From building to mining to manufacturing, the Internet of Things offers industries new ways to improve their procedures to become safer and more efficient. Over the last ten years, data has become increasingly important and useful for businesses as the technology to collect, store, and analyze it has improved.
One of the most prevalent advancements from the industrial world throughout the last decade has been the introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT), which has become the centerpiece for the fourth industrial revolution, otherwise referred to as Industry 4.0.
The backbone of industrial IoT (IIoT) is built upon sensors and internet-connected apparatus, which gather and transmit data to users immediately, informing day-to-day and long-term decisions.
By executing these sensors, industrial leaders can converge online engineering and operational technology, vastly improving productivity.
Real-time data from sensors and other information sources helps industrial apparatus and infrastructures within their “decision-making,” in coming up with insights and specific actions,” according to a report from Trends Micro USA.
Furthermore, the data allows industries and enterprises to pick up on errors or inefficiencies in the supply chain, for example, and instantly address them, thus pushing for day-to-day efficiency in operations and finance. Proper integration of the IIoT can also maximize the usage of assets, forecast points of failure, and also activate maintenance processes autonomously.
Industrial IoT covers a wide area of technological advancements in addition to sensors, such as artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communications, and cloud technology.
Experts agree that as these technologies improve, the demand for IIoT will rise. Forecasts indicate the global IIoT market will reach $751.3 billion by 2023, with the fastest growth in IIoT software. To clearly understand why there are such high expectations for IIoT, let us take a look at how some of the highest businesses will benefit.
Industrial IoT Offers Oil and Gas Improved Regulation and Automation
Modern IIoT solutions have made it easier for leaders from the petroleum and gas industry to track their hardware for signs of failure as well as reduce production expenses.
Energy is known to be a volatile industrial industry. As market prices for oil and gas fluctuate so frequently, there is pressure on manufacturers to continuously enhance collection and refining methods to lower their prices while maintaining their productivity.
Additionally, the collection and refining of oil and gas is a complex process with severe consequences if there is a failure.
Industry leaders such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell have all partnered with tech companies to improve their services, from predicting the time for equipment servicing to increasing drilling production.
Drilling Management: For companies that are drilling offshore or deep underground, it can be difficult to monitor the machinery that, if not handled with precision, can have direct consequences.
Using IoT devices, coupled with an IIoT platform, users receive constant measurements to narrow any margins for error, as well as get alerts ahead of any impending drilling errors.
Pipeline Tracking: Pipeline leaks are an important issue from the oil and gas business, both from a business and humanitarian perspective. Over the past 10 years, pipeline leaks have caused nearly 200 deaths, 900 injuries and $5.75 billion, according to the
US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration. By implementing IIoT sensors along pipelines, employees can continue to keep a close watch on potential points of failure to limit physical dangers, and businesses can invest fewer resources on constant human inspections by automating that task instead.
Increase Long-term Earnings: petroleum and gas is extremely competitive, which means companies should find areas to cut costs to remain in business. While short-term solutions may help a company stay in the green, they may be detrimental over the long term. By investing in IoT, companies can collect data within the short and long term, using big data analytics to change more big-picture inefficiencies.
For example, utilizing IoT sensors, organizations can monitor their levels of stock in different geographic areas to improve supply chain management. Internet-connected sensors can also help identify optimal drilling areas, which for companies such as ExxonMobil, is predicted to increase production by nearly 50,000 barrels-per-day by 2025.
Manufacturers Experience Greater Oversight Over Supply Chain
As manufacturers expand their distribution channels to fit a global, digital economy, visibility into supply chain management is crucial to make sure customers receive quality goods in a timely manner.
In addition, sensors can also help organize warehouses where products are stored to fit with the demand for the geographical region.
With the Internet of Things, stocks can be automatically monitored and integrated with customer demands in certain areas; hence, if you are a distributor in a certain region, then you’re going to be able to store the optimum number of goods in your warehouse,” Production Engineering Solutions explains.
Through IIoT, workers can also track a variety of components of their operations instantaneously, allowing them to keep a keen eye on how their products are moving from start to finish.
Utilities Use IIoT to Create Energy Efficient Smart Grids
Utilities companies suffer from a monitoring process that is”rooted in aging technology. This leads to an infrastructure that is dominated by legacy and proprietary systems with a historical reluctance to adapt to new, open standards-based paradigms, one that does not facilitate moving into a modern distributed energy resources smart grid”
The introduction of IIoT for utilities started with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a system of complicated communications and data collection systems that allowed for two-way communication of customer, control, and event data, IoT World Today explains.
The world of IIoT in utilities has since expanded as automation methods have advanced, allowing for greater control of voltage regulation and electricity distribution.
Employing IIoT, energy companies can restructure their management systems to fit a smart grid worthy of being a part of the 21st-century. Continuous streaming of data from strategically placed sensors can ensure energy nodes are functioning at optimal capacity and are being replaced when required.
This is especially true for companies working in renewable resources such as wind and solar, where multiple sensors are needed to not only measure the efficiency of each node, but also relevant environmental conditions.
IIoT for utilities promises empowerment and opportunity enabling utilities to oversee communications that reach across and into the homes and workplaces of their customers. With a unified, global solution approach to utility communications, combined with the lessons utilities have already learned about safety, privacy and engagement with customers — utilities should embrace the uncertainty ahead and lead in the IIoT era.