Pick a Term


How far is industrial motion control technology from a shared, collaborative platform that allows everyone to collaborate smoothly and turbo-boost new technologies?

Here’s one way you can tell.

Pick a term:

  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
  • Industrial Internet
  • Industry 4.0

They mean the same thing. In each case, we’re talking about increasing communication among machines and human operators by integrating machines, sensors, actuators, software, and the internet, typically with the use of BYOD (bring your own device) mobile apps for the humans in the mix.

Three terms

So why do we have three different terms for the same thing? Rexroth uses Industry 4.0, a European concept which connects the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services (cloud-based services). What difference does it make to include the idea of cloud-based services as a separate entity?

It may motivate the developers and sellers of cloud-based services to think more about the industrial uses of their services. Or it may serve to remind manufacturers that they should be using cloud-based services to get the most out of the Internet of Things.

Why 4.0? It’s a reminder of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Remember:

  • Industry 1.0: Water/steam power
  • Industry 2.0: Electric power
  • Industry 3.0: Computing power
  • Industry 4:0: Internet of Things (IoT) power

Rexroth was there when steam power changed the world, and is an award-winning Industry 4.0 innovator.

So Industry 4.0 might be seen as a more inclusive term than IIoT, and yet a more specific term than “Industrial Internet,” a term coined in 2000 and still in use by major players on the IT side.

The Industrial Internet focuses on software — often one of the biggest investments in Industry 4.0 — to the near-exclusion of the machinery and the human operators.


Confusing? If so, it gives hint to the range of approaches currently in play. Getting all these viewpoints together in cooperation may be the next most important step toward the Factory of the Future.

In the meantime, make use your first call when you need service and support for new or legacy Rexroth electric servo motors, drives, and controls.

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Call (479) 422-0390 for immediate assistance

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