IIoT also contributes to the improvement of a plant’s operations by aiding the development of measurement science and instrumentation which leads to a digital twin of your enterprise. As you saw earlier, IIoT solutions create a network of machines, devices, and sensors communicating with each other and with the outside world. There is nothing that stops us from adding “dumb” sensors on everything, except the increased costs associated with cabling and powering these sensors . However, as hardware and low power modules advance, it will be possible to add as many sensors and actuators on a machine as you seem fit . Imagine a world where we have affordable and reliable sensors and actuators capable of making accurate single measurements. Furthermore, these sensors are small, so small that you can fit many of them on a single machine. Finally, each sensor requires low power to operate and connects to your central network without cables. In such a world you can measure and control every aspect of the machine functioning. However, you do not need to stop there. These transducers generate data, and there is nothing that can stop you also to use these data to create a complete digital twin of your plant. Now let’s step outside your production environment and install sensors in all parts of your enterprise. You have just created a digital replica of your entire organisation. You can now use this digital twin to optimise your operations, assess how changes will impact your enterprise, run simulations and predictions about future events, and much more.
To summarise, IIoT solutions reshape your enterprise, pushing efficiency to unprecedented highs. First, IIoT transforms your production operations through accurate asset performance and product monitoring. Second, IIoT redesigns your enterprise by digitally integrating the production units with the other parts of your enterprise. Finally, over time sensors and actuators become smaller, more energy efficient, and cheaper, enabling you to get increasingly granular data about everything in your enterprise. In a not too distant future, IIoT solutions together with commercial IoT solutions will let you create an accurate, real-time replica of your enterprise.