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Berlin, 09.05.2019 – Conveniently controlling the thermostat, mood lighting and music at home via an app, closing the roller shutters when it gets dark, and always having an eye on your own home while on the go via cameras – the IoT makes many everyday things easier. Networking the devices gives them a unique identity, which allows them to be represented and controlled via the internet. They use sensors to process data recorded in real time, perform automated functions, and can be controlled remotely.
But the Internet of things has already long been making inroads into industry as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). According to a study by Gartner ¹, the number of networked machines and systems worldwide will grow to around 25 billion by 2021. Around 14.2 billion networked devices are estimated to be in use in 2019. This makes a predicted growth of over 75 percent within two years. But what is the difference between IIoT and IoT? And what are the benefits for businesses? Francotyp-Postalia (FP), expert in the secure mailing business and secure digital communication processes, has the answers:
1) What is the difference between IoT and IIoT?
While the IoT is marketed predominantly at users of smart home devices and entertainment electronics, the IIoT is used in industry. The most important distinguishing factors between IIoT and IoT are the volume of data and the complexity. While the sensors of an industrial plant continuously record vast volumes of data from various machines, the data pool of a private user stays comparatively manageable. Another factor is that the sensors in the IIoT environment need to be considerably more sensitive and precise, because even minor inaccuracies in recording measurement data can have serious consequences and result in financial losses. Furthermore, the data recorded by the sensors need to be readable and standardised for secure analysis using web applications. An industrial robot in automotive manufacturing thus delivers different values in different formats than, e.g. a wind turbine, a waste compactor, or a heating system.
2) Who is the IIoT relevant for?
Fundamentally, all industrial companies, energy suppliers and power grid operators, but in particular for decentralised industrial facilities.
3) What are the benefits of the IIoT?
The capabilities offered by the IIoT are extremely diverse. Businesses can use the intelligent, networked devices to optimise processes, save energy and thus also costs in the long run, improving production time efficiency and saving resources. This also makes it simpler to monitor the performance of machines and predict their maintenance requirements. Companies can thus reduce production downtime to a minimum. Monitoring the supply chain for products is also effortlessly possible. In addition, the IIoT facilitates a more future-oriented mode of working, because the companies can use the analysed data to develop new business models.
4) How does the IIoT work?
The devices in the industrial facilities and connected gateways send data to a cloud. The gateways are hardware components that connect both the devices of the industrial plants and the sensors to the network. In the cloud, the data are processed using an analysis tool and visualised for further use. The user can thus monitor and control machines remotely, identify potential savings, and for example knows in good time if the plant needs maintenance.
5) What is the biggest challenge users face?
Security is particularly important in the IIoT because industry is dealing with sensitive data, the theft or manipulation of which could result in major financial losses. The ransomware WannaCry infected over 230,000 computers in 150 countries and encrypted the data on them, combined with a demand for ransom payments. This affected not only businesses and private individuals, but also public authorities and hospitals.
In order to prevent attacks by hackers, the data of industrial facilities need to be securely encrypted when transferred to the cloud. This is likewise possible using special gateways, which control the data communication between the industrial facilities and the cloud, and protect the automation control systems against unauthorised access. FP supplies a convenient end-to-end IoT solution, which satisfies the strict security requirements of industrial companies, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of the data transmitted. The gateways can be flexibly and rapidly adapted to the requirements of various customers and projects, and can read the data from a wide range of different machines, devices and control systems.
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The listed and globally operating FP Group with headquarters in Berlin, Germany, is an expert in the secure mailing business and secure digital communication processes. As the market leader in Germany and Austria, the FP Group offers digital solutions in the areas of “Software”, “Mail Services” and “Franking and folding/inserting”, as well as products and services for the consolidation of business mail and the efficient processing of mail in companies and public authorities. The Group reported revenues of more than 200 million euros in 2018. Francotyp-Postalia has subsidiaries in ten different countries and is represented by its own distributor network in an additional 40 countries. With a company history spanning 96 years, FP possesses a unique DNA in the areas of actuating elements, sensor systems, cryptography and connectivity. FP’s global market share for franking systems is more than eleven percent.
Further information can be found at www.fp-francotyp.com.