Industrie 4.0 and IIoT
The use of Internet technologies in manufacturing companies has been accelerating internationally for around ten years. This development, known as digital transformation, is shifting the foundation of the manufacturing industry. Digitization impacts virtually every sector, changing value creation processes and redefining the boundaries of competition.
The digital transformation of industry i.e., the digital networking of parts, products, processes and systems is summarized in the German-speaking world under the generic term “Industrie 4.0”. However, in the English-speaking world, it is known under another name, “The Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT).
IIoT is a concretization of “The Internet of Things” (IoT), a common term in the U.S. which describes the connection of all devices that can be equipped with sensors and connected to the internet. While IoT focuses on the communicative benefits for consumers as well as the economic benefit for providers, IIoT asks what benefit a manufacturing company can reap by using appropriate IIoT technologies.
Basically, in IIoT system architectures, the machines, production systems, and IT systems of a plant are networked together to positively affect resource efficiency, productivity, and costs. To do so, IIoT solutions must be able to complete complex tasks. They should enable both horizontal networking on the shop floor level and vertical integration with ERP/SAP systems (top floor) while networking with current and future third-party systems.
The term “Industrial Internet” describes a required physical connection of machines, systems, and production systems to IT platforms based on established Internet technologies, such as cloud solutions.