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There is an enormous amount of exciting activity around the Internet of Things. One can attribute the rise in this hype to an environment of connected everyday objects that IoT is creating. IoT has the potential to revolutionize daily life. Manufacturing industries realize a lot of potential benefits with IoT. 

IoT devices in manufacturing enable smart manufacturing where managers can automatically collect and analyze data to make better-informed decisions and optimize production. In 2019, IDC estimated the manufacturing vertical investments close to $200 billion in IoT spending. It is double the consumer IoT segment, the second largest IoT vertical market. 

IoT and IIoT 

IoT is the Internet of Things and means a network of physical objects embedded with software, sensors, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems. Devices or things in IoT can mean household objects like your refrigerator at home to sophisticated industrial tools. 

In layman's terms, you can consider IoT as a vast network of interconnected devices and people. People connect to items, and objects relate to other things (the global number of connected gadgets is currently in the billions). These links then allow devices and people to communicate with one another. People make decisions about linked things based on new knowledge, and objects can also make decisions about other objects based on A.I., all in real-time. 

You might be providing data or using a device whereby you may be contributing to the internet of things. Some of the most well-known examples of IoT technology's integration into daily life include smart home devices, fitness wearables, smart cars, etc. On the industrial side of manufacturing, IoT devices can be in the form of sensors in manufacturing devices that transmit information on equipment that helps optimize production. 

What is Industrial IoT (IIoT) 

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the notion of the Internet of Things (IoT) as it applies to manufacturing and allied businesses such as logistics, oil and gas, transportation, energy/utilities, and other industrial sectors.  

IIoT allows manufacturers to combine wired and wireless technology to achieve spectacular effects. IoT, for example, considerably increases the efficiency of daily operations by enabling real-time data flow and giving businesses the capacity to remotely monitor and manage numerous processes in their warehouses and factories. Simultaneously, IoT assists producers in reducing waste, automatically sharing production data with stakeholders, and enabling changing plans in real-time as needed.   

You can consider IIoT as a subset of IoT primarily focusing on industrial applications. Smartphones play an essential role in the IIoT, assisting with better exchanging crucial information and real-time data analysis and recording. 

As per Grandview research, The global IIoT market will reach USD 933.62 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 23.8%.  

Smart Factory: Leveraging IIoT 

"Smart Factory" refers to advanced technology using IIoT devices and software to automate data collection and processing to help make informed daily production decisions. While this definition only scratches the surface of the possibilities opened up by a smart factory, it does highlight what a smart factory is all about at a high level.  

When you look at numerous examples of intelligent factories' applications and benefits, you'll see that the Internet of Things is the most critical driver pushing these technological breakthroughs. Smart factories have a high level of complicated manufacturing automation, which means they can conduct production processes with minimal human intervention. 

Industrial IoT technologies, including hardware (sensors, actuators) and software, enable such automation (big data, machine learning tools). Modern automation and data interchange developments in manufacturing technologies continue to merge physical, digital, and biological capabilities, defining Industry 4.0. 

Modern manufacturing environments are changing quickly, thanks to ever-advancing digital technologies like the Internet of Things, 5g wireless advances, 3D printing, augmented reality, and beyond. Innovative new digital initiatives will continue to empower industrial businesses to drive both top-line and bottom-line growth through new tools, methodologies, and streamlined manufacturing processes.    

Benefits of a Smart Factory 

A smart factory delivers many benefits in manufacturing helping organizations with competitive gains and efficiencies. Some of the benefits are as follows. 

  • Agility:  

Manufacturers can use data from IIoT devices to address issues with manufacturing equipment, process flows, product configuration, labeling, and packaging by integrating smart factories with open interoperable APIs for a swift resolution.   

Due to the integration of multiple systems such as IIoT ERP, MES, SCM, and extensive data analytics capabilities, a smart factory allows manufacturers to use data available to make decisions to quickly adjust to their changing customer needs, budgets, and product quality requirements.  

  • Improved efficiency of manufacturing operations 

In a smart factory, a network of sensors allows data collection about the production process, environment, and equipment. The smart factory has modular solutions and systems that you can readily modify to increase or decrease production, launch new goods, produce one-off production runs, or enable high-mix manufacturing.  

Because of its agility, the manufacturing company is more responsive to varying demands and more resilient to market disruptions. 

  • Enhanced visibility into shop floor operations 

IIoT enhances visibility into shop floor operations with continuous real-time updates on production operations and the correct status of industrial assets.  

  • Predictive maintenance: 

IIoT provides data on various manufacturing equipment parameters indicating its health and performance transmitted to the cloud in real-time. Machine learning algorithms determine abnormal patterns, predict potential equipment breakdown, and help with timely maintenance activities. In this way, organizations can reduce machine downtime. 

Wrapping up:  

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) assists manufacturing companies in maximizing efficiency by ensuring production uptime, lowering costs, and eliminating waste. Despite the rapid improvements in industrial IoT applications, humans are ultimately responsible for devising effective strategies and implementing these technologies.  

By leveraging IoT data, manufacturers can better understand their manufacturing and supply chain processes, improve demand forecasts, reduce time to market, and improve customer experience.  


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