Digital Transforms Physical: IIoT Connects the Industrial Enterprise

Written By: David Immerman
  • 10/20/2021
  • Read Time : 3 min

The physical world around us is withholding an abundance of insights that until fairly recently were out-of-reach. The Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as the leading technology to transform how we understand and interact with the physical items all around us. Smart home devices, connected cars, wearables, and intelligent lighting are transforming user experiences with IoT as the key influence.

The Industrial Internet of Things, a massive subset of IoT, refers to the immense equipment, machinery, and production lines in industrial environments, factories, plants, and refineries, as well as the millions of industrial products out-in-the-field like pumps, HVACs, and cranes. IIoT is increasingly critical to business outcomes in these industrial instances by way of five digital capabilities: sense, translate, monitor, predict, and optimize.

In the below video and blog post, we’ll dive into how these capabilities connect products, processes, and places to transform the physical world around us.



Digital Senses Physical

Our increasingly sensor-driven world, anticipated to include more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025, is more noticeable each day: smartphones measure our proximity to vehicles for ride-sharing services, cameras monitor parking spots and traffic behaviors, temperature sensors collect environmental and weather data.

In the industrial world, sensors are embedded and/or bootstrapped to the wide array of industrial machines and products in the field. With IIoT, they can collect data to gain insights on performance and usage, complete certain tasks, maintain uptime, and inform a variety of additional business decisions.

Celli Group, a leader in beverage dispensing, wanted to ensure its customers' draft systems were delivering optimal performance. With IIoT sensors Celli tapped into its deployed dispensing systems temperature and pressure data to inform their customers with insights into beverage demand and quality.

Carlsberg Group turned to IIoT to aggregate critical sensor data and improve their beverage operations in a slightly different manner. They used IIoT throughout their facilities’ brewing process to aggregate critical sensor data of the machinery in their production process and improve overall equipment effectiveness.

Digital Translates Physical

While not by means of understandable audio communication, machines do speak with one another through a range of protocols. A major challenge for manufacturers is managing the array of different protocols, across disparate machines in industrial environments. To “hear” the bits of lucrative IoT data within these different machines and brownfield operating environments, digital technologies and industrial connectivity is needed to translate these differing protocols into a unified data stream and interface with other systems.

Knorr Bremse had a challenging heterogeneous environment of older and newer physical systems from different manufacturers. It turned to IIoT-enabled connectivity to translate these physical systems into a uniform digital data model and improve asset utilization.

Digital Monitors Physical

Sensing and translating physical data is an important prerequisite to the core IoT capability of monitoring. An IIoT platform provides dashboards and interfaces with contextualized IIoT data enabling a complete understanding of performance and efficiency of products, assets, and operations.

BID Group has leveraged digital to monitor its physical milling machines operating in their customers sawmills. This value-added service enables BID Group’s customer to improve productivity, equipment availability and throughput.

Manufacturers like Evyap are also applying monitor capabilities, but to optimize their own internal operations. Evyap, a personal care manufacturer, uses dashboards to monitor production equipment maintenance and quality, which reduces scrap and waste and improves overall equipment effectiveness.

Digital Predicts Physical

With IIoT, digital can prevent physical failures and malfunctions common in the mechanical industrial world. Being able to predict events such as downtime drives significant cost savings for manufacturers; downtime can cost up to $260,000 an hour in industrial settings. Through increasingly powerful predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, manufacturers are analyzing historical and real-time IIoT telemetry data with asset characteristics to increasingly predict and mitigate these events prior to them happening.

Flowserve provides customers with visibility and predictability into its pumps to ensure uptime in mission-critical environments. With analytics-driven predictive maintenance derived from service history and telemetry data, Flowserve pinpoints future failures and issue service interventions.

Digital Optimizes Physical

Most manufacturers have invested significantly in continuous performance programs, yet process bottlenecks remain. Many systems in place are fragmented and analog, which challenge operations with identifying best practices and rectifying issues accordingly.

A Digital Performance Management System identifies and analyzes process bottlenecks in real time, giving operators and plant managers the information needed to make changes that drive continuous process improvements. Drilling into the largest bottleneck provides the frontline worker with critical production line details to quickly resolve it.

Register for PTC’s Manufacturing Live to learn more about the powers of Digital Performance Management.

Final Thoughts

IIoT is a powerful collection of digital technologies connecting physical environments like never before. It is increasingly the cornerstone of digital transformation projects, which are generating double digit financial growth for global manufacturers.

Turn to the powers of IIoT to unlock these opportunities and connect digital to sense, translate, monitor, predict, and optimize your physical environment today.



Digital Transforms Physical

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About the Author

David Immerman

David Immerman is as a Consulting Analyst for the TMT Consulting team based in Boston, MA. Prior to S&P Market Intelligence, David ran competitive intelligence for a supply chain risk management software startup and provided thought leadership and market research for an industrial software provider. Previously, David was an industry analyst in 451 Research’s Internet of Things channel primarily covering the smart transportation and automotive technology markets.