The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market has great growth potential, thanks to the demand for Machine-to-Machine systems, the need to contextualize operations technology (TO) data and the trend of predictive maintenance.
These factors are the main market drivers, according to a new study by Grand View Research, which estimates that the sector will grow to $949.42 billion by 2025.
Companies are increasingly aware of the benefits of IoT industry solutions and do not want to miss the opportunity that this reality represents to boost business.
What is Industrial IoT (IIoT)?
IIoT stands for “Industrial Internet of the Things” and, as we can read in the technology portal Techtarget, it is defined as the use of intelligent sensors and automation mechanisms to improve the efficiency of industrial processes.
It is also known as Industry 4.0 and is based on taking advantage of the data that industrial machines produce, thanks to the use of information capture technology and real-time data analysis.
Implementing these technologies in the organization is basic to be able to benefit from all its advantages.
How is it implemented?
Companies that want to benefit from the Industrial IoT and the information generated by the machines need to implement these technologies. However, in order to do it successfully, they must have an ally that allows them to overcome the main implementation challenges that exist today.
They have to find a platform that is able to read the information from all the systems in the company and structure them in a coherent way so that the relevant information can be analysed and better and faster decisions can be made. They need an industrial IoT platform.
The technology consulting firm Gartner defines industrial IoT platforms as software that is programmed to improve decision-making in the management of company assets and to make visible and carry out operational control of plants, warehouses, infrastructures and equipment within industries where there are a large number of assets.
When a company has implemented such a platform it can benefit from different applications and functions.
What are the applications of an Industrial IoT and its main functions?
The practical applications of Industrial IoT platforms are as follows if we consider the comments of some of the most important companies in the industry:
1. Remote problem solving. These technologies allow remote connection to any machine in the organization to detect and solve any failure. Thanks to the remote function, work teams save time and money.
Application sector: This application is basic for all industrial companies that cannot afford to have a machine at a standstill.
2. Preventive supply action. When a company incorporates Industrial IoT technology, it can foresee when a machine will run out of a basic consumable to carry out its functions and thus be able to supply it faster so that the unproductive period is as short as possible.
Application sector: This application is very useful in the logistics sector to prevent when a label printer runs out of paper or some consumable.
3. Add new functionalities more easily. Often a company may need to add new functions to a machine because their demands have changed from when the machine was installed. In these cases, an IIoT platform is very useful to remotely update the software and add new functionalities.
Application sector: All those industrial companies that want to simplify maintenance tasks and optimize the resources of the IT department so that their staff can increase innovation.
4. Preventive maintenance. On many occasions, it is possible to anticipate errors. Thanks to the implementation of an industrial IoT platform, an organization can anticipate failures and reduce unproductive periods or recorded problems.
Application sector: The photovoltaic sector is one of the markets to which preventive maintenance can best be applied. Photovoltaic panels require timely maintenance, but when it is necessary, it is often easy to predict. It is possible to know the degree of degradation of the panel from the number of hours in operation.
5. Predictive maintenance. Industrial IoT technologies allow plant managers to anticipate the problems of machine downtime. Installing sensors on machine motors allows the plant manager to get the information he or she needs to predict unplanned downtime and solve the problem faster so that the machine will be out of production the shortest time possible.
Application sector: Industrial companies that cannot afford a machine to go out of production for a long period of time.
6. Analyze and optimize industrial robot actions. Industrial automation with robots is key to improving productivity in many companies. It allows repetitive tasks to be carried out simply and without human intervention. However, the work of robots often needs to be monitored. IoT Industrial platforms allow you to analyze and optimize their work to improve business performance.
Application sector: It is interesting in all industrial companies that have robotic plants.
7. Remote resource management. The application of Industrial IoT technology in cities is a great solution to better manage resources. Why does the garbage truck have to go through all the streets if maybe there are containers that are not full and do not need to be emptied? IoT technology allows you to remotely monitor the capacity of containers and tell the truck drivers to empty only those that are full, allowing you to optimize your routes.
Application sector: smart cities, municipalities focused on improving urban management with the help of technology.
8. Managing information in a centralized way. More and more industries do not have any workers on site because processes are managed and monitored from a single point away from the factory. This is often done by industries that carry out processes that involve some risk and do not want to compromise the safety of their workers or that have geographically dispersed assets in locations that are difficult to access. In these factories, all processes are controlled from a single office, in a centralized manner.
Application sector: any type of industry that carries out processes that imply a certain risk to people’s health, with dispersed assets and smart buildings that require exhaustive control of different resources such as energy consumption, heating, lighting, etc.
All IIoT solutions bring many benefits to companies.
What benefits does it bring to your business?
Companies are aware that IIoT technologies are key to improving their business. The specialized portal in Business Intelligence and Data Management, Smart data collective, has detected a series of advantages that we have contrasted with various sources in the sector:
- Improves efficiency. IIoT technology provides businesses with real-time data. This speed of information capture accelerates companies’ analysis processes and allows decision makers to do so more quickly, optimize processes and reduce downtime to increase efficiency. In addition, this type of technology allows to improve energy efficiency, many companies lose money because they waste energy. If the lights are on or the machines are on in the plant when they are not producing, unnecessary electricity is being consumed that could have been saved.
- Increases company awareness and safety. IIoT technology increases the control of all industrial assets in an organization and monitors the operation of all machines and the behaviour of all processes. Increased process control also increases the physical safety of employees. Every year, injuries occur in production plants due to defective machines. Thanks to the predictive maintenance enabled by the Industrial IoT, a company can reduce the number of injuries at the end of the year and monitor the compliance of employees with safety standards.
- Increases productivity. Companies that implement IIoT technologies are able to advance to problems that may arise in a machine or a production plant and can solve them faster. This reduces machine downtime and consequently improves productivity.
According to the study by the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), it is estimated that between $0.40 and $1.20 is lost for every $20 of unplanned downtime. In addition, as Embitel tells us, the automotive industry loses $1.3 million for every hour that the production chain is down.
These are the main advantages that an IIoT platform provides to organizations. If you want your company to enjoy these benefits too, you can achieve it thanks to Nexus Integra, implementing our Industrial IoT platform that your company needs to improve all the industrial processes and increase the efficiency of all the productive assets.