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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

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.

Asset performance management

Asset performance management in IIoTBy monitoring and tracking the condition and status of your machines with KPIs, you can identify which machines are running below peak efficiency and productivity.

IoT-powered asset performance management applications generate automated alerts when a machine moves outside of optimal operating conditions, notifying you to make changes to a production line to enhance performance.

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance in IIoT

By actively collecting and analyzing a machine’s health and performance data, you can identify when key thresholds are met for a part, indicating it needs to be serviced or replaced.

This allows you to perform maintenance on a need-only basis, eliminating scheduled and drastically reducing unscheduled maintenance.

New revenue channels

New revenue channels in IIoT

The IIoT provides real-time visibility into the condition of your parts and machines, even after they leave the factory.

This allows you to remotely monitor a machine’s condition, which means you can offer new services to your customers, such as predictive maintenance or diagnostic capabilities.

Energy management

Energy management with IIoT

Track and manage the energy usage of your plants and machines to identify where you can reduce consumption. In this way, you can:

  • identify peaks or dips in energy usage that may indicate an anomaly that needs inspection;
  • better understand how individual machines and processes are contributing to overall energy consumption and use this data to improve forecasts;
  • improve your environmental sustainability efforts
Digital Twin of performance

Digital Twin of performance with IIoT

Receive real-time data regarding the physical performance of your production line and product. Use this data to quickly adjust production, improve product design and enhance your virtual models.

Inventory, warehouse and supply chain management

Inventory, warehouse and supply chain management with IIoT

A fully integrated IoT solution can help you manage supplies and inventory at all manufacturing locations. Suppliers with an IoT platform can implement dynamic supply chains that better align with needs.

New business model – products as a service


New business model – products as a service with IIoTAdding technology to your products opens up a new sales channel: products as a service. With connected sensors and devices added to the machines you sell, you can track the amount a machine is used in real-time. This means you can start leasing your machines and charging based on usage.

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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MES Software – Siemens Opcenter Execution Electronics

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Production Scheduling and Planning with Opcenter APS and Opcenter Scheduling Electronics

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Valor Material Management

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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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