The industrial manufacturing environment is constantly striving to increase productivity and decrease costs. One of the most recent trends in manufacturing is the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” or industry 4.0, which focuses on making the modern factory “smart”. With its implementation, machines are expected to self-monitor, communicate, and adjust in real-time to changing conditions or requirements. To effectively deploy this technology, all machines, devices, and sensors must be interconnected and, if possible, accessed remotely and securely. This is made possible by the industrial internet of things (IIoT).

JHFoster has the knowledge of both the technology and the products to make industry 4.0 a reality. The benefits brought by IIoT improve productivity and reduce costs. Let us help your company understand and apply this technology! We can help speed up the research and implementation process to provide the best solution to your requirements in little time.

What is the industrial internet of things?

The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is the application of the internet of things (IoT) technology to the industrial environment. The IIoT attempts to connect all machines, sensors, and controllers to digitally manage the entire manufacturing process.

Benefits of Using IIoT Technology

The deployment of the IIoT provides numerous benefits to manufacturers, customers, and stakeholders. First, process productivity is improved, because potential problems are detected faster and preventive maintenance can be “predicted” based on real-time operating data. Second, greater flexibility can be achieved, because machines can independently switch from manufacturing one product to another by using RFID or other smart tags. Third, remote monitoring of processes and remote tracking of products are possible, which benefits both customers and manufacturers. Fourth, quality control is enhanced, because defective products can be detected on the spot. Fifth, processes can be autonomously optimized by applying machine learning and artificial intelligence. Overall, IIoT brings more productivity and reduced operating costs to industrial companies.

Applications of IIoT

The IIoT technology can be applied to any manufacturing company. Some of the most common applications are the following:

  1. Process optimization – Data obtained from sensors, machines and controllers can be analyzed in real-time to adjust process parameters or used as input for machine learning algorithms to maximize productivity and product quality.
  2. Autonomous movements of products and goods – Machines can smartly navigate a plant or warehouse and move products from one point to another in the most efficient way possible without any human intervention.
  3. Smart power management – Sensors, air conditioning units and lighting can work together to optimize energy use in office buildings.
  4. Augmented reality – Wearables and mobile devices can be used to display real-time information about processes and machines.
  5. Instantaneous tracking – Products, workshop tools, equipment and portable machines can be tracked instantaneously using RFID Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or similar technologies.

IIoT Products

JHFoster has partnered with Balluff, Advantech B&B SmartWorx, Axatrax and Rexroth to provide the latest solutions to IIoT applications.

Balluff

Balluff offers a comprehensive selection of IIoT hardware. They carry a wide variety of sensors for almost any application, RFID systems, machine vision and optical identification devices, HMIs, and industrial switches, I/O blocks, and network blocks, among others. Overall, their product line can help with process monitoring, object identification, positioning, tracking and machine vision, among others.

Balluff

Balluff

Balluff offers a comprehensive selection of IIoT hardware. They carry a wide variety of sensors for almost any application, RFID systems, machine vision and optical identification devices, HMIs, and industrial switches, I/O blocks, and network blocks, among others. Overall, their product line can help with process monitoring, object identification, positioning, tracking and machine vision, among others.

Axatrax

Axatrax is an industrial VPN that provides secure and encrypted communications. This technology enables remote connectivity, troubleshooting, monitoring and updates from anywhere in the world. Axatrax is especially useful for OEM end-customer service. Axatrax supports wired, wireless and cellular connections.

Rexroth

Rexroth offers three specific products for IIoT. Its IoT gateway is a browser-based, plug-and-run solution to connect new and existing machines. The Sense Connect Detect (SCD) sensor is an easy-to-install, plug-and-play solution that enables data acquisition in almost any machine. It comes with built-in vibration, tilt, shock, temperature, magnetic field, and ambient light sensors. It is battery-powered, offers IP67 protection and uses Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2 for connectivity. Finally, WebConnector software simplifies connection with subordinate units via OPC UA and Open Core Interface. Web-based HMIs can be created, and programmed using HTML5, JavaScript, Node.js and Node-RED without dealing with industrial communication protocols.

Rexroth offers three specific products for IIoT

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