The fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, is affecting almost every industry worldwide. It is rapidly transforming how businesses operate.
In a highly optimized ecosystem, insights from the supply chain can inform other enterprise systems, such as quality control issues feeding engineering. Likewise, delays in supply chain should feed into sales and marketing. Conversely, insights from sales and marketing should inform the manufacturing and ERP systems in the supply chain. Nearly every part of the process will see increased gains in efficacy through better information, less reduction of risk, more effective recalls, and better products and services.
What’s more, companies will know more about how their products are being used by partners and consumers. That data will inform design decisions, enabling manufacturers to bring better products to market faster. With those kinds of insights and efficiencies, manufactures will be ready for the transformations of the future. They will have access to the history of their data to be responsive to both time-critical incidents and opportunities.
The application of the ITO to the manufacturing industry is called the iiot (or Industrial Internet or Industry 4.0)The IIoT will revolutionize manufacturing by enabling the acquisition and accessibility of far greater amounts of data, at far greater speeds, and far more efficiently than before. A number of innovative companies have started to implement the IIoT by leveraging intelligent, connected devices in their factories.
What is IIOT?
IoT technologies exist all around us – all those interconnected devices we use like wearable technologies and virtual assistants are made possible by IoT. Industrial IoT, then, is taking the digital interconnectivity we’ve come to depend on and applying it to massive manufacturing operations, where the risks are higher, but the payoff is greater.
According to TechTarget, IIoT can be formally defined as “the use of smart sensors and actuators to enhance manufacturing and industrial processes. Also known as the industrial internet or Industry 4.0, IIoT leverages the power of smart machines and real-time analytics to take advantage of the data that dumb machines have produced in industrial settings for years.”
What are the Benefits of IIoT?
The IIoT can greatly improve connectivity, efficiency, scalability, time savings, and cost savings for industrial organizations. Companies are already benefitting from the IIoT through cost savings due to predictive maintenance, improved safety, and other operational efficiencies. IIoT networks of intelligent devices allow industrial organizations to break open data silos and connect all of their people, data, and processes from the factory floor to the executive offices. Business leaders can use IIoT data to get a full and accurate view of how their enterprise is doing, which will help them make better decisions.
The biggest benefit of IIoT is that it gives manufacturers the ability to automate, and therefore optimize their operating efficiency. Robotics and automated machinery can work more efficiently and accurately, boosting productivity and helping manufacturers streamline their functions.
Additionally, physical machinery can be connected to software via sensors that monitor performance on a constant basis. This enables manufacturers to have better insights into the operational performance of individual pieces of equipment as well as entire fleets.
Reduction of Errors
Industrial IoT empowers manufacturers to digitize nearly every part of their business. By reducing manual process and entries, manufacturers are able to reduce the biggest risk associated with manual labour – human error.
Nothing negatively impacts a manufacturing operation more than machine downtime.
When maintenance in the manufacturing world is reactive rather than proactive, manufacturers are stuck trying to identify what the issue is, how it can be repaired, and what it will cost. With predictive maintenance powered by industrial IoT solutions, all of those issues are alleviated.
All of the data and sensors required of a fully functioning IIoT manufacturing operation are also helping to bolster workplace safety. “Smart manufacturing” is turning into “smart security” when all of the IIoT sensors work together.
Knowledge is power, and the knowledge provided to manufacturers via IIoT solutions is giving them the tools they need to reduce costs and generate more revenue. Data-driven insights into operations, production, marketing, sales, and more can steer businesses in a profitable direction.
All of the aforementioned benefits of IIoT – predictive maintenance, fewer errors, improved quality control, and maximized efficiencies – will all boost profits for a manufacturer. Industrial IoT also offers arguably the most valuable tool for leaders of a manufacturing company – insights from anywhere, anytime.
Remote monitoring of manufacturing operations is now possible 365 days a year, 24/7, from anywhere in the world. This 360-degree view into the entire manufacturing process, and the follow-up service provided to customers in their buying journey, is an invaluable asset.
Industry 4.0 technologies have potential to provide a major boost to Australia’s economic competitiveness. They can substantially offset our traditional challenges such as high labour costs and distance to markets.
Benefits and opportunities include:
- better connectivity between customers and supply chains through real-time access to production information, logistics and monitoring
- greater flexibility for businesses to produce differentiated products and services to tap unmet consumer demands, compete in global markets and capture emerging opportunities
- enhanced workplace safety, production and improvements across the entire value chain
Industry 4.0 initiatives are creating an environment that will allow businesses to grow, explore new models and embrace technologies.