IoT for industrial automation
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IoT in Industrial Automation: A Roadmap for Operational Excellence

05 Jul 2024

Industrial leaders constantly look for ways to optimize efficiency, boost productivity, and drive profitability in ongoing manufacturing operations. The race to embrace digital transformation and the growing need to improve operational competence are fueling the rapid expansion of industrial automation and IoT across diverse sectors such as energy, manufacturing, facility management, transportation, mining, and more. The growing popularity of Industrial IoT integration allows manufacturers to avail significant improvements in productivity, operational efficiency, and worker safety.

In this blog post, we help you explore the role of IoT in industrial automation, its benefits, challenges & solutions, and applications along with real-life examples and trends to help you shape a smarter future for your business.

Table of Content

How IoT is Revolutionizing Industrial Automation?

IoT helps to optimize various industrial processes by integrating machines, sensors, and systems, translating to improved efficiency and productivity. IoT-based industrial automation systems enable real-time monitoring, visibility, and data collection. Integrating IoT allows for detailed tracking and monitoring of product processes. It ensures high product quality control as early detection of any deviations or irregularities triggers remedial actions while also reducing the rate of defects

IoT-based industrial automation systems enable real-time monitoring, visibility, data collection, and analysis. These capabilities provide insights into equipment performance, allowing manufacturers to identify bottlenecks proactively and boost overall productivity.

Advantages of IoT-based Industrial Automation

Manufacturing businesses integrating the Industrial Internet of Things stand to benefit on all levels, ranging from improved production efficiency, reduced downtime, and automated quality assurance monitoring.

Enhanced Operational Efficiency

Investing in automation enables interconnected systems to perform mundane tasks, which frees workers to focus on higher-value activities. This translates to significant operational improvements across production cycles and better resource allocation.

Maximized Uptime and Safety

IoT-enabled monitoring and predictive maintenance allow industrial environments to minimize downtime to help maintain continuous production and boost the bottom line. It simultaneously improves workplace safety by monitoring worker health, fatigue levels, and environmental conditions, which allows companies to prioritize worker well-being and mitigate safety risks.

Collaborative Productivity Boost

The synergy between human expertise and machine capabilities drives productivity to new heights, facilitating scalable production lines and fostering growth.

Real-time Data-Driven Decision Making

IoT sensors and analytics platforms provide instant access to critical operational data, enabling managers or decision-makers to make informed decisions quickly. Analysis of data captured from IoT sensors also reveals trends and patterns in production processes, which can lead to efficiency gains.

Predictive Maintenance

IoT in predictive maintenance can detect early signs of equipment wear or malfunction, allow for proactive maintenance, and reduce breakdowns. These can help optimize your maintenance resources and keep production running smoothly.

Enhanced Quality Control and Consistency

Automated systems with integrated quality checks ensure proactive and consistent product quality control. It reduces defects and wastes while improving overall customer satisfaction.

Boost Productivity and Uptime with IIoT Solutions

Leverage our expertise in industrial IoT to identify hidden equipment issues, forecast failures, and implement predictive maintenance strategies.

Applications of IoT in Industrial Automation

From predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring to supply chain optimization and energy management, the applications of IoT in industrial automation are vast and varied. These applications are driving significant improvements in operational performance and competitive advantage. Let’s explore the six most vital industrial IoT applications:

Top 6 uses of IoT in industrial automation

Asset Tracking and Management

GPS-powered industrial IoT applications can monitor overall assets within the facility. With the help of sensors and GPS installed on all products, assets, and boxes, you can efficiently supervise the location and their conditions, temperature, and other essential aspects of your valuable assets.

Integrating IoT Asset Tracking and monitoring can also help you minimize waste by identifying the product near expiration. Popular tracking technologies such as RFID, Barcodes, Ultra-wideband (UWB), Cellular & Satellite IoT, and others provide you with better visibility, control, and enhanced operational efficiency.

Remote Monitoring and Control

This is one of the major components of an IoT-enabled Manufacturing Execution System in the manufacturing industry, which is accountable for adaptation to sustain industrial processes and their effectiveness. This feature allows managers traveling long distances to perform settings changes and equipment operations remotely. It also allows them to control and manage several plants simultaneously.

It offers a holistic and consolidated overview of the entire business for efficient management, increased production efficiency, and better decision-making.

Predictive Maintenance & Analytics

IoT sensors continuously monitor the condition and performance of machinery and equipment. By analyzing real-time data, AI algorithms can predict when maintenance is needed. This helps in detecting any critical issues before the system goes down. It triggers maintenance warnings to the centralized system and sends alerts to authorized persons/groups. This proactive approach helps in:

  • Reducing downtime
  • Extends equipment life
  • Optimizes maintenance schedules

It is a significant feature for any organization that wants to avoid downtime on the production line and optimize maintenance resources as well.

Worker and Plant Safety

IoT-powered systems help keep your workplace safe and incident-free by placing wearable sensors on the workers to monitor worker health metrics such as heart rate, temperature, and movements. Whenever some KPIs are not normal, the system will automatically alert the managers to enable prompt response in emergencies.

Whether it be air quality, temperature, humidity, worker health, or equipment, IIoT sensors keep the overall plant and premises safe by collecting relevant data. With the help of this data, the system calculates the possibility of accidents, waste, and malfunctions and informs the authorized personnel to improve overall safety and efficiency.

Inventory Monitoring

Integrating IoT in Inventory Management helps increase visibility and eliminate blind spots using a connected IIoT ecosystem. This system integrates various IoT devices and sensors like RFID or barcode scanners to track inventory levels in real time, providing greater visibility and accurate inventory information. It helps companies reduce stockouts and overstocking and be responsive even during supply chain and inventory disruptions.

Connected Supply Chain Management

Companies can achieve real-time visibility into the location, condition, inventory levels, and delivery schedules to reduce lead times by integrating supply chain operations with IoT connectivity. Integrating IoT provides transparency across the supply chain, enhancing control, and automation with real-time tracking of routes, along with the ability to identify and address any issues in goods or storage conditions. By detecting quality issues earlier on, the sensors prevent defective items from reaching the end customers.

Real-Life Examples of IoT in Industrial Automation

Organizations across various domains and sectors are adopting the Internet of Things in industrial automation to transform their industrial processes, which helps them leverage enhanced automation, quality control, and predictive maintenance.

In this section, let us explore some real-life examples of how leading organizations utilize IoT to enhance their industrial automation systems:


FANUC, a Japanese industrial automation company, leverages predictive maintenance to minimize downtime in factories. Their AI Servo Monitor[1] uses machine learning to analyze sensor data from robots and detect anomalies that could lead to failures. This allows FANUC to alert customers before unplanned downtime occurs proactively. GM recognized FANUC’s Zero Downtime (ZDT) system with its Supplier of the Year Innovation Award for the company’s innovative approach to predictive maintenance

John Deere

John Deere is a leader in heavy equipment manufacturing, utilizing IoT to transform farming practices. They are known for implementing self-driving tractors[2] with GPS, LiDAR, and other sensors across their facility. This innovation allows the company to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and maintain a high level of safety.

Siemens Insights Hub

As part of the Siemens Industrial Operations X platform, Insights Hub[3] uses advanced analytics and AI to power IoT solutions from the edge to the cloud – utilizing data from connected products, plants, and systems. This helps optimize operations, manufacture better-quality products, and deploy improved business models.

It aims to provide predictive maintenance and real-time analytics to implement reliable asset monitoring, thereby enhancing manufacturing performance and efficiency.

Top Challenges of Implementing IoT in Industrial Automation and Their Solutions

Here are some of the common challenges in integrating IoT for industrial automation with potential solutions to overcome them.

1. Security and Privacy

IoT for industrial automation deals with sensitive data and critical infrastructure, raising the potential threat of cyber security risks. The security of data is significant for any organization.

Solution: As an organization, you should implement robust security measures in place to protect your data, such as:

  • Encryption of data at rest and in transit
  • Multi-factor authentication for access control
  • Regular software updates and patches to address vulnerabilities
  • Comprehensive security monitoring and incident response plans

2. Interoperability and Integration

Many industrial environments often have legacy systems that use proprietary protocols, making it complex and challenging to integrate and connect IIoT devices to all existing devices and systems. Moreover, since IIoT is still evolving, it can often lead to compatibility issues as there are no universal standards for communication.

Solution: Adopt open standards and protocols, such as:

  • Use of common communication protocols (e.g., OPC UA, MQTT, AMQP) to enable seamless integration
  • Leverage middleware solutions that can bridge the gap between different systems and devices
  • Invest in flexible and scalable IoT platforms that can accommodate a variety of equipment and systems

3. Data Management and Analytics

The vast amount of data generated by IoT devices can be overwhelming, and organizations may struggle to extract meaningful insights for decision-making.

Solution: Implement a comprehensive data management and analytics strategy, including:

  • Scalable data storage and processing solutions (e.g., cloud-based platforms, edge computing)
  • Advanced data analytics tools and techniques (e.g., machine learning, predictive analytics)
  • Dashboards and visualization tools to present data in a meaningful and actionable way

4. Skilled Workforce and Training

Implementing IoT in industrial automation requires investment in change management, new equipment, and workforce training, which is very costly and complex.

Solution: Invest in training and upskilling programs to develop the necessary skills within the organization, such as:

  • Providing training on IoT technologies, data analysis, and industrial automation
  • Hiring and retaining talent with the required expertise in IoT and industrial automation

5. Scalability and Flexibility

As the number of IoT devices and the complexity of the industrial automation system grow, the solution must be able to scale and adapt to changing requirements.

Solution: Design the IoT architecture with scalability and flexibility in mind, such as:

  • Leveraging modular and cloud-based infrastructure that can easily scale up or down
  • Implementing a flexible and adaptable IoT platform that can accommodate new devices and technologies
  • Adopting a DevOps approach to enable continuous integration and deployment of updates and upgrades

Partner with Us to Integrate IoT Into Your Manufacturing Operations

With a record of demonstrated success across diverse industrial sectors, Rishabh Software is your trusted development partner for integrating IoT solutions. With a deep understanding of the complexities involved in IoT projects, our IoT consultants utilize innovative technologies and solutions for a smart, connected ecosystem. We provide comprehensive IoT consulting services for analyzing industrial needs, prototyping IoT solutions, and planning implementation roadmaps.

With expertise in custom IoT software development services, we cater to client needs across manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and smart cities. Cross-industry experience equips us with a deep understanding of unique challenges, enabling the development of tailored solutions that seamlessly integrate with industrial automation systems. As a trusted custom IoT Solution Development provider, we develop and test IIoT solutions, including data storage, analytics, machine learning, and control applications.

We have extensive experience delivering exceptional IoT projects across various industries, including manufacturing, energy, oil and gas, construction, and agriculture.

Our Success Story:

Smart IoT Remote Refrigeration Monitoring for Pharmaceutical Compliance

One of the market pioneers in data loggers and remote monitoring systems collaborated with Rishabh Software to develop an innovative IoT-based freezer temperature monitoring system for the pharmaceutical industry. This comprehensive system offers a robust solution for data logging and remote access by ensuring the quality and efficacy of vital medical supplies to the client.

Smart freezer monitoring application for pharma industry


  • Maintaining optimal temperatures across multiple locations
  • Reducing human error risks in manual monitoring
  • Implementing robust IoT infrastructure for wireless monitoring
  • Ensuring data security and regulatory compliance
  • Managing and extracting insights from large volumes of sensor data


As a trusted custom software development company, we developed an IoT-based freezer temperature monitoring system for the pharmaceutical industry by integrating BLE beacons with temperature sensors for robust data logging and extraction.

The system features real-time temperature tracking, inventory status monitoring, and instant alerts for temperature deviations. This comprehensive approach enhances refrigerator functionality, reduces waste, and safeguards medication integrity across multiple locations.


  • 25% fewer temperature deviation incidents
  • 30% reduction in pharmaceutical waste
  • 20% increase in compliance

Read more on how we helped transform pharmaceutical supply chain management with the smart IoT remote refrigeration monitoring system for the pharma industry.

Stop Losing Millions on Equipment Downtime

Our IoT experts can implement end-to-end IoT solutions to gain control over mission-critical equipment and hardware that affects overall business performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the types of Industrial Automation systems?

A: Below are common Industrial automation types:

  • Fixed Automation: This kind of system is inflexible and designed for one specific function. It is perfect for repetitive tasks.
  • Programmable Automation: This system is more adaptable than fixed systems. It uses programs to control machinery. This allows for changes in production runs. Examples include robotic welders and CNC machines.
  • Flexible Automation: It offers high adaptability for different products. These systems can be reprogrammed quickly to switch between production tasks. Imagine a factory that builds multiple car models on the same assembly line.
  • Integrated Automation: The ultimate in automation, these systems connect all aspects of production into one network. This allows for complete control and monitoring from a central location. Example include – A smart factory with everything interconnected.

Q: How does IoT integrate into automation?

A: IoT enhances industrial automation through:

  • Real-time data collection from sensors and smart devices
  • Advanced data analysis for process optimization and anomaly detection
  • Automated process adjustments based on insights
  • Remote monitoring and control of machinery
  • Predictive maintenance for almost no downtime and extended equipment life

These capabilities lead to improved efficiency, flexibility, and cost savings in industrial processes.

Q: Which Industries are benefiting from IoT industrial automation?

A: Industries benefiting most from IoT-powered industrial automation include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Energy
  • Oil and Gas
  • Transportation
  • Facility Management
  • Mining and Metals
  • Aviation
  • Agriculture

The increased visibility, flexibility, and efficiency provided by IoT automation help these industries boost productivity, quality, and competitiveness.