2022 Survey Shows MQTT Adoption is High for Industry 4.0
Written by Allison Yrungaray
Published: October 20, 2022
Over the past several years, many companies have started to plan or implement Industrial IoT projects aimed at connecting devices and using data for operational improvement. The success of these IIoT projects is heavily dependent on solving the complex challenges of moving data from operational technology (OT) to information technology (IT).
HiveMQ has been a strong proponent of the MQTT protocol and Sparkplug specification as the ideal way to solve those challenges and enable data movement for Industry 4.0. As a result, for the second year in a row we’ve partnered with IIoT World to survey their community and gain a better understanding of how companies are building IIoT systems.
For the purpose of this discussion, our definition of IIoT is the ability to harness data from sensors, PLCs, SCADA and other OT systems and make it available to IT or enterprise systems to add insights and realize Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing use cases.
The 2022 survey included more than 400 responses and the findings identify MQTT as a key enabler for IIoT projects, while Sparkplug is up and coming.
Nearly Half of Respondents Use MQTT and Consider it Essential
When asked which protocols they use today to connect their equipment, 55% said HTTP, 48% MQTT, while another 10% mentioned the use of MQTT Sparkplug. Other protocols like OPC-UA and Profibus were used much less frequently, while Modbus is holding steady with 41%. Additional survey questions show that MQTT appears to be the modern protocol of choice for companies moving forward with building IIoT systems.
When asked which data movement tools they consider essential to fulfill their IIoT strategy, MQTT was the most popular answer at 55%, just ahead of HTTP at 51% (respondents could choose all that apply). An impressive 25% answered MQTT Sparkplug, solidifying the relatively new technology as a key piece of the puzzle as companies digitally transform and roll out IIoT projects.
More Work to do for Sparkplug Awareness
Companies are still gaining knowledge of Sparkplug, with 7% saying they currently use Sparkplug in deployed systems, another 7% indicating they plan to use it, 13% considering it, and 37% saying they need to learn more about Sparkplug. Another 36% say they’ve never heard of Sparkplug. The updated specification is expected this Fall which should help companies better understand and implement Sparkplug, which is a vendor-neutral specification for data formats, topic structures, state management, and how topologies should be structured in IIoT scenarios. Last year’s survey indicated just 4% of respondents had deployed Sparkplug, so while it is on the rise to 7% deployed, it is still in its infancy.
One-third Have Implemented IIoT Strategies in Production
In addition to gaining knowledge about MQTT and Sparkplug usage and awareness, the survey attempts to get a clear picture of how fast companies are adopting IIoT strategies. While Industry 4.0 adoption has accelerated in recent years, a third of survey respondents (33%) said they are still researching IIoT. Another 31% say they are implementing their IIoT strategy and have systems in production, while 17% are actively developing their IIoT strategy, 10% have begun development but have not deployed into production, and 8% are at the proof of concept phase.
The survey also asked additional questions such as the greatest benefits expected from IIoT implementation, implementation challenges, who is leading IIoT strategy, and the use of cloud computing. You can get a copy of the complete report here.
The report was written and sponsored by HiveMQ based on the data from the IIoT World Survey. HiveMQ markets an MQTT-based messaging platform and to avoid influencing the survey results, was not identified to respondents as the sponsor of the survey. We look forward to continuing to understand how manufacturers are implementing IIoT and how MQTT and Sparkplug act as key enablers.