The Internet of Things (IoT) has become increasingly popular in both households and workplaces. From having a virtual essay writer, to fitness trackers and thermostats for smart homes, the proliferation of smart things has reached a peak. Reports have shown that up to 79 percent of US consumers have at least one smart device in their homes.
With IoT’s rising popularity, it comes as no surprise that the manufacturing industry has started to utilize and harness its benefits. In the past decade, manufacturing companies have had to struggle to adapt to the evolution of the economic landscape. Fortunately, IoT gave these companies the tools needed for modernization.
However, despite the ongoing digital transformation in the manufacturing industry, not every company has utilized and harnessed the benefits of industrial IoT.
Whether you fall into this category or not, this article will tell you everything you need to know about IoT manufacturing and its applications.
IoT for Manufacturing
Today, several companies within the manufacturing industry are integrating IoT into production and supply. In what is described by some as the 4th industrial revolution in the industry, IoT and robotics are changing the way things work. A large percentage of manufacturers are convinced that the integration of digital facilities into production will be beneficial and even mitigate risks.
This only goes to show that IoT is an extremely profitable market for manufacturers and employers who want to hop on this train.
What Objectives Can be Reached with Industrial IoT?
With Industrial IoT, manufacturers and manufacturing companies can achieve a wide range of objectives. Here are a few objectives that can be reached when Industrial IoT is utilized:
1. Predictive maintenance
Each year, manufacturing companies all over the world pump millions of dollars into operational and maintenance costs. Most manufacturers are accustomed to scenarios where a piece of equipment breaks down mid-production. To avoid these instances, it is advisable to carry out equipment maintenance on time.
But how can companies do this if they can’t even predict downtime before it comes knocking? It’s simple.
With the aid of industrial IoT facilities like sensors, data, and analytics in equipment, manufacturers can easily detect and predict failure before it occurs.
2. Monitoring in real-time
IoT allows manufacturing companies to monitor their assets in real-time. Through the use of communication channels and virtual assistants, everyone involved in the production process can stay abreast of any incidences or occurrences.
By enhancing communication within the production chain, it speeds up the manufacturing pace and, of course, saves time.
3. Remote management
Previously, manufacturers had to be physically present to assess the state of machines and equipment. However, with the aid of connected sensors, any manufacturer can now oversee and assess equipment remotely.
4. Gathering consumer insight
The Internet of Things helps manufacturers and companies to track usage and demand patterns. With this, a manufacturer can easily detect user complaints and subsequently, remodel the product to enhance customer satisfaction.
Major Applications of IoT in Manufacturing
It is predicted that by 2025, there will be 22 billion IoT devices in use. This is a glaring pointer to the IoT future. Businesses need to align themselves with the accompanying transformation in how work is going to be done if they are to remain relevant. Many companies in the manufacturing industry already use IoT in areas such as:
The production floor is one of the most important areas of a manufacturing company. Forward-thinking companies install IoT devices into their latest equipment. This connection of IoT to equipment affords operation managers the rare privilege of monitoring production operations as they occur.
This is very handy for planning and project management as it helps these managers easily adjust plans and reassign manpower to make the production process more efficient. The fact that IoT devices can also be installed on older equipment makes it even more appealing. It extends the relevance of these machines and saves costs.
2. Quality control
IoT is applied in the quality control processes of manufacturing companies at the product development stage. Here, data is analyzed and the results are used to tweak product designs. This can directly address quality concerns that may have arisen over time.
Preprogrammed criteria are also observed and fine-tuned automatically. This gives quality control officers an edge. The automation that IoT brings is a huge leap from the traditional method of adjusting parameters after sampling.
3. Supervising machine utilization
IoT is being used to observe the rate at which equipment is being used in manufacturing. This gives businesses data in real-time about how these equipment are used. Operational staff can also see what goes on at every point in production in detail.
This can directly challenge manufacturing norms. The data gathered about these machines is sent to the cloud and processed. After analysis, results are digitally displayed in apps for the workers to look at.
Benefits of IoT in Manufacturing
The implementation of IoT technology is still thought to be some distant dream. However, smart companies observe the IoT future and see the benefits of investing in IoT. Sustainability is key for companies in the manufacturing industry and any one of the following benefits can guarantee long-term success:
1. Cost-cutting edge
Companies have seen the opportunity for maximizing profits by cutting down costs when they adopt IoT. Breakdowns can be reduced by a whopping 70% by IoT. Additionally, 12% of the money that would have been spent on repairs can be saved and channeled into other aspects of manufacturing.
Another way that IoT can help reduce costs for manufacturing companies is in the aspect of employing labor. The traditional method of hiring many workers to handle manual tasks is expensive. Adopting IoT can automate these processes, bring about predictive maintenance, and reduce the need for a good portion of staff resources.
More automation means improved reliability. This gives manufacturing firms the edge while planning that a lot of risks – usually from human errors – that would have been factored into the plan can be left out altogether. This makes for greater efficiency during production and reduces the wastage of resources.
3. Reduced accidents
IoT tracking equipment use is going to help make manufacturing safer. A lot of workplace accidents are a result of machines malfunctioning. However, with the volume of data processed by IoT about the equipment, it will be easier to identify defective machines and work on them before they pose health risks.
4. Reduced time to market
Faster production and supply time will reduce the time it takes for the product to hit the market. This means that more products can be in circulation at any given point in time as consumers have supply meeting demands. This way, companies that use IoT in their machinery and processes stand to gain greater market share.
The manufacturing industry is one that is fully equipped to harness the potentials and benefits of IoT. Fortunately, many companies have recognized this fact and are utilizing cutting-edge technology in their production and supply chain. So what are you waiting for?
James Baxter is a professional ghostwriter, editor at write my essay and blogger, who loves sharing his experience and knowledge with readers. He is especially interested in marketing, blogging, and IT. James is always happy to visit different places and meet new people there.