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IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things)

Discover how to implement Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 with the IIoT

IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is increasingly important within the Electronics Industry as a key technology for Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0. On this page we will see what IIoT is and what is the main difference between IoT and IIoT.


What is IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the term used for devices (things) that can be connected to the internet and transmit data into a repository. This enables applications (apps) to be used to analyze this data and provide discoveries, insights, intelligence and decision support to the devices so they can operate better, or to the users of the device to optimize their activities. IoT has become a popular term and has already been implemented in the consumer and retail space. Examples of domains that benefit from IoT are wearables, smart phones, music, e-books, fashion, etc. The list is long. It has changed the way we read, listen, communicate, conduct financial dealings, socialize and many other aspects.

What is IIoT?

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a specific field of application of IoT. The IoT revolution is now moving to the industrial space where we deal with large things like machines, systems, factories and industrial processes.

Interestingly enough, industrial systems always produced lots of data, but the richness of the data was never harnessed either by vendors or operators. Also, data sources have been disparate and so they were never truly integrated to make them more meaningful. Connecting the machines and data sources in an industrial environment enables the same benefits as we saw in the consumer space, except the story can get even bigger. Also, sensor technology has become so advanced today that we can measure almost anything in a noninvasive manner.

This now means higher productivity, reduced operating costs, enhanced safety, higher plant availability. Most importantly, it means also more customer-centric and outcome-oriented business models. It is this anticipated large-scale revolution that prompted the coining of the term Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The field is gaining tremendous momentum and transforming the industrial and manufacturing world. Hence, knowing about it, understanding it, being able to implement and use it is an important aspect of the skill set needed for the future.

A holistic implementation of IIoT

How does IIoT work?

What does a typical IIoT implementation look like? This diagram is a good representation of holistic implementation of IIoT in manufacturing. It is also a good blueprint for the industry in general.

As you can see, IIoT not only integrates a lot of disparate data sources, but also enables analytics near the data sources (edge computing) and scalable cloud implementation. This is typically what an IIoT platform should look like and address.

IIoT and Smart Manufacturing

Imagine your shop floor being intelligent and autonomous across the entire product lifecycle:

  • Intelligent and collaborative machines interacting and communicating with smart products automatically.
  • Intelligent quality management systems running tests automatically and communicating with designing and engineering departments independently from any human interaction and proactively improving your product quality.
  • A huge amount of data efficiently translated into actionable information and shared with the right people within your company.

The benefits would be unimaginable… But is there a way to anticipate some of the Smart Manufacturing benefits even today? The answer is yes, and digital Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) technologies are the solutions!

IIoT and Smart Manufacturing

IIoT integration with MES

The key challenge of Industrial IoT deployment is turning volumes of factory data into actionable information from the supply chain, to the floor, to operations, and up to management, and potentially to customers. IIoT has evolved just like we saw the integration of the back office, front office, and business intelligence evolve – point-to-point custom solutions built over decades, as we can see in this diagram:

La evolución del IIoT.
La evolución del IIoT.

Originally, equipment was connected to local supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and clever plant managers discovered ways to use this data to manage the shop floor more effectively. As manufacturing became more complex, specialized software was developed to support a class of manufacturing management applications that allowed optimization across multiple lines, shop floors, and other locations connected to networks. With advances in sensor technology, networking communication, and computation capability, the IoT is accelerating with wild forecasted values of economic returns. Intelligent factories are one of the largest areas of return for IoT and IIoT.

IIoT Solutions: 8 uses cases

Condition monitoring in IIoT

Once your assets are connected and streaming data to a centralized IIoT system, you can perform condition monitoring. Condition monitoring allows you to view specific parameters (for example temperature, vibration, and pressure) and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track operating conditions for all connected assets.

If metrics deviate from normal operating conditions on an asset – indicating an issue – the application will alert users.

White Paper

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has a market forecast approaching $100 billion by 2020. Turning volumes of factory data into actionable information from the supply chain, to the floor, to operations, and up to management, and potentially to customers, is the key challenge of Industrial IoT deployment. This white paper explores IIoT market segments, some examples of the payoff of converting factories to the IIoT and takes a look forward to what IIoT means in the future.

Software for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

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Contact our expert to get quick answers to your doubts and curiosities.

Alessandro Balboni


Product Manager

Alessandro is the Product Manager for
Smart Manufacturing. He has more than
20 years of experience in Electronics
Design Automation and Professional
Services Management working for large
corporations. He joined Cadlog Group in
2013 and holds a significant record of
deployments of Smart Manufacturing
projects across Europe

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