Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk on how Industrial IoT can change the manufacturing situation and derive more value and new revenue opportunities in such a way that there is no need to outline its value proposition in a general sense. Although the tsunami-sized trend comprises of a few problems, but all the positive coverage and baseless hype are one we could do without.
The industrial revolution began as soon as people and machines started to work together. This accelerated productivity, improved quality and otherwise drove process efficiencies. With the introduction of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), manufacturing industry seems to have entirely geared towards asset efficiency, reliability, and availability- overall, it is all set to come up in a new way to convert raw materials into finished products and introduce them to the market. The wheel of the fourth industrial revolution has already begun with more and more manufacturers making capital investments into technology.
Machinery these days are found embedded with sensors, switches, and intelligent controls to generate data and send it over the Internet, all in the service of making factories smarter. This is what IIoT is all about. The idea is pretty simple of creating long-term reductions in operational expenses. As network machines, sensors don’t make mistakes or require breaks, sick days, or training, which we humans most probably tend to. Plus, there is no denying in the fact that they offer a reliable and cost-effective way to improve efficiency.
Benefits Offered By IIoT
- To increase the effectiveness of facility management with the help of Machine sensors
- Reduction in the risk of inventory management errors
- Health and safety are some specific key performance indicators for a better work environment
- Real-time data allows you to track supplies and identify operational bottlenecks
- Consumption can be monitored to achieve cost-savings, all thanks to smart meters
Evolutions in Manufacturing Industry 2017-2020
After passing through the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, the entire world could witness several groundbreaking changes, for example, look at the things that we use to communicate in the past, all thanks to the widespread adoption and proliferation of digital computing and other digital communication technologies. This is what the digital revolution is all about — the third Industrial Revolution. Now, moving forward to our fourth Industrial Revolution, or “Industry 4.0,” It’s the time we have come past even conventional digital technologies. The popular age of cloud computing and the Internet of Things. Today, physical systems are designed to communicate with human beings as well as each other in real time; this is possible with the creation of a so-called “smart factory.” Further below I would like to mention a few used cases of IIoT in the manufacturing industry. Let’s dive into the details.
#1 Manufacturing operations
Manufacturing operations turn out to be one of the prime factors in the entire process. As operations here, involve several assets and operational personnel. Let me elaborate this for you; these manufacturing operations include several elements ranging from asset management, intelligent manufacturing, performance optimization, and monitoring, planning, human-machine interaction, end-to-end operational visibility, and the list goes on. IIoT offers great assistance in dealing with these cyber-physical systems.
#2 Production asset management and maintenance
Another important used case of IIoT in the manufacturing industry includes asset management and maintenance. Starting from location to the monitoring of parameters in several areas such as quality, performance, potential damage or breakdowns, bottlenecks, everything is covered in the procedure of production asset monitoring and tracking. Apart from performance and optimization, there is of course also the dimension of maintenance.
#3 Suppliers and Supply Chain
IIoT provides great access to real-time supply chain information. This means they can easily identify issues before they even occur, reduces inventory and potentially reduces capital requirements. As a result, manufacturers could gain a better understanding of this and all the parties involved in the supply chain can gain a clear insight into interdependencies, material flow and manufacturing cycle times. Location tracking, remote monitoring of inventory and reporting of parts and products are few key areas where IIoT enabled systems can be configured easily.
Meet the Subcomponents of IIOT
- Cloud computing- Over the past few years, the manufacturing landscape seems to have revolutionized. Gone are the days when organizations required to invest in costly on-premises software as cloud-based software allows businesses to set up quickly and inexpensive systems across multiple facilities with scalable, pay-as-you-go cloud services.
- Sensors- Connecting and recording data from devices becomes a feasible option, all thanks to sensors. Here a piece of equipment especially the one which has an embedded sensor can be integrated with compatible software platform you’re leveraging to monitor or maintain equipment.
- Big data- Connected devices tend to produce enough data which can be used to analyze and improve processes. In addition to this, it also helps to predict when equipment maintenance should occur based on super-human sensing capabilities.
- Automation- Connected devices, when linked with an enterprise IoT platform, allows one to automate processes- generally menial, repetitive ones. In fact, automation tends to relieve people of simple decision-making and repetitive tasks so that they can easily focus on higher-level and more complicated looking tasks.
- Artificial Intelligence- This one is my favorite, the tech empowers connected equipment to use data to make decisions and improve processes. Having machine learning and deep learning as subsets, AI does endeavor hard to lessen the human effort.
What Happens When IIoT Is Added To Your Manufacturing Strategy?
- Removes waste- Involving IIoT in manufacturing process results in removing production waste ranging from materials to time, resources. Although it doesn’t add any value but it definitely turn out to be an important aspect. Several additions have been aligned, for example, sensors. They can measure everything from flow to temperature to the status of valves allowing them to provide feedback constantly in the form of data. Another addition is cloud-based maintenance; this will enable one to track inventory, work orders, and asset history.
- Involves everyone- Getting everyone involved on the same page is very important for any manufacturing process to succeed. Combining IIoT in manufacturing can get you involved in the overall reliability of equipment.
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To kick-start your strategy
- Bring relevant leaders and stakeholders
- Make them understand these concepts and technologies
- Brainstorm the value proposition for your enterprise
- Try working on one or two pilot projects for better experience