IoT Industrial Uses

Industrial VS Municipal IoT!

The final article regarding IoT is finally upon us. For you newcomers I strongly suggest you start from this article, that contains an overview of IoT in general, and then move on to this article, explaining the Municipal uses of IoT.

In this intro, we will discuss about the difference between Industrial IoT and the Municipal usage of IoT. According to a very interesting article by Informatica "Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or “Industry 4.0” refers to the combination of IoT technology and data with manufacturing and other industrial processes, often with the goal of increasing automation, efficiency, and productivity. This is where IoT gets applied in practice at various industries, such as:

  • Factory equipment, machines, and devices used in manufacturing
  • Health monitoring devices in healthcare
  • Sensors and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems in oil and gas production
  • Telemetry data from autonomous vehicles"

As you can see the key difference, in my opinion, is the shift of focus, from convenience and ease of day to day life, to increase profit and reduce your human workforce which is not as bad as it sounds, considering that many applications are focused on doing menial but important job or operate machinery, that may often be dangerous.

Uses and Applications

Industrial IoT is a very rich part of the IoT and possibly one with the least concerning "dangers", at least in my opinion. Agriculture, military, energy related, enviromental and even the concepts of smart cities (yes you read that right) are considered when we discuss Industrial IoT.

The IoT can realize the seamless integration of various manufacturing devices equipped with sensing, identification, processing, communication, actuation, and networking capabilities. Based on such a highly integrated smart cyber-physical space, it opens the door to create whole new business and market opportunities for manufacturing. Network control and management of manufacturing equipment, asset and situation management, or manufacturing process control bring the IoT within the realm of industrial applications and smart manufacturing as well. The IoT intelligent systems enable rapid manufacturing of new products, dynamic response to product demands, and real-time optimization of manufacturing production and supply chain networks, by networking machinery, sensors and control systems together.

Digital control systems to automate process controls, operator tools and service information systems to optimize plant safety and security are within the purview of the IoT. But it also extends itself to asset management via predictive maintenance, statistical evaluation, and measurements to maximize reliability. Industrial management systems can also be integrated with smart grids, enabling real-time energy optimization. Measurements, automated controls, plant optimization, health and safety management, and other functions are provided by a large number of networked sensors.

Industrial IoT (IIoT) in manufacturing could generate so much business value that it will eventually lead to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also referred to as Industry 4.0. The potential for growth from implementing IIoT may generate $12 trillion of global GDP by 2030 according to wikipedia. (Seriously this article is really interesting)

For agriculture for example, they can be used in a number of ways, from sensors for pest control, to smart systems of data collectors for things such as temperature, rainfall, humidity etc.

A very interesting concept however is the fact that there are several planned or ongoing large-scale deployments of the IoT, to enable better management of cities and systems. For example, Songdo, South Korea, the first of its kind fully equipped and wired smart city, is gradually being built, with approximately 70 percent of the business district completed as of June 2018. Much of the city is planned to be wired and automated, with little or no human intervention. A similar project is progressing in Spain, the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City; work on improving air and water quality, reducing noise pollution, and increasing transportation efficiency in San Jose, California; and smart traffic management in western Singapore.

Issues and Concerns

Many of the issues plaguing Industrial IoT have been explained in the previous articles. Issues such as Data Storage concerns and security concerns are common for all forms of IoT. According to an article by business 2 community many companies face a number of challenges when it comes to implementing IoT.

For example, it is important to consider things such as Connectivity Outages. With a constant need for uninterrupted connectivity even while using Internet connectivity, its availability of 100% is nearly impossible. Either for maintenance or for some other reason, at one point of time, the connection is lost. Thus if an enterprise is planning to implement IIoT technology in their system, the critical need is to be present with an unremitting connection. It would be best to make sure to use the proper cables and set a system that guarantees zero data loss—even in case of connectivity Issues.

Another concern off course, is analysis issues. Even if IoT solution is implemented in the enterprise, its actual ROI value is realized through actionable insights derived from the collected IoT data. This could only be possible with the help of a high-performance analytics platform that can handle the gigantic amount of data added to the solution.

While implementing IoT architecture, it’s important for Data Analytics partners to involve data processing, cleansing, and representation too. This ensures leaving enough space for extensibility factor to add real-time or predictive analytics to an IoT solution easily.

Another article from Enterprise IoT Insights also mentions the importance of skill as an issue "specifically whether the company has the skills in place to design, develop, implement, fine tune and maintain an IoT deployment." the article reads. It makes sense if you think about it, as an IoT is a highly specialized and complex system that needs constant maintenance by skilled individuals, and considering the implications and risks of your entire system collapsing should something go wrong, it is not an aspect of your company you will want to go cheap on, should you choose to implement it.

Final Thoughts

Industrial IoT from my point of view, is just one of those things that needs to take a small step back in its rapid progress. Not because of "the evils of technology" but because I believe that its rapid expansion does not meet the quota of skilled individuals available to maintain it. Perhaps with a step back to allow more people to become specialized in it as well as give companies some time to train their personnel to operate said systems will help with incorporating IoT on the large scale it is already heading towards.

But that is just me, and in the end of the day, what do I know?


This concludes our trinity of IoT articles. There are a lot of aspects and issues of IoT that were not discussed, so I suggest anyone truly interested to do their own digging. Personally I find IoT exciting and am looking forward to see more crazy news. Smart Cities, what -will- they think of next?

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