The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is perhaps the biggest buzzword in factory automation today, and it is a key aspect of Industry 4.0. But IIoT is more than just the way of the future. The IIoT is already affecting the way factories operate today, and it will increasingly impact businesses in the future. Therefore, it is essential to understand the terms being used, recognize how IIoT technologies are already being implemented in manufacturing facilities, and prepare your business for the future.
The term “Industry 4.0” broadly describes the current wave of technological innovation as an era in history characterized by interconnectivity enabled by the Internet and wirelessly connected devices. By way of background, Industry 1.0 refers to the era of water and steam power and Industry 2.0, the era of electric power. Industry 4.0 follows closely on the heels of the digital era (Industry 3.0), and many manufacturing facilities still operate using digital technologies. While digital technologies have enabled the collection of large amounts of valuable data, this data primarily exists in silos that are not easily accessible for analysis and actionable insights.