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Industrial IoT (IIoT) is a popular software term and a rapidly evolving sector that accounts for the maximum share in global IoT spending. According to a market research report, data gathered from a plethora of connected devices can be used by a majority of global manufacturers to analyze processes and identify optimization possibilities.
IIoT is a significant concept these days and requires a deep understanding of its uses, applications, and benefits. These are as follows.
a) Digital/connected factory: Operational information can be transmitted through IoT enabled machinery to the field engineers and the original equipment manufacturers. This would enable factory heads and operation managers to remotely manage the factory units and thus benefit from optimization and process automation.
b) Facility management: Condition-based maintenance alerts are enabled by the use of IoT sensors in manufacturing equipment. There are several critical machine tools, designed to function within certain temperature and vibration ranges. By actively monitoring machines, IoT sensors can send an alert when the equipment deviates from its prescribed parameters. Ensuring the prescribed working environment for the machinery would conserve energy, reduce costs, eliminate machine downtime, and increase operational efficiency.
c) Production flow monitoring: The monitoring of production lines from the initial raw material to the finished product can be enabled through IoT in manufacturing. The complete monitoring of the process in real time can help in optimal operations management that results in lower operational costs.
d) Inventory management: Events across a supply chain can be monitored through IoT applications. The inventory is tracked and traced globally on a line-item level and the users are notified of any significant deviations from the plans. Managers are provided with realistic estimates of the available material, work in progress and the estimated arrival time of new materials through the cross-channel visibility into inventories.
e) Plant Safety and Security: Big data analysis integrated with IoT can improve the worker’s safety and security in the plant. Monitoring the key performance indicators (KPIs) of health and wellbeing would ensure better safety.
f) Quality control: From the various stages of a product cycle, IoT sensors aggregate product data and other third-party syndicated data. Moreover, the IoT device if used on the final product can provide data on user sentiments on the product. These inputs can be later analyzed to identify and correct quality issues.
g) Packaging Optimization: Manufacturers can gain insights into the usage patterns and handling of products from multiple customers by implementing IoT sensors in the products or packaging. Product deterioration can be traced during transit and impact of weather, road, and other environmental variables on the product through smart tracking. Through the available insights, products and packaging can be re-engineered for better performance.
h) Logistics and Supply Chain Optimization: Access to supply chain information in real time can be provided by IIoT by tracking equipment, materials, and products as they move through the supply chain. All the parties concerned with the supply chain can trace interdependencies, material flow, and manufacturing cycle times by connecting plants to suppliers. Through this data, manufacturers can predict issues; reduce inventory and capital requirements.
In the near future, manufacturing will be the most impacted by IIoT. Also, IIoT would enable the management of the entire supply chain efficiently.
See Also: The Manufacturing Outlook