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IIoT Monitoring Solutions and Their Impact on the Industry

Keeping up with its efforts to become digitally mature, companies are integrating the Industrial Internet of Things into their workspace. Digital transformation helps companies stay competitive, connected, and resilient in the face of uncertainty and cutthroat competition. IIoT is helping all types of businesses and industries convert into smart factories.

IIoT Monitoring Solutions

The Industrial Internet of Things is different from the Internet of Things, which is a popular term today. While the purpose of both is the same, Industri IoT caters to the commercial space and helps factories adopt the ways and means of a modern and hyper-connected workspace.

IIoT provides crucial communication allowing data to flow within the factory seamlessly. It feeds real-time information to centralized servers, which relays the same information in an easy-to-understand manner to the individuals helping them make quick decisions.

Let’s know more about IIoT and its monitoring capabilities and identify how industries are using the solutions it provides to achieve greater operational efficiency.

Understanding IIoT and How its Different from IoT

One key distinction between IIoT and IoT is the area of their implementation. While IIoT is meant for industries, IoT can fit into any type of space, including businesses and residential. IIoT focuses on industrial applications, including manufacturing plants, gas units, oil rigs and refineries, power plants, etc.

Difference between IIOT and IoT

Both IIoT and IoT use sensors, actuators, and related peripherals to create a connected space where data can flow and communicate easily. Although there is a thin line difference between IIoT and IoT, we have tried to differentiate them via six categories.

Applications

IIoT has a different set of applications than IoT. We have stated that IIoT is used in industrial settings and workspaces. We have seen IIoT systems implemented for;

  • Robotics
  • Warehousing solutions
  • Manufacturing efficiency
  • Machine maintenance and upkeep
  • Automated control settings
  • Self-driving vehicles
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Smart logistics
  • Package management

All these applications of IIoT are practiced as we speak, and improvements are also underway.

IoT is mostly used for building smart homes, connected healthcare systems, smart electricity grids, building smart cities, and improving wearables.

Even though there are distinctions, we can expect the use cases of IIoT and IoT coming together at some point to provide a comprehensively better experience.

Implementation

IIoT implementation involves using critical equipment and devices to connect machines and computers over an extensive network. IIoT-based networks also cater to sensitive and precision-based sensors and monitoring.

In dangerous environments like oil rigs and gas industries, the IIoT sensors and actuators are crucial to maintaining a safe ecosystem. As these are volatile environments, the implementation of the IIoT network has to be equally efficient and proactive.

In IoT, we are figuring out a small level of implementation. We are talking about setting up automatic curtains, switching on lights during the day, and turning them off at night without having to toggle the switch. Yes, in some environments like healthcare, IoT is crucial, but the implementation scale of IIoT is much larger than that of IoT.

Data volume

Given the scale of implementation and its complexity, you would be forced to think that IIoT handles a larger volume of data. But it’s not true. In truth, IoT handles and works with a higher data volume than IIoT.

In IoT, the implementation scale may be relatively small, but the sheer amount of data traveling from one end to the other is huge.

Security

In terms of security, a higher number of endpoints means a higher risk of getting hacked. In this, both IIoT and IoT are equally vulnerable as both these technologies have multiple devices and peripherals connected with each other.

To control and mitigate the risk, we need to set up the requisite measures while implementing and installing the systems. Make sure that all security updates are completed instantly without any delay.

Cost

IIoT is more costly than IoT. This is because, in an IIoT-enabled environment, we are setting up a critical infrastructure with no room for error. Hence to ensure efficiency, IIoT peripherals and equipment warrant a higher cost.

Complexity

IIoT is more complex and sophisticated than IoT. Again, this has to do with the implementation purpose, outcome, and scale in IIoT. Because numerous small and large pieces of equipment are required here, installing every sensor and actuator will take time, resources, and understanding. But this does not end here; with IIoT, the monitoring process and aspects are also more prominent.

Monitoring in IIoT is one of the main applications of installing all these sensors and related components. Industries and manufacturing benefit from the constant monitoring solutions provided by IIoT systems, allowing them to ensure predictive and proactive maintenance. Let’s find out more monitoring solutions provided by IIoT technology.

Exploring IIoT Monitoring Solutions

Exploring IIoT Monitoring Solutions

Level monitoring

In chemical industries, IIoT-based level monitoring can replace manual monitoring. Manual monitoring has the risk of getting acid burns, and with an automated monitoring system, it can be easily replaced to provide a safety net to the employees.

IIoT systems can relay the information regarding the acid level or other dangerous materials and allow the supervisors to take the intended action from a distance.

Temperature monitoring

Temperature monitoring is similar to level monitoring as it keeps a check on the temperature and notifies when it rises above the set limit. Temperature monitoring systems have applications in several industries and environments.

From monitoring the temperature of a machine that is continuously working to keeping an eye on the water temperature, these systems can be used in various settings.

Flow monitoring

Flow monitoring systems track and record the quantity of raw material, preferably liquid. We can use these systems in several types of systems, like when another company is providing fuel to the industry or when a company wants to maintain the optimal flow of water going into the machine for processing.

Going one step ahead of the traditional flow monitoring systems enabled with flow meters is not as quick as an IIoT-based system that provides accurate information at speed and with enough time to make instant changes.

Water Quality Monitoring

In some industries, especially food and beverage, maintaining water quality is crucial. Manual water quality monitoring is possible and probably less risky than monitoring acids or other harmful substances.

But, using the IIoT systems makes monitoring the water quality faster and more efficient. In manual testing, we also rely on machines to know the level of water, but IIoT creates an automated system giving results faster.

Pressure monitoring

Pressure monitoring is an important part for almost every manufacturing unit. Even the small boiler in a factory needs to have a pressure monitoring system. Hence, IIoT-enabled pressure monitoring systems can take over these small and large-scale services and provide better results.

This is because, with an IIoT system, the connected devices and firmware can send warnings beforehand so that we can take proactive measures to avoid an accident.

Implementing IIoT systems in the factory or workspace is a great step towards building a self-sufficient organization. But it also requires heavy investment and effective training.

For the existing employees who may not be aware of the new systems, they must receive constant training to hone the right skills for the job. So besides getting IIoT systems installed, ensure that you are also working on training the employees and getting new talent to help manage the systems.

Why are Companies Moving Towards IIoT?

The shift from manual monitoring and management to an IIoT-based execution is something that every company is hoping to achieve. Where big industries and manufacturing are able to make the shift easily, the smaller companies face talent and cost-related issues.

But almost every company is hoping to integrate these smart systems in the near future. This is because of the benefits IIoT brings to the table. These include;

  • The ability to automate equipment monitoring and triggering the next step.
  • Predictive maintenance leads to lower downtime and cost savings.
  • Integrating wearables and smart tools to ensure an airtight monitoring system.
  • Higher and precision quality standards.
  • Improved inventory management.

Conclusion

The industrial internet of things (IIoT) has already revolutionized various industries and manufacturing units. Its unique features, such as real-time monitoring, remote access, data security, and other benefits, have made it the solution of choice for many large enterprises across sectors.

With the right investment and talent, industries can bring more efficiency, productivity, and security into their workspace. IIoT provides a tightly knit network of machines and equipment, helping industries take advantage of hyper-connectivity, leading to better outcomes on all levels.

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Pratik Rupareliya

Pratik Rupareliya

Techno-commercial leader heading Intuz as head of Strategy.