The Industry 4.0 continues to make strides through the first quarter of this 21st century. It is clear that the IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things, is the next industrial revolution. 

Since IIoT possesses many benefits, global manufacturers are making big investments in interconnecting equipment to upgrade factories from traditional ones to IoT-enabled factories. 

By implementing IIoT for 3-4 months, manufacturers realized that they had increased their equipment efficiency by 24%, decreased product defects by 16% and increased labor utilization by 12 points. Therefore, this has led to an increase of 10% in production line output. 

Four Key IIoT Use Case Examples

Asset Utilization 

Future predictions and technology applications in the IIoT world are a bit complicated. Standards and risks are uncertain. Nonetheless, chosen business applications have been identified as driving factors for adoption. Making asset utilization better is one such driver. 

An Industrial Internet Survey conducted by the World Economic Forum found that maximizing asset utilization was the most pivotal reason to adopt IoT. 79% of respondents stated that early adoption is very important or extremely important to them. 

IIoT revolutionizes asset management by properly enabling sophisticated PLCs to generate fault codes and low-energy battery powered devices that can connect to older lines. Cloud-based asset management applications automate data analytics, which generates key performance indicators (KPIs), in real time.

Small- and medium-sized manufacturers now have the ability to access operational analytics in the same way as the big guys to optimize their manufacturing operations. The most important question, however, is how to benefit from it? 

SaaS-based asset management software can help you achieve ROI from 6 to 12 months with minimal CapEx investment. However, just having access to asset information does not increase asset utilization.

Asset management apps can trigger changes that are not necessarily high-tech in the real world. A disposable goods manufacturer can give you an example of this contradictory statement since he encountered an issue within a few weeks of installing the asset management software. For instance, operators were adding glue that was not needed to a process that required glue application. I am not surprised that the additional adhesive caused downtime events that cost $63,000 each year. 

Product Development 

Manufacturing process employees are often overburdened, and cost-expenditure is increased by manufacturing defects and inaccuracies. To counteract this, manufacturers can use IIoT features, such as digital twins.  

Digital twin technology reproduces the product as a digital version. Retrofitting sensors allows manufacturers to gather information about the entire equipment’s working mechanism and expected output. 

Managers can analyze the system’s efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness by using the data ingested via the digital replica. In addition, it helps to identify potential bottlenecks in the product, which allows managers to make better products. 

Management of Supply Chains 

IoT devices can track and trace inventory status in real time. Real-time insight into available resources allows manufacturers to monitor their supply chains. It contains information about the work in process, equipment collection and the delivery date for required raw materials. 

A handful of IoT vendors offer integration services with existing ERP systems, which reduce the need to create manual documentation. 

Ultimately, it provides cross-channel visibility to multiple departments. This allows stakeholders to examine the progress of the projects. In return, it reduces expenditures due to mismanagement or lack of analysis. 

Predictive Maintenance 

Maintaining equipment in exceptional conditions can help drastically lower operational costs, which can save millions to manufacturers. Managers in a variety of production lines can now use sensors, cameras, and data analytics to predict when machinery is going down before it does. IoT-enabled devices can detect warning signs using data.  

This gives managers an opportunity to create maintenance timelines and schedule equipment services before any problem occurs. 

Moreover, operation managers can use real-time data from sensors or devices to quickly assess the equipment’s current condition, identify warning signs, alert of problems, and eliminate time wasted on scheduling maintenance. 

In addition, managers will be able to see real-time information in real time, which will help them plan maintenance. This all adds up to a higher overall equipment availability. Your systems will remain online, while your workers will be able to focus on their tasks