For manufacturing companies, the important variation to discuss around IoT is IIoT. That’s not a typo, it refers to the Industrial Internet of Things.
This is not going to be an article that explains the traditional “Internet of Things” and gives examples of how just about anything and everything made these days is potentially connected to other devices and systems over the internet. We’re going to assume you’re familiar with the addition of sensors, software and technology to physical objects (the “things” in IoT) to facilitate the seamless communication of data. It’s essentially already ubiquitous at this point, right? Everything from household appliances to baby monitors and even things like deodorant is connected to the cloud. We’re going to talk about why that matters.
Applying IoT technology to the production floor is key to the digital transformation at the heart of Industry 4.0. In the most basic form, equipment is connected and able to communicate (i.e. send and receive data) with other machines and processes. Companies can then achieve wireless automation and control. But with advanced analytics and machine learning they can gain even more valuable insights to drive smarter, faster decisions.
Keys to Successful IIoT
It can easily be overwhelming for manufacturing technicians, managers and executives to figure out if and how to apply IIoT concepts to their businesses. However, learning from successful early adopters of manufacturing IoT reveals guidelines for the best approach:
- Have a purpose in mind – start with a specific problem and desired fix.
- Start small – run a pilot in one process or work cell to grow confidence and experience with IIoT.
- Iterate and Evolve – the initial scope can become more sophisticated over time with new ideas.
- Measure effectiveness – plan the roll-out in phases so you can analyze the return on investment (ROI) at each stage.
Biggest Takeaway: Start NOW
Industry 4.0 is here, and IIoT is seeing rapid adoption. One research report estimates that 38% of manufacturers plan to implement IoT technology in the next 12 months, and 72% plan to do so within the next three years. If you’re not planning an adoption strategy, you are likely to be left playing a game of chase in cyber-land. Every business has opportunities for improvement. Where does your process lack effectiveness? Are you able to react rapidly enough to changes in supply and demand? Find the challenges your shop floor faces and work with a vendor who interacts with industry peers and can advise you on best practices.
Your IIoT Platform: DELMIAWorks
DELMIAWorks (formerly IQMS) is a manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that serves as the foundation for IIoT implementation. It is designed specifically for the factory setting to streamline the process and gain visibility and control from end to end. Some of the top industries including Aerospace, Assembly, Automotive, Food and Beverage and even Packaging are utilizing it to have a single platform to integrate inventory management, procurement, planning, sales, CRM, shipping, production, financing and even business intelligence.
With a fully tailored environment, you can unleash this intelligence from the moment a sales order is received. Every requirement needed to fulfill that order is checked: raw materials, machine capacity, setup times, vendor supply, people. The manufacturing schedule can be set with confidence that delivery will be on time. During production, data collection in real-time provides insights to manage costs and targets for continuous improvements. Quality assurance, regulatory requirements and even packaging and shipping tasks are taken care of within the system.
Some of the efficiencies and benefits you can expect with DELMIAWorks and IIoT:
- Growth without additional labor resources
- Improved on-time delivery
- Reduction in scrap
- Zero shipping errors
- Reduced maintenance costs and repair times
- Increased plant efficiency
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