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IoT vs. Industrial IoT: 10 Differences That Matter

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The Internet of Things (IoT) enables disruptive transformation across multiple market segments, from consumer, enterprise, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, and utilities to government and cities. Industrial IoT (IIoT), a subset of the larger IoT, focuses on the specialized requirements of industrial applications, such as manufacturing, oil and gas, and utilities.

Although IoT and IIoT share common technologies (sensors, cloud platforms, connectivity, and analytics), the similarities end there. This article highlights key differences that product managers and buyers must know when planning industrial IoT solutions.

10 Ways IoT Differs from Industrial IoT

While many people assume functionality distinguishes IoT from IIoT, the reality is not that simple. A consumer IoT device may have the same functionality as an IIoT device, and still not be considered an industrial product.

For example, a consumer and an industrial activity tracker both collect and monitor heart rate information. But the industrial tracker incorporates additional design parameters that its consumer counterpart may not have. The parameters that differentiate IoT from industrial IoT include:

  • Security
  • Interoperability
  • Scalability
  • Precision and Accuracy
  • Programmability
  • Low latency
  • Reliability
  • Resilience
  • Automation
  • Serviceability

As a product manager rolling out your first industrial solution, or a buyer considering a consumer IoT solution for industrial use, it’s important to understand the differences.

1. Security

Security is critical for all IoT solutions, but industrial IoT solutions require more robust measures. A disruption of a high volume manufacturing process results in lost production costing millions of dollars per day. A takedown of the electrical grid affects economic activity for millions of people and jeopardizes national security.

IIoT solutions employ a variety of advanced security measures, from secure and resilient system architectures, specialized chipsets, encryption and authentication, threat detection, to management processes.

2. Interoperability

Industrial IoT solutions must co-exist in an environment with a significant amount of legacy operations technologies (OT), including SCADA, M2M, and other purpose built manufacturing execution systems. These legacy OT systems are not going away. Industrial IoT solutions must integrate, support various protocols and data sets, and work reliably with these manufacturing systems. Equally important, IIoT solutions must integrate with back-office enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

3. Scalability

Industrial networks are specialized large scale networks supporting tens of thousands (or more) of controllers, robots, machinery, and other purpose built applications. IIoT solutions deployed into these networks must scale seamlessly, now and later, to support tens of thousands of new sensors, devices and controllers, as well as existing non-IoT devices. This support includes interoperability, scheduling, workflow integration, data collection, analysis, decision-making, and integration with manufacturing and business execution systems.

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Article Credit: Iot For All

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