What is IIot?
The concept of the Internet of Things has grown exceptionally in the last decade. Furthermore, there is no end in sight to how far IoT can transform routine life applications and solutions. However, the advantages of Internet of Things are not limited to end consumers. Surprisingly, IoT can lead to even better positive outcomes for industrial applications. This article covers what Industrial IoT is, how it is different from IoT, the role of LoRaWAN technology in IIoT, and various such smart solutions.
What is Industrial IoT (IIoT)?
Let's first understand Internet of Things to draw the contrast; IoT is a popular term in the current era. IoT has been the key to remotely monitoring, evaluating, controlling, and automating systems and equipment using the internet. This requires sensors, a data processing unit, a wireless gateway, and a communication channel. An IoT system is often used for home automation, consumer products, supply chains, healthcare, automotive, wearables, and many similar sectors. Making it a wide domain.
IIoT stands for Industrial Internet of Things, and it is a category of IoT applications that is specifically termed for industrial equipment applications. To be precise, IIoT is often used for applications in manufacturing industry, production, factories, equipment, etc. Industrial IoT follows the same purpose and fundamentals as IoT, such as connectivity, automation, predictions, control, and data analysis.
Lately, Industrial IoT has been the center of attraction as it can create significant value for the trend of Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 as the next industrial revolution demands advancements, agility, access, and accuracy. Industrial IoT fits those needs perfectly, creating both terms a pair. IIoT promises the next upgrade for organizations, equipment, factories, and large industry facilities, like how IoT revolutionized the consumer market.
What is the difference between IoT and IIoT (Industrial IoT)?
While often confused and used as one another, IoT and IIoT (Industrial IoT) are quite different. There are several manners through which they differ from each other. Those differences would include:
- Area of focus: IoT, in general, is focused more on commercial or consumer applications that address mass. On the other hand, Industrial IoT (IIoT) is precisely focused on sophisticated industries such as manufacturing.
- Resulting developments: In comparison, Industrial IoT has a far greater scale of application and impact. While IoT is often limited to a consumer or a set of consumers, IIoT is set on a larger scale to change industries or at least organizations.
- Application scale: In comparison, Industrial IoT has a far greater scale of application and impact. While IoT is often limited to a consumer or a set of consumers, IIoT is set on a higher scale to change industries or at least organizations.
- Security threat: The threat of security is there for both IoT and IIoT. Yet, Industrial IoT must be far more robust due to the higher stakes of unaffordable losses and adversary intentions.
- Integration & Interfacing: Many IoT systems are standalone and independent of the area or system they are contributing to. However, Industrial IoT smart solutions must be compatible with existing equipment and costly infrastructure in order to be accepted.
- Network architecture: The IoT system has a few, tens, or hundreds of components involved in the network architecture and can rely on wireless technologies without much concern to the range and power consumption. However, Industrial IoT systems have a massive number of nodes, gateways, and central gateways. Therefore, IIoT solutions have a huge network architecture.
- Accuracy of measurement: Being for consumer and commercial use, measurement accuracy is not as critical for IoT as it is for IIoT. Industrial applications must be extremely accurate to avoid false claims, errors, and brand identity threats.
- Maintenance: The maintenance of IoT is majorly performed as per user preference; however, that is not the case with Industrial IoT. IIoT cannot afford breakdowns or errors. These systems and equipment require planning and prediction for maintenance to avoid any costly downfalls.
- Intended output: The output of a consumer IoT product is accessibility, control, and convenience. In comparison, Industrial IoT solutions are intended towards agendas like sustainability, risk mitigation, safety, and economic growth.
Upswing for IoT and IIoT through LoRaWAN technology
LoRaWAN is one of the primary wireless communication technologies that play a key role in many existing IoT applications. The fundamental reason is that LoRaWAN significantly outlasts other options with a longer range, lesser power consumption, and lesser costs. From smart cities to smart buildings, LoRaWAN has proven itself to be an impeccable choice for such network architecture.
This growth of LoRaWAN is evident by the previous statics and future prediction of technology. As per one report, LoRaWAN will grow up to a market size of $6.2 billion by 2026 with a CAGR of 36.5%. These numbers are just one of the many indicators of how LoRaWAN plays a significant role in the upswing of IoT and even Industrial IoT. In fact, IIoT applications require LoRaWAN much more due to the application and requirements.
To elaborate, Industrial IoT applications are implemented at a scale in locations like warehouses, manufacturing houses, factories, and massive industry yards. Such areas require a longer range, but in addition to that, it requires reliability, lower power, speed, and of course, lower costs.
Key benefits of IIoT using LoRaWAN
Here is a list of some top reasons why LoRaWAN technology is perfect for Industrial IoT system needs:
- Range of operation:
As mentioned above, Industrial IoT requires a big operational range as numerous nodes and gateways are installed at a distance in such systems. Such ranges are not viable to cover with short-range wireless technologies.
- Environmental performance:
Industrial IoT requires indoor as well as outdoor connectivity, which is another reason that a robust network is required that can sustain through environmental changes with seasons. LoRaWAN can fulfill this criterion.
- Implementation & operational cost:
LoRaWAN with an extended range decreases required communication devices and network switches. As such, their implementation, maintenance, and operational costs are inexpensive and convenient for any Industrial needs.
- Robust network architecture:
Lesser network hierarchies allow LoRaWAN networks to have a simpler architecture. From setting up to troubleshooting, LoRaWAN is the most convenient option to implement at a scale like IIoT.
What are the best LoRaWAN IIoT sensors, and how to use them?
There are reliable LoRaWAN Industrial IoT sensors available out there that can help industries evolve with their next-generation goals. Here are some of the best LoRaWAN components that can contribute to IIoT systems:
Starting from an important LoRaWAN implementation sensor, the Adeunis field test device is a field-testing device that tests network quality in uplink and downlink communication. It can test and even alarm for any at-risk areas in any LoRaWAN network deployments. It also allows better positioning of sensors and gateways.
This LoRaWAN wireless controller also plays a key role in LoRaWAN deployments as it is used to collect data from sensors using data acquisition methods. It simplifies IIoT system architecture with the provision of analog inputs, digital inputs, relay outputs, and serial ports.
It is a simple yet integral component of a LoRaWAN system as it can allow operators in the industry to report any event using buttons on the device. Such events can be logged with precise dates and times using this device.
IIoT smart solutions must be able to interface with industrial machines. Acrios M-Bus to LoRa converter is an ultra-low-power device and can be used for such interfacing.
While these are some of the essential components of common IIoT systems, some smart ready solutions are bundled for deployment right away. Such as:
From productivity to safety and prohibition to worker health, this is a single device that can detect any nearby movement and trace contacts. Such a solution is used in office spaces, construction, manufacturing, and many others. Such a device allows industries to enforce strong protocols for worker safety and productivity.
Industry 4.0 emphasizes predictive maintenance to nullify downtimes, cut down massive losses, and avoid hazards. This is an AI-powered predictive maintenance smart device to watch over industrial machinery equipment and even anticipate outages. It can be the key to saving any industrial facility's time, costs, and momentum with vibrating equipment.
Down to the last but most essential part, gateways are the key players in LoRaWAN based IIoT solutions. Kerlink Wirnet iStation v1.5 Outdoor LoRaWAN Gateway is a fitting industrial LoRaWAN gateway that can support any high-end requirements of IIoT solutions. This gateway offers a 4G worldwide module along with full-integrated antennas for 4G, GPS, and LoRa. This IP67 industry-grade gateway is highly secured and offers strong interference resistance.
Want to know more?
This is an ideal time to upgrade industrial facilities with LoRaWAN as the IIoT market is booming. To stay ahead of the curve, it is important to equip with the best tools available. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions on your LoRaWAN implementation.