Outlining the impact of Industry 4.0 on automation and manufacturing
Industrial Internet of Things

Often described as the fourth Industrial Revolution, IIoT continues to build in popularity and use across industries and the world. IIoT involves connecting smart sensors and actuators in order to create a comprehensive network. Whereas the IoT generally refers to consumer products, utilities, and healthcare, IIoT involves connecting machinery among industries and is critical as system failures can result in high-risk situations. Using smart machines to provide real-time data can enhance all aspects of production. Researchers have speculated the IIoT will include 26 billion devices connected to the internet by the end of 2020. 

Industry 4.0 is especially important in the fields of automation and engineering as the need for robotics and industrial equipment to be connected to the IIoT grows every year. Neff Automation prioritizes Industry 4.0 as it works with Balluff, a manufacturer of sensors, who create I/O blocks, RFID configurators, and much more products that utilize IIoT. Another company that enlists Industry 4.0 in its creation of interfacing technology and automation is Phoenix Contact, who’s products include connectors and terminal blocks that link the user to the machine through IIoT.

IIoT Infrastructure
The Industrial Internet of Things consists of several key parts in order to monitor, collect, exchange, and analyze data drawn from the system. These parts of IIoT consist of: Intelligent assets, public or private data communication, analytics and software that can interpret them, and people. Intelligent assets or edge nodes can send information regarding the performance of a specific machine, which can allow for easier predictive maintenance. With a connection between Data processing applications to sensors, actuators, and edge nodes, IIoT offers a way for manufacturing to track data that has never before been available.

MiR Robtics utilizes the IIoT in order to boost manufacturing logistics and improve lead times in a factory setting.

Manufacturing Potential and Benefits
Quality control, sustainability practices, and supply chain efficiency are some of the aspects of manufacturing that can be boosted with a network between actuators and sensors. Industrial settings can see improvements to processes like predictive maintenance, enhanced field service, and energy management with the incorporation of an IIoT.
The Future of IIoT
IIot applications are predicted to generate upwards of $300 billion by the end of 2020, which is double that of IoT applications. As an increasing amount of industries are utilizing the Industrial Internet of Things in order to boost efficiency in production, it’s likely that smart machines will be more prevalent than ever in the next few years.

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