The Diligent Architecture of Factory Automation


Using internet of things (IoT) in industrial sectors is often stated as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). To make it more simpler,  IIoT has the potential to disrupt and erupt a new wave of how technology can shape your plants and manufacturing processes. Earlier, North America and Europe mooted much about Industry 4.0 and IIoT. According to a World Economic Forum report, the industrial IoT market to grow at a CAGR of 16.7% to reach USD 263.4 billion by 2027, driven by applications such as industrial automation and predictive maintenance. Enterprises will increase automation investments for future-proofing against pandemics and increasing resilience.

Smart Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing is coming in every way to every industry. Being flattered about the potential of Smart Manufacturing every company is changing their processes towards, smarter and efficient ways.

The word intelligent is taking over as data is becoming pivotal. Today big data is becoming far crucial than-ever especially in manufacturing. Predicting the needed and rapidly identifying errors and bottlenecks is making more elegant and decisive products enhancing the whole process.

Importance of automated industrialization, major global economies are planning and eyeing to Industry 4.0 to change conventional manufacturing and its processes. Adoption of new and advanced technologies today includes IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud technology, and analytics. Also today Governments are putting much emphasize on manufacturing and automating towards a newer, scalable way. In many countires it is opening new avenues for emplyement, skill training, high paying jobs, innovation, and rush towards influxing modern economy. The competition for a strong manufacturing industry is a global one, and initiatives to promote and advance manufacturing from other governments include Germany’s “Industrie 4.0”, France’s “Industrie du Futur,” and China’s “Made in China 2025”. Japan has planned Society 5.0 (Industry 4.0), targeting its economic and social challenges, such as its aging population, labor shortages, and weak growth through advanced technologies. Germany Industrie 4.0 Initiative aims to create an industry infrastructure fit for sustainable future manufacturing in the country.

China Yields on Smart Manufacturing Followed By USA

China has planned a five-year plan to improve its manufacturing industry by incorporating advanced technologies in its traditional methodologies. The Chinese government launched “Made in China 2025”, a state-led industrial policy that focuses on high-tech manufacturing. China has set up a USD 21 billion national investment fund to promote the transformation and upgrading of the country’s manufacturing industry. In addition, India also adopted the Industry 4.0 plans to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to 25% of GDP by 2025, from the current level of 16%.

The U.S. federal government’s “Manufacturing USA” initiative has created a network of manufacturing innovation institutes around the country, including the following:

IIoT vs. Industry 4.0

IIoT distinguishes manufacturing devices from consumer devices that wirelessly connect to the internal networks and the internet – while Industry 4.0 refers to the importance of lean, efficient operations and the role of sustaining and advancing manufacturing.

IIoT and Industry 4.0 are distinct concepts that are all too often used interchangeably, which can affect their efficacy as you seek to introduce them into your operations. In order ensure you have the right knowledge around these concepts, we’ll breakdown the following:

  • The similarities and differences between the two terms
  • How they might impact your business and operations
  • How automation and robotics continue to evolve from simple pickers and placers to key components of cutting-edge, competitive manufacturing facilities

What are IIoT and Industry 4.0?

IIoT and Industry 4.0 both build on existing concepts that stretch back several years, but have been crafted to account for advances, changes and innovations stemming from those original concepts.

To define both:

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

The term “Internet of Things” dates from the late 1990s. Though at that time, it was an abstract concept. Forward-looking thinkers foresaw that as technology evolved, everyday devices and products that we use would eventually “talk” to each other and to network servers, in the interest of improving their performance. The “Internet of Things” can be seen as connected to “smart” devices — televisions, refrigerators, wristwatches and more.

The term “Industrial Internet of Things” distinguishes manufacturing devices from consumer devices, yet the underlying concept is the same. IIoT devices are wirelessly connected to internal networks as well as to the global Internet. These devices represent a new phase in automation – collecting an unprecedented amount of data from all aspects of a process and sharing it with a central server. This data enables analysis and action that has been heretofore unseen, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity.

Industry 4.0

In a general sense, “Industry 4.0” refers to the 4th Industrial Revolution: the advances and innovations enabled by connected devices; massive amounts of computing power; and the modern-day importance of lean, efficient operations.

More specifically, the term “Industry 4.0” was coined by the German government to illustrate the scope of the opportunities available from automation, the importance of adopting them, and the role that these technologies play in sustaining and advancing manufacturing. The gravity of a 4th Industrial Revolution is intended to communicate to manufacturers that they must adapt or be left behind.

In a simple sense, IIoT is a component of Industry 4.0, but not as an interchangeable term. Without the connectivity and data that IIoT provides, Industry 4.0 would not exist, let alone be as impactful on efficiency. IIoT enables further analysis and action, and is a key driver of Industry 4.0.

IIoT and Industry 4.0 Together

While IIoT and Industry 4.0 are separate concepts, they should not be viewed that way when introducing greater efficiency into your processes through more automation. Like we mentioned earlier, Industry 4.0 would not exist without IIoT, but IIoT would not be very effective without the bigger-picture framework of Industry 4.0. Let’s take a look at specific similarities and differences between the two.


  • Efficiency- and results-oriented: Both IIoT and Industry 4.0 are intended to streamline production processes and keep manufacturing viable and profitable.
  • Technology-driven: IIoT and Industry 4.0 would not be possible without today’s high-speed, wireless, integrated Internet connectivity.
  • People-driven: Automation, implemented in both IIoT and Industry 4.0, can only make existing processes faster and more efficient. It can’t develop new processes or take over by itself. People with the knowledge of how to interpret and implement data and actions provided by this technology are key to its return on investment.


  • Scope: IIoT will almost always refer exclusively to the equipment in a facility (and any potential off-site server locations). Industry 4.0 comprises IIoT, and places it into a much larger context of analysis, action and long-term sustainability for the manufacturing field.
  • Action: In many ways, IIoT is a technology implementation — whether referring to new, connected devices; or retrofitted sensors, data transmitters, wireless equipment, etc. Industry 4.0 is more of a philosophy that is driven by technology like IIoT, but maintains a wider scope and a bigger-picture vision. IIoT may be manifested in equipment investment, but Industry 4.0 is manifested by buy-in among management and leadership.

Indian IoT Market

Today India is generating value for global industries as ideally it is becoming the crucial space for growing industries. With the strong momentum to startups and impetus on manufacturing an acute change is been seen in the Indian manufacturing industry. The country must have been planning the discourse on automation with a strong talent pool adhering to the change but today is getting strong support and transformation. As per Deloitte’s recent survey, the Indian IoT market was expected to grow ~7x to USD 9 billion by 2020 which is drawing attention from leading players of the IIoT world.

However, there are several hiccups on India’s road to implementing IIoT in its industries. For example, large telecommunication companies with network ownership have the capabilities to adapt to an IoT workflow, but they still need to deal with several critical challenges such as standardization, interoperability and data security.

Meanwhile, the challenges that manufacturing industries could face while deploying IoT in their frame of working are:

  • Defining new business models/strategies
  • Conducting successful pilots as tech could come at a high price
  • Interconnection of all departments
  • Recruiting and developing new talent

While Industrial IIoT holds immense promise for India, there is a need to ensure governance, process, infrastructure and planned deployment in order to begin to reap the full benefits. The digitization of manufacturing enterprises will also give them a proper bandwidth to recalibrate production as per the supply chain at that point in time.

Government’s Investment

Despite the challenges, the prospects for IIoT in India are limitless. With the government’s ambitious Smart Cities Mission coming into the picture, IoT adoption could be seen happening across industries such as utilities, manufacturing, automotive and transportation & logistics.

Developing homegrown smart solutions is also one direction that the government could explore. Launching grants in institutes like the IITs in collaboration with companies could lead to creating a pool of in-house experts.

Currently, there are five key segments contributing to the overall IoT market demand in India – global capability centers (GCCs), large enterprises (LEs), small and medium businesses (SMBs), consumers, and the government. There are over 1,200 public-listed LEs in India, with a current IoT adoption rate of around 35%. This is a likely great start to an automated and more reliable ecosystem that will help Indian enterprises to stay globally competitive and realize the government’s vision of becoming ‘aatma nirbhar’ (self-reliant).