Before we jump into what IIOT (Industrial IoT) is, let’s explain what it is not. Look down at your phone or device that you’re reading this on. Ask yourself the following questions. Is this my personal device? Am I connected to my personal data plan? If both answers to those questions were yes, then you’re more than likely a consumer IoT user. Consumer IoT is like a younger cousin to Industrial IoT. It refers to the mass amounts of consumer’s personal devices, including smart phones, smart watches and any other personal portal that connects to the internet. Any personal device where the main application is connecting to the internet and share information via the Internet of Things (IoT) is considered a part of the Consumer IoT world.
Industrial IoT refers explicitly to the industrial application of devices with regard to connectivity and exchanging and analyzation of data. By devices, we aren’t just referring to simply cell phones. When you think of industrial companies, what comes to mind? Ford maybe or GE? There are thousands of businesses that rely on IoT connectivity, specifically in the industrial space. Their overall connectivity of devices is vastly more important than a consumer’s personal access to the internet. Think about the connectivity and stabilized network that is needed to run a railroad company like Union Pacific? The necessities of an individual train includes sensors, safety detectors, telematics and more. A flaw in a single connectivity pathway for this company could result in a life or death scenario and a massive liability for the company.
Overall, the requirements of an IIoT system comes down to failproof reliability. This reliability needs to be almost entirely automated and handle issues in seconds to keep significant industrial operations running smoothly and adapt as constant data is processed. Consumer IIoT incorporates some human interaction and cooperation to keep connectivity running smoothly; industrial IoT must operate completely on smart sensors that leverage analytics and make decisions faster than a human could.
To further break down the specifics of Industrial IIoT applications, let’s compare it to regular business IoT. SIMETRY business IoT for example, connects an operation’s set of personal devices used to conduct business applications. IoT for business is concerned with keeping its fleet of devices connected to a safe and reliable single network belonging to the company. These devices are controlled and operated by humans and not by an intelligent infrastructure. Like mentioned previously in the railroad industry, industrial IoT is operated through smart sensors and its intention isn’t solely to give its employees access to the internet. The difference of an employee connecting to their company cloud and a railroad functioning by the constant stream and analyzation of data is vast.