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Key Industrial IoT Terms Every Manufacturer Should Know

Aug. 27, 2019
The Ins and Outs of IIoT.

As a manufacturer, you don’t necessarily need to be an expert on the technology behind IIoT. You’re most concerned with how the technology is going to enable you to deliver quality products on time, keep costs contained, and increase productivity. It helps to be as informed as possible so you know enough to be an informed consumer of this technology.

With that in mind, here are key Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) terms that will be helpful for you:

Data Terms

Most Industrial IoT terminology revolves around data—specifically, the massive amounts of data that it generates:

  • Big data. A very large data set that can be analyzed for patterns and trends.
  • Streaming data. Data that is continuously generated by different sources.
  • Sensor data. The output of a device that detects and responds to some type of input from the physical environment. The output may be used to provide information or input to another system, or to guide a process.
  • Time-series data. Data that collectively represents how a system, process, or behavior changes over time.

Business Process Terms

You’ll also hear a great deal of terminology that describes specific business processes:

  • Predictive maintenance. Techniques that are designed to help determine the condition of in-service equipment to predict when maintenance should be performed. This approach promises cost savings over routine or time-based preventive maintenance because tasks are performed only when warranted.
  • Operational intelligence. A category of real-time, dynamic business analytics that delivers visibility and insight into data, streaming events, and business operations.
  • Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). A measure of how well a manufacturing operation is utilized (facilities, time, and material) compared to its full potential, during the periods when it is scheduled to run.
  • Asset monitoring. The process of monitoring all activity associated with a particular machine. Including but not limited to production, performance, quality, health, etc.

Technical Terms

This is where the terms get a bit technical so it’s good to educate yourself on these:

  • Application Programming Interface (API). A set of functions or procedures that allow one application to access / interact with the features or data of another application or service
  • Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). An industrial digital computer that continuously monitors the state of input devices to make decisions (to control manufacturing processes and equipment) based on pre-programmed logic.  
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). A wireless communication technology that uses radio frequency to power passive tags (small circuit antenna) to uniquely identify people or objects.
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). A control system architecture that uses computers and networked data communications to monitor and control factory floor equipment.

Security and Standards Terms

When your data is being housed in the cloud, security becomes critical. That’s why it’s good to familiarize yourself with these terms:

  • Identity and Access Management (IAM). A framework of business processes, policies, and technologies that manage digital identities (for e.g. used for authentication and access management)
  • Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT). A messaging protocol that works on top of TCP/IP. Designed for use cases with a low code footprint or limited network bandwidth. 
  • Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). The language used to access the Internet.
  • Ethernet IP. One of the manufacturing communication protocols used for transmitting information between electronic devices. Ethernet IP was originally developed by Rockwell Automation.
  • Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.

With an understanding of these terms, you’re ready to keep researching and determining your options.

Learn more by downloading the white paper: How Cloud ERP Turns IIoT into a Critical Success Strategy for Manufacturing.

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