Key Success Factors for IoT in Manufacturing

Applying Big Data and analytics will be the basis of creating more and improved operations

Today, most advanced version of operating machines are using computer aided systems and controls. Today machines are programmed to perform in synch with each other on production line. The vision of the future is that such machines will communicate and work with each other and will be controlled using internet or wireless infrastructure i.e. IoT.

Internet of Things (IoT) is an advanced concept of interconnecting devices, systems and services beyond Machine to Machine (M2M) communication. It is an interconnection between embedded devices within internet infrastructure.

It is a future of communication through embedded and connected devices with unique identity for personalized, group and business use. IoT covers almost each and every physical device in nearly all fields.

In the recent years IoT has begun to spread its wings in industries and it is observed that Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will surpass the Consumer IoT devices by 2020. The global investments in IoT are growing and by 2020 about 50 billion of devices will be connected through internet.

IoT is a set of different components such as machines, devices, assets, end products, sensors, thermostats, data generating, storing and retrieving software, big data analytical tools and data output visuals, etc. that can be controlled, accessed and used any time using internet.

The basic infrastructure needs of IoT based deployment involves wired or wireless internet access of high bandwidth, sensors and actuators to enable communication between machines, systems and products, software and apps to run, command and control the things and other services such as cloud and big data and analytics that support in storage, analysis and use of intelligence.

IoT will enable Smart and Self Organized Manufacturing

The overall IoT package is believed to help manufacturing sector of various industries on local as well as on a global level. Experts claim it as the fourth industry revolution that is taking factory automation and M2M to the next level where conventional stage based production will be replaced by smart and intelligent self-organized factory.

It is the vision of tomorrows manufacturing in intelligent way. Today, most advanced version of operating machines are using computer aided systems and controls. Today machines are programmed to perform in synch with each other on production line. The vision of the future is that such machines will communicate and work with each other and will be controlled using internet or wireless infrastructure i.e. IoT.

Manufacturing sector is been considered as a promising area that will benefit from IoT deployments. This is because of its complex and diversified nature, this sector is badly in need for some solution that can break its functioning in silos and make it active to play as a unified function.

Experts see IoT to do this task of bringing global activities of manufacturing unit under centralized control and help in design strategies from the central management team.

Modern manufacturing has evolved by many folds during the past decades. Today, manufacturing is not mere production of goods or processing of raw materials using machines and tools. It has included various new technologies, automation and software for advanced manufacturing.

Use of various software programs and platforms such as SAP, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), KIZEN, Material Requirements planning (MRP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Product Lifecycle management (PLM), Advanced Planning Systems (APS), Electronic Collaborative Commerce (ECC), Time & Labor Management System (TMS), Business Process Management (BPM) have improved operational efficiency and ease out strategic planning of effective vendor management and supply chain management.

Process improvement technologies such as KIZEN, JUST IN TIME (JIT) and Six Sigma has lead better optimization of movable and immovable resources.

All of such technologies included in manufacturing have improved and fueled cost effective growth and easier systems and process planning with standardization across global plants.

Mind Commerce study deeper into the fundamentals of manufacturing sector and what factors will make IoT a success in manufacturing sector.

Provide Agile Production and Processing

Manufacturing has become more competitive and agile and focus is more on increasing throughput through intelligent use of machines and value chain management.

Industry experts see IoT not only as a technology pack to improve factory control and production but also study it from an angle of opportunity to develop agile and flexible production process.

Earlier IoT was thought to be a plan for intelligent operations however, in the advent of upcoming technology revolutions such as cloud, Big data and analytics; the data generated by the machines during the communication with each other or at the client sight will produce enormous amount of information that will help in taking wise decisions about future business, functioning of machines in better way and producing quality throughput at economical costs.

The future IoT will be extended into complete product life cycle including supply of raw materials to the maintenance / after sales services of the finished goods. This ambitious revolution in the technology and the internet is envisioned to get onto the commercial floor by the year 2020.

Maximize Communication

Today, manufacturers have started realizing that their age old conventional automation systems are hindering the ability to respond quickly to changing market demands and compete effectively in global economy.

Modern manufacturing infrastructure includes integrated machines that can communicate with each other as well as operators and plant managers on real time basis.

Connected factory is a concept that is coming up in intention to maximize communication between machine to machine by seamless connectivity between all networking and computing layers in the factory and distributed in monitoring offices outside the factory.

The connected factory will be able to deliver more robust level of performance, efficiency and autonomous input and output, which in turn will leverage responsive time towards customer demands, facilitate interchangeability between vendors, and it will become easier to scale production to industry standards.

Provide Centralized control

Manufacturing is one of the most complex and most diversified industry sectors. In manufacturing most functions work in silos and have their own operating process. The success of IoT will be in bringing these siloed functions to share their data to common repository and allow extraction of data and analytics by other functions on centralized policy. This will help various functions that have chain relation, for example, production quality can be improved / adjusted immediately if real time customer feedback reached production floor and sales team can get real time feedback of production status on real time. This will not only increase production and sales efficiency but also will help improving customer delight and confidence in company.

Seamlessly Connect Devices of different Vendors

Manufacturing copay has variety of devices, machines and components that come from different vendors as well as have different performance characteristics, features and operating conditions. Thus, connecting such diversified number of devices is one of the primary tasks in front of IoT stakeholders.

In this process IoT needs to integrate infrastructure, applications and services at micro-level precision and thus may require collaboration of two or more companies for its success. It will require each other’s support in the form of consortium, association or partnerships.

Develop more Customizable Solutions

In manufacturing no two industries are identical and their operational and marketing strategies differ. Their labor and staffing policies, supply chain management policies and raw material and vendor policies also differ.

This could be the reason that preference will be more towards offering customized solutions to the companies in the manufacturing sector.

Make effective use of Big Data Analytics

Manufacturing sector is now coming more into focus due to IoT and the huge volume of data i.e. 11.3 zettabytes of data that will generated through machines. This data is not only massive in volume but it will be highly unstructured and rapid.

It will require a high level technology to manage stored historical data and streaming data on real time. The speed of internet and no space for connection buffering are also big challenges.

Earlier data analytics was thought to be a plan for intelligent operations however, in the advent of upcoming technology revolutions such as cloud, mobility and Big Data and analytics; the data generated by the machines during the communication with each other or at the client sight will produce enormous amount of information that will help in taking wise decisions about future business, functioning of machines in better way and producing quality throughput at economical costs.

The future Big Data in manufacturing will be extended into complete product life cycle including supply of raw materials to the maintenance / after sales services of the finished goods. This ambitious revolution in the technology and the internet is envisioned to get onto the commercial floor by the year 2020.

Applying Big Data and analytics will be the basis of creating more and improved operations and thus final output for companies of the future. The data based improvisations in production process, managing machine downtime and regular servicing, upgrade technologies and update the systems and many such tasks will become possible.


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