The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly transforming our products, systems, and cities to form a global interconnected network.

For industrial manufacturers, connected machines, work spaces, factories, and sites has ushered in a new era, referred to as Industry 4.0.

Driving industrial IoT is the ability of systems to collect and communicate data via communication protocols for a range of business benefits – including increased operational efficiency, improved safety, maximized uptime, and reduced maintenance costs.

Deciding on the right industrial IoT connectivity solution is therefore a key factor to ensuring successful deployment.

Options for Industry 4.0 Connectivity

The most common communication protocols for industrial systems can be divided into the following categories:

1. Application Layer IoT Protocols

The first category of communication protocols are messaging protocols specific to IoT. These allow information to be passed and understood across different devices. The most common application layer protocols are MMQT, AMQP, and CoAP.  

2. Internet/Network Layer IoT Protocols

The next category of protocols are used to create a connection between wireless sensor networks and the internet. The most common internet/network layer protocols are IPv6, 6LoWPAN, and RPL.  

3. Physical Layer IoT Protocols

The final category of communication protocols form the connection between devices and hardware (which can be a wireless or wired connection). These include LPWAN, Cellular, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Zigbee, NFC, RFID, WiFi, and Ethernet.

To learn more about IoT communication and how to choose the right protocol, check out the full guide on IoT Connectivity for Industry 4.0.

Guide to IoT connectivity

Jackie Retig

Jackie is a technology expert, focusing on the Internet of Things and the ways in which our world is becoming more connected.