Manufacturing and IoT: A Powerful and Future-Proof Growth Hack
For manufacturing industries, technology is becoming the cornerstone of growth as the previous Industrial Revolution 3.0 and the ongoing Industrial Revolution 4.0 are both based on technologies. While Industrial Revolution 3.0 was all about digital transformation and automation, Industrial Revolution 4.0 is about AI and Data Analytics to streamline automation into all the aspects of the manufacturing process.
While RPA and AI have been a part of the manufacturing industries for a long time now, the introduction of IoT has revolutionized the reach of AI and increased Data efficiency with the help of a network of connected devices. With technologies like wearable electronics, smart devices, sensors, and RFID devices, manufacturers are aiming to create ‘Smart Factories’ and are investing heavily in IoT technologies.
Facts About IIoT and Its Adaptation in Manufacturing
The technology solutions and networked sensors and devices come under a special category called IIoT which is an abbreviation for Industrial Internet of Things. The growth of IIoT technology has been exponential as there are expected to be close to one billion internet-connected machines in manufacturing environments by 2021. This figure is nearly 400% more than that of those in 2015.
It is believed that industrialists and manufacturers invested approximately $70 Billion by the end of 2020. While this predicted figure is old, it can be certainly said that the future of IIoT in manufacturing will be much brighter as the world has witnessed the power of Technology due to the dire COVID-19 global pandemic. If you too are one of these manufacturers of industrialists, the following information will help you make an informed decision as we decode the applications, challenges, and benefits of IoT in manufacturing.
IoT Applications and Benefits in Manufacturing
Instead of covering limited industries and their limited applications, below are the operations that can be made more secure, efficient, and proficient with the help of IoT. With this, you can make decisions regarding your industry and business based on your business goals and the organization’s culture.
Whether you wish the sensors to detect defective pieces or you wish to monitor the input of Raw Materials or you wish the IoT to collect data regarding the QA and help your decision-makers in making informed decision to improve the overall product quality, with the help of IIoT network, industries can automate the whole process and achieve results with optimum efficiency.
Monitoring is one of the major purposes for which Industries are using IoT technologies. With the help of RFID devices and sensors, industries can maintain certain environmental conditions, check for personnel and product movement and execute other such vital monitoring tasks. So whether industries wish to monitor their production cycle, personnel, product or the production environment, IIoT can facilitate in each and every aspect.
One of the biggest concerns in manufacturing is workplace accidents. Whether it is about machine failure or faulty components or a human accident in any place of the premise, networked IIoT sensors can help you monitor, report and correct in near real-time! According to a survey, IIoT can reduce the time from detection to correction by a reported 50%-90%.
Effective Documentation and Data Management
In any industry, to make informed decisions and for effective planning, enterprises have to ensure untampered data collection and effective data management. Because of this need alone, enterprises adopted various Technology solutions as there is no human intervention and data points are controlled by AI and other such technology solutions. IIoT devices help you increase those data inputs to an exponential level and transmit data directly to servers for reporting and processing without any proximity of human errors.
Data-Driven Decision Making With Digital Twins
With the help of cognitive technologies and IoT network of connected devices, industries can create a “Digital Twin” which is the virtual replica of the factory. With the help of the IoT network, industries can create a Digital Twin and run different simulations to get insights and make amends accordingly. Since the data inputs are untampered, such simulations have a high success ratio and thus, industries can make effective data-driven decisions.
With IoT sensors and devices effectively monitoring the production cycle and Digital Twin running simulations, industries can ensure minimal waste with optimum utilization of resources. Right from logistics monitoring to inventory management, every aspect of the production can be automated and monitored. Industries can not only detect breaches and delays in real-time, but they can also improve the production process and solve problems that decision-makers didn’t even know existed.
Challenges Faced by Industries in IoT Applications
The biggest problems that industries and manufacturers are facing currently are the availability of historical data and the ability of an organization to make changes in their business operations as well as the organization’s culture to adapt to the technology advancements integrated into the manufacturing unit. With conventional mindsets and traditional production methods in practice, many industries cannot fully digitize their manufacturing unit and thus, face a problem in achieving seamless transition.
Capital Intensive Endeavor
There are very few industries where there are practiced industry-wide standards and there exists a digital ecosystem that is interoperable safely and securely. Because of this reason, industries have to rely on personalized solutions along with new hardware deployment that can result in a capital intensive endeavor.
Ownership and Probability of IoT Data
To avoid the cost of personalized IIoT technology solutions and smart devices, industries many times rely on third-party solutions that are ready-to-use. But with third-party devices and solutions comes the question of product ownership and accessibility of the data. Also, there comes a concern of scalability of the technology as manufacturing often witnesses changes in their production norms.
One of the biggest challenges that industries are facing currently with digital transformation and digital data is of Cyber Security. In a survey, it was found that 70% of respondents didn’t feel that they had optimum cybersecurity and that they have faced cyber threats.
Industries can gain exponential benefits from IIoT networks and devices but, they need to plan their endeavor effectively instead of just following the trend. With the increased dependency on Technology and automation, industries need an ideal Technology Partner that can provide robust, personalized, and secure IIoT solutions that align with business goals, market expectations.
When we speak about the Internet of Things (IoT), what comes to your mind? Smart watches? Smart devices? Home Assistants like Alexa by Amazon? You're on the right track! ... continue reading