General Electric coined the term Industrial Internet in late 2012. It is effectively synonymous with the Industrial Internet of Things and abbreviated as Industrial IoT or IIoT.
While many of us are familiar with the Internet of Things used by Nike+ FuelBand, FitBits, Hello Barbie, Nest and Samsung Fridge as connected devices, there’s much more going on in connecting industrial devices in the world of IIoT.
The Industrial Internet is still at an early stage, similar to where the Internet was in the late 1990s. The IIoT, through the use of sensors, advanced analytics and intelligent decision making, will profoundly transform the way field assets connect and communicate with the enterprise.
Industries impacted by IIoT are Manufacturing, Aviation, Utility, Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Energy, Mining & Healthcare.
One of key opportunity that early adopters of the Industrial Internet are pursuing is the improvement of worker productivity, safety and working conditions. Using drones or flying robots to monitor oil pipelines, chemical factories etc.
The IIoT will revolutionize manufacturing by enabling the acquisition and accessibility of tons of data, at lightning speeds, and far more efficiently than before.
A number of innovative companies have started to implement the IIoT by leveraging intelligent, connected devices in their factories.
- GE’s latest locomotive has more than 250 sensors that measure 150,000 data points per minute giving location, weight, speed, fuel burn etc. for trip optimization, remote diagnostics, and yard planning.
- Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare provides a suite of predictive maintenance and repair services for its jet engines, including monitoring engine health, and modifying engines to increase reliability and durability.
- John Deere is building intelligence into its large combines, tractors, and sprayers through sensors that make the machines into mobile platforms.
- Amazon now operates one of the world’s largest fleets of industrial robots in its warehouses, where humans and robots work side-by-side, capable of fulfilling orders up to 70% faster than a non-automated warehouse.
- Rio Tinto, a global mining company uses a remote command center to orchestrate the actions of huge drills, excavators, earth movers and dump trucks across multiple mining sites.
- Airbus has created a factory of future with IIoT, to track and visualize production process in real time.
- Marathon Oil, at their refineries, employees wear a wireless multi-gas detector. This helps them by tracking their exposure to dangerous gases
With industrial internet of things, leading companies are improving operations, lowering costs, improving the safety of workers.
Data generated by industrial equipment like Turbines, Jet engines and CT/MRI scanning machines when combined with big data analytics will give tremendous value to the business.
IIoT & Big data analytics will change the game of competition while there are challenges like data security & interoperability in existing systems which have to be resolved.
To speed up the development & accelerate the innovation in IIoT, the Industrial Internet Consortium was formed by GE, Cisco, AT&T, IBM and is over 250 members from 30 countries.
The path to Industry 4.0 is via Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and is boosting the Digital Transformation in many ways.