The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is one of the hottests buzzwords when talking about industry 4.0. But what does it actually mean? IIoT means leveraging connectivity to optimize manufacturing and industrial processes. IIoT utilizes the power of network connected devices, smart machines, and real-time analytics to collect data (real-time and historical) and analyze it in order to improve productivity and efficiency.
As the saying goes, what is not measured, cannot be improved. IIoT enables end-to-end visibility of the production process, and allows manufacturers to harvest insights from large amounts of data they couldn’t otherwise obtain.
The use of production enhancement tools is growing rapidly. Computerworld Magazine expects IIoT to be one of the 3 biggest trends in computing in 2020, and another study predicts the market will reach over $123 billion in 2021. Consulting giant Accenture predicts that in the next decade IIoT will add $7.1 trillion to the US economy. So the potential is immense.
The IIoT revolution provides manufacturers with many immediate and significant benefits. Here are 8 main ones:
The newfound visibility allows production managers to determine KPIs that are closely tied to actual performance, and are right for their specific needs, at a specific time. These can include various aspects of performance, such as production speed, amount of waste produced or the number of malfunctions.
Factory managers are able to identify any anomalies or problems in real time and attend to them immediately, preventing problems from persisting and worsening, and minimizing downtime.
Monitoring the entire production line provides a better understanding of the actual process time. This helps to identify bottlenecks and hurdles that cause delays in production and enables a more efficient shift planning to optimize line’s accuracy, speed and production volume.
IIoT-enabled quality control solutions allow factories to track production from A to Z, to monitor every stage of the production process – from quality of raw materials to end product – automatically and continuously. This dramatically improves quality control capabilities and thus overall product quality,
The continuous monitoring of production could expose wastefulness in current operation procedures, due to inefficiencies. Removing those and streamlining production could lead to a cut in the use of costly resources such as labor, energy, water and fuel. This cut will have economic benefits for the manufacturer, and added-value environmental benefits.
IIoT allows for digital inventory management that is always updated and available. It enables manufacturers to identify the location of every tracked item. Manufacturers can better manage inventory, make data-driven purchasing decisions, and reduce the need for costly and labor intensive manual inventory checks.
Predictive maintenance uses machine learning to allow manufacturers to prevent machinery breakdown. When performed wisely, it achieves downtime prevention and enables factory managers to better plan maintenance schedules – according to orders, inventory, and employee availability.
With IIoT, production schedules, output and targets are transparent and clear, and serve as a guide for the entire business. Setting clear, realistic, data-driven goals together with employees and managers, and promising rewards for hitting those goals, is a great way to increase employee motivation and engagement.
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Industrial IoT brings significant, tangible, everyday benefits to manufacturers, and factories around the world are realizing it at a growing rate. 3d Signals’ plug-and-play solution enables you to digitalize your machines in hours and reach a more effective and productive operation in days. Don’t get left behind by your competition, connect your factory to the future.