The best industries to apply IIoT are supply chain management for logistics, smart product creation on hi-tech and industrial production, energy management for businesses that want to utilize energy-efficient equipment, – and the list is long. Smart factories packed with sensors that control every change in equipment, workers that use wearables for health condition monitoring, assembly lines that report production statuses in real time – this is the Industrial Internet of Things we have today. It is developing towards the future of a full-fledged transition to industry 4.0, and its rise is hard to ignore. It is a visible trend because of a noticeable number of businesses that share reports about their IIoT implementation success.
According to this research conducted in 2017, 73% of the enterprises have planned to increase the investments in the IoT for industrial needs. No surprise that businesses take that path – the IIoT implementation brings a lot of value to different aspects of businesses. Let’s take a closer look at such benefits that help IIoT rise.
IIoT for predictive maintenance
Faulty machines and malfunctioning equipment cause huge losses in money and time – manufacturers need to spend a lot on replacement or repairs. IIoT solutions can prevent such problems from happening.
Applying predictive maintenance solutions, manufacturers can obtain full control over how the equipment is used, for how long, and what possible defects are to happen. This is achieved by adding connected appliances to those equipment parts that are vulnerable to different influence. A simple example of a predictive maintenance solution is a network of interconnected temperature sensors that track the state of the equipment that can overheat. When the temperature rises, the system can cool the equipment itself by automatically turning the fans or more complex cooling systems on. Otherwise, it sends an alert to the field engineers that fix the problem. Such Industrial IoT solutions enhance operational efficiencies by keeping the equipment up and running all the time and preventing them from early damage.
IoT for Industrial Energy Management
Enterprise IoT solutions can lower operating costs on the production processes and improve the forecasting of how the factory consumes the resources. Connecting smart energy meters to power-consuming equipment allows for a precise estimation of how much energy is optimal for efficient performance. The meters also help to lower the consumption levels for the equipment that sometimes stays on but not used. Particular manufacturers start to utilize such systems to spot the most energy-intensive equipment, such as old motors, and replace them with the modern energy-efficient models. The sensors track the status of the equipment and reduce the energy input by managing the manufacturing assets remotely. This is also important when the company cares about ethics – the reduction in power consumption decreases CO2 emission.
IIoT for Logistics Optimization
The optimization of logistics and related workflows would be available with the help of IIoT solutions too. In terms of supply chain management, the real-time information about the following is a valuable insight:
- How do the products and resources move across production facilities and warehouses?
- Where do they experience slowdowns?
- How to optimize the logistics and eliminate inefficiencies?
In general, for supply chains, IoT monitors the assets, collects and handles huge amounts of data about them, and generates valuable insights from the information obtained. They can further be used to develop new solutions to logistic problems.
Another valuable facet of IoT utilization for logistics enhancement is to help retail industry players win their customers. The buyers expect the delivery time to be precisely calculated up to a minute, and businesses can achieve this via IoT sensors. They will monitor the products and precisely calculate the shortest way to the customer’s door.
Thanks to the fact that more and more businesses realize the importance of Industrial IoT implementation, the solutions based on this technology gain popularity. The rise of the industrial Internet of Things will bring certain benefits to a number of industries, in addition to the ones named above. This will probably push the technology vendors to provide more advanced industrial automation software development services.