What is IoT in Manufacturing?
The network of physical items, or ‘things,’ equipped with sensors, software, and other technologies that communicate and exchange data with other devices and systems through the internet is called the Internet of Things (IoT). These devices include anything from everyday domestic items like fridges and toasters to high-tech industrial equipment. By 2025, there are expected to be over 22 billion connected devices worldwide.
The Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, is the use of IoT technology in industrial settings, specifically sensors and other devices that use cloud-based computing services.
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The Industrial Internet of Things can help improve manufacturing operations by streamlining processes, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency. Some common uses of IIoT technology include smart manufacturing, which utilizes internet-connected machinery to monitor the production process, connected devices that help with preventive and predictive maintenance, optimized smart power grids, and connected logistics.
One of the most significant gains that manufacturers can get from the Internet of Things is improved analytics.
Manufacturers need a large amount of data to assess the state of their operations and identify the factors limiting their productivity. The IoT gives manufacturers access to this type of data through devices embedded with sensors, helping them monitor their performance to become more efficient and find places to improve processes and save on costs.
IIoT analytics is revolutionizing the manufacturing world by linking machines, products, computers, people, and analytical resources.
What are Upcoming IoT Trends in Manufacturing?
The IIoT continues to evolve and grow, providing manufacturers with greater opportunities to implement connected devices in their shops to streamline procedures, boost productivity, and cut costs. Recent advancements in access to low-cost, low-power sensor technology have opened the door to the IIoT for many manufacturers.
Top 5 IIOT Trends in 2023
1. M2M Automation
Smart sensors can now be incorporated into almost every machine and manufactured good, allowing for communication between devices. These sensors enable IoT systems to interact and automate operations like purchasing raw materials and parts, demand forecasting, and distribution without human interaction or input.
The best way for manufacturers to take full advantage of this IoT data and M2M automation is to integrate it with an enterprise-level business software solution like an ERP. Manufacturers can closely monitor manufacturing performance and gather insights in one system by having their ERP communicate with their products and machines.
2. Product-as-a-Service Opportunities
IIoT and sensor technologies allow manufacturers to incorporate Product-as-a-Service or PaaS models, in which a combination of products and services are bundled, into their business. Products can be offered to customers on a subscription basis in a PaaS model, with subscription services attached to the product. For example, a product can be sold with additional subscription features or a service contract.
The Product-as-a-Service business model allows manufacturers to generate extra revenue by billing clients a recurring subscription fee based on usage or delivered value rather than selling a product for a one-time upfront payment.
3. Edge Computing
One of the biggest difficulties for manufacturers in incorporating more IoT technology into their operations is the cost of the bandwidth required to process data. In the past, manufacturers offloaded this from their local networks to far-away servers — but this option can become expensive for manufacturers if they have lots of data to process.
Edge computing reverses this trend: Instead of using far-off servers, edge computing takes advantage of the ‘edge’ of local computer networks. New advancements in this technology mean data does not need to be sent elsewhere for processing; instead, a factory’s local edge network can manage it with their own devices. This is not only quicker and more effective, but it is also fundamentally more secure.
Edge computing will allow manufacturers to use more sensors and process more data to improve productivity and performance.
4. Location Tracking
We’re all familiar with GPS and its uses and benefits in outdoor surroundings. IoT technology will now make it possible for manufacturers to have access to the same advantages as GPS — but inside their own shops.
Wi-Fi, BLE beacons, sensors, UWB, RFID, and other wireless technologies are the foundation of real-time location systems (RTLS), allowing manufacturers to map the inside of their factories and track products as they move through their shops. Indoor RTLS can assist in locating products on the factory floor and track progress throughout the manufacturing process. This technology will have huge implications for inventory tracking, production planning, and quality control for manufacturers.
5. IoT Supply Chain Analytics
Advancement in analytics due to IoT has been a game-changer for manufacturers — the next step: Supply chain analytics. As manufacturers continue to struggle with their supply chains, IoT technologies will help.
In partnership with an ERP, the IoT gives manufacturers unmatched supply chain visibility. Not only will employees always be able to find supplies and goods thanks to sensors and other IoT gadgets, but ERPs also analyze and exchange data across an organization to collectively help manufacturers manage and make better-informed decisions regarding everything from inventory management to vendor relationships.
Many of the most sophisticated products built by manufacturers in North America are now produced almost entirely out of outsourced parts. With a digital supply chain supported by advanced ERP analytics and linked by IoT technology, coordinating partners, suppliers, and parts will be easier than ever before, allowing manufacturers to build in a day what used to take weeks or months.
How is Genius ERP evolving with IoT Trends?
Due to their capacity to decrease costs, deliver accurate, real-time data, and streamline processes, ERPs have long been the cornerstone of manufacturing organizations.
Enterprise resource planning solutions will continue to be necessary to manufacturers as production floors get even smarter and incorporate more IoT technologies, with manufacturers starting to layer IoT technologies on top of their existing ERP systems to get the best of both worlds.
Genius ERP plays a fundamental role in connecting and integrating your manufacturing shops and continues to help you move your businesses forward. Manufacturers can build new technologies on top of their existing ERP — rather than going through a lengthy development process — to create a truly connected shop.
Genius ERP is also continually adding and upgrading its features to help manufacturers move their businesses forward and take advantage of new technologies. The new and improved Genius Analytics is an easy-to-use self-service platform that gives you real-time visibility of your operation status, efficiency, and performance metrics. Our real-time customizable dashboards allow you to display accurate and useful data from multiple sources, apply filters, and pick the fields you need for your decision-making process. With all your data in one location and conveniently displayed, you can make decisions about your business more quickly and with greater assurance.
Leverage Genius Analytics to track progress, productivity, and performance to make your business more efficient and profitable.
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