November 8, 2019 Return to overview

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Taking a Fuller View of the Industrial Internet of Things


Industrial Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is profoundly visible. Whether you work out with a fitness tracker, shop with a virtual assistant or drive a car, connected devices are everywhere, forming a tapestry of distinct use cases, technologies, and benefits. What’s harder to make out are the filaments of industry crisscrossing the scene, elevating the standards of IoT usage.

The Industrial IoT, or IIoT, is a significant component of the expanding deep web — everything you can’t access via a standard Google search or your browser of choice. Unlike other deep web realms, however, it’s becoming more perceivable as firms realize the benefits of connecting industrial control systems to intelligence tools. Let’s look more closely at where the threads lead and how to weave your own picture.

The IIoT Defined

An IIoT a portion of the IoT that remains restricted to industrial settings. For instance, it includes things like:

• Remotely accessible engine performance sensors in shipping truck fleets

• Controllers for factory processes, such as CNC, laser cutting, screen printing, and foundry pouring

Hazardous gas detectors that save lives in mines

• Utility management systems, like the water sensors that are used to combat sewer inflow and infiltration

• Edge devices, such as the routers and multiplexers that provide access to corporate networks

These examples are a bit far-ranging, but they have a vital common factor. They all exemplify connectivity being used for specific purposes in not-so-conventional ways.

What Makes the Industrial Internet of Things Different From Classic Business Intelligence?

People have long depended on generic linked devices and proprietary apps in industrial settings. IIoT applications stand apart because they unify the hardware and software to fulfill bespoke business use cases. For instance, it’s relatively ordinary to record data from a manufacturing line but connecting it to advanced computer interfaces with built-in visualization functionality is a somewhat new trend.

A Key Player Within a Larger Team

Unlike consumer IoT arrangements, most IIoTs inhabit space within universal frameworks, such as application enablement platforms, or AEPs. As a result, these networks afford users the breathing room to step back and draw conclusions. They also offer amazingly clear vantage points for selectively producing changes in business systems.

Information With A Purpose

Although data scientists love the IIoT — and we would know — it does more than gather large volumes of feedback. It’s not the same as something like a database, where the primary purpose is to store data according to the rubrics you define in advance. Instead, IIoT infrastructures transform raw information into semantically organized evidence whose management requires far less spadework. You can still dig deep into the factors that matter to your business, but the paths to the richest lodes are already laid out for you.

Stable Architectures Rule the Day

An IIoT isn’t just a group of connected sensors or a fancy bunch of dashboard widgets. Nor is it’s legacy SCADA software or an island of network isolation. In addition to the lower-level components, a typical IIoT comprises the computing, physical and business intelligence environments that serve as the backdrop.

Robust IIoT applications include the tooling to handle data securely, enact process rules and controls, and integrate other apps with your business machinery. While the Industrial Internet of Things isn’t a replacement for your standard enterprise tools or structure, it can undoubtedly help you tie them together more gracefully.

The Pros and Cons of Establishing Better-connected Business Routines

There are distinct advantages to being able to run your company the same way no matter where you are. Chief among these is the fact that you spend less time seeking out quality information streams since the AEP delivers them to you.

The convenience and utility of the Industrial Internet of Things also prompt some unique concerns. Here are a few we’ve heard from the businesses and cities we work with:

• How do you keep data secure when it’s traveling beyond known domains or being shuttled around automatically?

• What happens when your IIoT sensors — or usage practices — feed you the wrong information?

• If everything’s connected, then which stakeholders are responsible for system ownership?

Getting Over the Bumps With Ease

The way you structure your IIoT apps may determine how easily you master the challenges. For instance, data security benefits from the use of AEPs that have governance systems. With the right tools, it takes but seconds to tweak entire IIoT implementations to support vital compliance actions, such as programming your system to automatically report breaches per the EU’s GDPR.

What about misinformation? Having business intelligence at your fingertips as events occur might seem like it would increase the likelihood of mistakes. In reality, the blinding speed of wireless and wired transmission actually gives you more leeway by leaving ample time for AI-powered data filtration.

Useful frameworks go a long way towards clarifying tricky ownership questions. Whereas a random sensor, controller or gateway might be accessible to anyone with physical access by default, AEPs let you define universal rules to control who sees what. This makes the IIoT an integral part of many public-facing enterprise assets, such as emergency-warning systems in smart cities. Since the Industrial Internet of Things also increases internal visibility into once-obscure processes, it helps organizations foster cultures of heightened stakeholder responsibility.

What Will Your Industrial IoT Become?

IIoT applications don’t just start off unique. They also grow to meet your demands.

As you set preferences and program desirable behaviours, your framework will learn how best to accomplish them. When you want it to acquire new data or work with an unfamiliar integration, you don’t have to teach it the ropes manually. It’s smart enough to pick up on what you want while granting you the visibility to fine-tune the training process.

It’s up to you where your Industrial Internet of Things takes your enterprise. At Davra, we supply the guidance you’ll need to build an application that supports your intentions. We’ve helped hospitals improve care practices via comprehensive monitoring and taught cities how to forge closer connections with their residents by providing better services. Our team members have built natural resource oversight frameworks that let leaders keep tabs on thousands of remote components, devices, and personnel without batting an eyelid. Take a quick tour of our work, or get in touch to learn where your organization might go with a steady Industrial Internet of Things strategy.

Author

Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO

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