Does IoT change how manufacturers operate?
Does IoT change how manufacturers operate?

Sponsored The Internet of Things (IoT) is already changing industries and no more so than a manufacturing industry that has arguably been leveraging connected technologies for the past decade. In this report, Dell looks at how IoT could spell the end of manufacturing as we know it.

The manufacturing industry is facing some huge challenges, from increased competition and ever-falling market prices to stringent regulation and keeping equipment properly serviced. Then there’s also the issue of the current skills shortage in the sector, and how they keep pace with growing consumer demands.

Of course, these challenges are slightly different for each company, and no more so than for process and discrete manufacturers, but ultimately all markets are increasingly being driven by price and availability. The companies that stay relevant stay in business; those that don’t are at risk of simply falling away.

Such market pressures have naturally pushed industry observers into looking at new ways of working, and especially what up-and-coming technologies can do to make manufacturers smarter, faster and more efficient. Such technologies, today, include the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, augmented reality, machine learning and 3D printing.

And yet, despite this demand for new technology, it could be said that the manufacturing industry is no stranger to being ahead of the curve, and this is especially true when looking at the Internet of Things (IoT).

For example, while the idea of smart, digitalized factories is now seen by many as one of the benefits of IoT in manufacturing, it could be argued that this is old news to tech-savvy manufacturers.

Germany’s DFKI told Internet of Business recently how it has been prototyping such designs since 2005 while Smart Factories are already in operation at the premises of Cisco, GE and many others.

Click here to read the report…The End of the (Manufacturing) World As We Know It

Industrie 4.0 and IoT

Germany is arguably the pioneer of much of this change through its Industrie 4.0 initiative, with the Industrial Internet Consortium gaining similar traction in the United States.

Industrie 4.0 is expected to boost productivity across all German manufacturing sectors by €90 billion to €150 billion. Productivity improvements on conversion costs will range from 15 to 25 percent. When the materials costs are factored in, productivity gains of 5 to 8 percent are expected to be achieved.

IoT is heavily ingrained in the initiative and it is easy to see why it is much talked about, because it does offer manufacturers numerous opportunities.

Factories and plants that are connected to the Internet can become more efficient, productive and smarter by gaining more insight on everything from the product to the entire production process. Business decisions can be made in real-time, based on accurate data, and product downtime can be avoided through predictive maintenance.

Some firms, including Konecranes, have even looked to use IoT to reinvent themselves by offering intelligent (premium) products that can be better maintained and thus have a longer life.

IoT in manufacturing is essentially about a future where plant operations are more automated and efficient; processes govern themselves, ‘smart’ products help in their own maintenance, and where individual parts can be automatically replenished without the need for human intervention. And the more automated the plant is, the more efficient and profitable it becomes.

Click here to download Dell’s report, ‘The End of the (Manufacturing) World As We Know It‘. The report details everything from changing business models and streamlined R&D processes to the collection of big data via predictive analytics and establishing an ROI from the Internet of Things.

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Also read: 5 reasons why manufacturers are embracing Internet of Things