Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0

Cover story: Connected automation and analysis enable smart factories. How can Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 concepts help with your next automation, controls, and instrumentation implementations? Advice from industry experts follows.


Automation components with decentralized intelligence equip the machine to do something with the process data and improve the process on its own—adjust throughput, use energy more efficiently and so forth—rather than depending on the “cloud” to handle allVarious organizations have been advocating Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 concepts to create smarter factories. Learn how experts suggest your next automation, controls, and instrumentation implementations can change as a result of these frameworks. See related RCEP webcast (with available PDH), "Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 webcast: Overview and practical advice for today." The webcast provides input from the Industrial Internet Consortium and about Plattform Industrie 4.0 and a follow-up article answers more questions about IIoT and Industry 4.0.

As noted in follow-up webcast answers, Dr. Richard Soley, executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), said, "As with any new technology or management approach, choose an important but smaller problem to attack and bring in the right expertise to get the problem solved. Don't ignore organizations that bring together end users, vendors, and researchers as places to get solid experience and good advice!"

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

Connect the potential of Industry 4.0 with real manufacturing

A new manufacturing line can produce one product and up to 25 variants, with a 10% increase in productivity and a 30% decrease in inventory by using Industry 4.0 technologies. See the five qualities Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices need to create the Industry 4.0 manufacturing environment, according to Allen Tubbs is product manager, electric drives and controls, Bosch Rexroth Corp. 

Putting Industry 4.0 and IoT to work in smart factories

Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are enabled with connectivity to and from devices (from a sensor to a large-scale control system), data, and analytics, according to Daymon Thompson, TwinCAT product specialist, Beckhoff Automation. Sensors and systems need connectivity with a greater network to share data; analysis allows people to make informed decisions. Industry 4.0 concepts are working for German kitchen manufacturer, Nobilia. See information follows from Thompson, along with three questions to ask on the way to a smarter factory. 

IIoT benefits, examples

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies, applied for monitoring valves in a refinery, used wireless acoustic transmitters to improve regulatory compliance and reduce hydrocarbon losses by $3 million annually due to timely detection and repair of faulty valves. The project paid for itself in five months, with an estimated annualized return on investment (ROI) of 271% annualized over 20 years, according to Bob Karschnia, vice president of wireless, Emerson Process Management. See his comments, with four IIoT benefits. 

Platform-based tools overcome IIoT complexity

Smarter, platform-based approaches can address the complexity challenges the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) brings to enable IIoT systems that are adaptive, scalable, secure and continually modified and maintained, explained Ray Almgren is vice president of marketing, National Instruments. Learn from his observations. 

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) needs data, clouds, and analytics

Without data there can be no big data, clouds, or analytics, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) differs from the Internet of Things (IoT); IIoT's things make IoT's things, said Carl Henning, deputy director, PI North America. Open standards are an important requirement for IIoT, and Ethernet and software standards are available to deliver data for control and information for decision making, Henning explained. Read his advice. 

Optimize cable's role in IIoT

Internet of Things (IoT) is influencing the future of industrial automation with continuing convergence of information, automation, and operations systems in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), according to Mark Knebusch, vice president of marketing for Softing Inc. With faster Ethernet speeds, cabling system integrity is more important, and cabling certification can help, he said. See additional comments.

ONLINE extra

Each of the six articles cited and linked above contains more information and many with more supporting images than would fit in the six-page June Control Engineering print/digital edition cover story. Click into the link for each for more information.

Also see "Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 webcast: Overview and practical advice for today," and supporting IIoT and Industry 4.0 questions and answers.

Organizations with more information include: 

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