IoT or Internet of things has been revolutionizing our world, making it smaller by the day. It is changing how consumers interact with their appliances, houses, cars, etc. The technology, however, has been applied in industries as well. Industrial Internet of things applies IoT technology to industrial processes. Applications of IIoT have been changing machine-to-human and machine-to-machine interactions.
While IoT has stirred up the consumer-focused market, IIoT has been in the limelight for the organizations. With the advent of sensors and wireless communications, businesses can now leverage IoT for their operations. By enabling machine-to-machine communication, industries have opened up a whole new section within IoT, which is the IIoT.
Some Popular Applications of IIoT
Automation machines help take a huge load off manual labor.
The automation machines send performance data about the health of the environment to the central cloud system.
The frequency of the reports sent depends on the application the machines are implemented for.
These reports are then used to analyze the data and decide on any improvements if required in the current environment.
Industrial automation machines improve the efficiency and accuracy of the manufacturing processes.
This is because the machines can function continuously without a break, and the risk of human error is eliminated.
Autonomous vehicles don’t just imply self-driving cars or trucks. These also include autonomous robots.
There are many examples of warehouses that have deployed robots that work without human intervention.
Robots had been deployed earlier as well to work on factory floors. However, earlier, they were guided by a defined set of tracks on which they would function.
Today, autonomous robots do not need defined tracks to function.
They are also capable of determining any other human or robot in their path and change their route accordingly.
The system deployed, allows humans to give instructions to these robots with the click of a button on a tablet.
Now, the robots are also capable of working alongside their human counterparts without any collisions.
Industrial machines these days are equipped with smart sensors.
These sensors are capable of monitoring and maintaining a pre-decided set of working conditions for the machines.
Earlier, maintenance was done with the help of scheduled checking and reporting.
However, in the case of machines, age isn’t always a dependable criterion for scheduling maintenance activities.
Today, however, sensors are installed alongside the machines.
They monitor the health of the machines at all times and report any issues in the machines at the time they occur.
This helps reduce the downtime that might’ve otherwise occurred.
One such technology of sensors being developed is smart dust.
Smart dust is tiny dust-sized sensors that would be deployed in the working environment alongside the machines.
They would be capable of monitoring parameters such as vibrations, humidity, temperature, and so on.
The data so collected will be stored on the cloud for further analysis.
It is not just in factories and manufacturing industries that IIoT finds its applications.
Although it has not been implemented widespread yet, IIoT could make a big difference in the agriculture industry.
By implementing connected IIoT projects in large farms, the farmers can keep a track of the yield from the field to the market.
In large-sized farms, manual surveying is prone to a lot of errors.
Using satellite imaging and IIoT, the farmers can check various agricultural aspects. These include soil quality, humidity, air quality, and temperature with the help of sensors installed in the farmland.
The farmers can then regulate the irrigation and decide on the fertilizers to be given to the plants..
Another major industry that makes the best use of IIoT is the airline industry.
At the manufacturing plants, companies use IIoT solutions to track the availability of parts that are required.
Management of inventory can be done without human interaction.
Airlines have to carry out many maintenance procedures daily.
Sensors collect the airplane machinery’s data at all times. The data is sent in real-time to the manufacturer.
In case of any discrepancy, the suppliers would be able to fix the issue in time to save time and money both.
Logistics can be touted as one of the front runners in terms of adopting IIoT.
Industries such as e-commerce, airlines, manufacturing, have started adopting IIoT in their operations.
Some of the best examples are from the e-commerce industry.
Here millions of parcels are being packed and shipped across all corners of the world.
Handling such a large operation requires efficient tracking.
IIoT helps them track packages through easy-to-read scanners and LoRa to track shipments without the need for a GPS system.
The manufacturing industry is using IIoT to ensure its perishables are being shipped quickly and more efficiently.
Airlines are also using IIoT to diagnose issues in the aircraft for easy maintenance.
This ensures planes are safe to travel and also makes it easier to ship spare parts based on diagnostics and maintenance.
One would imagine wearables to be only consumer-centric such as Fitbits and the works.
But industries are leveraging the technology on their premises for their employees.
Organizations are using wearable devices on employees to ensure they are at their best performance level. Various parameters are checked to ensure this.
Accordingly, they can upgrade their work areas to be more suitable for their employees. This can include humidity, temperature, etc.
Other industries such as healthcare and pharma companies are also adopting the use of IIoT wearables.
These wearable devices monitor the health of their employees. They also maintain a conducive atmosphere, where a controlled environment is imperative.
Smart sensors and controls ensure the environment is well controlled automatically for the best results in research and development.
Other industries can also leverage wearables to bring in efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace.
Energy is by far the most important resource we have and ensuring that it is used to the maximum without wastage, is imperative.
Hence, there are multiple applications of IIoT in the energy sector.
One such application is Smart Meters. They monitor energy consumption at particular times and report it back.
Using this information, the meters can be programmed to make the optimum use of energy during the times when the demand is low.
It can also manage the various energy demand spikes that occur during specific times.
The oil and gas industries also make use of IIoT well with smart sensors.
These sensors detect any oil or gas leakage in any of its pipelines and inform the maintenance teams immediately.
This helps avert any dangers and also ensures a steady supply at all times. With time, more applications are sure to come in, which will help industries use energy more efficiently.
There are numerous applications of IIoT, as mentioned above. That too, not in just a single industry but across a multitude of industries.
With the adaptation of automation on the rise, it is only a matter of time before IIoT becomes the new norm in the industrial sector.
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