In today's competitive industry marketplace, the companies face growing demands to improve process efficiencies, comply with environmental regulations, and meet corporate financial objectives. Given the increasing age of many industrial systems and the dynamic industrial manufacturing market, intelligent and low-cost industrial automation systems are required to improve the productivity and efficiency of such systems. The collaborative nature of industrial wireless sensor networks (IWSNs) brings several advantages over traditional wired industrial monitoring and control systems, including self-organization, rapid deployment, flexibility, and inherent intelligent-processing capability. In this regard, IWSN plays a vital role in creating a highly reliable and self-healing industrial system that rapidly responds to real-time events with appropriate actions. In this paper, first, technical challenges and design principles are introduced in terms of hardware development, system architectures and protocols, and software development. Specifically, radio technologies, energy-harvesting techniques, and cross-layer design for IWSNs have been discussed. In addition, IWSN standards are presented for the system owners, who plan to utilize new IWSN technologies for industrial automation applications. In this paper, our aim is to provide a contemporary look at the current state of the art in IWSNs and discuss the still-open research issues in this field and, hence, to make the decision-making process more effective and direct.