Commonly used terms in Industrial ICT

Industrial IoT terms and terminology

All technology fields is ripe with abbreviations and terminology. Here are some that are frequently used within Industrial Information and Communication Technology.


IIoT terms and terminology


TSN, or Time-Sensitive Networking, is a set of IEEE standards that enable deterministic delivery of data over Ethernet networks, ensuring precise timing for critical applications. By synchronizing devices and prioritizing traffic, TSN enhances reliability and reduces latency in industrial automation and other time-critical systems.


Information and Communication Technology. HMS playing field is Industrial ICT.


Automation refers to the use of technology to perform tasks with minimal human intervention, enhancing efficiency and productivity within industrial processes.


Control involves regulating and directing the operation of machinery or systems to maintain desired performance levels or outcomes in industrial environments.


Real-time describes processes or operations that occur instantly or without perceptible delay, enabling immediate response and decision-making within industrial environments.

Industrial Network

An industrial network is a communication infrastructure that connects devices, sensors, and systems within industrial environments, facilitating data exchange and control. In the industry, demands for for security, performance and reliability are much higher than in office networks. Often divided into legacy Fieldbus networks and newer Industrial Ethernet networks. 


Just as the name suggests, Anybus enables any device to connect to any "bus" (Fieldbus or Industrial Ethernet). Anybus is a brand from HMS Networks.


Under the Ixxat brand, HMS offers one of the largest portfolios of CAN products on the market, as well as products for Industrial Ethernet and Functional Safety. Ixxat products are used in a wide range of industries – from e-mobility and medical to industrial automation.


Ewon remote solutions enable machine builders and users to securely access industrial equipment from any location. These solutions facilitate seamless and secure Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) functionality, allowing for remote maintenance, troubleshooting, and machine data visualization. Ewon is a brand from HMS Networks.


Under the Intesis brand, HMS offers communication solutions for buildings. Protocol translators enable building devices to communicate on open building standards as well as proprietary protocols. Specialized AC interfaces offer connectivity for AC units from all major AC brands to any building automation system — enabling better control and substantial energy savings for the connected AC units.



A sensor is a device that detects and measures physical or environmental conditions within industrial settings, providing valuable data for analysis and control.


Programmable Logic Controller. The "brain" of an industrial network. Like a computer controlling industrial actions — like for example the speed of a conveyor belt or moves of a robot.


MQTT is an OASIS standard messaging protocol for the Internet of Things (IoT). It is designed as an extremely lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport that is ideal for connecting remote devices with a small code footprint and minimal network bandwidth. MQTT today is used in a wide variety of industries, such as automotive, manufacturing, telecommunications, oil and gas, etc.


The Internet of Things (IoT) is basically considered to be a network of devices, connected to the Internet. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the same thing but referring to connected industrial systems with a higher level of robustness, reliability, security, catering for real-time demands. HMS Networks has been connecting devices, machines and systems since the 1980s.


The first fieldbuses saw the light of day in the late 1970s, replacing the previous hardwiring which required one wire for each controlled unit.


A protocol is a set of rules or standards governing communication and data exchange between devices, systems, or networks within industrial environments. It is possible to "translate" between protocols using an industrial network gateway.


Visualization involves representing data or information in graphical or visual formats within industrial contexts, aiding analysis, decision-making, and understanding.

M2M (Machine-to-machine) monitoring

M2M Monitoring involves systematically observing and assessing industrial processes or equipment to ensure proper functioning, identify issues, and prevent failures.


IoT stands for Internet of Things, which refers to the network of interconnected devices embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies that enable them to collect and exchange data over the internet, facilitating automation and smart decision-making in industrial settings.


SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, which is a system used for monitoring and controlling industrial processes and infrastructure in real-time, typically through graphical user interfaces, remote terminals, and control systems.


PLC stands for Programmable Logic Controller, which is a ruggedized industrial computer used for automating electromechanical processes in manufacturing and industrial environments, executing programmed instructions for controlling machinery and equipment.


HMI stands for Human-Machine Interface, which is a user interface or dashboard that allows operators to interact with and control industrial machinery, equipment, and processes, typically through visual displays, touchscreens, and graphical interfaces.


DCS stands for Distributed Control System, which is a control system used to manage and control industrial processes across multiple locations or units within a facility, enabling centralized monitoring, coordination, and automation.


OPC stands for OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) for Process Control, which is a set of standards and specifications for interoperability between industrial automation devices and software applications, facilitating data exchange and communication in industrial environments.


OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture) is a standardized communication protocol for industrial automation and control systems, facilitating interoperability among devices from different vendors. It enables secure and reliable exchange of data and information between various machines and software applications in industrial environments.


MES stands for Manufacturing Execution System, which is a software system used to manage and control manufacturing processes on the shop floor, providing real-time visibility, tracking, and optimization of production activities and resources.


M2M stands for Machine-to-Machine, which refers to direct communication between devices or machines without human intervention, enabling automated data exchange and control in industrial IoT applications.


LAN stands for Local Area Network, which is a network infrastructure used to connect devices and equipment within a limited geographical area, such as a factory floor or industrial facility, enabling data sharing, communication, and collaboration.


WAN stands for Wide Area Network, which is a network infrastructure that spans a large geographical area, connecting multiple LANs and other devices over long distances, enabling remote access, communication, and data exchange in industrial environments.


RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification, which is a technology used for identifying and tracking objects, assets, and products using radio waves, enabling automated data capture and inventory management in industrial and supply chain applications.


VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, which is a secure network connection established over a public network, such as the internet, allowing users to access and transmit data securely between remote locations or devices in industrial settings.


TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, which is a set of communication protocols used for transmitting data between devices over networks, including the internet, enabling reliable and standardized data exchange in industrial IoT applications.


API stands for Application Programming Interface, which is a set of protocols, tools, and definitions that allows different software applications to communicate and interact with each other, enabling integration and interoperability in industrial IoT ecosystems.


MQTT stands for Message Queuing Telemetry Transport, which is a lightweight messaging protocol used for communication between devices and applications in IoT and industrial environments, enabling efficient and reliable data exchange over constrained networks.


BMS stands for Building Management System, which is a computer-based control system used to monitor and manage building facilities, such as HVAC, lighting, security, and energy systems, optimizing comfort, safety, and efficiency in industrial and commercial buildings.

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11)

A popular wireless networking standard allowing devices to connect to local area networks wirelessly, with variants such as 802.11ac providing high-speed internet access.

Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15.1)

A short-range wireless technology enabling data exchange between devices in close proximity, commonly used for connecting peripherals like headphones and keyboards to smartphones and computers.

Zigbee (IEEE 802.15.4)

A low-power, low-data-rate wireless communication protocol suitable for home automation, sensor networks, and other applications requiring low-cost and efficient connectivity among devices.

LTE (Long-Term Evolution)

A standard for wireless broadband communication in mobile devices, offering high-speed internet access and supporting various multimedia services.

5G (5th Generation)

The latest generation of mobile communication technology, promising significantly faster data speeds, lower latency, and increased capacity compared to previous generations like 4G LTE.

LoRa (Long Range)

A low-power, long-range wireless communication technology ideal for Internet of Things (IoT) applications requiring connectivity over long distances, often used in smart city projects and industrial IoT deployments.