Connectivity for IoT
Transforming industry operations with the Industrial Internet of Things and 5G
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a collection of devices, sensors, and networks for communications, software, and artificial intelligence that are combined to improve the efficiency and reliability of industrial production processes. Manufacturing, mining, and agriculture industries are already using IIoT to increase their operational efficiency and reduce downtime.
However, despite the numerous benefits IIoT can provide, many challenges are associated with implementing IIoT systems. This includes the need for larger and more complex wireless network deployments, issues with data storage and management, security vulnerabilities due to lax regulations, and the need for new industry skill sets. In addition, the implementation of IIoT technology requires significant upfront costs that not all businesses may be able to bear.
But with the emergence of 5G technology, the use of IIoT to create a comprehensive industry 4.0 system will become more accessible and reliable than ever before. Businesses that successfully leverage 5G networks will be able to use its high bandwidth, low latency, and extremely fast data speeds to take full advantage of all the possibilities IIoT offers.
IIoT optimizes industrial processes
Industrial IoT systems are typically used to collect data from multiple deployed sensors and devices in real time, analyze it, and generate insights that are used to optimize the efficiency of industrial processes. Used for these applications, IIoT delivers many benefits, including:
- Increased operational efficiency
- Decreased downtime
- More accurate decision-making
- Better collaboration between different stakeholders
- Increased automation
- More efficient production processes
- Improved product quality
- Better supply chain management
- Reduced costs
In addition, IIoT can help businesses remain competitive and stay ahead of the competition by providing an edge for data aggregation, analytics, and decision-making.
A variety of use cases improve operations
While there are many applications for IIoT, some key use cases include:
- Predictive maintenance: The use of IIoT technology to monitor the performance of machines and equipment allows businesses to detect potential malfunctions and to carry out preventive maintenance before more serious problems arise.
- Automation and robotics: Automation and robotics can be used to automate processes in industrial applications and reduce labor costs.
- Quality assurance: With IIoT technology, businesses can track product quality and ensure consistent quality in production cycles.
- Supply chain management: Industrial IoT systems can be used to gain insights into critical supply chains and improve operational efficiency.
- Edge computing: Industrial IoT technology can be used at the network edge to analyze data from connected IoT devices and send actionable insights directly to operations centers.
- Business intelligence: With IIoT, businesses can improve their decision-making abilities by collecting and analyzing data in real time.
- Digital twins: Digital twins allow businesses to create virtual copies of their products and processes and use them to better understand how their systems behave in the real world and fine-tune their decisions accordingly.
Opportunities span multiple verticals
IIoT technology can be used by enterprises in a variety of industries to enhance key operational requirements.
In the manufacturing industry, IIoT can be leveraged to enable “smart factory” production by connecting automated machinery on the factory floor. Sensors are integrated into machines to monitor their movements and work processes. This connectivity enhances efficiency and minimizes slowdowns in the production line while providing insight data to stakeholders. Enhanced visibility and real-timedata analytics empower every step of the manufacturing process, from raw material handling to finishing.
Manufacturers can also streamline workflows between internal production systems, which can save time and costs by doing away with manual management processes. This reduces errors while also minimizing downtime. Data captured along the production line and connected assets can also be looped into prescriptive procedures for new products and systems while preventing accidents or failures.
Industrial IoT can be being used in the automotive industry to optimize fleet management, reduce manufacturing costs, and increase product quality and customer service using connected systems and data.
For example, by connecting all their vehicles and the respective log data, automotive manufacturers can identify potential safety or maintenance issues before they arise. Automated processes within the factory, such as automated parts carts that recognize when inventory is low and send signals for more parts right away, can keep production running smoothly, maximize efficiency, and simplify operations.
Furthermore, automotive manufacturers can use IIoT to improve customer service processes by sending proactive service notifications and updates on products based on an owner’s service history data. And Industrial IoT can also play an important role in the self-driving technology revolution as many of these autonomous vehicles use sensors to better understand their surroundings and gather the data that powers artificial mapping solutions.
Energy and utilities
In the energy and utilities industry, IIoT can be used for everything from finding the best energy sources to optimizing system performance, streamlining key processes, and enhancing customer service.
Remote equipment now includes a variety of sensors, like temperature monitors, moisture indicators, and current detectors, which allow operators to identify poor performance areas and potential savings. And remote sensors on smart power meters and smart utility grids allow utilities to monitor smart signs, as well as gather information on usage, maintenance, and individual customers, all of which can be easily relayed and presented on in-field handheld devices.
IIoT solutions can also help enhance worker safety. For example, IoT-enabled wearable devices on remote workers can be used to monitor the health of personnel, identify potential problems onsite, and detect and alert central operations if a worker is in distress.
And to enable predictive maintenance, IIoT devices can be used to streamline day-to-day operations — machine learning, trend analysis, and algorithms that identify potential breakages and enable predictive maintenance before malfunctions happen.
Industrial IoT can be used in the healthcare industry to enable more efficient and cost-effective ways to be more proactive, connected, and informed about patient health, and monitor and treat various health conditions.
Remote patient monitoring, for example, can allow doctors to view a patient’s vital signs remotely from connected medical devices and wearables, such as insulin pumps and fitness trackers. When combined with real-time access to a patient’s medical history, medical teams can use this critical data to assess a patient’s situation and avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital.
IIoT can also enable paramedic-free care, which allows healthcare professionals to provide patients with remote medical assistance in their own homes whenever needed. This can be useful for medical emergencies such as strokes or cardiac arrests; patients can receive immediate medical help without having to go to a hospital.
5G is a crucial force multiplier for IIoT
The future of IIoT looks incredibly bright. With increasingly powerful and efficient sensors, systems, and analytics, the possibilities are only limited by the imagination. As technology continues to evolve, businesses in all industry sectors will continue to look for IIoT solutions that can increase efficiency and lower costs across their operations.
While the potential for IIoT applications is endless and it is sure to have a dramatic impact on business operations, effective implementation will rely on the enhanced capabilities provided by 5G wireless networks.
5G offers the faster network speeds, lower latency, and more capacity needed to support deployment of connected IIoT sensors and devices at a much larger scale than with older networking technologies. With 5G, businesses gain significant benefits for any IIoT application:
- Faster speed and bandwidth capabilities allow for more data to be sent and received in real time. This means that more data can be collected and analyzed faster to support multiple data intensive applications and enable more informed decision-making.
- Reduced latency enables high-quality, real-time monitoring and control of industrial equipment.
- Enhanced signal coverage over wider areas supports more reliable transmission of data from deployed sensors and equipment.
- More efficient use of network and communication resources reduces overall operational costs.
- Enhanced scalability makes it easier to add users or devices to the network without scaling up infrastructure.
- More powerful security features enable the use of better encryption, authentication, and authorization protocols for secure data transmissions.
- The improved energy efficiency of connected devices can reduce power costs and carbon emissions.
Inseego simplifies implementation of 5G
Inseego, a global provider of mobile and IoT solutions, can help businesses leverage all the benefits of 5G-enabled IIoT with a range of products and services.
Inseego’s 5G solutions leverage a patented technology and architecture to deliver maximum performance, low latency, and reliable coverage for any 5G application. And with a cloud-based Inseego platform, businesses can quickly and easily deploy 5G networks with minimal capital investment. Inseego’s cloud-based services provide access to state-of-the-art 5G technology, including carrier-grade networks, custom mobile solutions, and real-time analytics.
In addition, Inseego offers a variety of services to help streamline the integration of 5G into any operation. From network design to engineering and implementation, Inseego’s team of experts can provide the necessary guidance and knowledge needed to effectively and confidently move to 5G. And with access to a range of services and products, businesses can be sure to find the right 5G solution to meet their specific needs.
From small organizations to large enterprises, Inseego is committed to helping every business realize the full power and potential of 5G to improve operations, enhance efficiency, and stay competitive.
Get in touch to learn more about how Inseego’s 5G products, solutions, and services can help your business.