It is time for Manufacturers to transform their business through smarter resource utilization & improved ROI with the connected industrial intelligence offered by IoT
If you think that the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart manufacturing are just buzzwords, it is time to think again. In an IndustryWeek survey, an overwhelming 97% respondents felt that the IoT has the potential to make a typical production floor a lot smarter than what it is currently. There was also consensus that it was the right time for manufacturing firms to invest in IoT technologies.
Automation has always been an integral aspect of manufacturing industries. But, the digital revolution, driven by mobility, artificial intelligence, and Big Data, and the advent of connectivity technologies such as the IoT and cloud computing, is pushing the boundaries of what automation can achieve. Today, it’s not just about gaining operational efficiencies through plant automation, but also, enabling superior decision making on the plant floor, and yes, in real-time!
It is only natural that the IoT has turned out to be a huge game changer, with its ability to transform the way the manufacturing industry operates – right from product ideation to service execution. Manufacturing businesses are leveraging intelligently connected products, coupled with software and analytics as well as smart sensors, to monitor processes and drive improvements across the floor, such as enhanced process and data transparency, competent safety standards, and optimized costs.
So, what are some quick wins that manufacturers can achieve through IoT implementations? Automating the regulation and optimization of lighting, HVAC, and other aspects of the physical plant are straightforward implementations of the IoT. However, the real value will come from the ability to harness powerful insights from the data that connected devices generate. IoT takes ‘smart manufacturing’ platforms, which integrate CRM, SCM, and ERP systems, to a whole new level when combined with predictive analytics. Armed with these insights, operations teams can adjust the unit-level production to suit stock requirements. This ‘monitor-and-adjust’ model can be replicated in various applications across the floor, enabling better tracking and control over the production stock.
Using the IoT for proactive asset management
Asset management will be one of the most important and beneficial IoT applications in the manufacturing industry. For example, you can register all equipment belonging to multiple production lines on a centralized asset management tool and add related defects history and maintenance schedules. IoT-enabled asset management offers deeper insights into recurring trends and issues related to asset performance at a component- and subassembly- level. With this, manufacturers can shift from a reactive to a preventive approach to maintenance, leading to the higher uptime of the production line, better ROI, and improved asset performance.
Moving toward a smarter and more connected future
We can foresee manufacturers benefitting immensely as a result of this connected industrial intelligence offered by the IoT. There are bound to be sure-shot improvements in quality, throughput, and productivity, along with visibly reduced equipment downtime, better personnel safety, and drastic cost efficiencies – all this, due to smarter resource utilization.