Advancing the realm of manufacturing with IoT

Advancing the realm of manufacturing with IoT

By Manufacturing Technology Insights | Friday, November 30, 2018

With digital transformation significantly impacting the world, every industry today is on the cusp of a revolution with the inception of the internet of things (IoT). The application of IoT has extended far beyond the scope of smart, connected systems supporting homes, hospitals and retail logistics, the manufacturing sector is no exception. To say ahead of the curve in this fiercely competitive marketplace, manufacturers pace towards IoT-enabled smart manufacturing to procure full visibility of their assets, processes, resources, and products. What could be driving manufacturers initiate this transition towards IoT-enabled smart manufacturing? It is the dire need to streamline business operations, optimize productivity, and revamp return on investment (ROI) that fuels this transition. Although IoT is a propitious technology that promises superior efficiency and quality of workflow, the manufacturing plants and production lines are required to undergo necessary adjustments in order to stay par with the evolving digital landscape.

What makes IoT so special, and how does it benefit the manufacturing industry? The core of the manufacturing industry is its production capability. The ability of a plant or production-line to produce high-quality products within a specified timeframe is what breaks the ice for manufacturers. Whenever a piece of equipment fails, manufacturers are beset with the loss of raw materials and repair costs, but with IoT in place, forecasting potential failures becomes a routine task. What is worse is that the breakdown of critical assets or equipment greatly impacts the production speed and quality that subsequently dwindles revenue. Expenses and resources needed to rectify the issue aside, poor product quality can significantly hurt a manufacturer’s reputation. With unparalleled smart manufacturing ability, IoT can assist manufacturers and production managers to detect quality issues, and proffer valuable insights to improve existing product quality.

The next strongpoint of manufacturing industry—inventory and supply chain management—leverages IoT to efficiently manage the inventory for replenishing stock, tracking costs and profits, and forecasting market prices and demands. Smart manufacturing allows manufacturers to monitor products and materials within a supply chain with complete access to supply chain information in real-time. Taking things one step beyond, IoT connects multiple manufacturing plants with the respective suppliers, simplifying the tracing of interdependencies and manufacturing cycle times. This goes a long way into reducing inventory costs and capital requirements. Last, but not the least, is the energy bill—every manufacturer’s Achilles heel. But with an IoT-powered production line in use, manufacturers have granular visibility of efficiency and energy consumption information to evaluate the performance of each asset. In today’s competitive market, it is imperative that manufacturers procure a customized IoT solution that aligns with their business requirements to ensure an efficient manufacturing process.

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