Did you think that the digital revolution was too focused on consumers? Think again. In came the Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT. Undoubtedly it is the largest propeller of productivity and growth in the coming years. This wave of digital innovation aims at accelerating the restructure and enhancements of sectors comprising of more than two-thirds of world output.
The current market scenario is experiencing a shift from capacity to capability. This shoots towards an increased manufacturing flexibility towards responding to variable market
demand and achieving high-levels of customer fulfilment.
Speaking about the factories of the future, they are transpiring from conventional make-to-stock (MTS) to emerging make-to-order (MTO), configure-to-order (CTO) and engineer-to-order (ETO) production models. Manufacturers are becoming more demand-driven.
What exactly is IIoT?
We can state that the Industrial Internet of Things is a large cluster of physical objects, systems, platforms and applications containing embedded technology for the communication and share applied intelligence internally inside the network, with the external environment, and with people who operate or communicate with them. The rapid adoption and incorporation of the IIoT are being driven by the easy, effective availability of sensors, affordability of processors and other technologies.
Based on the current scenarios, we can assume that the process of evolution of IIoT will most probably follow these four different phases:
1. Operational Outcome
- Utilization of assets
- Cost reductions in operations
- Worker productivity
2. Outcome-based Economy
- Pay-per-outcome based approach
- A dynamic and connected ecosystem
- Platinum-enabled market place
3. Modern Product & Services
- New business models
- Software-based enhanced services
- Data Monetization
4. Autonomous Pull Economy
- Continuous demand sensing
- Complete automation
- Optimization of resources and reduction of waste
Various sectors where IoT is enhancing the Industrial and Manufacturing sector
Human-machine collaboration:- The next-generation robots and droids are designed in a way where they can be easily trained, learn by processing data and observation, and to work collaboratively with humans. They can be used for elder care, hospitality, and concierge services.
Augmented workforce:- Companies are empowering the workforce with mobile and wearable technologies such as smart helmets or smartwatches. They carry the potential to boost employee efficiency on the factory floor. With real-time access to data like status, alarms and instructions, they can have their hands free.
Monitoring:- The current types of equipment are fitted with sensors that help increase visibility into the condition and identify threshold violations from those machines. This can help in scheduling maintenance pro-actively. The smart sensors are capable enough to grasp vibration measurement and analysis, infrared thermography, oil analysis and tribology.
Optimization:- The integration of predictive maintenance data along with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems helps optimize the workflow schedule. If we take this into consideration, it helps manufacturers make sure that the impact of equipment unavailability gets minimized by adjusting production run.
Analysis and prediction:- With advancing IT solutions for manufacturing industry, manufacturers are able to correlate current and historical data for predicting potential equipment failure and order a mitigation process. Companies can put to use sensors and analytics that can anticipate pipeline leakage in realtime.
Constant QA:- By taking the benefit of IoT application development services, companies can enable cross-correlation of various data streams in order to make quality assurance a rather less time consuming and expensive. Companies can look forward to integrating visual image inspection with statistical process control (SPC) of plant processes along with datasets to deliver a realtime solution. Any level of quality issues can be addressed immediately through this.
Demand-driven production:- If a company wants to adjust to new changes in product demand, it needs a handsome amount of investment in agile processes. This is the case because the company needs to scale up or down, as needed. With real-time automation and process integration across the supply chain, the industry can enable necessary responsiveness coupled with processes that support mass customization.
A transformation is underway. It is seeping every ounce of available technological aspect in order to fuel the manufacturing industry; once considered late adopters of any technological change, they are today rapidly becoming the frontiers of change. Even though IIoT poses considerable challenges for the industry, the promise of smart manufacturing and intelligent production is too good to let go.