The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the world as we know it. As a global community, we are more connected than ever, and perhaps more than we realize. Through the Internet of Things, we now have a vast network of Internet-connected devices that collect, analyze, and store data, from smart home products to self-driving vehicles.
The industrial sector is no less affected by this new technological wave. Thus, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) was born. The IIoT consists of Internet-connected devices specifically within industrial applications. The IIoT enables greater control, efficiency, and reliability in industrial operations such as robotics, medical devices, production processes, and monitoring.
While the IIoT has enabled significant advances in manufacturing, research, and customer experience, technological advances are still being made. Based on research conducted by AntairaThis is what the future of the Industrial Internet of Things looks like.
The future is bright for the IIoT, as small businesses and global entities will enjoy increased opportunities for cost-saving predictive maintenance and increased internet-to-device communication. Additionally, more facilities will be able to connect due to improved affordability regarding IIoT access. Many professionals also predict that Wi-Fi powered devices will replace those currently powered by wired IoT connections. In general, the more accessible IIoT becomes, the more companies will reap its benefits.
Manufacturing Facility Improvements
Companies involved in product development will see increased connectivity and use of IoT devices. The IIoT will help production facilities reduce operating costs and improve efficiency throughout the production process. In addition, the IIoT will support improvements in research and testing, quality control, and distribution. Finally, new and improved devices are coming to market that enable compatibility in extreme weather and environmental conditions. These devices include Power over Ethernet switches or industrial PoE switches, which establish power and connectivity even in harsh indoor and outdoor conditions.
IIoT as a service
IIoT as a Service, or IoTaaS, is a developing trend in connected facilities that we’re sure we’ll see more of as we move into the future. But what is IIoT as a Service and what does it entail? IoTaaS allows external or third-party providers to manage all IIoT-connected devices on behalf of the facility. Providers would manage, analyze, and control these devices. IoTaaS is a great option for facilities with limited related knowledge and for facilities looking to speed up the production process.
One of the most exciting prospects for the future of IIoT is a combination of cloud and edge computing. IIoT is evolving in such a way that facilities will be able to collect data from any connected source, regardless of how they are connected, in a common location. This is especially exciting as the more IIoT advances, the more sources generate data and the more the need for computing and storage in multiple locations grows.
While standard and preventative maintenance is helpful, the future of the IIoT will also enable predictive maintenance. This capability allows facilities to perform a large number of tasks to ensure proper device performance. This includes transmitting data directly from the machinery to the production line, allowing workers to make changes when the need arises. Manufacturers will also be able to determine how much power devices are consuming, allowing them to make improvements. Predictive maintenance will also contribute to safer and more precise repairs.
Lost tools, missing equipment, and inventory gaps can be frustrating at best and devastating at worst. A highly anticipated facet of the future of IIoT is location tracking capabilities for tools, equipment, and inventory items. While GPS has been around for a long time, it’s not necessarily useful for indoor tracking. Thanks to location tracking tools, facilities can keep track of everything under their roof much more easily and effectively.
Data and the future of the IIoT
With so many new connection capabilities on the horizon, it’s important to consider the data that a facility will collect, send, and store. Because so many manufacturing processes will be in the cloud instead of in the hands of workers, the risk of breaches is higher and the cost much, much higher. As a result, it is imperative that connected facilities know where data is going, how they will manage their devices (internally or through IoTaaS), and how to protect data.
As mentioned above, knowing exactly where your data is coming from and where it’s going is vital. Plus, you need to know what the data says so you can take immediate action. The more connected devices, the more complex this task becomes. Companies can mitigate this concern by installing connectivity devices and using them to transmit data to a remote server.
When it comes to managing devices, the task can become monumental. It is crucial to keep each device current with software and firmware updates. In addition, all precautions must be taken to prevent unauthorized access.
Guarantee the security
While IIoT devices are extremely useful for collecting, storing, and sending data, some are not designed for security. Improvements are being made, and since cybersecurity is a critical factor for every business, it’s important to choose an IIoT device with built-in security features. To aid in the development of more IIoT devices with security features, the IEC 62443 standard has been created. This standard provides global security guidelines for companies that manufacture IIoT devices. Some of the more common security features included in these guidelines are:
- Identify and control people logging into devices (or trying to log in)
- Increase password complexity
- Verify authorized devices before allowing them to access the network
- Serial interface data and configuration encryption.
the future is bright
How fast is the IIoT growing? According to statista.com, the global market size for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will exceed $263 billion (USD) in 2021. The market is expected to grow in the coming years, reaching $1.11 trillion (USD). ) by 2028.
No business is immune to the forces of change, although in the case of IIoT, we have largely seen its impact to date in factory automation, manufacturing, energy, and within the transportation industry sectors. However, with the availability of less expensive edge computing, sensor, analytics and connectivity devices, the IIoT is set to provide new verticals with a toolbox to revamp their organizations to be more efficient. smarter and more productive.