Cotton sensor alarm! Fridge temperature alarm! Compressed air low! Check nozzles!

These alerts—from an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) system developed by the company I serve as Chief Information Officer—may call to mind an ancient question: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears, does it make a sound?” To which some have replied: “It matters not, since the tree has fallen.”

This article is a compendium of lessons learned from implementing our IIoT process, people and technology in the most unlikely of environments: the cotton gin. While these lessons learned were from our first ventures with the cotton gin, they have been extremely helpful to us in our expansion to other applications, including legal cannabis which faces its own needs—both regulatory and economic—for traceability.