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"Predicated on IoT, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) acts as a catalyst for the revolution in Industry 4.0. At a time, when IoT significantly impacts and influences the global consumer behavior, the IIoT transforms the way industries function. Although both IoT and IIoT are born of the same mother, they are destined to play disparate roles in this digitized world.”
The momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem is pragmatic and fascinating. The upcoming communication landscape amidst real-time wireless sensors, GPS, and control systems is revolutionizing the global consumer behavior as well as industries across the world.
On one side, where IoT enables consumers to reap the benefits of the pervasive digital revolution, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) facilitates machine-to-machine (M2M) communication benefiting industries across sectors.
This is the beginning of an era in the purview of IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). (IPv6 was upgraded to 128-bit unique IP address for space expansion, making IoT functional.)
Soon, everything that can connect will be connected. Gartner’s study on leading the connected world estimates that the internet connected things will outnumber humans by four-to-one.
Internet of (Every) Things (IoT)
Embedding the phenomenon of ambient intelligence for devices to measure, monitor, and master the physical world with cloud-based processes is defined as the Internet of Things (IoT). Industry leaders and tech experts these days are embracing all potential IoT opportunities within organizations on a priority. There is a compelling drift of focus from visibility, operational efficiency, and productivity to fueling innovation in hybrid business models.
Smart homes, smart security systems, real-time tracking tools, and monitoring systems, connected factory, smart gloves, smart mirrors, wearable smart devices, etc. are some of the examples of IoT.
IoT is the Cradle that Nourishes Industry 4.0
Installing IoT in large-scale enterprises for industrial applications is a complex endeavor involving the amalgamation of technologies like machine learning (ML), big data, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communication, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud, Robotics, and Automation. Digitization, wireless networking, and automated sensors are leading the operational and manufacturing processes to shape the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT has ushered us to the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). It opens up the world of valuable insights and inquisitive functionalities for enterprises.
For example—IIoT in manufacturing can establish a smart factory, facility management, monitoring production flow, inventory management, predictive and proactive quality testing, safety and security, warehouse optimization, and supply chain management.
Gains from IIoT
From the lens of business returns, you can hope that IIoT is churning the spine of the global economy. Over the last decade, advancements in hardware, remote access, big data analytics, cloud, and machine-learning have reinforced industrial automation. An organization may seek the following internal, external, and collective benefits as an outcome.
IoT and IIoT— A Comparative Analysis
Those less informed on IoT and IIoT often co-relate these apparently similar acronyms. However, on the contrary, these are two parallel technologies with the same standard protocols i.e. their concepts are often heavily borrowed from one another. They may have the same interface, intelligence, and agility but have different operational processes, principles, users, and goals. Let’s observe differentiating factors in detail.
- Utility—Consumption vs. Output : IoT helps optimize consumption, accentuate personal comfort, and control expenses, while IIoT aims to achieve maximum efficiency and smooth workflow in any process or unit.
- Applications—Personal Use vs. Production: IoT is used to automate day-to-day household processes, while the application of IIoT is chiefly around monitoring productions and business environmental parameters.
- Impact—Revolution vs. Evolution: The technology behind IoT isn’t new but its application in consumer and commercial markets is revolutionary, whereas, the Industrial Internet of Things, having evolved with the help of IoT, enables industries in bootstrapping a digital layer in their ecosystem.
- Life Support—In-house vs. Vendor Regulated: Your IoT solution vendor may service for your IoT devices but, Industrial IoT solutions require an in-house ability to maintain its life cycle for a quick resolution. This involves sensors replacement, firmware upgrades, gateways, and server configuration to avoid loss in operational capabilities.
- Automation—Limited vs. No Human Intervention: IoT solutions entail programmable learning capabilities in system design to integrate control and automation logic in the gateway with new production execution systems. IIoT architecture is built to suit low latency needs in dealing with failures or malfunctioning and should immediately re-route to the backup system independently.
- Reliability—Flexible vs. Low Latency: IoT enabled Industrial equipment must be able to successfully counter extreme environments of temperature, volume pressure, harmonic motions, and others at distant locations. They should withstand heavy duty cycles within tolerance and operate reliably for decades.
- Privacy—Advanced vs. Robust: From encrypted and agile system architectures, specialized chipsets, threat detection to authentication in management processes, IIoT solutions require a number of security measures for system management.
- Interoperability—Nodal vs. Multidimensional: IIoT is evolving with open standards giving way to disruptive technologies, low-cost innovation, and ease of use. The viewpoint is to integrate a cooperative environment in sync with various protocols, data sets, ERP systems, and existing legacy operations technologies (OT), including SCADA, M2M, and others.
- Scalability—Limited vs. Large-Scale: A widely spread IIoT network of controllers, robots, machinery, and other utility derived applications in organization provisions thousands of new sensors and puts in place non-IoT devices. Such a network scales scheduling, data collection, analysis, interoperability, workflow integration, decision-making, and integration with manufacturing and business-oriented systems.
A tabular compilation of IoT and IIoT
A common understanding about the IoT and IIoT speaks of the concept being the same. However, having understood the difference mentioned above, we can easily deduce that both these technologies are meant to play disparate roles. The objectives can be the same for IoT and IIoT, but there’s a huge difference in their design, engineering, and in the environment in which these technologies are meant to be implemented.