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Industry 4.0 – the new frontier of manufacturing – offers tantalising opportunities but for newcomers the learning curve can feel very steep. IIoT’s technological barriers to entry can seem daunting. Especially when the challenges of Covid-19 and the fallout of Brexit present more immediate concerns.

But fail to seize the Horizon 3 opportunities offered by IIoT and your Horizon 1 outlook may become ever-more limited as the months and years flash by.

Data is the lifeblood of IIoT. Huge amounts of data. But capturing all this information and managing it successfully requires meticulous strategic planning and tactical implementation. It means:

  • creating a baseline (involving assets, processes, data collection and analysis to identify opportunities and issues)
  • using machine learning, Big Data and automation to create a ‘system of systems’
  • employing open integration and communications
  • consolidating data (from disparate systems) in the cloud…using applications such as advanced process control (APC), condition-based monitoring (CBM) and enterprise data historians
  • redefining functions and enabling smart collaboration – enhancing operations and supply chain management.

And all that depends on having a robust, reliable and well managed data collection infrastructure – one that will never let you down. Whether you’re taking your first steps in IIoT (starting with a few machines) or scaling up existing Industry 4.0 operations, your success will depend on the uptime of your sensors and data receivers. That means ensuring they are housed in the right enclosures.

Which Enclosures For My IIoT Sensors And Receivers?

Until recently the IoT/IIoT enclosures market felt under-served – and in some respects it still feels that way. Across the market, there have been few truly brand new IIoT enclosures designed from the ground up.

But OKW was quick to identify smart factory operators’ needs – and responded by unveiling a number of brand new IIoT enclosure models in rapid succession. After what feels like a very short time, our range of IIoT/sensor enclosures now numbers 17 different models.

Here are some questions to ask when specifying IIoT enclosures (and the practical answers that our enclosures provide)…