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What’s The Magic of The Industrial Internet of Things?

This excerpt is from an article that first appeared in Smart Manufacturing. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has elements of the fairy tale 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. The technology behind IIoT, also known as Industry 4.0, can be perceived as a “magical solution” where you sprinkle the beans and your business grows.

82% of Manufacturers want IIoT-based revenue, 7% have a strategy

An Accenture survey of 1,400 C-suite decision makers (including 736 CEOs) from the world’s largest companies indicated that 84 percent believe that new, service-based income will result from IIoT. However, 73 percent indicate that concrete progress is low, with just 7 percent having a funded strategy. While the potential for the “magic” remains high, the reality of how to implement IIoT on the factory floor requires a thoughtful approach that does not start with technology or data. It starts with identifying your business needs and culture.

Some history on the Industrial Internet of Things

In order to understand the premise and promise of IIoT, we need to understand the former and current state of industrial automation. According to Greg Giles, director of MES at RedViking based in Plymouth, Michigan: “IIoT is something all manufacturers want to be a part of but many don’t understand what it is yet.” In the 1990s, there existed networking devices collecting information via field bus about facility processes and utilities. This involved collecting information on electric grids, air distribution, cooling systems and process controls then correlating this with operations and cost controls. Over time, this expanded to serial buses and now to data collection via IIoT. This includes standard Ethernet stacks, transport protocols, servers, and bringing data from local networks into the Internet and Cloud based computing. All of this has created the current reality for today’s manufacturer; the ability to realize a smart manufacturing facility and new positions for its workforce.

IIoT can exist with and without the cloud

“However, IIoT and Cloud are not synonymous. Smart manufacturing facilities can implement IIoT without the Cloud,” Giles added. Read the rest of the article here.

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