The Industrial Internet of Things refers to the process of enabling devices in industrial settings to communicate with each other. For example, robots in underground mines transmit data on mine shaft conditions and mineral composition in bedrock to workers aboveground in real time. Or, sensors in industrial food vats measure temperature and humidity of the contents in real time, sending alerts whenever changes approach the problematic.
The industrial internet of things is often shortened to IIoT and is also called Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet.
Sensors and wireless devices in industrial equipment provide IIoT data. This equipment may be located on the factory floor, in transit, or in the field.
This data category also includes data from the company CRM software as it all supports company activity.
While all IIoT data is unique to the company, there are some commonalities in approach—mostly in the process of using communication protocols to update data. These communication protocols, however, are not universally standard, though MQTT (Message Queueing Telemetry Transport) is becoming an increasingly popular option.
IIoT data optimizes industry activity on all levels. Companies work faster with automatic alerts to issues and by enabling communication between employees in the field and elsewhere. These alerts and communication abilities also allow employees to work safer.
The main issues with industrial internet of things data is interoperability and security.
To the first point, simply check all your equipment for the ability to communicate with each other and with the cloud at will. Additionally, make sure that you and your employees are aware of the maximum effective range of device communication.
The second issue, security, is more difficult to resolve as bad actors constantly look for opportunities to cause trouble. While many security issues can be resolved on the users’ end—for example, by requiring employees log into devices with strong and unique passwords—some security measures can only be enacted from the developer’s end. Essentially, this means the developer must build an IIoT dataset that automatically encrypts data or that requires multi-factor authentication.
IIoT [keeps] machines on manufacturing shop floors running smoothly, in some cases eliminating the need for an increasingly hard-to-find skilled worker to stand over the machine. Creating an internet-linked environment in manufacturing allows business owners and managers to monitor their production lines from the executive suite or even their home and to know about serious, immediate problems — and to better anticipate when equipment may require maintenance, repairs or replacement.
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