Top 5 trends in Industrial IoT

City connected line, internet of things concept.
Image: stnazkul/Adobe Stock

Following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have taken measures to maintain continuous operations. Solutions that support efficiency at all levels of work processes are now highly valued.

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We owe this to the latest developments in IoT technologies, which support more flexible, agile and efficient solutions for businesses. From adopting artificial intelligence to increasing energy efficiency, read on to learn how the latest trends in Industrial IoT are driving business optimization.

Top 5 Industrial IoT Trends

Digital twins

Digital twin technology is a virtual model that digitally represents a physical device. This technology allows organizations to benefit from data collected by replicating real-world products and scenarios in digital form.

By applying the data received from the sensors to a given object, the technology can imitate the operation of the object and monitor its condition. This means organizations can easily maintain and monitor the performance of systems and tools that enable workforce development, resulting in greater overall efficiency.

In addition, digital twin technology can support businesses in their product development. Through the collected data, they can more effectively predict the performance outcomes of their products and provide data-driven insights into potential areas for improvement. This can save businesses the effort and resources to test these scenarios on an existing device.

Many industries employ digital twins to ensure work success. An example of this is manufacturing, as digital twin prototypes enable organizations to maintain equipment by analyzing and tracking performance data. The behavior of products and components is also tested with digital models in sectors such as the automotive industry and healthcare.

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Network connectivity improvements

Connectivity is vital to IoT technologies, and the latest network developments are resulting in faster communication between devices. These trends aim to support secure and efficient data processing, even on different networks.

A low-power, wide-area network connection provides communication between IoT devices that are far apart. It’s an economical and energy-efficient option for multi-device organizations that communicate on a machine-to-machine basis.

Satellites enable IoT technology to communicate between geographically separated networks for connections across even greater distances. Satellite-powered devices can be particularly useful in rescue scenarios and emergency reporting, as these situations may occur in situations where maintaining communications would otherwise be challenging.

While industries may benefit more from a variety of connectivity options depending on their needs, speed and reliability are always preferred. The use of Wi-Fi operating in the 6 GHz band enables faster communication for IoT technologies, and IoT networks can benefit from Wi-Fi 6 due to its speed, reliability and increased bandwidth.

Automated quality assurance and predictive maintenance

Ensuring quality within the operation of the organization is important in every industry. Fortunately, IoT technology enables organizations to monitor and predict the performance of their equipment. Using sensors and advanced connectivity to perform predictive analytics, organizations can anticipate potential problems with their machines and address them before those problems negatively impact their business operations.

Using data collected through IoT technologies, organizations can understand their equipment and determine the root cause of problems. In addition, insights from data and performance metrics allow businesses to take a proactive approach to maintaining their equipment.

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Equipment failure can cause downtime and reduced productivity. At the same time, they can negatively affect the efficiency and quality of the organization’s production, especially for companies operating in the manufacturing industry. With IoT, organizations can remotely control and monitor their systems with automated quality assurance monitoring.

IoT AI also supports businesses with innovative technologies and automated visual inspection capabilities. These features use IoT sensors, cameras and artificial intelligence to detect and remove anomalies from assembly lines. In this way, businesses can ensure excellent quality in their operations and performance.

Energy optimization, sustainability and consumption

Optimizing industrial energy use and consumption through IoT can have more benefits than saving money. Sourcing sustainable operating approaches can result in a safer and more efficient society and reduce our environmental footprint.

Recently, the inclination towards environmental protection has led to the creation of optimized solutions that use IoT technologies to transform the industrial landscape. They are also supported by the implementation of transformative environmental efforts, which have required changes in the way organizations use resources and energy.

IoT-based technology enables organizations to use intelligent systems to control their energy consumption for the energy consumption of their equipment. Even heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be monitored and managed to help businesses save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

A popular theme surrounding green IoT is that technologies are used to refine multiple components within a society, ideally resulting in a smart city. This concept focuses on reducing CO2 emissions within cities by introducing energy-efficient and carbon-neutral systems. The successful introduction of IoT-based energy management and intelligent systems can transform the practice of many fields, such as public transportation, public safety, transportation, and even public lighting.

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Manufacturing and Agricultural Business Technology

Manufacturing and agriculture are industries that often use IoT technologies in their operations. Through IIoT technologies, businesses in these sectors can optimize many areas of their operations.

The digital transformation and adoption of IoT resources can make it easier for manufacturing and agricultural businesses to develop refined resources and processes to deliver their products and services. This newfound ability enables them to make data-driven decisions that increase their productivity and help reduce risk.

These IoT technologies may incorporate the trends and concepts previously discussed, but are tailored for specific industry uses. For example, systems designed for manufacturing sectors use IoT devices to monitor production levels. IoT sensors and connected devices can help agricultural organizations ensure the efficiency of their processes by monitoring weather trends and other conditions that affect their production.

Manufacturing, agriculture and many other sectors involve processes that can put workers in potentially dangerous situations. Today, wearable IoT devices are used to keep employees safe. These smart devices allow organizations to monitor the health and safety of workers by tracking their temperature, close contacts, and even their location on the floor of the facility.

Further literature

If you are working on implementing IIoT in your enterprise, choosing the right software is critical. There are hundreds of IIoT platforms out there, and each one is slightly different, so how do you choose? This article, including links to TechRepublic Premium resources, may help.