The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), also called industrial internet or industry 4.0, is a staple of any modern business. With IIoT, business processes can go faster with minimal errors and at optimum efficiency. It integrates equipment, sensors, and software to make valuable data more accessible. IIoT also allows decision-makers to deal with results-based information and resolve problems analytically and objectively.
What is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?
IIoT means the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) or ‘smart’ devices that capture, analyze, and communicate data for industrial and manufacturing purposes. Unlike IoT devices for general purposes, IIoT machines focus on improving efficiency and promoting employee health and safety.
IIoT relies on digitized information, thus eliminating human error and allowing faster real-time data analysis. IIoT can be used in a wide range of business processes including accounting, quality control, maintenance, and many more. In maintenance, IIoT is critical for predictive maintenance, lubrication analysis, asset tracking, facility management, etc.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Components
IIoT consists of components for data collection, analysis, and storage or transfer. Below are the specific parts that make the IIoT system work:
- User interface or sensors – This component can be software where users key in data or sensors that capture and record data. With Redlist’s integrations, it’s both.
- Communications infrastructure – This component can be a public or private network where users transfer or access data.
- Processing power – This component can be any computing and analytical capabilities that process raw data into actionable information.
- Storage system – This component can be a dedicated digital space where users can securely store critical information for future reference.
- Users – An effective IIoT system depends on the people who oversee data collection, extract results, and take charge of the necessary actions based on these results.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in Maintenance
Below are the critical applications of IIoT in maintenance management:
IIoT in Predictive Maintenance (PdM)
When implementing PdM programs, real-time data and analysis are crucial in predicting failure. IIoT systems provide the accurate and fast transfer of information, allowing maintenance to be performed before failure occurs.
IIoT in Field Service Management
Operations that require technicians, managers, and other employees to perform duties in the field will find IIoT beneficial. IIoT systems let users access and update data from any location. This way, users need not wait for in-the-field users to return to the facility for critical reports or updates.
IIoT in Asset Tracking
Keeping track of business assets involves identifying current locations, status, and maintenance requirements. IIoT lets you keep this information updated, preventing maintenance delays, extended downtime, decreased productivity, asset damage, and worse, employee accident or fatality.
IIoT in Facility Management
Maintaining optimum facility conditions helps minimize wear and tear, prolonging the lifespan of assets. IIoT lets facility managers use sensors that measure the conditions of buildings and other facility areas, thus efficiently monitoring and maintaining optimum conditions.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Challenges
The use of IIoT is prevalent in most industrial and manufacturing facilities today. Below are the common challenges facilities must overcome to ensure their IIoT systems provide optimum benefits.
Using IIoT systems comes with risks of data breaches and cyber-attacks. Most IIoT users fail to practice basic security protocols like updating device passwords or regularly creating backups. These conditions allow attackers to access, retrieve, and even destroy critical business data. For this reason, many companies choose to implement a Mobile Device Management system that allows them to set companywide device security protocols.
Device & Software Management
IIoT devices are prone to damage, misuse, and software bugs if protocols and guidelines are not in place to ensure proper use. Also, IIoT systems implementation is a continuous process that should involve regularly updating devices and software. Otherwise, these devices and software will fall behind and become irrelevant as the business evolves.
As different areas of a business utilize IIoT systems to improve their processes, there is a demand to connect these systems into one centralized business database. The IIoT used in the accounting department, for example, integrated with the maintenance department IIoT system would provide benefits for costing, asset inventory, etc. IIoT systems should be configured to allow such beneficial integrations. However, what often happens is the data becomes siloed in each department’s software, creating further challenges. With Redlist, the software integrates with systems you are already using to provide accessible, accurate data companywide.
Redlist Integrations: Keeping Your Team and Software Connected
Redlist is a valuable component of IIoT, especially with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) that comes with multiple areas of integration. Now you can unite and enable your data in one user-friendly and intuitive interface. With Redlist, digitizing your business data has never been this flexible, secure, and cost-effective. You can use this CMMS software on a wide range of compatible smart devices. Learn more about Redlist by scheduling a free demo today!