Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Introduction to the Industrial Internet of Things 111

Introduction to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) 111 introduces the features of the IIoT and describes its role in manufacturing. The class provides an overview of how sensors, smart devices, and the data they create can transform factory operations. It also explores how cyber-physical systems (CPS) and human-machine interfaces (HMI) are changing the way people interact with the growing network of technology in the workplace. The class also introduces digital manufacturing innovations, such as the digital thread and digital twin, and addresses concerns related to cybersecurity.

It is now common for smart technology to provide detailed real-time data that creates precise instructions and feedback, enabling manufacturers to improve quality and efficiency, and to anticipate supply chain and production needs. As this technology drives Industry 4.0, an understanding of the IIoT is vital to current and future manufacturers.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 12

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • The Industrial Internet of Things
  • Smart Manufacturing
  • IIoT Applications
  • Cyber-Physical System
  • CPS Monitoring
  • Review: Industrial Internet of Things
  • Servers and the Cloud
  • Human-Machine Interfaces
  • Digital Twin and Digital Thread
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Cybersecurity
  • Review: Digital Manufacturing and Cybersecurity
  • Describe the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
  • Define smart manufacturing.
  • Describe common applications of the IIoT.
  • Describe a cyber-physical system.
  • Describe a cyber-physical system.
  • Describe how onsite and cloud servers are used with the IIoT.
  • Describe human-machine interfaces.
  • Describe digital twin and digital thread technologies.
  • Describe artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Describe cybersecurity.
Vocabulary Term


Resourceful and flexible manufacturing that allows for fast responses to customers and suppliers. Agile capabilities rely on smart technology.


A mathematical process designed to systematically solve a problem. Complex digital algorithms allow machine learning to predict and regulate operations.


Apps. Software or a program that is designed for mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets. Applications are a way of interacting with smart devices.

artificial intelligence

AI. The ability of a machine or computer to imitate intelligent human behavior. Artificial intelligence can be used to apply logic to information and adapt based on data.


The use of mechanical systems that operate with limited human interaction. Traditional automation is being replaced by smart technology that can function entirely on its own.

Big Data

A valuable collection of information from the devices or assets in an operation. Big Data can be analyzed to reveal patterns and make calculations.


A network of remote servers that can be accessed through the internet. The cloud stores many software applications and can be used to back up data.

cloud computing

The practice of using software and storing data on remote servers that can be accessed through the internet. Cloud computing is common amongst manufacturers and consumers.


Computer numerical control. A combination of software and hardware that directs the operation of a machine. CNC machines are used for many manufacturing operations, such as cutting and grinding metal parts.

cognitive systems

A computer system that can learn a specific behavior and interact with its environment. A cognitive system is able to make decisions without human intervention.


The use of a computer to perform a mathematical calculation. Computation is generally more efficient and accurate than manual calculation.

computer numerical control

CNC. A combination of software and hardware that directs the operation of a machine. Computer numerical control machines are used for many manufacturing operations, such as cutting and grinding metal parts.

computer-aided design

CAD. A software program used to create a three-dimensional design of a product. Computer-aided design can be used to create digital twins.


Cyber-physical system. A hardware device that links physical objects and processes with virtual objects and processes in an interconnected network. A CPS increases the capabilities of a device.

cyber-physical system

CPS. A hardware device that links physical objects and processes with virtual objects and processes in an interconnected network. A cyber-physical system increases the capabilities of a device.


Protection against criminal or unauthorized access to computer networks, programs, and data. Cybersecurity has become a major industrial concern as networking and interconnectivity have increased.

cybersecurity policy

A formal set of rules regulating the access to company technology and networks. A cybersecurity policy should be created and enforced by the manufacturer.


A collection of numbers, facts, and information about a process or product. Data can be created, communicated, and recorded by sensors in smart objects.

database queries

The way computers retrieve data from a database. Handling database queries can be the purpose of a server.

digital model

An electronic, three-dimensional (3D) version of a part or other device. Digital models allow designers or engineers to create a variety of parts on the computer before creating the physical part.

digital thread

An integrated view of all the data and information about a machine or process throughout its lifecycle. The digital thread connects information from all aspects of a product into one seamless network.

digital twin

A virtual representation of a physical asset or part. A digital twin evolves with the asset throughout its product lifecycle.


An unproductive period when machine production ceases. Downtime is often due to mechanical failure, part changeover, or maintenance needs.


A prediction of demand patterns for a product based on real-time data. Forecasting is used to calculate future inventory levels.


A virtual geographic boundary that triggers a response when a person with wearable technology or a smart device enters or leaves an area. A geofence can be used to monitor safety.


Identifies the real-world geographic location of a person or object. Geolocation trackers make it possible to monitor the position of inventory in real time.


The physical equipment used in a computer system. Hardware can be connected using a cyber-physical system to virtual models.

human-machine interface

HMI. A device connected to the control system that allows personnel to monitor and control a machine or process. A human-machine interface can vary widely in size or complexity based what is being controlled.


Industrial Internet of Things. A network of smart industrial machines and devices. The IIoT is a manufacturing-specific part of the overall Internet of Things (IoT).

Industrial Internet of Things

IIoT. A network of smart industrial machines and devices. The Industrial Internet of Things is a network of smart industrial technology and the manufacturing-specific part of the overall Internet of Things (IoT).

information technology

IT. The use of computer systems for storing, processing, retrieving, and sending data. Information technology professionals develop cybersecurity software to protect confidential information.


The network, storage, and computing elements of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Accessing the infrastructure of the IIoT requires controllers and equipment with smart features.

Internet of Things

IoT. A network of devices that contain sensors that allow them to send and receive data. The Internet of Things is the network on which devices other than computers exchange data.


The entire timeline of an asset, from its design, production, and use to its disposal and replacement. Digital threads can provide a continuous and comprehensive view of an asset's lifecycle.

machine learning

ML. The process that enables a digital system to analyze data in order to build predictive models and make decisions autonomously. Machine learning systematically solves problems using highly complex algorithms.


M2M. The transfer of data between machines and the internet without human interaction. Machine-to-machine communication relies on sensors.


Measured variables that are tracked and can be used to detect errors or variation and make improvements. Metrics can include cycle times, inspection data, and other forms of information.

network traffic

The amount of activity characterized mainly by transfer of data between computers. Managing network traffic can be the purpose of a server.

part programs

A series of alpha-numeric instructions that direct a CNC machine to perform the necessary sequence of operations to machine a specific workpiece. Multiple part programs can be stored in a CNC machine at one time.


A series of characters known only by authorized users that allows the users to access an otherwise locked digital system. Passwords effectively prevent unauthorized access as long as they are not shared or discovered by unauthorized users.

programmable logic controllers

PLCs. A processor-driven device that uses logic-based software to provide electrical control to machines. Programmable logic controllers are used in factory automation.


A preliminary model of a product used to evaluate the performance of a design. A prototype can be tested safely and accurately using a digital twin.


The near-instantaneous interval of time that computers require to process data. Real-time is virtually the same as actual time because computers process data nearly immediately.


Income that a company receives from normal business activities such as sales. As a result of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), revenue can be created from activities that once increased costs.

security software

A type of software that protects computers and devices against various types of cyber threats and attacks. Keeping security software up-to-date can help prevent cyber threats and attacks.


A device within a device that detects a physical stimulus and turns it into a signal that can be measured or recorded. Sensors in smart devices make it possible for machines to communicate digitally.


The physical computer that shares information with other computers within its network. The server for a network of CNC machines would share part programs.


A computerized re-creation of a physical space and activity. Simulations are used to duplicate real-world situations in order to evaluate behavior under real conditions.


Able to connect to and send data across the internet. Smart devices can track performance without human intervention.

smart factories

A factory that integrates automation, data, and analysis to run the entire production process. Smart factories are a more agile mode of manufacturing.

smart manufacturing

Technologically integrated manufacturing that creates and uses data in real time to address the needs of the factory, supplier, and customer. Smart manufacturing is an advancement of traditional manufacturing automation.

social media

A websites or application that is used for social interactions and networking. Social media can be a target of cyber criminals.


The programs, instructions, and formulas that structure the actions of a computer. Software controls computer hardware functions and operations.


A description of the essential physical and technical properties of a part or machine. Specifications outline important information necessary for creating an accurate digital model.

supply chain

A network of companies that exchange resources such as materials and information to deliver products to customers. Supply chains consist of a company, its suppliers, its distributors, and its customers.


3D. 3D. Having a length, depth, and width. Digital twins are generally designed using computer-aided design (CAD) software to make three-dimensional digital models of an asset.


The rate of production for a process over a specific amount of time. Throughput can be optimized with smart manufacturing.

tool wear

The erosion of tool material as a result of friction. Tool wear degrades the accuracy and precision of a tool.

virtual models

A computer-generated reproduction of a physical device or system that a user can interact with in real life. Virtual models connect with the devices they represent using a cyber-physical system.

wearable technology

A category of smart devices that people can wear on the body. Wearable technology can track and transmit data created by personnel.