Compare IoT and IIoT: Find 11 Differences

Internet of Things and Industrial Internet of things are technologies whose operating principles and names are very similar; however, they are designed for different purposes. They are developing in parallel and it is highly improbable that their application areas will significantly overlap.

Nikolai Sitnikov, RAMAX International Director of Product Development, tells about differences between IoT and IIoT.
IoT and IIoT are totally different.

The two technologies, IoT and IIoT, recently became widely popular. These technologies are quite different, being only similar to each other in their abbreviated names and high-level concepts. However, if drilling into details, one can see that these concepts are evolving in parallel, although fr om time to time approaches used in one scheme are imported into another.

The similarity in the names IoT and IIoT often prompts those who are not experts in both areas to ask the question: why is IIoT coming to everyday life much more slowly than IoT, and is this difference due to incompetence or an unwillingness to boost production efficiency?

The answer is No. This is not the case. To clarify the abovementioned misunderstanding, we distinguished 10 [IT SAYS 11 IN THE TITLE] differences between IoT and IIoT. This comparison does not involve a thorough breakdown, but it is sufficient to understand the situation on the business level. Note also what is common between the two technologies: they both maintain some universal and standard protocols that enable devices from different vendors to interact with each other without impediments, and to make decisions on the basis of the information obtained.

Wh ere IoT is used

IoT and IIoT are two separate technologies since they are intended for different users and pursue different goals.

The main goal of the Internet of Things is, firstly, to maintain personal comfort of the end user and, secondly, to control his/her household’s expenses. IoT is intended exclusively for household usage.

It is used as a basis for operations of:

  • lighting and heating systems;
  • electronic door locks;
  • CCTV;
  • ordering products using a refrigerator;
  • voice recognition systems for managing performed music;
  • watering of front/back gardens.

IoT also ensures the optimization of power consumption owing to the automated operations of meters. Those meters may be combined into a unified network that analyzes expenses on power, water and gas, and proposes ways of reducing costs to the household owner. The system automatically turns off lights, shuts down water supply, and controls other household issues.
IIoT application areas
The main benefit from using Industrial Internet of Things is attaining maximum power efficiency in any plant or network. In other words, calculations are based on the direct cost of optimization owing to application of the technology. IIoT is fully focused on the goals of industry and its specific subareas such as, for example, municipal lighting systems.
IIoT is primarily based on interaction between sensors that control production operations in processing raw materials or, for example, producing oil at a rig. The sensor systems are widely used in production, mining of raw materials and even in lamps that light streets, as these are switched on and off in a coordinated and automatic way. In manufacturing, IIoT requires structural creation of a digital ‘duplicate’ of the manufactured product.
As a result of applying IIoT:
  • the overall percentage of substandard products diminishes;
  • the main factors that affect the occurrence of substandard products are identified;
  • the efficiency of operations in the production chain is enhanced;
  • the quality of monitoring processes can be boosted;
  • the production chain can be visualized in a more transparent way and, as a result, production processes can be optimized.

Benefits from using IIoT

Efficient production is not possible if sensors operate separately. The Industrial Internet of Things enables the collection of full information and optimization of any production process.

For example, separate sensors were previously connected to each manufacturing machine and readings of each sensor had to be collected manually. Afterwards, the ‘puzzle’ had to be assembled into a unified picture.

Owing to IIoT, one can now combine all sensors into a unified network, instantly collect information from different production stages and analyze it, thus boosting production efficiency and reducing the amount of substandard products.

The Industrial Internet of Things yields such an amount of digital information that it enables assessments of the efficiency of production lines in a detailed and objective way.

The amount, relevance, and rate of collecting information about a situation during production will soar. Dozens of separate processing machines will be replaced by the concept of an integrated production line. IIoT enables monitoring of the situation both within the production line and in the external environment, for example, the ecological situation.

Another option provided by IIoT is to monitor the state of the environment in the vicinity of the production facility. While, previously, the main task was to collect data about what’s going on in production itself, the new requirements also involve compliance with environmental standards.
In this area, the options for applying IIoT are virtually unlimited.

Using IIoT, it is now possible to monitor environmental parameters. For example, IIoT enables measuring of such parameters as humidity, pollution and the composition of the atmosphere, and other characteristics in the vicinity of production activities.

IoT is used in household processes, while IIoT is used in production ones. These technologies feature similar operating principles and names; however, they are intended for different purposes. They are developing in parallel and it is highly improbable that their application areas will significantly overlap.

The potential of IIoT is much higher than that of Big Data

Recently, a lot of effort has been made to develop IoT and IIoT ecosystems. They serve many applications intended for users, trade, and industry, since this involves promising options for business. ‘Similar to the case of other high-tech solutions, it is of importance for business to understand, primarily, how the promised economic effect with be attained, and to what extent the results obtained in a certain industry can be transferred to another industry.

Many corporations have experienced disappointing results from implementing big data technology in an attempt, for example, to transplant the success of Netflix or Amazon to their trade business models without conducting preliminary analysis.

From the perspective of implementation in production, IIoT features potential that seems to be even higher than that of Big Data; however, it is of utmost importance not to repeat the errors described in the example above.

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