IIoT is reshaping the industrial sector in 2022

If you and your customers aren’t realizing the top 5 benefits of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in 2022, are your competitors? See how wireless connectivity and industrial 5G are among IIoT trends.

By Prasanna Shukla June 2, 2022
Courtesy: L&T Technology Services (LTTS)


Learning Objectives

  • Discover the top 5 IIoT benefits.
  • Understand that automation can help.
  • Review business improvement trends for 2022: Operational resilience, cybersecurity, wireless, analytics, augmented reality.

You’ve heard of IoT, the Internet of Things. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or Industry 4.0, uses smart machines and real-time analytics to collect data and drive actionable insights for companies in industrial settings such as the energy and manufacturing industries. The Industrial IoT market is predicted to be worth more than $100 billion by 2026, as reported by Bloomberg July 5, 2021, in “Industrial IoT Market worth $106.1 billion by 2026 – Exclusive Report by MarketsandMarkets.” IIoT uses cloud computing to streamline processes and allows for the interconnectivity of devices across a local network.

An Industrial IoT platform is “a set of integrated software capabilities,” according to a Gartner glossary of terms, that improves asset management decision-making, operational visibility, and the control of (manufacturing) plants. Development of IIoT for manufacturing industry helps solve different challenges in this field — reduce downtime, increase efficiency and safety on the premises and boost performance at every step of production.

Top 5 benefits of IIoT

1. Creating a collaborative ecosystem

IIoT adoption has opened new and advanced frontiers of collaborative innovation for the manufacturing industry. The introduction of integrated digital platforms has fostered an ecosystem where strategic communications no longer work in silos, rather travel across workstreams to help enterprises enhance collaboration and ensure factory visibility at scale. Integrating an all-access information layer for cross-functional units helps enterprises bear the fruits of competitive benefits, including maximized innovation, strategic decision making, and reduced costs.

Furthermore, creating an IIoT-driven collaborative ecosystem also propagates the concept of “connected workers” in the organizations. Employees using smartphones, wearables, and other connected devices execute tasks with safety and efficiency while harnessing the power of real-time insights. This contributes to building workplace resilience with enhanced performance and auditability, deriving sustained business value out of diverse operations.

2. Production and capital throughput

The proliferation of IIoT in the manufacturing industry has increased production throughput and efficiency, with enhanced safety and tamed overhead costs. The use of wireless sensors and automated monitoring systems, responsible for acquiring, analyzing, and organizing data, have been instrumental in enabling this performance acceleration.

Real-time data is making enterprises capable of gaining end-to-end visibility into their on-ground processes, determining qualitative and quantifiable understanding around their asset and performance maturity and making informed decisions to improve field operations.

3. Equipment and asset management

IIoT implementation has made it easier for enterprises to determine the serviceable life of the assets and reconfigure them to avoid performance downtime. Since sensors monitor each functional wheel for anomalies and relay data to maintenance teams, organizations can respond faster to any imminent glitch that might throw stability in flux, thereby ensuring continuous delivery.

4. Remote performance monitoring

Given the extensive, multi-location footprint of manufacturing companies, there is always a critical yet daunting need to evaluate asset performance remotely for efficiency, safety, and maintenance needs. Contrary to isolated, unconnected factories of the past, the new-age IIoT-led enterprises have transformed the upstream operations using the sensors and remote-controlled devices. These technologies monitor remote assets in real-time, communicate performance data across a common information layer, and help service teams better understand on-ground operations. Metrics, such as pressure and temperature are tracked to monitor the shop floor habitats and are further compared to determine the maximum outputs and operational lags if any.

5. Preventive maintenance

It’s clear performance tracking is central to IIoT’s disruptive agenda. Manufacturing companies can examine data to locate trouble spots, fix them and keep things in the usual order. However, IIoT isn’t only helpful in transforming the present; it’s also helpful in predicting the future. In IIoT terms, the process is referred to as preventive maintenance, where data insights are used to analyze the infrastructural health and predict problems and failures that might put the operations under stress.

Preventive maintenance helps enterprises spot anomalies in the asset and equipment usage beforehand and initiate pre-emptive action to control damage. Given this, organizations find themselves in a winning position where they can develop custom counteractive strategies for every fault they detect and keep workflows stable. This results in improved efficiency, reliability and reduced operational costs.

COVID-19, IIoT at work: More automation

The pandemic upended the industrial sector, causing companies to integrate automation more than ever. Much of the workforce went remote, and processes and workflows needed constant monitoring and reporting, which increased the need for automation. IIoT has boosted organizational resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrates its efficiency in the event of similar crises that cause a major stressor on employees and company assets.

Operational resilience, cybersecurity, wireless, analytics, AR

IIoT tools foster employee productivity and help maintain business continuity to ensure industrial companies are operational even during a crisis.

Using IIoT assists in measuring productivity, minimizing errors and improving performance gaps across various shifts. Positioning tools and trackers used with consent ensure safety protocols across the board.

IIoT is set to shake the industrial sector for the better, and at a rapid pace. A July 2021, Forbes article, “Integrating the Industrial Internet of Things: The benefits and challenges,” said the total worldwide volume of IIoT data will reach 79.4 zettabytes by 2025. What business-improvement trends will result from IIoT in 2022? Among others, are the following:

  • Focus on operational resilience
  • Increased cybersecurity spending
  • Data-backed prognostic tech
  • More wireless connectivity and industrial 5G
  • Augmented reality for digital twin, live videos, and voice controls.

Company heads at leading corporations may still be wary about investing in IIoT without knowing what IIoT is. However, substantive evidence and fact-based reports share the significant role of IIoT during the pandemic and its predicted place in the future.

With a rapidly growing market value and increase in industry size, IIoT is paving the way to a more efficient and results-oriented industrial landscape. There’s a significant and needed place at the table for IIoT in the worlds of energy, manufacturing and robotics, to name a few.

Prasanna Shukla is global business head of plant engineering at L&T Technology Services (LTTS) a CFE Media and Technology content partner. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

KEYWORDS: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)


Are you realizing the top 5 benefits of IIoT?

Original content can be found at Control Engineering.

Author Bio: Prasanna Shukla global head of plant engineering practice at L&T Technology Services.