The Internet of Things (IoT) began as a consumer-based idea of wired homes and wired offices, but the true excitement of the IoT is getting obscured by the quickly building Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The difference is that the consumer-wired house or commercial building can brag about energy efficiency and convenience, but the IIoT can entirely revamp how plants and factories are run. That's a much more significant change than simple cuts in energy use.
The intelligent plant can share best-practices across the globe while keeping inventory trim through just-in-time smart ordering. The connected factory can tell you when it needs to reorder inventory. The connected factory is modular -- like Lego blocks -- so it can be rearranged and optimized to greatest efficiency. It will also order itself a new part when wear reaches a predetermined point.
For a factory or utility plant, these are major changes with the potential to deliver significant savings, improved quality, and quicker-to-market performance. The factory also gets the benefit of energy efficiency. With powerful potential savings through connectivity, it's no wonder that the fire in the belly of connected devices has moved to industry.
The IIoT is popping up everywhere. Design engineers need to know how it works and what it can do. Design News is supporting further education on IIoT with a Continuing Education Center course specifically created to give our readers a step up on this new technology. Next week, Design News and Digi-Key will present a five-day overview of The Industrial Internet of Things. The class will cover the basics of the IIoT. We will look at applications and security and show the potential of the IIoT going forward. Click here to sign up.
The class will be presented by Charles J. Lord, an embedded systems consultant and trainer with more than 30 years of experience in system design and development in medical, military, and industrial applications. For the last eight years, he has specialized in the integration of communication protocols into clients' products, including USB, Ethernet, and low-power wireless.
In addition to enjoying the wild new world of IIoT, you can receive IEEE professional development hours from the Design News Continuing Education Center.