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The Huge Impact of IIoT in the Manufacturing Sector

The integration of the internet of things (IoT) has played a significant role in how several industries operate, communicate, and use data. Over time, IoT has gained popularity and its implementation has only continued to grow. According to an estimate, more than 75 billion devices will be connected through IoT by 2025.

In the manufacturing sector, those developments and changes have already begun. This has had a positive impact on the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing industry that wasn’t experiencing development at a fast pace is now digitizing at a fast speed. In 2021, the value of IoT in the manufacturing market was estimated at $62.1 billion. By 2030, this will increase to about $200.3 billion. This will amount to a 13.9% compound annual growth rate within a span of 9 years.

However, manufacturers need to focus on all facets of operations in order to stay competitive in the modern market. The increasing demand for the advancement of IoT technologies, has triggered another movement in the manufacturing industry. This new movement is the industrial internet of things (IIoT).

The industrial internet of things is the next movement of IoT technology and its application has had a positive impact in manufacturing. Manufacturers who need to stay relevant and competitive don’t need to further than what IIoT can offer.  The benefits of IIoT have had a significant impact on everything from supplier logistics and line maintenance to offering Product as a Service.

However, it is important to understand Industrial IoT and how its significant roles in transforming manufacturing operations.

What is IIoT?

Industrial internet of things (IIoT) refers to the integration of actuators and smart sensors to improve manufacturing processes. IIoT which is also known as Industry 4.0 integrates the power of smart machines to provide improved benefits that “dumb machines” couldn’t offer in industrial settings for years.

IIoT believes that smart machines are more efficient than humans when it comes to gathering and analyzing real time data. Also, these machines communicate important data that help in making accurate decisions concerning business.

Furthermore, businesses can easily find solutions to problems and inefficiencies with the help of actuators and connected sensors. Also, this can help in saving money and time while providing support to business intelligence efforts. IIoT plays a significant role in manufacturing by holding great possibility for overall supply chain efficiency, quality control, and supply chain traceability. IIoT is crucial to processes like asset tracking, predictive maintenance, and energy management.  

IIoT integrates machine learning, big data, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Therefore, it helps industries and businesses to achieve improved reliability and efficiency in their activities. The IIoT spans across the consumer devices and interconnectedness of physical devices.

IIoT has transformed the operations of the industry by changing the way businesses operate daily. It is either enabling the detection of corrosion in a refinery pipe or offering real-time data to reveal more capacity in a plant. Smart machines are the principal driver of IIoT. This is because they allow data capturing and analysis in real time. Also, smart machines have the capability to reveal their findings in a simple and fast manner.

IIoT is widely integrated across several industries like oil and gas, aviation, logistics, energy, manufacturing, and more. Also, IIoT’s main focus is the optimization of operations, especially the automation of processes.

How IIoT Works


IIoT comprises intelligent devices which are connected to create systems that gather, monitor and analyze data. The industrial IoT ecosystem comprises:

  • Connected devices that have the ability to detect, interact and store information data about themselves;
  • Private and public data communications infrastructure
  • Applications that use raw data to produce business information
  • Tools that help in utilizing data for better business decisions and results

IIoT applications can work effectively when there is dataflow. Therefore, companies integrate a databus to share and manage real-time data in order to improve dataflows. IIoT technology creates opportunities for devices and applications to function together as a unit. A databus manages data in transit and a database manages historical data.

Industrial IoT helps in automating processes, which improves the productivity of a business. Also, it enhances operational efficiency, reduces operational costs, and improves income. Increased automation levels helps to boost the quality of a product. This aids predictive maintenance when combined with efficient operations.

The integration of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) makes IIoT distinct. Operational technology (OT) is simply the networking of industrial control systems and operational processes.

Benefits of IIoT Implementation in Manufacturing

The implementation of IIoT in manufacturing helps in transforming the industrial sector. IIoT is believed to be a crucial part of manufacturing’s future. Industrial IoT has gained popularity across several sectors. Some of its benefits include:

Minimized Errors

The integration of industrial IoT in manufacturing helps to digitize almost every aspect of a business.  IIoT helps manufacturers to minimize human error, which is the greatest risk related to manual labor. This isn’t just about manufacturing and operational errors. Also, IIoT solutions can minimize cyber-related risk caused by human error.

World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report revealed that human error is the major cause of 95% of cybersecurity threats. AI-enabled programs and machinery can perform the computing better, hence, getting rid of the possibility of making a simple mistake which could put the data of the manufacturer at risk.

Improved Safety

Another benefit of implementing IIoT in manufacturing is improved safety. The data and sensors integrated by a functioning IIoT manufacturing operation help to improve safety in the workplace. For instance, “Smart manufacturing” is becoming “smart security” in which all the IIoT sensors monitor the safety of a workplace and the employees around.

Furthermore, the introduction of Integrated safety systems are safeguarding workers from accidents. The integrated safety systems alerts everyone in the facility when an accident happens. Also, these systems help to ensure operations come to a halt and interventions are made to resolve the accident and incident.  These systems can generate valuable data to prevent the occurrence of such in the future.

Improved efficiency

IIoT helps manufacturers improve their efficiency. Automated machinery and robotics offer better efficiency and accuracy, thereby enhancing productivity. Furthermore, you can connect physical machines to software through sensors that monitor functionality on a constant basis. Therefore, this allows manufacturers to have a better understanding of the performance of each piece of equipment.

Reduced costs

IIoT solutions provides manufacturers with knowledge which offers them the tools needed to minimize costs and as well get more revenue. A business can operate at a profitable phase when a manufacturer has data-driven insights into aspects like production, sales, and marketing.

IIoT offers a wide range of benefits which helps in reducing manufacturing costs. Some of these benefits include increased efficiencies, fewer errors, and enhanced quality control.  These benefits help in increasing profits in the manufacturing sector.

Predictive maintenance

This is another benefit of IIoT. Machine downtime has a negative impact on manufacturing operation. According to an estimate, the average manufacturer experiences machine downtime for 800 hours every year. Lack of predictive maintenance is reason behind machine downtime. When maintenance isn’t reactive, manufacturers spend their time trying to know what the problem is and how to fix this problem.

However, IIoT offers predictive maintenance which helps to solve the issue of machine downtime. Also, consistent monitoring of machinery performance can give manufacturers a baseline. With this baseline, companies can have the necessary information at hand and look for a way to prevent any issue. Also, manufacturers can plan for maintenance before downtime occurs.

Risks and Challenges of Industrial IoT

Smart Manufacturing IoT

Security is the greatest risks associated with the implementation of IIoT. It’s quite common for IIoT devices to integrate default passwords, even when manufacturers placed these devices into production. Data is often transmitted as clear text by most IIoT devices. Therefore, this can make it very easy for an attacker to breach IIoT data. Also, an hacker could use an insecure IIoT device as a platform attack other network resources.

Organizations with IIoT devices are usually concerned about security issues. This is because security is a gre at challenge for these organizations.  However, another common challenge in IIoT is device management. It is crucial for an organization to integrate a device management strategy as it keeps adopting more IIoT devices.

Also, organizations must pay attention to identifying IIoT devices as this helps in preventing the utilization of rogue devices. Identifying every individual device is important for tasks like performing a device refresh and as well replacing a failed device.

Furthermore, patch management is another great challenge associated with IIoT devices. Device manufacturers are now issuing periodic firmware updates more frequently. Therefore, organizations need to have an efficient method of checking their devices to know if the latest firmware is installed and deploy new firmware when necessary. Also, this method must adhere to the established maintenance schedule of the organization to avoid the disruption of operations.

IIoT needs to focus on three areas which are security, scalability, and availability. Scalability and availability are areas which IIoT has invested on. However, security, is a great challenge when businesses are integrating the IIoT in their operations.

How does the Industrial IoT Differ from IoT?


The Internet of Things  and Industrial Internet of Things may share some similarities as regards their technologies. This may include machine-to-machine communications, sensors, data analytics, cloud platforms, and connectivity.

Internet of Things connect physical devices across several sectors which include healthcare, agriculture, enterprise, utilities, and government among others. Examples of IoT devices are fitness bands, smart appliances, and other applications.

On the other hand, IIoT connects devices and machines in industries like manufacturing, power generation, and oil & gas. Industrial Internet of Things is widely integrated in applications where unplanned downtime and system failure can happen. Also, Industrial Internet of Things applications focus more on enhancing efficiency and improving safety or health.

A good example of the implementation of IIoT is the Digital Twin. This machine offers solutions on how manufacturers can increase productivity. Also, the Digital Twin detects a potential failure before its occurrence and as such, it has saved companies from losing a huge amount of money in a year.

IoT includes consumer devices like smart home appliances and heart monitors. These devices are functional and offer a level of conveniences. However, they don’t create emergency situations when there is downtime.

How Can Businesses Secure Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?

Despite the risks and challenges in IIoT, it remains the best way for organizations to always stay competitive and relevant. Therefore, businesses can take advantage of these benefits by integrating methodical research and maintenance.

One major concern in of IIoT is cyber-security. Any business can become vulnerable once it connects its operational technology to the internet. Therefore, insecurity can undermine all the benefits and capabilities of IIoT. This can make a business vulnerable to great risk. Businesses require security design in major areas like:

A Centralized Security Operations Centre

Businesses keen to IIoT implementation must ensure their security operations center (SOC) is in place. With the SOC in place, business can monitor and defend their operations against external threats. Also, a centralized set up helps businesses in tackling several red flags and as well ensure quick responses.

Furthermore, a centralized security operations center is ideal for organizations that need enhanced visibility. One of the important ways to prevent compromise is by pre-empting security incidents. Also, companies can enhance and update their legacy systems with this approach.

Also, another way to deal with slow response times and low system visibility is through SOC. SOC prioritizes and handles alerts. It also optimizes operational technologies and information technology.

Full-stack protection

It is important to build a full stack of security into the major layers of IIoT like:

  • The network

There is a gateway in the network area via which data is collected from devices. Also, organizations must put in place advanced intrusion prevention systems (IPSs) to check for any possible attacks. They must ensure they place this gateway at the control center. It is important to always place security measures at the control center so as to prevent any malware infections and hackers.

  • The device

The device layer comprises IIoT devices and applications provided by different service providers and manufactures. Also, service providers and manufacturers should inform companies when a security breach occurs.

  • The cloud

Service providers must integrate security that performs server-based protection against anyone that wants to gain access to data and servers.

Businesses need end-to-end protection systems and inter-connected threat defenses to secure IIoT. These systems should ensure security when transferring data, detect any form of threats on time, integrate advanced IPS to prevent attacks and monitor malware infections constantly.

Recruitment of Security experts

Organizations need to adapt to new threats as the IT threat landscape keeps evolving. Therefore, businesses that implement IIoT must create a security team dedicated to protecting operational technology environments. This team of security experts need to work together to predict potential attacks and adopt measures to preventing them from occurring.

Applications of IIoT

Industrial Internet of Things has really transformed a wide range of industries involved in producing physical products. Also, IIoT has a huge impact on operational efficiencies which creates opportunities to design new business models.


The automotive industry is integrating IIoT for asset tracking. Also, they use this technology to order more stock automatically. IIoT is indeed a game changer in the automotive industry.


For a long time now, healthcare has continued to embrace the use of smart devices. Also, smart devices help healthcare professionals to monitor their patients remotely and receive alert if there is any change in status. With this, the healthcare system can be more precise in their activities. As progress is being made, AI may be able to help doctors diagnose illnesses in the future. This will enable doctors to treat patients in a more accurate and effective manner.

Supply chain

One of the most important things in supply chain is smooth delivery. The implementation of IIoT helps suppliers to replenish their stocks automatically. This helps in keeping record of stock numbers, reducing waste, and ensuring the appropriate amount of raw materials are available. Furthermore, supply chains automation will help employees devote their time on more complex parts.


The implementation of IIoT in retail helps in making marketing decisions particular to each store. Also, companies use IIoT to update storefronts according to consumer interests in the region. With these data-driven insights, a store will always stand out from other competitors.

Companies have been using sensors to monitor their machines or track goods in transits for a long time now. However, IIoT makes it easy for companies to integrate these things o a large scale due to its big-data analytics and wiring networks.


IIoT is widely integrated in production sectors. With IIoT-enabled smart machines, these sectors can predict possible production problems and prevent them from occurring. Therefore, this helps to achieve better efficiency and reduced downtime.

Building management

IIoT technology is capable of addressing most issues that arise in building management.  Climate control with the help of sensors gets rid of all the uncertainties associated with the management of the internal climate of a building. Also, sensor-driven climate control considers some factors like population density, machinery, and ventilation spots among others.

Challenges of Industrial IoT Implementation

The implementation of IIoT comes with its own challenges. We may not fully understand these challenges until we take a look at the various areas manufacturers have run into problems or hit a wall.

 Deciding on the device(s)

There is always a need to make a decision on the device that will be gathering data. Is the device new or is it already existing. Does, the already existing device needs new sensors. This might look like a simple decision. However, several factors like logistics and more can complicate things.

 Establish how to collect data

Another challenge is determining how the device will gather the data. How will a device work if you will be adding sensors to it? How do you determine the types of data collected?  How can you protect or secure the device when there is no available power.

Allow communication

After the sensors have been added to the device, how do you create communication? How can data transmission occur if no Wi-Fi is enabled?  In this case, you need to look for a means to collect and analyze data.

Also, you have to implement efficient protection for your data to ensure safety and security. Hackers target manufacturing and every connected item can be open to cyberattacks.

Data management

You need to decide on how to manage data once your device can collect data. How does the system address issues without an disruption in service?

Standardization across all devices is crucial. Machines come from different vendors and are most likely to contain different information and provide different outcomes.

How will 5G Enhance IIoT Adoption?

The most recent standard for mobile networks is 5G. This mobile network standard was specially designed to provide fast data throughput speeds. The emergence of 5G will play a crucial role in the integration of IIoT devices.

First, the low latency and high data throughput offered by 5G will make it possible for IIoT devices to share real-time data. Before, this was possible when devices were available where private networks were present. The ability to share real-time data will support IIoT devices.

Secondly, industrial operations will integrate several 5G connected devices. The low latency and high speed of 5G will make it possible to use IIoT devices in remote sites that have no high-speed connectivity.


IIoT plays a crucial role in the manufacturing process. Also, IIoT technology has enabled digital transformation across industries. The IIoT systems ensure industrial data are kept safe and secure. These systems enable companies to achieve improved customer satisfaction. When internet connected devices are integrated in production processes, data acquisition is faster and easier.

Today, we are in the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0. This revolution focuses on the integration of connected devices, especially IIoT devices in industrial operations. IIoT devices will impact digital transformations, particularly as organizations try to digitize their supply chains and production lines. IIoT enables companies to achieve maximum efficiency by increasing productivity.




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