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IoT in manufacturing: The four stages of maturity

Suhas Sreedhar | April 3, 2017
Use cases in industries such as aeronautics and chemicals are a proving ground, and a roadmap to adoption is emerging

A production change request comes into the manufacturing center digitally, via a supply chain network, after being approved by the necessary stakeholders. The change order then goes straight to the machine that will be taking on the new task. This machine coordinates with the original machine, located perhaps halfway around the world, to ensure a smooth handoff in production, ensuring that the total quantity of parts produced is as originally intended.

Big data analytics take into consideration the workload, stress, and capacity of both pieces of equipment, the final destination of the goods, and the adjusted transportation costs, delivery times, and overall profitability. Then, the entire system automatically optimizes operations, and begins altering production by pushing control changes right to the smart manufacturing equipment. Because all these operations are connected via a common data network, all the stakeholders involved are aware and up-to-date about the changes.

This is the sort of automated, revolutionary potential of IoT in industry. One of the crucial prerequisites to this end-to-end IoT-optimized production process is a data infrastructure that can connect all parts of a manufacturing supply chain together. That’s where the critical power of networks comes in. It’s no longer large technology companies like Google and Amazon that need to command vast data networks.

Everyone from manufacturers to retailers will need to have some level of connectivity linking their departments, vendors, and trading partners. Once that happens, piloting and experimenting with different IoT projects in smaller chunks becomes easier.

By 2025, the total global worth of IoT technology could reach up to $6.2 trillion. And the businesses who want a piece of that action are already putting their money where their hopes are.


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