If you are a manufacturer, it’s likely that you will have heard of the term Internet of Things (IoT) or Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). There is a good deal of talk around these terms and if you haven’t already implemented it into your business you might be missing out.
Manufacturing isn’t the only place that you can come across IoT; you may have a smart TV sitting in the corner of your living room or a host of smart kitchen appliances. They all fall under the IoT umbrella term — they’re connected devices with advanced features and capabilities that make our day-to-day lives more efficient.
How can IoT help manufacturing?
All manufacturers welcome technology that promises greater efficiency and therefore productivity with open arms. The IIoT has transformed the traditional face of the factory through streamlining processes and maximising production yields. So, what are the main benefits that the IoT can bring to the manufacturing business?
More intelligent machinery — by implementing the IoT in the traditional sphere of manufacturing, manufacturers can gain greater visibility of production performance, supporting the early detection of delays to minimise downtime and maximise productivity.
Better data collection and analysis — through collecting productivity and waste performance data, manufacturers are able to make more informed decisions to improve their company’s overall performance.
Improved resource management — by understanding how a machine performs and is being used, manufacturers can safeguard workers, boost productivity and reduce associated operating costs.
Some manufacturers may be choosing to ignore IIoT, and this might be something that they’ll later regret.
Of course, with IIoT, there’s change involved. Manufacturers must change their procedures and how they work. For some companies, this is a scary prospect, pushing them further towards their familiar working practices — and in doing so puts your company at risk of being left behind, as your opponents embrace the technology and continue to march forward.
Not keeping up to date with the latest trends and technologies can be detrimental. Blockbuster is just one example; the movie rental brand neglected the growing dominance of DVDs and video streaming services, which ultimately led to its failure. Ignoring the IoT places your company at risk of following a similar route.
How does the future look for IoT?
One recent report revealed that by the end of 2017, there will be 8.4 billion connected thingsup a huge 31 percent on 2016. Fast-forward to 2021 and this figure will most probably more than double to 20.4 billion. Clearly, the IoT is not a fad; it’s a fad that will completely revolutionize manufacturing.
As the number of devices that are linked continues to rise, so will the number of manufacturers taking advantage of the ability of IoT. By the start of 2018, 60% of manufacturers will use connected products to capture and analyze data, providing a 15 percent increase in productivity.
It is predicted that ignoring IoT will affect your profit levels. Recent research indicates that IoT could help enabled manufacturers be 10 percent more profitable than those who aren’t. You can’t ignore these figures in a sector so heavily focused around productivity and performance.
As with all technological advancements, there are safety concerns. Estimates predict that by 2021, the IoT connected devices are the target of more than a quarter of all enterprise security attacks.
Manufacturers are right to be hesitant about new technologies, however this one is different from the rest and might make or break your business. With the future of the IoT looking bright, manufacturers are faced with a choice: to adopt and move forward, or ignore and stand still. Which path will you choose?