Sensors are often one of the first things people associate with the IIoT. After all, sensors perform a slew of actions – like monitoring processes, taking measurements, and collecting data – that are integral to IIoT functionality. In an article he wrote for Forbes, Bernard Marr said:
“A big part of the Internet of Things isn’t so much about smart devices, but about sensors. These tiny innovations can be attached to everything from yogurt cups to the cement in bridges and then record and send data back into the cloud. This will allow businesses to collect more and more specific feedback on how products or equipment are used, when they break, and even what users might want in the future.”
It goes without saying that the IIoT would never exist without smart sensors. Below is a breakdown of six common smart sensors and how they’re shaping the future of industry around the world.
1. Pressure Sensors
According to the World Wildlife Fund, roughly 60% of freshwater used by farmers is wasted. Pressure sensors monitor pipelines and determine when an area is leaking or otherwise in need of repair. They may also be used in a variety of vehicles – like planes and cars – to monitor altitude, force, or other metrics.
2. Level Sensors
Real-time level measurement in large tanks, bins, and vessels is required for inventory management and process control. Level sensors are some of the most common smart sensors available. They can be used to measure tank levels, diesel fuel gauging, waste management and recycling metrics, and irrigation.
3. Aquatic Sensors
Aquatic sensors can monitor water treatment and rainwater quality. They are also quite useful to water theme parks and aquariums. Recently, Advantech helped an aquarium update their massive networks of aquatic sensors to provide their team with real-time data – keeping the flora and fauna of the aquarium healthy.
4. Temperature Sensors
Probably the most versatile smart sensor, temperature sensors can be used in nearly every IoT environment. For example, these devices can monitor and measure the temperature of a machine in an industrial setting and alert an operator or emergency shut-off system if the machine overheats.
5. Infrared Sensors
Smart infrared sensors are ideal for very specific applications. They measure and track blood flow during certain medical procedures, monitor heat leaks in buildings and structures, and much more. These sensors can also be used in wearable electronics for health and fitness, medical technology, and fashion industries.
6. Proximity Sensors
Commonly found in retail environments, these sensors are used to detect location and motion. A store can use a potential customer’s proximity to send coupons or specials to their mobile phone. Large venues like airports, malls, and stadiums can utilize proximity sensors in parking garages to monitor availability.
Kundinger represents several companies that are developing IIoT-compatible sensors for a variety of industries. Companies like Parker, Sick Sensors, Advantech, and Gems Sensors are all leaders in pursuing IIoT sensors, which help our customers increase productivity, reduce cost, and increase overall earnings on the bottom line. Call Kundinger today with your smart sensor questions. Our goal is to make your job easier!