Manufacturing businesses went from using physical data to digitized data. Then automation came along and they optimized processes. And now with the Internet of Things, we’re talking about a complete transformation in how manufacturing companies operate.
The Internet of Things interconnects components, collects and processes data and yields value-added solutions across the industrial value chain, thus powering Industrial IoT.
IIoT is a system of interconnected assets (inventory, equipment, sensors, warehouses, machinery) with embedded software that enables data collection and exchange between those assets.
Data suggest that manufacturing will be the most affected industry with a potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025, thanks to IoT.
Let’s take a look at the most popular and beneficial use cases being born right now in the manufacturing arena with IoT.
How Manufacturing Businesses Create More Value for End Consumers
The goal for manufacturing companies today is not just to deliver outstanding products to consumers but to also append those with stellar after services. Besides, cost reduction and efficiency management have always been lucrative for manufacturers.
Here are a few use cases that help manufacturing companies advance on those goals-
By connecting IoT equipment- that comes with sensors that track temperature, voltages, vibrations and currents- with other devices, legacy systems, IFTTT or cloud/API, manufacturers can capture essential maintenance data.
Such data helps to identify the current state of machinery, issue appropriate warnings, and even activate repair and maintenance processes.
IoT transforms maintenance from a preventive to predictive activity, helping manufacturing businesses save costs and provide superior customer services.
For in-house machinery, this means thorough maintenance schedules, longer equipment lifecycle, plant safety, lesser risk of incidents and overall cost savings.
The digital twin technology uses IoT, AI, ML and cloud computing to create virtual copies of physical objects manufactured by a company. When a proof of concept, a minimum viable product and a look-and-feel prototype are infused with the Internet of Things, you get a digital twin of the product so accurate that you can foresee its functionality as well as operational capabilities.
Not only that, but IoT also simulates the lifespan of the equipment and spare parts, meaning engineers can test updates, conduct experiments and predict and fix loopholes.
When manufacturers get the opportunity to digitally test and validate their products, they save on expensive revisions during the manufacturing process and reduce time to market.
A manufacturing unit comprises huge equipment and machinery that require keen monitoring for better performance and hiccup-free production. Gone are the days of doing that manually.
With IoT technology, manufacturers obtain real-time data pertaining to each critical asset through a web or mobile application. All significant assets such as fleet, inventory and resources utilized in the production process can be easily monitored using IoT.
This application of IoT helps manufacturers optimize logistics, uphold stocks of work in progress, and uncover violations and theft. IoT-led asset tracking also provides insight into movable equipment entities and their idle time. That means managers can optimize equipment usage for minimal idle time. All of those result in more efficient manufacturing processes and reduced operational costs.
Remote Production Control
IoT devices in manufacturing facilitate process monitoring and equipment configuration by connecting devices to the cloud and analyzing large-scale datasets to monitor field devices and equipment.
All of the captured data when transmitted to the automation system, allows remote controlling of machinery throughout the production process.
Distant control systems powered by IoT enable centralized supervision of production machinery with faster insight into the field. That way, employees can ascertain that certain regulations and requirements are met.
Finally, the IoT use case in remote production control also helps streamline the production process and be aware of the whereabouts of assets and workers.
Benefits of IoT to Manufacturing Companies
With all the various use cases covered before, manufacturing companies make significant gains with IoT.
IoT empowers managers with accurate insights and complete, 24×7, real-time visibility into the production environment, resulting in faster decision-making, efficient systems and robust supply chains.
IoT creates a direct line of communication between employees and machinery, enhancing productivity and production quality. When that happens, products quickly move from concept to commercialization. With digital twins, products hit the market in exceptional quality and deliver on their promises.
IoT sensors and wearable devices foresee incidents and issue warnings, creating a safer work environment and eliminating or reducing the likelihood of incidents. By obtaining insight into the state of all machinery at all times, managers can schedule necessary repairs and maintenance in advance, securing the working environment.
Predictive maintenance, remote production control and asset management all come together to yield significant cost savings for a manufacturer. Manufacturing companies save by improving the efficiency of operations as well as by sidestepping money-draining incidents and loopholes.
Better Customer Experience
Connected devices and centralized monitoring eliminate human error and prevent the distribution of faulty goods, thus preventing any dent in customer experience. Moreover, when predictive maintenance is deployed at the consumer’s end, it leads to timely maintenance and ongoing value from the machinery without any disruption, adding to the customer experience.
The Internet of Things significantly enhances a manufacturing unit. 70% of companies are sure that IoT implementation reduces costs and improves products, according to Cognizant. Deep tech startups wanting to make a dent in the same field can use all of those use cases to tackle specific manufacturing problems with IoT.
Learn how KiwiTech’s IoT services can help you take your IoT product from concept to commercial value.