The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a classification of Internet of Things monitoring for large-scale machinery used in manufacturing and industrial applications. IIoT allows businesses to manage their machinery workforce more efficiently and safely. These applications can range from surveying oil well equipment to tracking HVAC conditions in large buildings and warehouses; virtually any piece of heavy machinery can be monitored with IIoT.
Compared to consumer IoT, IIoT is more demanding and requires the strongest, longest-lasting monitoring and connection tools available. If you go out for a jog and use an IoT fitness program to track your exercise progress, you can always restart the app if trouble arises and continue on your way. IIoT must be dependable without user intervention due to safety concerns and the sheer size of the machinery itself. It is safer and more productive to receive real-time alerts on operating conditions directly from a wind turbine than to send an employee out to check it directly.
Challenges of IIoT
IIoT solutions need to be as robust and resilient as the machinery it is monitoring. Monitoring and data transmission equipment for IIoT can withstand the challenges of repeatable vibrations and shocks, high-pressure, deep sea drilling, or below freezing temperatures. Industrial-strength SIM cards, which Aeris andNeo offer, are designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -40 to 105 degrees Celsius with a lifespan of up to 10 years.
By comparison, a cell phones SIM card is not engineered to reach the decade mark due to the high turnover rates of consumer electronics. Unlike a cell phone, businesses cannot afford to replace million-dollar industrial equipment every few years, which is why IIoT sensors and SIM cards used on industrial equipment must last as long as possible so for the largest return on investment.
An important goal of IIoT is to facilitate communication between machines and transmit data without frequent human intervention. Given the extreme conditions under which these machines operate, minimizing human interaction with the machinery leads to safer work environments and greatly reduces the risk of work accidents. Large machinery, such as underground drills, has access points and panels in hard to reach areas that can be hazardous and even impossible to send a technician to fix whenever complications arise. With over-the-air updates, companies can program solutions to remotely control equipment, allowing developers to change operating parameters, turn off machinery, or receive alerts in the case of malfunction all from a safe distance.
The Ecosystem of Industrial Things
IIoT allows businesses to set up customized and automated processes in their factories, warehouses, and on the field, leading to more efficient and cost-effective processes and procedures. With IIoT, a factory can provide real-time business data on inefficiencies in the assembly line and monitor machinery to see exactly what would happen if an accident or hold up on the line occurred. When a companys own machinery can tell managers when the equipment needs to be replaced or repaired, without being powered down, this takes the guesswork out of maintenance, saves money on repairs, and ensures increased safety for employees.
The industrial Internet of Things needs connectivity, just like the consumer IoT. Find outabout thepros and cons of different options for technology, connectivity, devices, and more in our white paper, "Introduction to M2M & IoT: What Technologies and Connectivity Options are Right for You?"