Industrial Internet Consortium

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Industrial Internet Consortium
IIC Logo.jpg
MottoThings Are Coming Together
Headquarters109 Highland Ave Needham, Massachusetts
Region served
258 member organizations
Parent organization
Object Management Group

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is an open membership organization, with 258 members as of 22 November 2016.[1] The IIC was formed to accelerate the development, adoption and widespread use of interconnected machines and devices and intelligent analytics. Founded by AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM, and Intel in March 2014, the IIC catalyzes and coordinates the priorities and enabling technologies of the Industrial Internet.

Its current executive director is Richard Soley.[2] Stephen J. Mellor serves as Chief Technical Officer for the Industrial Internet Consortium.[3]


The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) was founded on 27 March 2014 by AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM, and Intel. Though its parent company is the Object Management Group, the IIC is not a standards organization.[4] Rather, the consortium was formed to bring together industry players — from multinational corporations, small and large technology innovators to academia and governments — to accelerate the development, adoption and widespread use of Industrial Internet technologies.[5]

The mission has changed over the years from a focus on growing an industrial internet market to one more focussed on connectivity and trustworthiness to one focused on digital transformation and deployments. The mission, from August 2020, is "To deliver transformative business value to organizations, industry and society by accelerating adoption of a trustworthy internet of things".

Specifically, the IIC members are concerned with creating an ecosystem for insight and thought leadership, interoperability and security via reference architectures, security frameworks and open standards, and real world implementations to vet technologies and drive innovations (called testbeds). The IIC Technology Working Group ratified an Industrial Internet reference architecture on 17 June 2015, which defines functional areas and the technologies and standards for them, from sensors to data analytics and business applications.[6]


The development of testbeds to demonstrate the real-world implementation of Industrial Internet solutions is one of the goals of the IIC. As of February 2016, the Consortium has publicly announced nine testbeds:

Track and Trace[edit]

The Track and Trace testbed brings the Industrial Internet onto the factory floor. The goal is to manage handheld power tools in manufacturing and maintenance environments. This "management" involves efficiently tracking and tracing the usage of these tools to ensure their proper use, prevent their misuse and collect data on their usage and status.

Today's factories are highly sophisticated and require exacting work - down to the precise amount of force used to tighten a screw. The tools in Track and Trace will be able to determine its precise location and use and, therefore, will be able to determine the force and work needed to complete a task. In addition, if a tool recognizes that it is being misused, it will promptly power down to avoid accident or injury. Finally, over the two-year project, the testbed participants will look to fine-tune the localization of tools to 30 centimeters, and ideally down to five centimeters. Currently, the accuracy is approximately one meter. These features of Track and Trace will contribute to the safety and quality of the goods produced, as well as increase productivity in manufacturing.

Over the two-year project, four Industrial Internet Consortium members will be lending their expertise to the testbed. Bosch is supplying the necessary software; Cisco is taking care of the precision location identification feature; National Instruments will interconnect the power tools; and Tech Mahindra is responsible for the application programming.[7]

Communication & Control Testbed For Microgrid Applications[edit]

The Communication & Control Testbed for Microgrid Applications brings the Industrial Internet to the energy industry. The testbed proposes redesigning the traditional power grid system into a series of microgrids. Microgrids rely on distributed energy generation making them more resilient to power outages. Additionally, microgrids aid in the integration of green energy sources, such as solar and wind. The goal of the testbed is to prove the viability of a real-time, secure databus to facilitate machine-to-machine, machine-to-control center, and machine-to-cloud data communications. It will combine distributed, edge-located processing and control applications with intelligent analytics. It will run in real-world power applications and interface with practical equipment. This testbed is a collaborative effort from IIC members Real-Time Innovations, National Instruments, and Cisco. There will also be collaboration with Duke Energy and the Standard Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) to ensure a coordinated, accepted architecture.[8]

Asset Efficiency Testbed[edit]

Many industries have assets that are critical to their business processes. Availability and efficiency of these assets directly impact service and business. Using predictive analytics, the Asset Efficiency Testbed aims to collect real-time asset information efficiently and accurately and run analytics to make the right decisions in terms of operations, maintenance, overhaul and asset replacement. Infosys, a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium, is leading this project, with contribution from Consortium members Bosch, General Electric, IBM, Intel, National Instruments, and PTC.

Asset Efficiency is a vertical testbed, making it possible for the testbed to be applied to multiple solutions. The testbed will launch in two phases. In the first phase, the testbed will be created for a moving solution, in this case, aircraft landing gear. The focus of this phase will be on the creation of stack and the integration of technologies. In the second phase, the testbed will address fixed assets, like chillers, with the goals of finalizing the architecture and opening up the interfaces.

The Asset Efficiency Testbed monitors, controls and optimizes the assets holistically taking into consideration operational, energy, maintenance, service, and information efficiency and enhance their performance utilization.[9]

Edge Intelligence Testbed[edit]

Many emerging industrial IoT applications require coordinated, real-time analytics at the "edge", using algorithms that require a scale of computation and data volume/velocity previously seen only in the data center. Frequently, the networks connecting these machines do not provide sufficient capability, bandwidth, reliability, or cost structure to enable analytics-based control or coordination algorithms to run in a separate location from the machines.

Industrial Internet Consortium members Hewlett-Packard and Real-Time Innovation have joined together on the Edge Intelligence Testbed. The primary objective of the Edge Intelligence Testbed is to significantly accelerate the development of edge architectures and algorithms by removing the barriers that many developers face: access to a wide variety of advanced compute hardware and software configurable to directly resemble state-of-the-art edge systems at very low cost to the tester/developer.[10]

Factory Operations Visibility & Intelligence Testbed[edit]

The Factory Operations Visibility & Intelligence (FOVI) Testbed makes it possible to simulate a factory environment in order to visualize results that can then be used to determine how the process can be optimized. The work on FOVI stems from two separate Operations Visibility and Intelligence applications in two factories in Japan: one for notebook computers and another for network appliances. Both use cases have a lot in common with respect to processing data, analytics, and visualization technologies. Ideally they should use a common software foundation while their future evolution requires a more open architecture.

Work on the testbed will be led by Industrial Internet Consortium member Fujitsu Limited with Industrial Internet Consortium founding member, Cisco, collaborating on the in-factory testbed edge infrastructure.[11]

High Speed Network Infrastructure Testbed[edit]

The High-Speed Network Infrastructure testbed will introduce high-speed fiber optic lines to support Industrial Internet initiatives. The network will transfer data at 100 gigabits per second to support seamless machine-2-machines communications and data transfer across connected control systems, big infrastructure products, and manufacturing plants.

The 100 gigabit capability extends to the wireless edge, allowing the testbed leaders to provide more data and analytical results to mobile users through advanced communication techniques. Industrial Internet Consortium founder, General Electric, is leading efforts by installing the networking lines at its Global Research Center. Cisco - also a founder of the Consortium - contributed its expertise to the project by providing the infrastructure needed to give the network its national reach. Industrial Internet Consortium members Accenture and Bayshore Networks are currently demonstrating the application of the High-Speed Network Infrastructure for power generation.[12]

Industrial Digital Thread Testbed[edit]

The Industrial Digital Thread (IDT) testbed drives efficiency, speed, and flexibility through digitization and automation of manufacturing processes and procedures. Beginning at design, the seamless digital integration of design systems into manufacturing, leveraging the model-based enterprise, helps to enable virtual manufacturing before even one physical part is created. Sensor enabled automation, manufacturing processes, procedures, and machine data will enable optimization in operations and supply chain. Once the manufacturing process is complete, the digital ‘birth certificate’ (as built-signature) can then be compared to the as-designed engineering intention. This provides the opportunity for powerful big data analytics to enable service teams and field engineers to have better awareness, insights, and practical actions to improve the servicing and maintenance of critical assets.

The Industrial Digital Thread is a complex and comprehensive concept and it will be implemented in multiple phases. Phase 1 focuses on assembling the software stack, establishing the architecture and connectivity, and addressing one use case around premature wear. Throughout Phase 1, the testbed will be run by IIC members General Electric and Infosys. In subsequent phases, this testbed will be able to support multiple use cases in design, manufacturing, services and supply-chain optimization. At this time, additional members will be invited to join.[13]

INFINITE Testbed[edit]

The goal of the International Future Industrial Internet Testbed (INFINITE) is to develop software-defined infrastructures to drive the growth of Industrial Internet products and services. INFINITE uses Big Data to not only create completely virtual domains with Software-Defined Networking, but it also makes it possible for multiple virtual domains to securely run via one physical network - thus making it ideal for use in mission critical systems. Even more interesting, INFINITE makes it possible to connect to these virtual domains through mobile networks.

Industrial Internet Consortium member, EMC Corporation, is leading the INFINITE testbed. Also contributing their expertise to this project is Industrial Internet Consortium member Cork Institute of Technology, as well as Vodafone, the Irish Government Networks, Asavie and Cork Internet Exchange.

The testbed will unfold in two phases in Ireland. In Phase One, three geographically dispersed data centers will be interconnected into a reconfigured EMC network. In Phase Two, INFINITE will be applied to a use case called "Bluelight". Bluelight will allow ambulances to securely connect to a hospital's system and relay information while en route, so hospital staff are prepared to take over the care of the patient once the ambulance arrives.

The INFINITE testbed is open to any Industrial Internet Consortium member as well as interested nonmembers companies who have a concept for an IoT-enabled solution that requires mobile communication and a dynamic configuration environment.[14]

Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance Testbed[edit]

The Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance Testbed (CM/PM) will demonstrate the value and benefits of continuously monitoring industrial equipment to detect early signs of performance degradation or failure. CM/PM will also use modern analytical technologies to allow organizations to not only detect problems but proactively recommend actions for operations and maintenance personnel to correct the problem.

Condition Monitoring (CM) is the use of sensors in equipment to gather data and enable users to centrally monitor the data in real-time. Predictive Maintenance (PM) applies analytical models and rules against the data to proactively predict an impending issue; then deliver recommendations to operations, maintenance and IT departments to address the issue. These capabilities enable new ways to monitor the operation of the equipment - such as turbines and generators - and processes and to adopt proactive maintenance and repair procedures rather than fixed schedule-based procedures, potentially saving money on maintenance and repair, and saving cost and lost productivity of downtime caused by equipment failures. Furthermore, combining sensor data from multiple pieces of equipment and/or multiple processes can provide deeper insight into the overall impact of faulty or sub-optimal equipment, allowing organizations to identify and resolve problems before they impact operations and improve the quality and efficiency of industrial processes.

Through this testbed, the testbed leaders IBM and National Instruments will explore the application of a variety of analytics technologies for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. The testbed application will initially be deployed to a power plant facility where performance and progress will be reported on, additional energy equipment will be added, and new models will be developed. It will then be expanded to adjacent, as yet to be determined, industries.[15]

Smart Airline Baggage Management Testbed

The Smart Airline Baggage Management testbed, part of a broader aviation ecosystem vision, is aimed at reducing the instances of delayed, damaged and lost bags leading to lower economic risk exposure to the airlines; increasing the ability to track and report on baggage including location and weight changes to prevent theft and loss; and improve customer satisfaction through better communication including offering new value-added services to frequent flyers.

The testbed is also aimed at helping airlines address the new baggage handling requirements set out by IATA in Resolution 753 requiring airlines to implement more comprehensive acquisition and delivery solutions for baggage tracking and handling by June 2018. This target is also outlined in the broader IATA 2015 White Paper titled “Simplifying the Business.”

Working Groups[edit]

As of September 2020, the IIC has six working groups. They are: Technology, Security, Liaison, Marketing, Industry and Digital Transformation. The last two reflect the drive to enable technology end users to deploy technology in their businesses and transform them digitally. (The Industry Working Group used to be called the Testbed Working Group, but now includes test drives and challenges, and groups focused on specific verticals. The Digital Transformation Working Group used to be named Business Strategy and Solution Lifecycle, but has now broadened its remit.) Each working has a number of subgroups to further specific challenges. Each IIC member company can assign company representatives to these groups.[16]


  1. ^ Industrial Internet Consortium
  2. ^ "Meet Our Staff". The Industrial Internet Consortium. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Meet Our Staff". The Industrial Internet Consortium. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  4. ^ Essex, David. "Industrial Internet Consortium tackles interoperability" TechTarget. 12 Sept 2014.
  5. ^ Hardy, Quentin. "Consortium Wants Standards for Internet of Things". New York Times. 27 March 2014.
  6. ^ Pike, Julie. "Industrial Internet Consortium Releases Reference Architecture" Industrial Internet Consortium. 17 June 2015.
  7. ^ Las Marias, Stephen. "Track and Track Project Brings Industry Closer to 'Smarter Manufacturing' Vision" Control Engineering. 16 Feb 2015.
  8. ^ O'Connor, Mary Catherine. "Industrial Internet Consortium Announces Microgrid Testbed" Internet of Things Journal. 27 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) approves Infosys Asset Efficiency Testbed Infosys. August 2015.
  10. ^ Pike, Julie. "Edge Intelligence Testbed" Industrial Internet Consoritum. 2015.
  11. ^ "Fujitsu Gains Approval from Industrial Internet Consortium for its IoT Testbed Solution Model" Fujitsu Limited. 15 September 2015.
  12. ^ Sarosiek, Amy. "GE Unveils High-Speed Network Infrastructure to Connect Machines, Data and People at Light Speed to the Industrial Internet" Business Wire. 16 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Infosys Partners with GE to Develop New Solutions for the Industrial Internet of Things" Infosys. 2015.
  14. ^ Regan, Sarah. "EMC and Vodafone Ireland to launch Industrial ‘Internet of Things’ innovation platform, “INFINITE”" Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. 16 June 2015.
  15. ^ Pike, Julie. "Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance Testbed" Industrial Internet Consortium. 2015.
  16. ^ "Working Groups". The Industrial Internet Consortium. Retrieved 8 September 2020.

External links[edit]