Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT refers to interconnected instruments, sensors and other devices which can be networked together in an industrial setting. This connectivity enables remote access, efficient monitoring, data acquisition and collection, analysis and exchange of different data sources and a lot more. IIoT solutions have enormous potential for increasing productivity, and are also known for their low cost and quick implementation.
IIoT solutions require various factors working together including:
- Industrial ‘things’ – The devices that are directly or indirectly internet-enabled like human machine Interfaces (HMI), PLCs, IP cameras and sensors.
- Connectivity – Connecting the internet with ‘things’ via industry protocols, Wi-Fi, 4G/cellular, Ethernet connections.
- Data – Collection, storage and processing of data with the help of devices is central to the value of IIoT.
- Cloud platform – A significant key to IIoT is the secure and centralised cloud platform to host the data and enable remote services.
- Analytics dashboard – For analysis of data and monitoring machines.
- Intelligence and action – Data is analysed by both smart device functions as well as humans to send alarms/notifications to any other system.
IIoT in industrial automation
On the threshold of fourth industrial revolution, industrial organizations are investing more in IIoT to improve the operational performance, visibility and insights, which can help in streamlining the processes. Eliminating the complexity out of deploying, connecting and managing devices in industries is key to IIoT success.
Here are some of the key benefits that you can expect from industrial IIoT solutions:
The top benefit of IIoT is that it provides the ability to automate, remotely monitor operations and make data-driven decisions, thus enhancing the operational efficiency.
Industrial IoT digitizes nearly all processes. By reducing manual procedures and entries, the risk associated with human errors is largely reduced.
Provide Predictive Maintenance
Machine and asset downtime can adversely impact industrial operations. Industrial IoT solutions can consistently monitor the performance and functions of various industrial assets and help in creating a baseline. This baseline along with corresponding data can empower the industries with the information that will enable them resolve pre-emptively any issues.
Fully functioning IIoT solutions have integrated safety systems that uses data from monitoring and control devices to help in improving workplace safety. In case, any incident occurs, valuable data is obtained from these systems, which can help in preventing their repeated occurrence in the future. Wearables are also used in industrial IoT operations that keep tab on things such as the surrounding noise levels and employee posture, etc. and can instantly alert the employees when they do not follow proper safety procedures.
The knowledge gained through the IIoT solutions provide important data-driven insights which help in improving the processes, including designing, operation, manufacturing, marketing, sales and a lot more, thus, steering the business in profitable direction.
Top 5 practical applications of IIoT in industrial automation
1. Remote access of machines
With remote access to industrial machines, the service engineers and other stakeholders can conveniently access the machine from their current locations, check their log files on the PLCs and change settings if required. It will take only a few minutes to access the machine and find problem, which will save a time-consuming trip to the manufacturer’s site.
2. Update new functionalities on HMIs
New functionalities are added to the machines to make the job more efficient and fast. While the programmer implements this functionality in the control panel of the machine, the HMI software needs to be updated, and tested in order to launch the new functionality. In that case, HMI software updates can be applied remotely through secure network access over the internet. With the web-based virtual network connection, you are able to view and check the HMI functionality anytime on that IIoT platform.
3. Predictive analysis for machine maintenance
As with all hardware, even the IIoT enabled machines undergo wear and tear before finally replaced with new equipments. In such scenarios, active and regular maintenance is crucial to prevent downtime and decreased production output. Using cloud to collect, store and access information on the machine parts, maintenance engineers can keep track of the remaining useful life (RUL) for every asset. Automatic notifications can be sent to the right person if an asset reaches its maintenance limit. By analysing the potential problems via remote access and online diagnostics tools, you are likely to get the right spare parts.
4. Analyse and optimize industrial robot actions
Industrial robots can make repetitive work easy. IIoT features with remote access can change the robot program actions and get better insights of the log files. Video analysis can also help in improving the actions of certain robots. Access to live stream and IP camera recordings can make improvements far more easy and fast. A VPN connection can be set up easily for full network access to any device that is connected to the robot.
5. Manage building automation data from multiple locations
IIoT can be used to monitor and control the heating, lighting, energy consumption, fire protection, employee safety and many other systems for multiple buildings from a central location. The real-time machine data can be transferred to a central cloud application, using industrial communication networks.
If you are planning to automate your processes in a smart way, then IIoT is the way to go. IIoT is bringing forth new business models to increase revenue, while at the same time acting as a force multiplier for improved productivity and efficiency.
To know more about how Utthunga can help you create a smart building or factory and improve your business productivity, efficiency, reliability and ROI, visit https://utthunga.com/.