As the usage of smart devices, laptops, tablets, and personal computers has expanded, so too has the Internet. The Internet of Things includes all of the devices – some quite intelligent, others quite simplistic – that are now connected to the Internet and therefore an overarching infrastructure. Encompassed within the Internet of Things (IoT) is the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), networked devices (applications) making use of single board computers (SBCs) and I/O components that are increasingly utilized throughout the manufacturing process. The IIoT is paving the way for rapid transition to Industry 4.0, a set of business processes that are redefining manufacturing for the new era. Together, the IIoT and Industry 4.0 will deliver greater efficiency, reduced overhead, higher quality and
even improve upon safety.
The IoT vs. the IIoT
The Internet of Things is most familiar to the consumer in the form of smart phones, tablets, and smart home devices. These are devices that are connected to the Internet and are commonly used for a variety of things: tracking calories, ordering groceries, and even getting a ride. Because these devices are connected to the Internet, their capabilities are virtually limitless. With an Internet connection, even a “dumb” device – such as a smart refrigerator or smart thermostat – can produce dramatically effective results.
The Industrial Internet of Things is similar, but it involves more specialized devices that are designed for specific tasks. Just as a smart home's thermostat may be designed to control temperature, IIoT devices are designed for the purposes of automation and optimization. Industrial Internet of Things devices include sensors which can detect when machines need maintenance, generate automated reports for machine errors, and optimize data which is intended to improve upon and speed up business processes. IIoT devices are also unique in that they must be designed to have a uniform standard of reporting, to improve compatibility and to make implementation easier. WINSYSTEMS works as a technology partner with automation providers and OEMs to help them design and develop a broad array of applications that can fully integrate within an IIoT infrastructure, enabling any manufacturing environment to complete a successful i4.0 transition.
The Benefits of IIoT and Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is an overarching term for current trends in manufacturing, which are leading to the use of big data, data exchange, and automation. Manufacturing systems are now being created which are, in themselves, intelligent, with the ultimate goal being to create a “smart factory.” The IIoT and Industry 4.0 work hand-in- hand, with the IIoT providing the physical mechanisms and software solutions needed to achieve Industry 4.0 standards. The Industry 4.0 outlines current conceptual goals and processes that companies should now be attempting to achieve through big data analysis and IIoT devices. Additional metrics for Industry 4.0 success include decentralized decision-making, technical assistance, information transparency, and interoperability – much of which can be achieved through the IIoT and cloud-based infrastructures.
WINSYSTEMS has comprehensive expertise in the design and manufacture of industrial embedded computer systems, operating as an embedded systems authority for organizations that want to develop their technology and move into the future. As a collaborative technology partner, WINSYSTEMS can provide the foundation of an IIoT network, developing customized computers and components for use throughout the manufacturing industry. The IIoT can be complex – having an established partner can make it much simpler. Contact WINSYSTEMS today for more information about IIoT and your pathway to Industry 4.0.