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Your guide to the IoT and Industrial IoT

Many items across your home, from your Christmas lights to your toothbrush are collecting and communicating data as part of the Internet of Things. Beyond everyday items, this is also true for the world of industry and we’re in the midst of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

Find out more about what the Internet of Things is and how industry is adopting this technology...

What is IoT? 

IoT stands for the Internet of Things and in the broadest sense, defines devices on a closed, private internet connection which not only communicate with each other but collect and share data for a more connected world. By combining these connected devices with automated systems, you’re able to collect information, analyse it and build an action to help someone with a particular task, or learn from a process. 

Popular home IoT devices you’re most likely familiar with are the Google Home or Amazon Echo. These not only play music, answer questions and send messages via voice commands but can connect to your lights and plugs. These devices have become adopted for the ease they bring the user and it’s unusual to come across a household without at least one in the home!

Beyond this, IoT has opened up endless personal and business possibilities which are now being explored and developed by technology pioneers. On the business side of things, that’s where we come to the IIoT...

What is IIoT?

IIoT stands for the Industrial Internet of Things and the billions of industrial devices such as, machines in a factory and engines within an aeroplane, fitted with sensors that connect to wireless networks. These sensors upgrade a device to make it intelligent as it gathers and shares data to improve efficiency and in some cases, bring autonomy to a particular process.

In today’s world there’s an abundance of small, low-cost sensors, and high-bandwidth wireless networks that are easily available. This means that the smallest of devices can be given a level of digital intelligence which allows them to be monitored as they share data on their status and communicate with other devices. This data is then collected and analysed to make business processes more efficient.

What's the difference between IoT and IIoT?

The purpose of IIoT is different to consumer IoT. Similarly, they both connect devices to the internet to make them smarter but their differences lie in their usage. IoT devices are developed to make a consumer’s life easier and more convenient. IIoT works to increase safety and efficiency within industry. For a simple explanation, IoT is B2C (business-to-consumer) and IIoT is B2B (business-to-business).

Consumer IoT devices can range from smartwatches to smart home speakers and even shoes or clothes. Instead of enabling industrial processes, consumer IoT is about making life easier and sometimes, more fun. Through the increase of IoT devices in our day-to-day lives, we are clearly living in an increasingly connected world. This has raised concerns around individual data usage and privacy which has led to privacy laws evolving alongside technology.

Which industries are adopting the Industrial Internet of Things?

So far, the IIoT has been of particular interest to the manufacturing, retail, utilities and transport industries. IIoT technologies can give manufacturers a better idea of how their production lines are operating and allow them to make predictions on when particular machines will need servicing. This not only reduces the chances of failure but unexpected downtime too. 

Utilities can use the IIoT to cut down on the cost of sending staff to check on installations which can be anything from components of a manufacturing plant to thousands of miles of pipelines, by making them self-monitoring.

Those within the retail industry can use IIoT to understand where there are bottlenecks in the supply chain, and transport companies can better understand the performance of their vehicle fleets. At the moment, IIoT is mostly being explored by larger organisations, however the technology is likely to become widely adopted once the price of hardware and services come down.

What makes Dashboard an IIoT company?

Dashboard’s IIoT solution is designed to improve efficiency and safety measures within the oil and gas industry. Our solution helps those within industry make better decisions and our platforms are designed to be user centric.

Our IIoT platform was primarily developed for remote monitoring of pipeline systems. There’s approximately 10 million kilometres of pipeline structures, carrying the world’s supply of gas, oil, biofuel, water and so much more, which could benefit from remote monitoring. Close monitoring of these systems is an arduous, time-consuming task which can not only be made more efficient through our IIoT solution, but also safer. With greater monitoring, the chances of failure and pipeline leakage are less likely, hence the environmental impacts often associated with pipeline networks are also reduced.

Find out more about our IIoT platform here.