From smart devices and home automation systems to smart cars and smart buildings, the Internet of Things brings important innovations in our life. In the next years, IoT solutions will continue to take the center stage in the tech environment.
With huge investment in this technology, the global IoT spending is expected to reach $1.29 trillion by 2020 and $1.4 trillion by 2021 (IDC report).
For now, manufacturing industry is still the main investor in the Internet of Things. According to recent surveys, 66% of manufacturers say that the use of IoT solutions is essential for staying competitive and resolving various issues.
Capgemini research reported that smart factories are going to add $500 billion to $1.5 trillion in value added to the global economy in 5 years. By now, 56% of manufacturing companies have already invested $100M in smart factory initiatives.
Today the creation of smart factories with the Internet of Things is gaining momentum and so far, only 6% of manufacturers can be designated to “Digital Masters”, an advanced stage in digitizing various production operations with a strong foundation of smart management, process automation, and employee skills.
Analysts expect smart factories to revolutionize the industry by providing a 7X increase in overall productivity by 2022. Among the most interesting findings, Capgemini reports smart factories will be able to speed up on-time delivery of finished products by 13 times, with the enhancement of quality indicators at more than 12 times the rate of improvement since 1990.
Also, Capital Expense & inventory costs will be rationalized 12 times and material, logistics and transportation costs are predicted to be optimized at 11 times the rate of improvement since 1990.
On the graphic below you can see a comparison of manufacturer’s annual gains since 1990 versus expected annual gains referred to smart factory technologies in the next 5 years.
Besides the Internet of Things, contributing technologies to smart factories also involve Big Data Analytics, machine learning, advanced robotics, and 3D printing, while cloud computing platforms unify all of these technologies together, leading to more rapid smart factory adaptation and bringing revolution in the industry.
IoT use cases in manufacturing
With smart connections of multiple devices, equipment, and production processes, manufacturers get such benefits as minimized human intervention, remote machinery maintenance, employee safety, production automation, and reduced operational costs.
The main IoT applications include:
- Production flow monitoring - leads to flow optimization, minimize waste, and reduced labor and operational costs.
- Remote equipment monitoring & management - Results in saved energy and reduced costs. Predictive analytics allows repairs and replacements to be automatically ordered even before something breaks.
- Condition-based maintenance notifications - enables to successfully maintain machinery health and increase throughput.
Supply chain management -with the help of vehicle and asset tracking, you improve the efficiency of manufacturing and supply chain operations.
There is a plenty of other successful IoT use cases in manufacturing: equipment predictive maintenance, vehicle and asset tracking, temperature/energy conservation/air quality control, facility management, smart ventilation, production flow monitoring, and smart radiation monitoring and measurement.
By integrating a smart factory initiative, you can connect all production stages, accelerate production, enhance various management processes, ensure working safety, reduce operational costs, and improve the entire company performance.