There is a very interesting article written by Alex Webb for Bloomberg Businessweek titled,
"Unlike in computing, with its standardized suite of keyboards and USB connectors, there are no dominant standards in industrial equipment."
"Both groups aim to make it easier for machines in factories throughout companies’ supply chains to communicate with one another. The goal: to reduce downtime by anticipating when a factory will have spare capacity or need replacement parts, for example. Built-in sensors will collect all manner of data to better allocate resources, helping manufacturers cut energy use by as much as 20 percent and labor costs by 25 percent, according to consultant McKinsey."