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.