Technological advancements have significantly improved industrial processes. As a result, all industries are shifting from manual operations to automation. This digital transformation of industries has changed the way businesses operate and utilize data. Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning not only improve industrial processes but also allow businesses to stay competitive in the modern marketplace. Industrial IoT is the most innovative technology that holds the potential to reform every industrial sector. But what exactly this technology is and how it can benefit industries? Let’s find out!
What is Industrial IoT?
Internet of Things (IoT) involves connecting dumb devices to the internet. The IoT sensors and software are used for generating and gathering data that enables remote device monitoring and control. Virtual assistants and smartwatches are all results of this technology. When this technology is applied at a larger industrial scale, it becomes Industrial IoT. IoT is the primary technology of the fourth industrial revolution and is also known as Industry 4.0. With IIoT, industries that rely on manual operations can become smart and automate their production and distribution processes. With access to smart machines and real-time analytics, businesses can lower their operational cost and boost productivity. So, IIoT has digitized the manufacturing industry and other sectors to speed up the processes. To turn any physical device into a smart machine, IoT sensors are embedded and software application is used. The smart machines transfer data that can be stored and processed via a cloud computer system.
Benefits of IIoT Applications
Connecting factory machines provide operational visibility and enhance the efficiency of processes. The applications of Industrial IoT not only improve manufacturing processes but also allow other industries such as transportation and agriculture to improve their operations. To know more about this technology, here are some amazing benefits of IIoT.
- Improve Efficiency
Businesses keep looking for new ways and adopt the latest technology with the primary goal of increasing their operational efficiency to maximize production and reduce costs. IIoT helps in achieving this goal by allowing manufacturers to automate their operations that result in achieving operating efficiency. As compared to manual operations, robotics and automated machinery has a higher capacity that allows completing work more quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Automation boosts productivity and helps in streamlining functions. Besides automation, IIoT connects industrial machines via sensors that generate data. Analyzing this machine data give insights about the operational performance and allows taking appropriate actions. In addition to ensuring operational efficiency, IIoT also helps in improving energy efficiency that lowers electricity bills. Large manufacturing units require a huge amount of energy. To reduce the energy bills, IoT provides data about energy consumption and allows facility managers to reduce energy consumption during off-hours.
- Predictive Maintenance
When machines and devices start communicating, it becomes possible to reduce errors and prevent sudden equipment failure. Finding out issues on time such as unsafe temperature rise, gas leaks, or a minor fault can help in avoiding serious issues. Detecting minor problems allows taking necessary steps on time and prevents serious issues and sudden production halts. Data from connected machinery allows performing maintenance proactively which helps in avoiding unexpected downtime. The traditional maintenance process involves setting maintenance schedules based on historical data. However, sometimes machines may encounter issues earlier or may work fine for a longer time. Failing to repair the machine on time can aggravate the issue and result in costly repairs, as well as longer downtime. On the other hand, unnecessary repairs waste precious resources. To avoid these issues, IoT-enabled devices provide real-time data that gives information about exact maintenance needs. Instead of guessing, managers can analyze data to know the exact needs of the machine. This helps in avoiding downtime, as well as helps in saving money on unnecessary repairs. The data also provides valuable insights that help in understanding whether machines are operating at maximum efficiency or need fine-tuning.
- Quick & More Informed Decision Making
The applications of industrial IoT not only automate tedious tasks but also allow faster decisions making. The traditional methods don’t provide real-time data and managers don’t even know about problems until they turn something goes terribly wrong. But smart machines allow analyzing their performance and provide insights to improve efficiency. Instead of using historical data and a reactive approach, most industries are now adopting a proactive approach and using real-time data to eliminate the risk of errors and minimize wastes. IoT enhances operational visibility is elevated and allows the manager to make faster and more informed decisions. For instance, smart irrigation systems allow reading the moisture levels to prevent over-watering fields, as well as helps in conserving water.
- Enhance Safety
IIoT not only boosts productivity and prevents errors but also helps in avoiding workplace accidents. A fully-operational IIoT facility will ensure that both machines and workers are safe. Besides “smart manufacturing” facility, IoT also provides “smart security” applications that bolster workplace safety. A connected factory generates data that reveals important parameters such as temperature, humidity, vibrations, and more. For instance, if fire breaks or temperature is recorded above the normal range, an alert is issued so that operations can cease and everyone can take action. IIoT applications help in keeping workers safe on the floor, on the line, and in distribution. The data can also be used to avoid the reoccurrence of similar accidents in the future. Besides ensuring workplace safety, smart wearable bands can track the health condition of workers such as their heart rate to avoid over-exertion and other health-related problems.