IIoT maturity, from digitalization to Industry 4.0

4 min

The Internet of Things turns out to be constantly connected to Industry 4.0, as the use of its technologies meant that companies were always connected and leveraging data to optimize production processes. The next step is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or IoT technologies exclusively designed for application in Industry 4.0. But what are the stages of its development and what benefits does it provide to companies? Let’s find out together.

What is the Industrial Internet of Things?

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a system of connected devices used in the industrial world. It aims to increase the efficiency of industrial machinery through automatic monitoring. By analyzing data in real time and communicating it quickly, smart machines improve performance and better manage maintenance. This brings industry closer to the customer and creates new revenue opportunities.

IIoT is used not only in industry, but also in energy and manufacturing. In industry, it helps monitor factory conditions. In the energy sector, on the other hand, it helps keep track of resources in real time, such as power grid performance, pipeline flows, and emissions monitoring in large geographical areas.

What are the differences with the Internet of Things?

IoT (Internet of Things) and IIoT are two similar technologies but with some important differences. IoT is about interconnecting devices with the Internet, such as smart homes, while IIoT focuses on connecting industrial devices such as machinery, sensors, and equipment.

IIoT is designed to support efficiency and productivity in industrial environments by providing greater visibility and control over industrial processes. This enables companies to make evidence-based decisions and improve the quality of their operations.

In addition, the IIoT relies on more robust technologies than the IoT, such as high-precision sensors and faster and more reliable network connections that can withstand extreme conditions and harsh industrial environments.

Accordingly, IoT is about connecting everyday devices to the Internet, while IIoT focuses on connecting industrial devices to improve efficiency and productivity in industrial environments.

IIoT maturity stages

The Industrial Internet of Things is transforming manufacturing and machine maintenance in a way that was previously unthinkable. The use of technology is helping to create a more efficient, accurate, and flexible system for companies seeking to improve their performance.

IIoT maturity can be divided into 5 main phases: computerization, connectivity, data analytics, predictive capability, and adaptability. In these stages, companies can develop and improve their technology to achieve complete integration and automation of industrial processes.

  • Computerization: The first stage of IIoT maturity is computerization, in which companies implement the technology to monitor the performance of their machines. This helps identify problems and adopt faster and more efficient solutions.
  • Connectivity: The second phase is connectivity, where companies focus on connecting the different components of their technology, such as sensors, devices, and analytics. This makes it possible to collect and analyze data in real-time.
  • Data analysis: The third stage is data analysis, in which companies use software to understand the data they collect and draw conclusions about the performance of their machines. This helps identify problems and make more informed maintenance and production decisions.
  • Predictive capability: The fourth stage is predictive capability, in which companies use machine learning algorithms to predict future machine problems or malfunctions. This helps prevent breakdowns and keeps production running without interruption.
  • Adaptability: The fifth and final stage is adaptability, in which companies can modify and adapt their technology to meet the changing needs of their businesses. This makes possible further optimization of production and maintenance.

How to progress in the IIoT maturity model

The IIoT maturity model consists of a progression through several stages ranging from simple device connection to predictive analytics. To progress in the IIoT maturity model, one must go through the following phases:

  • Embedded Devices: the first phase is to embed network-connected devices to collect data.
  • Cloud Computing: once data is collected, it needs to be stored in a cloud to ensure accessibility and scalability.
  • IoT connectivity: to make the data accessible and usable, a reliable connectivity system that transmits data in real time is needed
  • Predictive analytics: once data is collected and stored, predictive analytics algorithms can be used to gain useful information about machine performance and predict possible future problems.
  • Ubiquitous computing: finally, using connected devices throughout the factory enables greater flexibility and a more comprehensive view of production processes.

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The benefits and challenges ahead

The adoption of the IIoT can bring numerous benefits for businesses, but there are also some challenges to be faced.

One major challenge could be the need for a large amount of investment in technology, such as sensor devices and data analysis systems, to implement IIoT effectively.

Another challenge is data security. With the increase in connected devices, there is an increased risk of cyber intrusion and loss of sensitive data. Companies need to take measures to protect their data and ensure system security.

Finally, there is a need to adapt business operations to take full advantage of the benefits of IIoT. This may require restructuring processes and training new skills for business staff.

Despite these challenges, IIoT adoption offers many opportunities to improve productivity, increase efficiency and create new business models.

Not surprisingly, for example, as reported by McKinsey, the COVID-19 pandemic showed how the IIoT can make companies more resilient in the face of unexpected events. With digital tools and connectivity, companies can quickly adapt to market changes, adjust production and continue operations even if physical access to the facility is limited.

A company ready for Industry 4.0

Being ready for Industry 4.0 is a goal that many companies are trying to achieve. This means keeping up with the latest technologies and advancements in manufacturing and logistics.

To be considered ready for Industry 4.0, a company must have a solid technological infrastructure and a thorough understanding of new systems and processes. In addition, it is important for the company to be able to adapt quickly to changes and implement new technology solutions efficiently.

Thus, with the right preparation and planning, companies can take advantage of IIoT and become more competitive in the market.


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