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First industrial revolution brings machines operated by steam power, second industrial revolution brings machines operated by electricity, third industrial revolution introduces computers and communication technologies, and fourth industrial revolution (industry 4.0) leads to transformation as smart industry. Digitization and automation are the core of industry 4.0 realized using IIoT.

Automation Vs Digitization:

Automation aims in execution of manufacturing sequence without any human intervention maintaining quality of product. Digitization is the process of data acquisition using sensors wherein analog information is converted into digital data which is analyzed and presented in the form of graphs, charts or pictographic representation facilitating easy interpretation. The entire process in an industry starting from procurement of raw materials, manufacturing and distribution of finished products comes under supply chain which is digitized for better transparency, efficiency, and quality.

Sensor Network:

The key to data acquisition is sensors which provides output signal corresponding to physical quantity. There is different type of sensors like temperature, humidity, pressure, PH, flow, speed, torque, current, 2D lidar (for identifying position of various parts), infrared, level (detect level of fluid/solid), vibration, proximity (detect the presence of nearby object without physical contact), motion, heat, and fluid velocity sensor. Generally, sensors have transducers along with sensing element to convert physical quantity to electrical signal. If the sensed analog information is converted to digital data before transmission, it is called digital sensor. If the sensor has built-in microcontroller for data processing and storing for short time before sharing with centralized computing facility, it is called smart sensor. Smart sensors can perform pre-defined and programmed functions on specific type of data. A group of connected sensors used for monitoring data from different remote locations and sends to central location for storing, analyzing, and viewing is called sensor network. If the distributed smart sensors send data as radio signal to a base station which is connected through internet to share data, then it becomes a wireless sensor network. Industry specific wireless sensor network with communication protocols like Wireless HART and ISA100-11 is called Industrial Wireless Sensor Network (IWSN) which is used in IIoT for data acquisition.

Convergence of OT & IT:

Automation uses control devices like industrial control systems (ICS), programmable logic controllers (PLC), distributed control systems (DCS), and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that control process and machinery without human intervention. The control systems combined with monitoring can be implemented with dedicated hardware and software. Managing, monitoring, and controlling of industrial operations together called Operation Technology (OT). Automation reduces manual task and production cost, improves production rate and product quality, and ensures safety using OT. Digitization facilitates remote monitoring along with predictions and decision making from data using artificial intelligence and machine learning applying Information Technology (IT). IT uses communication network to collect data, process, store, and exchange information. Every physical object can be connected to internet and exchange data between them and users through Internet of Things (IoT) concept. Applying IoT concept in industries to connect manufacturing devices, sensors, and actuators to internet for storing data in cloud, analyzing, decision making and sharing with operators is called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT facilitate machine to machine communication (M2M) for automatic problem solving. Convergence of OT and IT in the form of IIoT paves way for incorporation of edge computing. Edge devices are physical hardware located in remote locations at the edge of the network (at the node of the machine) with enough memory, processing power, and computing resources to collect data, process that data, and execute upon it in almost real-time with limited help from other parts of the network.

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