Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the next big thing in the manufacturing industry that allows manufacturers to digitize their overall business. The majority of large scale manufacturers are aware of this revolutionizing technology of IIoT but do not know where to focus their efforts and what decisions to make to get started.
The end goal of introducing IIoT in manufacturing is to reduce the downtime of factories, save energy with smart power saving, and increase overall revenue. The Internet of Things can transform the manufacturing ecosystem by expanding the value chain, moving towards the agile production process, and improving customer service.
What is the Industrial Internet of Things?
Internet of Things (IoT) has extended beyond being just a buzzword. IoT capabilities implemented in the Industrial and Manufacturing space make way for the modern revolution Industrial IoT. With an amalgamation of different technologies like machine learning, big data, sensor data, M2M communication, and automation, IIoT is all set to transform the manufacturing processes. IIoT makes way for connected enterprise improving visibility, boosting operational efficiency, increases productivity as well as reducing the complexity of the process in the industry. Industrial IoT is a strategy aimed at enhancing the quality, safety, productivity in a trade.
IIoT: Optimizing Operations in Manufacturing
Let’s know the adoption plan for manufacturers to move towards smart factories. IIoT is utilized to employ the industry-best practices of device connectivity and management, synchronization of processes, and advanced analytics to get the best productivity. The following are essential dimensions that require the attention of manufacturers to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.
Empowering Equipment to Become Smart and Intelligent
The traditional working pattern of factories is mismanaged, for which the following factors are held responsible:
- Range of equipment working independently of each other
- Machinery that is fixed only in cases of break down
- No consideration of load balance for scheduling of maintenance checks
Smart factories are built with intelligent equipment that self-manage work and collaborate with the entire manufacturing ecosystem for the synchronized workflow of processes.
Installing Sensors for Safety
Using sensors helps in increasing visibility into the functioning of equipment and get details on possible threshold violations. Manufacturers can identify problems through remote monitoring of computer where sensors are connected to other large networks for in-depth analysis.
IoT is not just about saving money and time; it is about keeping workers safe. Sensors can be used to manage and monitor workers’ locations in case of an emergency or evacuation.
Creating a Blended Workforce
Workers operating on a pre-defined schedule and regardless of production plans result in wastage of resources, money, and efforts. The best way to making optimum use of the workforce is to align their work along with machines so that they can work collaboratively to deliver outputs as per manufacturing requirements.
Such result-orients efforts of a blended workforce allow in improving the efficiency of manufacturing processes. Train the workforce to use the emerging technologies of wearables and mobile helps in implementing the concept of enterprise mobility. This eventually results in enhanced accessibility and flexibility to undertake tasks.
Essential data such as checking of work status, work allocation details, and instructions can be accessed as well as updated in real-time by the entire workforce. Integration of human and machine, i.e. blended workforce resolves the problem of underutilized and unutilized assets, crossing of deadlines, and management of people as per the urgency of the delivery.
The Power of Prediction
IIoT can exponentially improve operating efficiencies and increase the power of prediction in the manufacturing process. Just consider if a machine stops functioning in an optimum manner, the connected sensors can identify the reason behind malfunction and generate a service request.
Predictive maintenance is the next big thing that will help a manufacturer predict when a machine might breakdown or enter a precarious operating condition even before it happens.
The process of condition monitoring is a fairly time-intensive process to analyze sound frequencies, vibrations, and temperature of a given machine to assess its reasonable condition. With the effective use of sensors, it is easy to collect and quickly analyze data points prediction becomes powerful and more comfortable.
The overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) improved with IIOT and sensors. The increased OEE reduces waste for the organization by predicting when machines would require maintenance and need to be taken out of service. By decreasing machine downtime, manufacturing companies can take better advantage of the factory’s capacity.
Manufacturers are defying the conventional tactics and improving business processes by abandoning manual management involving tracking people, materials, tasks, and products. Now is the era of integrated and synced systems that are intricately planned and executed in real-time, providing real-time visibility of materials and products throughout lifecycles, optimize workflow to encourage preventive actions for defective products, and optimize plant operations for effective use of resources and assets. The factories of the future will be agile, adjusting swiftly and effectively to change according to customer demand while controlling costs and quality.
IIoT has been identified as one of the most promising technologies with the power of creating economic change. There are several possibilities that have added up to the “Next Big Thing”. However not every evolving technology has the potential to break through the business and social landscape.