Top things to know about the industrial Internet of Things

Top things to know about the industrial Internet of Things

We tend to think of the Internet of Things as just being about smart light bulbs and heating thermostats, but there’s a whole other side to it where industry is concerned. But what exactly is the industrial Internet of Things and what does it mean for business?

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At the heart of the industrial IoT is machine to machine communication, allowing the different pieces of equipment involved in a production process to talk to each other. But it can also combine data analysis and artificial intelligence to deliver improved efficiency and performance.

Delivering for industry

IoT devices can deliver benefits for a wide range of industries, from energy production to healthcare and all kinds of things in between.

In a production line environment, for example, it can help avoid production hold-ups. A machine applying metal bonding adhesive from a supplier like can report when it is close to needing replenishment, for example, meaning that the line doesn’t have to come to a halt.

Using the IoT also makes for better monitoring as data from sensors is stored in the cloud and is easily available for analysis. This can help managers to spot bottlenecks or areas where there is spare capacity available. This helps ensure better and more timely decision making, giving the business a competitive edge.

Security concerns

Of course, connecting critical machinery to the internet does raise issues over security. Hacking of critical systems such as medical devices, for example, could lead to severe consequences. It’s therefore important for any business considering implementing an IoT system to make sure that it is properly secured.

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IoT devices have limited computing capabilities but there have been cases of them being hacked and used as part of botnets to deliver denial of service attacks. The information generated from industrial IoT sensors is also likely to be commercially sensitive, so it’s vital to keep any communication links and cloud storage used properly secured.

Although it’s still in its early stages, the industrial IoT has already demonstrated the potential to deliver greater efficiency and reduced cost of operation. It is, therefore, something that businesses need to take seriously. Failure to do so could see them being outpaced by their competition who are able to react more swiftly to changes and detect failures before they become a problem.

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