Additionally, devices that monitor entry points in the building and respond to potential threats quickly will increase the building’s security.
- Healthcare – With devices that monitor patients remotely and notify healthcare providers as soon as patients’ statuses change, IIoT could cause healthcare to become more precise and responsive. Eventually, AI may even be able to take over patients’ diagnoses, meaning doctors are able to treat them sooner and more effectively.
- Retail – IIoT technology has the potential to make quick, intelligent marketing decisions for individual stores. With storefronts that automatically update based on consumer interest and the ability to put together smart promotions, retail outlets that implement IIoT technology could gain a significant advantage over their competitors.
IIoT technologies and concepts
How are businesses taking advantage of the IIoT right now? Here are a few examples of current and upcoming IIoT technologies and concepts:
- Digital twins – The practice of creating a computer model of an object such as a machine or a human organ or a process like weather. By studying the behaviour of the twin, it is possible to understand and predict the behaviour of the real-world counterpart and address problems before they occur.
- Electronic logging device (ELD) – Onboard sensors that monitor speed, driving time and how often individual drivers use their brakes, helping to conserve fuel, improve driver safety and reduce idle resources. If the driver makes a dangerous manoeuvre or is at the wheel for too long, the driver is alerted and the dispatcher is notified. This technology can replace the paper logs that drivers were once required to fill out every day.
- Intelligent Edge – The place at which data is generated, analysed, interpreted and addressed. Using the intelligent edge means analysis can be conducted more quickly and the likelihood that the data will be intercepted or otherwise breached is significantly decreased.
- Predictive maintenance – A system that involves a machine or component with sensors that collect and transmit data and then analyse that data and store it in a database. This database then provides points of comparison for events as they occur. The system eliminates unnecessary maintenance and increases the likelihood of avoiding failure.
- Radio-frequency identification (RFID) – A system that involves tags and readers, like a smarter version of barcode technology. Readers identify RFID tags using radio waves, meaning the tags can be read by multiple readers at once and over a longer distance than traditional UPCs. RFID tags make it possible to easily track and monitor the things on which they are attached.
HPE Industrial IoT products and services
HPE's hybrid cloud and edge computing solutions combine to create powerful IIoT solutions. Process data on site, in real time, and let data flow seamlessly between intelligent devices and your private and public clouds.
Edgeline IoT servers: Explore servers designed for edge computing and the Industrial Internet of Things.
Mobile and IoT solutions: Collect and analyse data, then take action on insights, at the Intelligent Edge.
Hybrid cloud solutions: Power your IIoT with the right hybrid cloud solutions.