Industry Trends

May 17

Industrie 4.0 Revisited

Having returned from Hannover Fair where everything was Industrie 4.0, it’s time to revisit what Industrie 4.0 is and where the Internet of Things, the Industrial Internet of Things, and PROFINET fit. In words: PROFINET provides data in the Industrial Internet of Things which is a shared subset of Industrie 4.0 and the Internet of…

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Apr 12

What did the blender say to the toaster?

What did the blender say to the toaster? I don’t know, but that apparently happens in the Internet of Things. What did the I/O block say to the PLC? Here’s my inputs and thanks for the outputs.  That’s the Industrial Internet of Things. When I read articles about the Internet of Things, I find them…

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Feb 9

The Data-Driven Factory

Being in the business of moving data with PROFINET, references to the data-driven factory* appeal to me.  Appealing as that is, it’s an incomplete story.  Like a word-driven blog post.  Random words collected do not a blog post make. Random data collected does not a factory drive. Data is the raw material. Turning it into…

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Jan 19

Getting Data to IIoT

The Industrial Internet of Things (which is a subset of Internet of Things and a subset of Industrie 4.0) needs data.  The data can be used to analyze and feed back improvements to the process.  But how do you get the data? PROFINET! Yes, PROFINET is ideal for collecting data from sensors and other devices…

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Nov 10

An Industrial Internet of Things Checklist

What do you need to have an Industrial Internet of Things? Data Collection Analysis Feedback Data. It all starts with the data.  It has to be read from networked industrial devices like I/O, drives, and vision systems.  It has to be integrated from non-Ethernet networks and devices.  It has to be accurate, timely, and complete…

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Nov 5

The Real Edge of IIoT

Some IoT definers think of edge devices as things like routers and switches. Others think it’s the closest device to the bottom with an IP address. Still others think it’s the gateway device connecting the whatever to the Internet. Those devices may be on the edge of an IT concept of the world, but they’re…

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Sep 22

PROFINET of Things: Openness

A major driving force of the Industrial Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0 is the reliance on open standards. PROFINET devices are manufactured according to the PROFINET specification (IEC 61158).  PROFINET is Ethernet, IEEE 802.3.  Many other standards also come into play – standards from IEC, IEEE, NAMUR, and IETF (Internet Engineering task Force): IEC…

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Sep 16

PROFINET of Things: Uptime

Continuing our examination of PROFINET as THE provider of data to the Industrial Internet of Things, we look at additional features of PROFINET – compared to characteristics needed in the IIoT. Uptime is the answer to the mission critical and professional services characteristics of IIoT. Diagnostics Diagnostics provide a means of preventing downtime and recovering…

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Sep 9

PROFINET of Things: Data Access

In the last post, IoT AND IIoT, I positioned PROFINET as foundational to the Industrial Internet of Things which lies in the overlap of IoT and Industrie 4.0.  In the post before that, IoT vs. IIoT, Michael explored the differences between IoT and IIoT.  This post will start to extend that into the PROFINET of…

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Sep 1


I once tried to make the case that “IIoT is not IoT.”  And there certainly are differences as Michael pointed out in “IoT vs. IIoT.”  But I have finally accepted that IIoT is a subset of IoT even though our Things are used to make the other Things – the Things in the consumer and…

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