The essence of humanity lies in the ability to overcome problems with unique solutions. When the first caveman went out in search of food, he crafted weapons out of sticks and stones in order to hunt animals down. To bridge the gap between continents, sail the harsh seas and interact with different peoples, humans created ingenious vessels and traveled widely. Knowledge of the crannies and nooks of the world needed to be preserved so it could be passed down the generations, this they took care of via stone carving, painting, and print. Thus, in each era, humans have come up with incredible tools of convenience which have defined the arc of history and laid the groundwork for the future.
Internet of Things:
Today, we are standing in the digital age, which is marked with game-changing technological advancement. Just like our needs, our tools have progressed as well. No longer is an old-fashioned mop used in tech-savvy houses for cleaning. Smart vacuum cleaners have replaced them, which automatically make rounds around the house, sucking in dust and refreshing the air. Doors don’t need ancient brass keys anymore to be locked. With a simple touch on the smartphone screen, you can remotely maneuver the smart lock on your front door, sitting from where you are. Similarly, there are smart lights, which come on and off in various hues automatically, smart thermostats, which adjust the temperature of the house by sensing human presence and calculating need, smart parking lots, smart watches, smart alarms, smart wardrobes, smart cameras, and smart gardener, etc.
All such computing devices of everyday use are called the Internet of Things. Why Internet? Because they work in an interconnected manner over a wireless network, sending and receiving data/information/signals between each other or with the human user via a central cloud-based platform. The sheer convenience of these ‘smart’ devices have made them highly popular amongst tech-enthusiasts, and it is estimated that around twenty billion devices became IoT in 2017. And this is just the beginning.
Industrial Internet of Things:
The Internet of Things is slowly seeping through the society and one of the sectors in which it has gained instantaneous fame is the industrial sector, which includes energy, healthcare, businesses, etc. Especially in the manufacturing industry, the inculcation of IoT has revolutionized old approaches and streamlined many strenuous processes.
Smart mixers, smart sensors, smart treatment tanks, and robots can be seen in many factories, like the food processing one or sports goods one, etc. This sort of IoT dedicated to industrial use is termed as the Industrial IoT. Although in its elementary phase at present, this technology based on machine-learning, once perfected, can turn the world over its feet and hail a future where everything is hyper-connected and remotely-controlled.
According to the latest stats, around ninety perfect of the firms hope to fully digitalize their factories, to bring in a positive upsurge in the ROI and overall revenue. If you’re planning on investing in this tech this year, operate it over some reliable and stable internet service providers, then do check out the pros and cons of Industrial IoT as are mentioned below before going ahead with the purchase.
Pros of IIoT:
Industrial efficiency has taken on certain new shades with the changing times. Today, it means being able to collect and process a mammoth-worth of data in an incredibly short duration of time, with lightning-fast speed. Without technological aid, meeting this benchmark is next to impossible. That is why Industrial IoT is so much in hype these days. The benefits are numerous.
Industrial capital is the foundation on the basis of which a factory stands. However, just like everything else, it is prone to wear and tear. Industrial IoT, like smart sensors, helps in preserving the value of the infrastructure. How? With advanced predictive technology, it locates the possible fissures, failures, and cracks within the equipment, indicated by changes in temperatures and pressure, so that they can be tended to beforehand. This prevents the ultimate breakdown of the infrastructure and wards off the risk of the whole progress stopping short.
Automating the industries brings in the possibility of saving costs on extra human labor, which has its own limitations. You don’t need to hire two or three hands for a job which can be easily done by a smart machine, under your control, right? Not only that, industrial IoT reduces the overall expenditure by conserving energy. Smart meters record and regulate the factory’s use of basic resources like fuel, electricity, water, gas, etc. and gives you a report of the consumption so you cut it down or amp it up accordingly to save money.
Most importantly, the management of data, which forms the core of every enterprise and on the basis of which factorial actions are executed, becomes super easy and efficient with Industrial IoT. Smart analytics keeps a sharp record of every supply and product creation on site and makes the inventory available over the cloud for human controllers to check out. Not only that, it analyses the frequency of data and points out any shortcomings which might pop out in the future. As the processes are conducted online, it reinforces data security with protective gateways and advanced security software. This streamlines the operations, eliminates human error and leads the way to progress.
Cons of IIoT:
Where there are tech-enthusiasts hailing the technological upgrades, there are those people too who advocate against the digitalization of the industrial sector. They offer many reasons why the integration of Internet of Things in manufacturing factories is bound to fail. Some of the most important challenges are given below for you to check out.
The interconnectedness of smart devices, which spells convenience in a domestic scene, might actually prove to be a hassle when shifted to an industrial set up. Different infrastructure-tending IoT has different protocols and different architectural specifications. To knit them all together in one network might create loopholes, which could very well halter the progress of the firm. The solution to this problem is to create custom protocols so interoperability or inter-device alignment is not an issue at all.
Lack of expertise is another drawback which obstructs the successful implementation of the Internet of Things in the Industrial sphere. At present, we’re standing at the threshold of ultimate digitalization and are still in the process of dealing with this ground-breaking change. Usually what happens is that the industrial workforce, the one responsible for operating the IoT, is not technologically aware to the extent of maneuvering the complex AI algorithms and whatnot on their own. This creates space for errors and regression in the life curve of the enterprise. The solution can be a thorough education of the labor or hiring of technical experts to manage the advanced tech.
This is one of the major concerns of IoT implementation in industries. IoT operates over the unfathomably vast plane of the internet. Data is received, shared, maintained and analyzed over the cloud. Now, there exist certain sinister entities over the internet which try their best to hack the core systems of enterprises, and release malware or viruses in its data constitution. If the network of an industry gets hacked, it will turn the smart interconnected devices rogue and bring failures where there should be profits. This safety setback can be met with advanced cyber-security threat-prevention software.
Thus, after going through the aforementioned pros and cons of the industrial IoT, it’ll be easier for you to reach a decision regarding the digitalization of your enterprise. After all, these smart devices are one of the core components of a technologized future. A future we’re stepping into.