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IIoT projects: When mechanical engineering meets IT

Cloud, edge, IT and OT: When it comes to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), it’s not so easy to keep track of everything. Shopfloor and IT collide. What does that mean? It’s about transferring the knowledge of mechanical engineering to the digital world. It also means that experts who speak a different technical language have to communicate and move in a common direction in order to make IIoT projects a success.


Production can’t wait for the mastermind in the cloud to work out an answer, or for communication from the cloud server on the other side of the world. This is where the Edge comes in. The Edge decentralizes cloud intelligence and is installed as hardware in the halls of a manufacturing company. After all, not all data has to make the long journey to the cloud. Local data processing is often quite sufficient. The goal is always to optimize processes

Machines, vehicles and robots: they are all communication participants in the Internet of Things. © iStock-869287090
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is where store floor and IT meet. It is about transferring the knowledge of mechanical engineering into the digital world.

Agiles Arbeiten und richtiges Erwartungsmanagement

Sich auf einen Use-Case zu fokussieren, führt nicht zum Ziel. Am besten nicht auf den perfekten Use-Case warten, sondern einfach anfangen.

  • Das richtige Erwartungsmanagement ist entscheidend. Losgelöste IIoT-Projekte garantieren nicht die nächste Millioneneinnahme. Sie müssen ganzheitlich in der Unternehmensstrategie verankert sein.
  • Externe Projektpartner müssen sorgfältig ausgewählt werden. Zu viele Parteien führen nicht immer zur besten Lösung.
  • Agiles Arbeiten ist das Mittel der Wahl. IIoT-Projekte können nicht in bestehende (Produkt)-Entwicklungsprozesse gezwängt werden

IIoT projects have neither beginning nor end

  • If IIoT projects are to be successful, investments must be made – in the know-how of the employees and in the production environments. Trying to do too much with existing resources will not succeed.

  • It needs the backing of the C-level.

  • One important insight: IIoT projects have no beginning and no end. They are a journey.

  • The focus must be on proof-of-value, not proof-of-concept.

  • For industrial communication to succeed, industry standards such as OPC UA must be used.

Sharing information about IIoT projects helps the entire industry.

The good news is that many people are now familiar with the Industrial Internet of Things. There are numerous successful projects. Benefiting from the experience of others helps the entire industry.

Learn more about Digital transformation: Simple connection from the shopfloor to the cloud on the KUKA Blog. Join us for a look at an industry 4.0 showcase KUKA and SAP – Behind the scenes of a strong partnership.

About the author
Ulrike Goetz

Spokesperson Business KUKA


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