The industrial internet of things (IIoT) has become a driving factor in the use of smart sensors and actuators, helping to enhance manufacturing and industrial processes. But what is the industrial internet of things, and how does it work in manufacturing? Continue reading Hitaltech’s guide below to find out more.
What is the Industrial internet of things in manufacturing?
The industrial internet of things involves deploying smart machines that can capture and move data, sense changes in temperature, pressure, or volume. They’re also used to automate procedures for efficiency, accuracy and safety, to deliver data into the right hands for decision making, and to ensure that all of those processes happen reliably.
There are light IIoT cases such as smart meters or heavy duty examples like the sensors used on conveyors. Devices can be subjected to a wide range of environmental factors, from extreme heat and cold to moisture and vibration.
Essentially, IIoT involves creating a network of devices that connect together wirelessly to form a network that monitors, collects and shares data to help manufacturers work more productively and efficiently. An IIoT ecosystem consists of:
- Connected devices that sense, communicate and store information
- Public and/or private data communications infrastructure
- Analytics that generate valuable business information from the collected data
- Data storage for information generated by IIoT devices
The data that these devices can collate can be used by companies within the manufacturing industry to make more informed decisions about production processes and determine how applications and systems are used in future. This can reduce maintenance, increase efficiency and speed up business processes.
Which industries use the industrial internet of things?
So, how many industries use IIoT? It’s difficult to give an exact number, but many choose to because of the many benefits it offers.
The agricultural industry is known to make use of industrial internet of things devices by using sensors to collect data about soil nutrients, moisture and much more. This enables farmers to produce crops in optimum conditions and increase yield, improving efficiency, planning and their balance sheet.
The automotive industry is also known to have adopted IIoT. During the vehicle manufacturing process, they make use of industrial robots that communicate information to each other and centralised control systems. Industrial control solutions, like IIoT, can help to proactively maintain production lines and even spot potential problems before they disrupt the flow of production. This kind of data collection is now an integral business process for many in the manufacturing industry, allowing automation across production lines to produce incredible efficiency.
IIoT devices can also be found in the oil and gas industry, with some companies making use of autonomous aircrafts that use visual and thermal imaging to detect potential pipeline problems. The data collected by IIoT devices increases safety as well as productivity.
Why is the industrial internet of things growing so rapidly?
The popularity and use of IIoT has grown in recent years, with more and more industries – especially in manufacturing – making use of the technology to improve their processes.
It’s no secret that industries that have adopted the industrial internet of things have seen improvements in efficiency, productivity, safety, and general business processes. Companies have adopted this technology to respond to inefficiencies, lost revenue, and are working smarter, not harder.
Automation within manufacturing has created efficiencies that human workers simply cannot contend with. Many engineers, data scientists and developers are needed to put automated solutions into place and make use of them, but the results across industries speaks for themselves; automation and IIoT reduces the demand for human manufacturing workers.
IIoT and automation does not eradicate the need for a human workforce entirely, and it improves their working environment. For example, if a worker in a manufacturing plant had to walk to one side of the building every day to check if a pipeline had been set to the correct flow level, or had been switched on, it would waste a lot of time and energy, as well as cost money. It could also risk their safety. With IIoT devices, an automation can be set up to measure the correct flow level and when to turn the system on and off. The worker can then read this information and check that everything is in full working order without the need to travel across the building. This results in more efficiency across the board when used in a wide variety of systems and applications.
IIoT and building automation at Hitaltech
At Hitaltech, we provide a range of tailored, connected components for industrial control, energy meeting, HVAC and lighting.
The internet of things has not only revolutionised a range of manufacturing industries but also building control systems. For product developers and manufacturers, these increased capabilities have brought increased expectations, as end-users expect the next generation of products to deliver more than the last.
When your challenge is to pack more features into smaller control units, Hitaltech can help. Our exceptional enclosures, board-to-board interconnect systems and value-added services are sure to make product design and manufacture quick, efficient and successful.
If you’d like to discuss ways Hitaltech and IIoT can aid your processes and planning, contact us today on 01253 899910.