The Industrial Internet of Things Simplified

I wanted to define IIoT briefly without using phrases like “cyber-physical systems.”  Here’s a start:








Automation Devices

Industrial: Robust, rugged, and other words indicating the kind of quality those of us in industrial automation expect so installed devices survive in the hostile environment of the plant floor or process facility.  Industrial also means we’re making stuff – cars, beer, clean water, gasoline, etc.

Internet: Communicating between devices, to controllers, to historians, to HMIs, to analytics packages.  Moving data and information.

of Things: Automation Devices like I/O blocks, PLCs, DCSs, drives, and vision systems.  And connected to I/O blocks are non-communicative devices like buttons and limit switches.

Put them all together and it’s about turning data into information that can be acted on to improve industrial processes.  PROFINET from devices to controllers; OPC UA from there to the software, some of which could be offsite (meaning “in the cloud”).  It all starts with the data and PROFINET moving it.

So there you have it:

[in-duhs-tree-uh l] [in-ter-net] [uhv] [things]

–Carl Henning