By Noor Abdel-Raziq, RIC Centre Communications Intern
“What gets measured gets improved.” – Robin S. Sharma.
The IoT (Internet of Things) isn’t just about the communication of objects with one another, it’s also about information. Within the manufacturing industry, information about parts, products, demand, supply (etc) is crucial. IoT revolutionizes the manufacturing industry, since its implementation provides great value and impact.
The Internet of Things gives manufacturers the ability to track objects, to find out how consumers are using a certain product, and to find out what features are the prominent ones. This creates a better understanding of what adjustments should be made to the product(s) to help improve adoption and purchasing rates. Knowing what the users do with the product is something brands want to leverage – IoT makes that readily available. With IoT, manufacturers can also know when a product is nearing the end of its lifecycle. This information, accessible from anywhere in the world, is a competitive advantage that needs to be leveraged.
Predictive Maintenance & Quality Control
Smart machines allow manufacturers to track performance, foresee any problems or malfunctions, and allow for action to be taken before anything happens. Imagine that a machine has a part that is beginning to malfunction or a part that is not doing exactly what it should be doing, a smart machine will be able to communicate this problem and the person monitoring the machine will be able to quickly fix it. This results to reduction in down time, lower costs, higher productivity and quality.
IoT makes it easier and more convenient for businesses to have factories in different countries since everything can be monitored remotely. The company can see how the factory is performing and take measures as needed, in real time, from anywhere.
Challenges in Implementing the IoT
So all of what has been said is great, but you might be wondering what the challenges of this are. What happens to old assets and machines? Is a manufacturer expected to throw away their functioning machines and endure more costs to replace them? The answer is not so clear. It’s difficult to make such a decision because the old machines continue to be functional. The question to ask is whether the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks. Manufacturers can also replace machines at a slow pace, one by one, and/or can retrofit some old machines and make them perform like a smart machine.
Looking to learn more about IoT? RIC Centre is hosting it’s Tech Forecast for 2016 on December 3rd. IoT enthusiasts can learn from industry experts on the future of IoT in 2016. How do you capitalize on the IoT trend? Register now.