The manufacturing industry is continuously evolving as new practices and technology are adopted to improve productivity and remain competitive. There have been three well established manufacturing revolutions in recent history and some say that the fourth is occurring currently by the name of Smart Manufacturing, Indusrie 4.0, and others. This latest manufacturing revolution is highly dependent on industrial connectivity. This research aims to gage the ability of Industrial Innovation Platforms (IIPs) to reduce complexity of implementing base-line industrial connectivity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The results of this study would be especially relevant to decision makers in industrial SMEs who are considering implementing industrial connectivity as well as providing insights into approaches for establishing base-line industrial connectivity. The research methodology consists of three main steps: 1) creation of IIP and non-IIP connectivity solutions that enable connectivity of the vast amount of industrial equipment, 2) Gathering measures from solutions in accordance with metrics identified for complexity evaluation, 3) discussion and interpretation of data To have a more complete analysis, quantitative and qualitative data was used and evaluated to address the varying elements of the broad task of establishing industrial connectivity. The research showed that IIPs can reduce complexity for select industrial equipment. Some industrial equipment have robust and streamlined connectivity solutions provided by the IIP. In these cases, the IIP almost certainly will reduce the complexity of establishing connectivity. Other industrial equipment have a solution provided by the IIP which requires piecing together and some component modifications. In these cases, the IIPs reduce complexity of establishing connectivity dependent on circumstances. Lastly, when no form of solution is available through the IIP for the industrial equipment, the IIP's has no ability to reduce complexity other than hosting the server used in connectivity. These findings open additional avenues of research which could improve the understanding of benefits IIPs may provide to SMEs.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology

Date Submitted


Document Type





industrial connectivity, industrial innovation platform, industrial internet of things, smart manufacturing, industrie 4.0, ad-hoc connectivity