The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a network of physical devices that are able to communicate and exchange data using the existing infrastructure provided by the Internet. These physical devices, or “things”, range in nature from consumer grade ‘Smart Home’ devices to large, complex pieces of manufacturing equipment. Each “thing” within the IoT is equipped with a set of embedded electronics allowing for the physical device to communicate, collect data, be controlled remotely, or perform a number of other desirable functions. The power of the IoT lies in the fact that each of these devices has the capability to communicate with one another and exchange data using the existing, well established protocols provided by the existing infrastructure of the Internet as a whole. This opens the door for a truly integrated environment in which each device has access to the data it needs, when it needs it, without the hassle of dealing proprietary protocols or complex network architectures.
The Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, is a sub-category of the broader Internet of Things that deals specifically with devices within the Industrial context. Many experts believe that the widespread adoption of the IIoT will usher in the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, sometimes termed Industry 4.0. The potential benefits provided by widespread use of the Industrial Internet of Things certainly lend credence to some of the other technologies that are currently considered to be a part of the Industry 4.0 vision. From a purely financial standpoint, the IIoT will likely play a huge role in the growth of the Industrial sector in the very near future. Some experts predict that the widespread adoption of the IIoT could result a 12 Trillion dollar growth of the global GDP by the year 2030.
It’s clear that the IIoT will play a major role in the future of the Industrial Sector, but equally as clear are the benefits that can come from early adoption of the Internet of Things by Manufacturers today. While the actual benefits of implementing the IIoT vary based on the specific implementation details, most Manufacturers can expect to see:
Of course, these are just a few of the potential benefits that can result from a successful implementation of the Internet of Things within the Industrial context. In the main, the potential benefits of implementing the IIoT can be derived from 3 main points: