GE coined the term “Industrial Internet” while announcing its US$ 1.5 billion R&D commitment in 2012. According to GE, the forecasted growth of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) stands at US$ 320 billion by 2020.
Following wearables, smart cities, and smart homes, Industrial Internet of Things ranks number 4 in the list of top 10 most popular IoT applications, according to IoT-Analytics. Today, a lot of asset-heavy industries such as agriculture, logistics, manufacturing, mining, oil, utilities, etc. apply IIoT applications to improve their efficiency and return on investment. With the availability of machines and specialized sensors capable of collecting data at any point, IIoT provides scope for maximum gains.
There are eight key applications of IIoT:
- Big Data Analytics & Machine Learning SaaS: Big data, SaaS, and machine learning technologies help organizations generate accurate predictive analytics like when machines will require maintenance.
- Cloud Platforms: Cloud vendors are usually platform-as-a-service (PaaS) companies that help other IIoT organizations manage and maintain device networks.
- Cybersecurity: Organizations in this category usually focus on providing safety and security to the connected IIoT apps from different forms of cyberattacks that may otherwise lead to huge losses.
- Extraction & Heavy Industry: This segment requires the use of sensor platforms in industries related to construction, gas and oil, and mining. Sensor networks are in big demand by companies involved in activities such as location of wells and extraction and production of oil and gas. Added to this is the need for UAVs that help gather data related to proper 3D rendering of construction sites.
- Manufacturing & Supply Chain: This sector uses connected objects to improve data collection techniques in manufacturing and across supply chains. A few high-end methods are the use of connected black boxes that track the shipment of containers and robots built specifically to assist in the tasks related to the manufacturing and warehousing industry.
- Network Infrastructure & Sensor Developers: Companies today are building networks and developing physical sensors that provide a strong base for IIoT. They are also developing industrial-grade sensors for areas as diverse as energy, fleet management, industrial wearables, machines, and wireless networks.
- Transportation & Fleet: Organizations in this category utilize telematics data for the development of fleet-tracking platforms and systems that can change fleet insurance per mileage by analyzing data generated from hardware.
- Utilities & Smart Grid: Organizations in this area develop technology for streamlining the distribution of electricity, gas, and water. Smart-meters provide efficient solutions for large scale enterprises for managing usage and reporting of these utilities.
Investing in the IIoT World
IIoT is poised to have a huge positive impact in the world of industrial automation using high-end technologies and solutions such as big data, machine learning, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, sensor data and networks, and wireless connectivity.
With IIoT’s capability in finding solutions for industry-specific challenges and generating insights for development of scalable solutions, it is heralding a new era in industrial applications that unlocks operational efficiency, optimizes production, and increases worker safety.