How Different Industries are Using the Industrial Internet of Things

Sea Oil Platforms and Tanker at Sunset

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is quickly moving from fringe to mainstream. In recent articles, we’ve explored where the IIoT is headed and its benefits for manufacturing. Here, we’ll look at some specific examples of how different industries are putting the IIoT to work.

Oil and gas

With oil prices low and demand for gasoline dropping, the oil and gas industry has a lot to gain from the efficiency improvements the IIoT brings. Here are some companies leading the way.

Connecting subsea oil wells

GE and BP are working together to connect subsea oil wells to the IIoT. The goal is to improve well performance and production, and also minimize downtime by providing real-time insights that will help prevent unexpected failures. Bob Judge, director of product management at GE Oil & Gas commented: “Telling a customer what to fix after it has failed is relatively easy. Telling them to fix something before it costs them money is magic.”

Monitoring oilfields in difficult areas

Royal Dutch Shell uses the IIoT to monitor oilfields in Nigeria. The goal was to reduce site visits by collecting and transmitting data wirelessly. In the first year of the initiative, Shell saved $1 million. Not bad for an initial investment of $87,000!

Facilitating timely repairs

A U.S. oil and gas company is optimizing oilfield production by using sensors to collect data from more than 21,000 wells, according to a report by Blue Hill Research. Ninety times a day, they collect data on 10 different activities, including oil extraction rates, temperature, and well pressure, resulting in roughly 18,900,000 readings daily. By using this information to inform adjustments and repairs, the company estimates that it saves about $145,000 per month per field.

Food manufacturing

Manufacturing companies in general are flocking to the Internet of Things to help them boost efficiency through automation. In the food industry, companies are also using this technology to achieve the high level of traceability required by law…and to earn and retain consumer trust.

Tracing food from its source

Barilla Group uses the Internet of Things to provide complete transparency into the entire chain of production for some of its products. Consumers can scan a QR code on the product to access a website that tells where the food came from (i.e., which durum wheat field) and every step it went through before landing on the grocery store shelf.

German sausage maker Wolf is providing the same end-to-end information for its meat products.

Improving efficiency to increase production

Bakery King’s Hawaiian installed 11 IIoT-connected machines in one of their new factories. By monitoring their equipment and using the data to optimize performance and maintenance schedules, they were able to double their production capabilities.

Boosting food safety

Quaker Oats uses a wireless temperature monitoring system to monitor the temperature of its products as they make their way through the company’s 1 million square foot facility. The goal is to ensure all products that come out of the facility are safe to eat.

Chemical processing

Chemicals companies are getting into the IIoT game to help them streamline their operations and improve their supply chain.

Enabling custom orders on a massive scale

BASF has completely automated soap production at one of its plants. Users place a custom order, and then RFID tags attached to the containers tell the production equipment which ingredients to use. The result is the ability to provide customized products without human labor.

Improving plant design through centralized data management

The DOW Chemical Company uses Engineering Base to design its plants and also collect all upstream and downstream engineering data into a centralized database to improve its plant life cycle management.

Are you using the IIoT in an innovative way in your industry? Tell us about it in the comments!

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