10 Signs You Should Invest In Industrial IoT

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If the jamboree on predictive analytics or artificial intelligence seem to be the zeitgeist of software development of this decade, it’s a no-brainer that the Internet of Things is heralding the power of hardware. This power of interlinked systems is taking us into an ever-evolving and adaptable future. And a subset of this IoT is already being embedded into factories and supply chains all over the world, referred to as Industrial IoT.

CB Insights, through Mosaic, their proprietary algorithm that tracks and ranks company health, has already confirmed Industrial IoT companies rank higher than companies from other industries. Whether you’re contemplating introducing or expanding the use of IoT in manufacturing in your plant, or are looking to plant your money in Manufacturing IoT producers, we show why you should not have a second thought:

Proven Results

If you’re new to the game, guess what? There are already 100,000 wind turbines across the world with Industrial IoT sensors embedded in them. They send out bytes of data every five seconds, and the analytics and big data systems crunch them to ascertain expected weather changes, future blade angle changes, to generate more electricity constantly. You should be assured that change and improvement across productivity, safety and asset life are in double digits over every preceding year across industries moving towards a ‘Smart Factory’ era, like Posco. This is Industry 4.0 where IoT in manufacturing plants is at its zenith, bringing a more connected ecosystem into the mainstream.

RealROI

In this world of marketing superlatives where emphasis is important, the Industrial Internet of Things is set the lay the foundation of tracking, converging and predicting outcomes that will deliver, cold hard results to you. And the story could not get any better in manufacturing. Because according to a recent release by IDC, out of a total spend of $178 billion on IoT in 2016, almost two-thirds of the spend was on manufacturing operations. There are myriad of results to show: Harley Davidson created an Industrial IoT first-factory, and reduced the time taken to assemble one bike, from 21 days, to a quarter day i.e 6 hours. This is a quantum leap in their ROI.

Efficiency. Optimization. Repeat

Honeywell, the leader in technology for energy and aviation, is now heavily focusing on Manufacturing IoT or IIoT. They are digging a goldmine in new avenues that where embedding digital technologies into manufacturing becomes seamless and second nature. They believe in the age of information rather the age of machinery, because the value of data they own is far greater than the actual products they sell. As John Chambers predicts 500 billion ‘things’ could be connected by 2025, several are being deployed into final products rolling off the assembly line. By reading, understanding and applying machine learning to the data, they will have deep insights to plug gaping holes, and identify unused assets or capacity. These insights, in turn that can be deployed to supplement existing operations.

Hardware/Software convergence

Edy Liongosari, the chief research scientist at Accenture Labs, commented in a recent article about Claas, an agri machine manufacturer in Germany that gathers data from regular use, while tapping a widely available map provider called 365FarmNet. Harness the potential of both, and they have seen widespread reduction in crop losses due to pests, prediction of weather and subsequent planning of sowing and harvesting. Through the growth of robust big data analytics systems, cognitive computing, and intelligent sensor networks, the divide between hardware and software is reduced. Because at the centre of all of this is IoT in manufacturing plants. But the role of both are converging. A sensor could be hardware, but software as well. And unit analytics systems in a rolling mill could be called software, while the fact is they work integrated with the hardware sensors in its proximity.

Increasingly Affordable

Huawei, a major player in Industrial IoT solutions, predicts an era of democratized technology progression. With developed markets taking the lead in crafting a better future, the developing world needn’t sweat to reach its aspirations of becoming developed. Massive R&D efforts supported by governments and academia are helping the market see new launches and innovations. For you to invest in Industrial IoT is a sure way to see such technologies becoming mainstream as the cost of acquisition reduces significantly. A plethora of IoT providers provide custom solutions tailored to your business needs, helping bring the product to market faster.

Plugging ‘Loose Ends’

Whether you are a buyer or an investor of Industrial IoT, one of the top uses, apart from tracking performance, is to stem the headache of losses and avoidable failures. These ‘loose ends’ pretty much end you up in thousands, or millions in depreciation of brand value, refurbishment or litigation. As much as we’ve been talking about the power of sensors or combined networked nodes that are giving you live data, there are robust predictive and anomaly reduction, real-time learning algorithmic systems that are hard at work. Now, you can reduce the risk budgets you’ve accounted for, and focus them on realizing better ROI. Manufacturing IoT is paving the way for this future.

Capitalising an unknown future

McKinsey forecasts an estimated impact of $2.7 – 6.2 trillion by 2025, through the power of using IoT, and the foundation to realise this is through Industrial IoT. The future is unknown, but with the different elements of technology working in unison not just to keep productivity high, but drawing insights and suggesting future actions will help industries face an increasingly tough-to-navigate market. IoT in manufacturing is at a critical juncture, helping sectors judge the shift in supply and demand, expected market movements, to be able to dip or spur production. The Predix platform by General Electric is evolving to provide ready IoT architecture for enterprises to build custom IoT applications, helping them prepare for near-term market changes.

Predictability & Suggestibility

Alluvium’s is a hot Industrial IoT startup, whose Floodplain software is driving results across regions. It takes data from floor sensors from the factory and unit analytic monitors to provide real-time data to floor managers, guiding them on potential asset elements that are wearing and tearing. That is predictive maintenance offered. More importantly however, is Floodplain suggests actions to be taken to resolve those issues. And this example is a microcosm of what the systems can predict and suggest, leading up to strategic analytic and deep learning platforms building on this unit data to contribute to business decisions. 

Real-time adaptability

The world is moving fast, and companies are trying to keep up. IoT in manufacturing plants is helping the industry get off its feet and out onto the road, to even reach a stage where it is way ahead. And this is being able to be light-footed, despite the heavy legacy and big asset attributes of the manufacturing world. Large factories that are churning out tons of products, now need to meet an increasing demand of customized, trend based products that the customer expects. Integrating the supplier, wholesaler and retail world will shift the whole market towards better selling, because Industrial IoT, which is hard at work, will drive real-time feedback, and adaptability.

Realising an ‘outcome economy’

The World Economic Forum predicts the creation of an ‘outcome economy’, from a product or knowledge economy. If you are reading this, you are surely looking to go beyond the ‘selling’ to the ‘why behind the buy’ as referred to by WEF. This is next level of thinking that organizations are working towards, to meet outcomes expected by the customer when he buys their products. IoT in manufacturing will be the secret behind moving manufacturing towards realizing those outcomes, which are changing, and catering to these hundreds of customized outcomes that would have previously been unfathomable to achieve.

Industrial IoT is being adopted widely, because the results are real. Period. Tech bellwethers like Intel and Cisco are already very actively investing in IoT, and developing solutions that are easy-to-use and customizable by clients. There will be a definite uptick holistically in your business, if you invest in Industrial IoT today, as the whole ecosystem becomes more powerful, aware and converged.

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