With technology moving so fast, new ways to automate, and connected machines, how can managers and engineers simplify the complexity of that ecosystem? Is machine learning (ML) or artificial intelligence (AI) the key? This article will define some buzzwords, what they mean, and if they might help simplify these complex technologies so that you can move back into production.
New technologies, such as Big Data and the Industrial Internet of Things, are gaining more traction. While security is a concern, some companies push ahead because the benefits are too great. Dell published, "Machine Learning Techniques in Manufacturing,” It mentions that organizations actively using data, such as data from the IIoT or ML, grew 50% faster than companies that didn’t. However, the number of organizations that understand the importance of Big Data only grew by 3% from 2013 to 2014. Since 2014, that number has likely improved, but this serves as an example of the adoption rate or just a few years ago.
With so many buzzwords and some sales forces only focused on what’s lining their pockets, where do you start? First, the term Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is just that—things connected through the internet. IIoT can represent Industry 4.0, and potentially smart devices (devices that use sensors to generate data, but may not necessarily send that data over the internet). The idea is that the IIoT is connecting devices to the internet to get data where it’s needed.
However, the term IIoT has started bleeding into non-internet connected devices that might occur on a closed network, such as communication between machines, known as machine-to-machine (M2M), or Bluetooth communications. While M2M and smart devices don't have to include the internet, they have all blended into the IIoT terminology.