Multiple aspects of our personal lives – from the devices we carry around, to the homes we live in, to the vehicles we drive – are becoming more connected and automated. The same rings true for the manufacturing world, which is entering an era of greater efficiency by means of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
IIoT is a network of smart devices, cloud technology, software, computer chips and sensors that are interconnected with countless manufacturing assets to reduce downtime, as well as improve speed, performance and safety.
In a time of digital revolution that’s changing the world of industrial manufacturing, more facilities are making IIoT adoption a priority. Keep reading to learn how IIoT is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry.
Here are some areas where IIoT benefits manufacturing operations:
- Predictive maintenance: Sensors provide warnings for conditions that indicate impending equipment failure that could lead to costly downtime.
- Energy monitoring: Software helps regulate power flow.
- Quality assurance: Sensors deliver real-time data regarding raw materials or finished products.
- Inventory planning: Connected devices offer real-time inventory information that improves scheduling, ordering and shipping.
- Worker safety: Sensors can alert workers of potentially dangerous occurrences, such as if a pipe is about to burst.
- Equipment tracking: Tools and equipment can be tagged with tracking chips, which saves personnel from having to search for lost items.
Addressing these areas with IIoT enhances industrial manufacturing efficiency.
Like any major business change or upgrade, embracing IIoT can produce challenges up front, such as the following:
- High implementation costs
- Complex integration with legacy equipment
- Initial system glitches
- Slow worker adoption
- Multiple training sessions
- Difficulty in calculating return on investment (ROI)
These possibilities may create short-term headaches, but the long-term benefits will be worth it.
When it comes to adopting IIoT technology, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here are some helpful steps to take:
- Identify an overarching problem that needs solving.
- Narrow down parts of the operation that are experiencing inefficiencies.
- Address IIoT solutions that can address those inefficiencies.
- Develop a strategy to implement IIoT technology with existing systems.
- Be mindful of any cybersecurity risks.
- Train all necessary personnel.
Following these steps will yield the most benefit for any manufacturing operation.
Industrial Internet of Things: A worthy investment
It’s worth it to explore IIoT in order to become more efficient and remain competitive. Take digital transformation to the next level with the right IIoT strategy.