As technology advances and new ways to innovate the manufacturing industry arise, their lies an inherent issue that may stop smaller businesses from utilizing these new technologies. The underlying issue is cost and unfortunately it is scaring people away from modernizing their business. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can be used to increase efficiency in every facet of a business and is definitely a change that every manufacturer should start to make.
With IIoT leading the charge and the Industrial Re-Revolution well on it’s way, many big name companies have already started investing in this technology. In 2013 investors made over $1.1 billion in investments to the Industrial Internet of Things, some of these investors include Google, GM and Ford. With more and more manufacturing companies making the switch to a fully connected workplace and big names investing into the technology, the IIoT is already becoming the mainstream way of managing in the industry.
In 2012 there was a survey done by Forrester and Zebra Consulting that stated only 15 percent of manufacturers had made the switch to at least one IIoT solution. As of this year that small percentage has skyrocketed to almost 63 percent of manufacturers either making the switch or planning the imminent switch to the new tech. As far as start up manufacturing businesses are concerned, these new solutions have led to savings around 12 percent across the industry and has dropped maintenance costs by about 30 percent. This proves that implementing IIoT into a business will far outweigh the initial investment.
IIoT isn’t all about just saving money though, the major part of this development is improving efficiency and many companies have already been reaping the benefits. For example Greg Conary, Vice President of France-based Schneider Electrics, has said the three major areas IIoT can help global manufacturers are smart manufacturing, asset performance, and augmented operators. In a statement he said “In the past we did data mining after the fact, usually after the product left the factory. Today, we can have real time analytics on the status of plants, which lets us respond faster to opportunities in the marketplace as they arise, as well as contribute to product quality and asset availability.” (bit.ly/29ubCtE) One of the ways Schneider Electrics helps the consumer achieve maximum asset performance is with a pump they provide that can be monitored digitally and will alert the owner if there is a problem.
Another interesting way Schneider Electronics is using IIoT to innovate manufacturing is through use of tablet based applications. These tablets are being used to train younger generations in an attempt to close the skills gap. This will also help teach them new ways to access process information, equipment health, technical manuals and any important information the staff deems worth knowing.
Knowing that these technologies can help any business big or small is an amazing way to keep the manufacturing community together. Making the change to these new technologies is not an easy transfer and industry leaders investing a lot of money into these advancements is a comforting notion for companies that may have been nervous to dip their toes in the water. Manufacturing Day is right around the corner and it will be important to remember that younger generations thrive on new technologies, it may be vital for a manufacturer to make the switch sooner rather than later.