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An In-Depth List Of Industrial IoT (IIoT) Use Cases

Many progressive manufacturers today have begun adding wireless solutions for industrial sensing and control systems. By adding wireless telematics, even to existing wireline based networks, these companies are able to anticipate failures, monitor sensors, cut costs, improve uptime, and more. These updated wireless industrial IoT systems are allowing plants—and their customers—to operate safer and more efficiently. 

Below, in no particular order, we’ve outlined eight use cases to help you see how you could benefit from IIoT technology.

8 Industrial IoT (IIoT) Use Cases

1. Machine Auto Diagnosis

Sensors and other intelligence can be added to new or existing plants in order to monitor exterior parameters—like AC current consumption and vibration levels—through a retrofit process to look for pumps that need maintenance or are approaching failure. For example, if you need to know when the air pressure is low in your conveyer belt system, battery-powered sensors can collect that data and wirelessly transmit it back to a central source if any kind of malfunction has occurred or will occur soon. Until recently, getting third party data out of a plant was very difficult.

2. Third-Party Machine Monitoring

There are tens of thousands of factories and plants in the world—and most of the machinery is provided by a third party equipment provider. If a product is warrantied or serviced by that manufacturer, they needs a simple and effective way to get data from the equipment without a costly or complex IT integration on the customer’s part. IIoT technologies save manufacturers on time and travel costs associated with checking equipment on-site—instead, they can monitor performance from anywhere online.

3. Monitoring For Toxic Gases & Indoor Air Quality

Whether a plant is monitoring its air quality for compliance or health reasons, adding IIoT monitoring helps ensure that goods and people are safe—without an expensive integration cost.

4. Monitoring Temperature In An Industrial Space

Monitoring the temperature of an area with sensitive merchandise—like a pharmaceutical plant or a medical fridge—is often driven by compliance. But it also helps make the space more energy efficient, which saves money.

5. Indoor Asset Location

Finding out where inventory and supplies are located in a defined area has myriad benefits to many industries. For example, in an airport, it can be prohibitively expensive to pay a cellular carrier to monitor buses, vehicles, luggage carts, and fuel—but through defined area IoT asset tracking, you can improve your vehicle services and cut down on employee costs, all without a big M2M cellular bill.

6. Monitoring For Ozone In Meat Operations

Meat packing and drying operations pump ozone—a completely inert airborne disinfectant—into their plants in order to prevent contamination. If a packing plant uses ozone as a primary method of disinfection, it needs to be able to prove to the regulatory body it falls under (like the FDA) that its levels of ozone are high enough, making IIoT monitoring critical.

7. Connecting Into Existing RS232/RS485 Modbus & Profibus Networks

Industrial IoT monitoring allows for data acquisition in older plants without disturbing existing industrial control networks. Factories that have been operating for more than 30 years often use legacy industrial wireline protocols to gather data and monitor a number of machines. While the systems aren’t modern, they are functional—and breaking the connections to replace them with a new IoT monitoring system can be difficult and expensive. Instead, factories can simply “listen in” on the legacy wireline connections and report out through another channel.

8. Inventory Monitoring & Management

Knowing where people and assets are located throughout a defined space can be critical in certain industries. Patient tracking, capital equipment tracking, behavioral monitoring, and health outcomes are all important IoT use cases in a health care setting.

Download Now

If you’re interested in integrating an end-to-end industrial wireless system, take a look at the free white paper below. It explains the benefits and drawbacks to a number of wireless technologies that can be used for your industrial IoT system.
IoT Protocol Selection White Paper

Written by Brian Ray

Brian is the Founder and CTO of Link Labs. As the chief technical innovator and leader of the company, Brian has led the creation and deployment of a new type of ultra long-range, low-power wireless networking which is transforming the Internet of Things and M2M space.

Before starting Link Labs, Brian led a team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab that solved communications and geolocation problems for the national intelligence community. He was also the VP of Engineering at the network security company, Lookingglass, and served for eight years as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received his Master’s Degree from Oxford University.

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