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7 Ways IIoT is Optimizing Manufacturing Industry Operations

7 Ways IIoT is Optimizing Manufacturing Industry Operations

Supply chain and manufacturing industries have been under significant pressure to enhance productivity and operational efficiency while reducing costs at the same time. It is not a surprise given the increasing and gradually changing customer demands and stringent competition. In this light, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has turned out to be a suitable solution. A PwC report indicates that 90% of manufacturers believe digitizing the production process will curb risks and welcome a range of long-term benefits.

The earlier Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or IIoT 4.0 was more about optimizing individual machines. Now, IIoT 5.0 focuses on optimizing the entire manufacturing process, starting from supply chain to product delivery. It can be done with the help of a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), a ruggedized digital computer used for the control of industrial processes (robotic devices, machine lines, etc.). With the proper integration of IIoT technologies, manufacturers have been able to not only improve productivity and supply chain operations, but also create new revenue streams and business models, thereby arming themselves with a competitive edge. Here are seven ways IIoT is shaping the modern manufacturing landscape:

  1. Predictive maintenance

Machine downtime negatively impacts manufacturing operations, adding up to a $50-billion industry-wide cost a year in unplanned expenses. IoT sensors in manufacturing plants can help identify equipment breakdowns before they occur, enabling proactive maintenance that reduces downtime and costs. The biggest benefit here is that when machinery function and performance are consistently monitored, it is convenient for manufacturers to create a baseline. It is this baseline and corresponding data that enables manufacturers to predict an error early on.

  1. Improved supply chain management

IoT sensors can monitor the location and status of inventory and raw materials in real-time, helping suppliers and manufacturers ensure timely delivery of goods and reduce waste. Thus, with the integration of IoT, the long-standing end-to-end visibility concerns in supply chain management can find a swift resolution. It will provide detailed idea to manufacturers regarding products during transit, production date, stock, shelf life, and much more.

  1. Enhanced quality control

Quality control in manufacturing facilities depend on multiple factors, such as humidity, temperature, and air quality. For instance, high humidity can lead to material degradation, product drying issues, and microbial growth. IoT-enabled machines and sensors can help monitor and control the production process, ensuring consistent product quality and reducing the likelihood of defects or recalls. This is particularly crucial for manufacturers who are required to meet quality standards, such as GMP and ISO.

  1. Increased productivity

IoT solutions such as wearable technology and smart tools can help employees perform tasks more efficiently and reduce the risk of accidents or repetitive strain injuries. Aside from that, IoT provides crucial metrics, allows process monitoring in real-time and also enables automated auditing and replication of production processes. Moreover, machines and equipment that are IoT-enabled can communicate with each other, thus allowing for a better coordinated production process.

  1. Energy efficiency

IoT sensors can help track energy usage and identify areas where energy can be saved, thereby resulting in significant cost savings and reduced environmental impact.

  1. Remote monitoring

IoT technology can enable remote monitoring of manufacturing processes, allowing managers to track performance and make adjustments from practically anywhere in the world.

  1. Data analytics

IoT data analytics can provide valuable insights that help improve overall performance, identify areas for improvement and drive efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure compliance with industry regulations.

Most forward-thinking organizations are already on-course to revolutionize their operations and gain a competitive edge by turning to IoT. In fact, 58% of manufacturers are of the opinion that IoT is instrumental in the digital transformation of industrial operations.

Therefore, we cannot consider IIoT as just a passing trend – it’s a fundamental shift in manufacturing. Despite increasing adoption rates, several manufacturers are facing challenges in incorporating this technology in their operations, from cybersecurity concerns to integrating new systems with legacy infrastructure. But these adoption challenges can be overcome in the near future. With the rapid evolution of technology, we can expect more innovative applications of IIoT for manufacturing, thereby making adoption even smoother.

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