Internet of Things in the Context of Industry 4.0: An Overview

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Due to successive technological advancements, developments and innovations, the global industrial landscape has drastically transformed over the last years. The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) aims at transforming traditional industries into intelligent ones by incorporating innovative technologies. Industry 4.0 enables physical assets to be integrated into intertwined digital and physical processes thus creating smart factories and intelligent manufacturing environments. Internet of Things (IoT) is a rapidly growing technology that has drastically contributed to the Industry 4.0 realization. IoT pursues to pervade our everyday environment and its objects, linking the physical to the digital world and allowing people and “things” to be connected anytime, anywhere, with anything and anyone ideally using any network and service. IoT is regarded as a dynamic and global network of interconnected “things” uniquely addressable, based on standard and interoperable communication protocols and with self-configuring capabilities. Despite still being at an early development, adoption and implementation stage, Industry 4.0 and IoT can provide a multitude of contemporary solutions, applications and services. Hence, they can improve life quality and yield significant personal, professional and economic opportunities and benefits in the near future. This study scrutinizes IoT in the Industry 4.0 context. More specifically, it presents related studies, describes the IoT concept and explores some of the numerous IoT application domains. Moreover, it presents and analyzes the concept of Industry 4.0 and the benefits it offers as well as the relevant key technologies (e.g. industrial internet of things (IIoT), cyber-physical systems (CPSs), cloud computing, big data and advanced data analytics). Furthermore, it describes the concept of intelligent manufacturing and highlights the main IoT and Industry 4.0 challenges and open research issues. Finally, the need for innovation in the industrial domain and the impact and benefits that IoT and Industry 4.0 provide to everyday life and industries is described.

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