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Achieving Manufacturing Operational Excellence through IoT

Posted by Indusa Admin on June 22, 2015 1:14 pm

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In a marketplace where manufacturers are battling competition, embracing state-of-the-art technological solutions like Internet of Things (IoT) will help catapult them to achieve unparalleled success.

IoT is an invisible system that employs embedded technology and helps objects communicate with each other over the Internet. Considered as an intelligent network that can be programmed, sensed, and controlled, IoT has extraordinary capability in helping create enterprise value and transform business thereby significantly impacting the way the world lives, works, and plays. According to a report by Gartner, approximately 26 billion objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020, generating incremental revenue exceeding $300.

Manufacturing process control and supervision of equipment manufacturing brings IoT within the realm of industrial applications and smart manufacturing. Below are 10 ways in which manufacturers are reaping the benefits that IoT offers in order to enrich their business processes:

  1. Predicting Demand:By connecting machinery, sensors, and control systems together, IoT systems are facilitating manufacturing companies to dynamically predict product demand. Using IoT, manufacturers have access to market and consumer data valued by internal and external stakeholders.
  2. Making Production Process Efficient: Through insight on product demand, manufacturers are able to respond to the demands and manufacture products based on that demand. This results in optimizing the manufacturing process and supply chain networks in real-time. Also, IoT can access the efficiency of each machine, thereby improving the efficiency of the entire factory.
  3. Remote Management: Connecting diverse equipment in a factory to the Internet allows control and management from remote locations. This enables manufacturers to set up factories anywhere in the world and manage them remotely, thus helping cut costs.
  4. Real-time Monitoring: Since all machinery in the production process are connected with one another, manufacturers can conduct real time monitoring of the entire process. Such monitoring results in reduced downtime as well as in collecting and presenting data in an efficient manner.
  5. Proactive Maintenance: Manufacturers can assess the health of machines and determine when repairs are needed. If a particular line is overburdened or encounters a problem, the sensor attached to the machine will automatically alert the worker-in-charge who can look into the matter immediately and ensure seamless production.
  6. Data Management: Data can be accessed from a variety of sensors embedded in the machines and equipment. The data is then collected and analyzed using Big Data processing and analytics. The analyzed data helps make significant and valuable decisions.
  7. Energy Optimization: Smart devices can provide insight into power consumption and water usage, thereby helping them in harmonizing peak times and avoiding expensive surpluses.
  8. End to End Supply Chain Management: By connecting devices to operational and business software process, manufacturers can enable new levels of automation by incorporating faster information flow, swifter decisions, and superior market responsiveness.
  9. Automation: All plant networks can be connected to local and distant business networks across multiple locations. Manufacturers can use information from these networked systems to automate workflows and optimize production systems without much human intervention.
  10. Safer Workplace: The purview of IoT is not just limited to the manufacturing process but also in making the workplace safer for its employees. Applications allow users to communicate with workers, operators, and machines particularly in dangerous workplaces like mines; providing a real-time view of the ongoing activities. Such systems help in predicting mishaps and responding to emergencies swiftly.

Over the years diverse interoperability standards have been established in the industrial space that allow different manufacturing entities to combine into one cohesive entity. But since IoT was unheard of when the standards were designed or developed, there may be a large number of integration and interoperability gaps that need to be filled in order to realize benefits. Also, in order to handle the massive influx of new and unstructured data, using the right technologies will become imperative in order to analyze and process the data in a timely and efficient manner.

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There have been some early successes in IoT in the manufacturing sphere, but the development of IoT functionalities and standards has a long way to go before the full potential of IoT can be realized. Additionally, concerns revolving around security, data loss, redundant data, network bandwidth, common standards for communication also need to be looked into while designing the IoT landscape.

Conclusion
In manufacturing, the potential for IoT systems to improve productivity in the industrial process and push the industry to the next level of profit making is enormous. Every product, program, and service we create is intended at generating measurable business value, fuelling enterprise innovation and achieving high return on investment. And IoT does just that.

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Read More: 4 Top Challenges  Facing Project Manufacturers


Nisha_Pillai
About the Author – Nisha Pillai

Nisha Pillai is the Senior Project Manager(Enterprise Mobility) at Indusa. She is responsible for working with Senior Management to prepare business plans and Go-to-market strategies for mobility practice.

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