IT, IoT, and IIoT are some acronyms that are commonly used in conjunction with Industry 4.0 and digital transformation. To understand these terms, you need to begin by learning Industry 4.0 which refers to the fourth industrial revolution. It is a broad term that refers to connecting factories, machines, and equipment for generating (big) data which is then analyzed and used to make the process smarter. As part of the Industry 4.0 movement, digital transformation is the use of digital technologies to improve processes and customer experience.
Both the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are primary technologies in the digitization revolution. Implementing these technologies can help businesses operate more efficiently, make more informed decisions, and unlock new revenue sources. All this is achieved by connecting numerous devices and pieces of equipment via the Internet. Let's take a closer look at how these technologies work and how your company can benefit from them.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT, or the Internet of Things, is a broad term that refers to connecting "things" to the Internet to collect data. The Internet of Things can digitalize any consumer object from a doorbell to a toaster connected to the Internet. It works to connect any device to the internet via sensors. Whether it’s a home appliance or any electronic device, embedding it with sensors and data transmission software improves its functionality. IoT is increasingly used in devices like smartwatches, air conditioners, coffee makers, thermostats, etc. to allow them to communicate with one another via the internet. The increasing use of IoT is making our everyday life easier by turning dumb devices into smart machines capable of exchanging data. IoT has become a part of our daily life in form of wearable fitness trackers like Fitbits and voice assistants like Alexa.
IoT is a broad term that includes IIoT. It means that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a subcategory of the Internet of Things (IoT). The primary goal of IIoT is to connect industrial devices to achieve automation. It is a critical component of Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution. Implementing IIoT at different levels helps in achieving the automation of manual tasks, improves speed, and ensures safety. This new phase of the industrial revolution relies on automation, smart technology, interconnectivity, artificial intelligence, and other technologies. Transforming traditional workplaces into smart offices and IIoT-enabled factories helps in making them more efficient and cost-effective. These benefits are achieved by generating data that can be used to make quick and informed decisions. This technology is already being used in a wide range of industrial applications, including manufacturing, power plants, agriculture, oil and gas, automobiles, and others.
Both IoT and IIoT work on the same principle but their applications are different. IIoT is used in industrial settings to collect, monitor, exchange, and analyze industrial data. These industrial applications involve creating smart industrial devices that generate data that can be used by businesses to make decisions faster and more accurately. Some uses of data analysis include advanced predictive analytics to reduce downtime, production monitoring, quality control, product shipping, and more.