Three ways to leverage IIoT

As the Internet of Things (IoT) infiltrates the industrial sector, forward-thinking organizations will find ways to leverage the Industrial IoT for more efficient, productive and intelligent operations. Here's a closer look.

05/05/2016


Scott Stone is the director of marketing for Cisco-Eagle.The Internet of Things (IoT) will significantly alter manufacturing, transportation, distribution and other industrial sectors over the next decade, according to the World Economic Forum. We've only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of the ways Internet-connected devices will transform these industrial sectors. To put a number on the anticipated growth of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) over the next few years, Accenture places conservative spending estimates at $500 billion worldwide by 2020.

Forward-thinking businesses are already leveraging the power of the IIoT and reaping the benefits. When used effectively, it allows companies to better manage their operation, increase production and transform business for the better.

Let's take a look at how industrial organizations should be harnessing IIoT to set their businesses up for future growth.

Create efficiency through a better understanding of operations

One of the key opportunities with the Internet of Things is the ability to gain insight, refine processes and create efficiencies. Internet-connected devices dispersed throughout a warehouse offer visibility into every area of complex systems.

"Operational efficiency is one of the key attractions of the IIoT, and early adopters are focused on these benefits. By introducing automation and more flexible production techniques, for instance, manufacturers could boost their productivity by as much as 30 percent," wrote the authors of Accenture's "Driving Unconventional Growth Through IIoT."

Increased visibility through smarter technology allows manufacturers to gain insight into complex processes and respond more quickly. Embedded sensors and other advanced instrumentation paired with software, applications and vision systems yield valuable data that can be used to make better operational decisions. Many companies are also leveraging intelligent technologies to conduct predictive maintenance of assets, which cuts down on unplanned downtime, avoids costly breakdowns and reduces overall maintenance costs. It also creates the potential for increased throughput.

Progressive organizations will find ways to leverage IIoT for more efficient, productive and intelligent operations. Image: Courtesy Cisco-Eagle

Increase production, explore new business models

Optimizing operations has another benefit—it frees up manpower and machines to take on other work, whether that's increased production or exploring new lines of business.

Highly repetitive tasks, such as palletizing or sorting, can be completed faster and more efficiently by an intelligent machine. The availability (and affordability) of smarter technologies means machines can take the place of humans in these highly repetitive tasks, thereby increasing safety and improving ergonomics in the workplace. Leveraging automation also gives production lines predictability.

Consider these impressive statistics from the American Society for Quality: More than half of manufacturers are currently in the cloud and, of this percentage, 82 percent have increased warehouse efficiency, 49 percent have noted fewer product defects and 45 percent have experienced higher customer satisfaction.

With the integration of smart technology, there will be shifts in the workforce and the opportunity to offer new services, improve products and explore new markets.

Leverage smart technologies to drive innovation

One of the game-changing aspects of the IIoT is the opportunity to bring together what has traditionally been two distinct categories of data: information technology and operational technology.

Accenture predicts that vendor-specific and proprietary infrastructure will be replaced over time with interoperable platforms. Harnessing the data through sensor-driven computing, industrial analytics and intelligent machine applications opens the door for innovation.

"By deploying these capabilities, companies can weave together previously unavailable, or inaccessible, enterprise- and machine-generated data to create new monetization opportunities," the Accenture report states.

Armed with insightful data, forward-looking companies should think about how they can commoditize on that technology by either expanding products or offering new services.

Final thoughts

Manufacturers who want to thrive and compete need to take advantage of what the IIoT has to offer-and the sooner, the better. The opportunity, according to General Electric, could be as high as $32 million worldwide. Making the investment in smarter technology, whether it's machine technology, intelligent sensors, advanced analytics or, ideally, a combination of all three, sets the stage for future growth and development.

Scott Stone is the director of marketing for Cisco-Eagle, a provider of integrated material-handling and storage systems for industrial operations. Scott has 25 years of experience in industrial operations and marketing. Edited by Joy Chang, digital project manager, CFE Media, jchang@cfemedia.com



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me