Industry 4.0 and IIoT is gaining substance - bringing new editorial opportunities

Last year, we still questioned if Industry 4.0 was simply a trend or the new standard. Today, we are certain that the terminology and principles of Industry 4.0, which is also referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), are here to stay.  In Automation & Control magazines, on websites and at events you will read and hear of the Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Everything. I found this description which I quite like, because it nicely sums up what IIoT is about:

"IIoT connects devices such as industrial equipment on to the network, enabling information gathering and management of these devices via software to increase efficiency, enable new services (factory automation, robotics, supply chain efficiency)…"

During November 2014, at the SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany, more real Industry 4.0 examples were shown by exhibitors than the year before. It was very clear that all the key players in the industrial automation industry had chosen the IIoT message as one of the key themes for their booths. Why? The following economic criteria are playing a major role:

  • Revenue generation: opportunities to innovate with new products and new services
  • Productivity and cost savings: miniaturisation and flexibility, and
  • Customer demand: demand for energy savings and security

Leo Ploner, publisher of the IEB (Industrial Ethernet Book) Media also made the following observation from SPS: “What I took with me from [the] SPS show is that the industry is developing a more realistic approach to IIoT or Industry 4.0. The idea is not to connect everything. The benefit of using the internet protocol in automation is not that everything needs to be talking to everything else. That concept of connecting “isolated silos of automation” that you hear [of] so often in analysts’ presentations, isn’t all that new and revolutionary. Field level web servers and other communication devices have been a part of automation systems for more than a decade. These devices are now becoming smaller and cheaper. This means that when you find something that needs to talk to something else, it is becoming very easy to arrange this. The main benefit of IIoT is the flexibility to make meaningful connections, to use things in a new way in the future.”

As businesses are focused on getting products to market more quickly, adapting to regulatory requirements, increasing efficiency, and - most importantly – delivering continued innovation, they want to be seen as thought leaders in the IIoT/Industry 4.0 arena. In working with editors and clients in this sector, my focus has been to offer relevant data, talk about client partnerships that deliver results, provide examples in practical language, and highlight industrial standards and trends. If you are able to do this you will be well placed to take advantage of many editorial opportunities throughout 2015.

If you need support, or would like to share ideas, please contact me.


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Posted by
Nancy van Heesewijk 
on January 30, 2015

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