As the Business 4.0 has cemented it’s footprints through the first quarter of the 21st century, it is crystal clear that the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is the upcoming industrial revolution. 

By realizing foreseen benefits of IoT in manufacturing, global manufacturers are heavily investing in interconnect equipment to upgrade the existing factories into smart factories.

It has been realized that within 3-4 months of implementation, manufacturing units have enhanced their overall equipment efficiency by 24%, lowered the product defects by 16%, increased labor utilization by 12 points, and increased the production point output by 10%.

There are scores and scores of use cases of IoT folks are talking on the internet. However, following are the 4 key IoT use cases early adopters are contemplating to implement in manufacturing industry:

Asset Utilization

In the world of IIoT, future predictions and technology applications are comprehensive; risks are unclear and standards haven’t been established yet nevertheless selected business applications have been raised as drivers for near-term adoption. 1 such driver is enhancing asset utilization.

According to an Industrial Internet Survey by the World Economic Forum, maximizing asset utilization ranked the top reason to adopt IoT technology. 79% of the respondents mentioned the reason”extremely important” or”very crucial” for early adoption.

From sophisticated PLCs with automatic fault codes to low-energy swallowing battery powered apparatus for connectivity on older lines, Industrial IoT is revolutionizing asset management.

Out-of-the-box cloud-based asset management applications automate the data analytics which automatically generates key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time.

For the first time ever, small to medium-sized manufacturers are now able to access the operational analytics to maximize their manufacturing operations the same way as the big guys’. But, the only and most important question is what the hell they can do with it?

Many SaaS-based (Software as a service) asset management software market ROI within 6-12 months with no significant CapEx investment. But, simply having access to asset information doesn’t enhance asset utilization. (Wait did you just say, No IIoT magic wand?) . In the real world, asset management apps trigger changes that are not necessarily high-tech.

To explain this contradictory statement further, a particularly obvious example can be a disposable goods manufacturer which encountered an issue just a few weeks after installing the asset management system.

In a process that demanded paste application, operators have been unnecessarily adding extra adhesive to the procedure. The additional adhesive was the primary source of downtime events costing $63,000 annually.

Product Development

Faults and shortcoming at the final product upsurge expenditure and overburden workers in a manufacturing process. To mitigate these issues, manufacturers can utilize the IIoT features and one is Digital Twins. It replicates the developing product in a digital form.

From retrofitting sensors, manufacturers gather data about their gear’s entire working mechanism and the anticipated output from each unit.

The data, ingested from the digital replica, enables managers to analyze the efficiency, effectiveness, and accuracy of the machine. It also helps in identifying potential bottlenecks within their merchandise that helps managers to create a much better version of the goods.

Supply Chain Management

IoT devices track and trace the stock state in real-time. Manufacturers can track their distribution chain by having real-time insights to the available resources. It features information related to the Work in Process, equipment set, and the shipping date of necessary raw materials.

Some of the IoT vendors also supply the integration of their IoT solutions with the existing ERP systems of manufacturers which eliminate the need for manual documentation for operations.

It avails the facility of cross-channel visibility into multiple departments and helps the stakeholders in examining the undergoing progress that in return reduces the cost because of mismanagement and lack of analysis in the organization.

Predictive Maintenance

Keeping equipment up and operating significantly decrease the operational expenses, saving manufacturers millions of dollars. By using sensors, cameras, and data analytics, managers in the range of various production lines are now able to determine when a piece of machinery will fail before it actually does.

IoT-enabled systems can sense warning signs using data which assists managers create maintenance timelines and schedule equipment service before any difficulty happens.

By easily leveraging real-time data from sensors and devices the operation managers can instantly access current conditions of gear, recognize warning signs, get alerted of issues, and get rid of wasting time into scheduling maintenance.

The option to get the real-time meaningful information on time will allow managers to know which gear needs maintenance which leads to better planning of maintenance functions. All of it counts into higher Overall Equipment Availability. So, your programs remain online while employees stay on task.

Increasing Your Operational Efficiency

One of the many benefits of IoT in manufacturing is how it enhances operational efficiencies. For example, if a machine isn’t operating at a favorable state or about to go down, the attached sensors can determine the potential breakdown and activate a service request to an engineer.

IoT takes a preventative maintenance approach to the next level by saving manufacturers thousands of dollars on unwarranted repairs and replacements.

A facility paying a worker 16 USD per hour to manually assess 16 meters once a day around the property will cost 3,840 USD monthly.

It might cost 92,160 USD if this person were to check the same meters once per hour to try and read changes. Now, think about assessing meters each second or every moment; It becomes humanly impossible to do so without the use of IoT.