A Quick Introduction to Industrial IoT [IIoT] | Hacker Noon

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@smith-johnesSmith Johnes

I’m Smith, a professional contributor and blogger, specializing in writing on Business, Technology.

We all have heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) and how its use has been transforming industries in various ways, like while utilizing the data, operating, and communication. In the manufacturing industry, these changes have evolved at a rapid pace.

With technology today, manufacturers are supposed to be super quick across the different operational facets to survive in this cut-throat market. The primary need of combining speed with the IoT technology advancement has given a spark to another movement in the manufacturing sector which is IIoT – Industrial Internet of Things.

Firms that want a competitive advantage can make use of the IIoT capabilities. This is because their presence impacts everything right from maintenance of the supplier logistics to the delivery of the product. 

To know the Industrial IoT in detail, let us first understand the benefits and risks.

Benefits Related To IIoT

According to Forbes, the smart manufacturing platform market stood at $4.4B in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20% over the next five years. Here are the utmost benefits offered by IIoT:

1. Increase in Efficiency

One of the biggest benefits of industrial IoT technology is that it gives the ability to manufacturers to automate and optimize the overall working efficiency. Automated and robotic machinery can work accurately and efficiently, boosting productivity and at the same time helping manufacturers streamline the functions.

In addition, physical machinery can be connected to the software via sensors that monitor the performance regularly. This will help the manufacturers get better insights into the operational performance of individual equipment pieces and the entire fleet.

2. Predictive Maintenance

The thing that mostly impacts the manufacturing operation is the downtime of the machine. As per the Aberdeen Research Group, the average cost/hr of the machine downtime across different types of manufacturing equates to about $260,000.

If you wonder what could cause such issues that even manufacturers couldn’t operate, then the answer is simple – Lack of predictive and proper measures.

In the manufacturing world, when maintenance is reactive instead of proactive, manufacturers get stuck trying to identify the core of the issue, how they can get the machines repaired, and what’s the cost associated.

Predictive maintenance is powered by IIoT solutions, which help in resolving all these issues. When the performance of the machinery is constantly monitored, it helps the manufacturers in creating a baseline. This baseline and the data empower the companies with the information they require to check before the issue actually occurs. 

Avoiding downtown while maintaining the process effectiveness is one of the many reasons businesses use IoT for their sustainability targets.

3. Reduction in Errors

Industrial IoT helps in empowering manufacturers to ensure digitization in every way and part of the business. By reducing the entries and manual processes, manufacturers will be able to reduce their biggest risk that is associated with manual labor, which is ‘human error.’ The Industrial IoT technology trends and solutions also help reduce the cyber incidents of breaches of data which is caused due to human error.

As per a report by cybersecurity trend, people have been considered as the biggest cause of various cybersecurity breaches, and human error was identified as a 37% culprit in those breaches.

Machine learning and AI-enabled programs have the capability of carrying out computing all by themselves, which helps in eliminating the potential of human error and prevents from putting the manufacturing data at risk.

4. Better Safety

Workplace safety is an important factor to take into consideration. The data and sensors needed for the proper functioning of the IIoT manufacturing operation help to bolster the overall workplace security. In the current times, smart manufacturing will slowly turn into smart security when all of the IIoT sensors work to monitor the safety of the employees and the workplace.

Today there are integrated safety systems that have been protecting workers on the line, floors, and in distribution 24/7. In case of an accident, every person in the facility can get alerted, leading to the ceasing of the operations immediately.

The company leadership, when needed, can intervene and make sure of the fact that the incident gets resolved at the earliest. The incident can also help generate data that can be used to prevent such a mishap in the future.

Risks Associated With IIoT

1. Hijacking of a Device

Device Hijacking is a situation that occurs when a malicious activity takes control of the IoT endpoint sensor or device without the awareness of the owner that there has been a breach that has occurred.

In case if the IIoT sensor gets compromised by malware or ransomware, then an individual would have access to control the endpoint device activity. This gets concerning when the device or endpoint gets automated functionality and controls manufacturing or controlling the internet-connected function of a product connected to the internet in this field.

2. Siphoning of Data

Data siphoning focuses on data getting transmitted by the industrial IoT devices rather than these end-users. In such a case, attackers end up eavesdropping on various network traffic, which goes from the endpoint devices to the primary networks. This is done to gather information when actually they should not have access to information.

Conclusion

With time and the need for solutions, the attention of the Industrial Internet of Things is shifting from some of the mentioned benefits into other benefits like cost savings, improved automation, productivity towards innovation, and so on. Make sure that there is the right balance of safety and innovation to improve productivity.

by Smith Johnes @smith-johnes. I’m Smith, a professional contributor and blogger, specializing in writing on Business, Technology.Read my stories

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