How will IIoT impact the future of manufacturing?

How will the Industrial Internet of Things impact your manufacturing business? Manufacturing software provider, Datawright explains more.

IIoT has transforming the traditional face of the factory through streamlining processes and maximising production yields - image courtesy of Datawright.
IIoT is transforming the traditional face of the factory through streamlining processes and maximising production yields – image courtesy of Datawright.

As a manufacturer, you’ll be familiar with the term Internet of Things (IoT) or Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

If you haven’t already implemented it in your business, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about — is it really going to revolutionise manufacturing in the way that so many articles promise? The short answer is yes.

IoT is not exclusive to manufacturing; you may have a smart TV sitting in the corner of your living room or a host of intelligent kitchen appliances.

They all fall under the IoT umbrella terms — they’re interconnected devices with advanced features and capabilities that make our day-to-day lives more efficient.

It’s the same story in manufacturing — but just where is the future of this already futuristic technology heading?

Benefits of IIoT in manufacturing

Any technology that promises greater efficiencies is welcomed by manufacturers. IIoT is transforming the traditional face of the factory through streamlining processes and maximising production yields.

So, what are the main benefits that IoT can bring to the manufacturing industry?

  • More intelligent machinery — by implementing IoT in the traditional sphere of manufacturing, manufacturers can gain greater visibility of production performance, supporting the early detection of delays to minimise downtime and maximise productivity.
  • Better data collection and analysis — through collecting productivity and waste performance data, manufacturers are able to make more informed decisions to improve their company’s overall performance.
  • Improved resource management — by understanding how a machine performs and is being used, manufacturers can safeguard workers, boost productivity and reduce associated operating costs.

Of course, some manufacturers are dubious of the benefits that IIoT can bring. If you’ve buried your head in the sand hoping that the IIoT wave will pass you by, you are very much mistaken.

IoT is undeniably disruptive, forcing manufacturers to change their processes and how they work. For some, this is a scary prospect, pushing them further towards their familiar working

practices. Doing so puts your company at risk of being left behind, as your competitors embrace the technology and continue to march forward.

There are numerous examples of brands that failed to shift with their market and ultimately met their demise. Blockbuster is just one example; the video rental brand neglected the growing dominance of video streaming services, which ultimately led to its failure. Ignoring IoT places your company at risk of following a similar route.

What does the future hold for IIoT?

By the end of 2017, there will be 8.4 billion connected things, up 31% on 2016’s total.

Fast-forward to 2020 and this figure will more than double to 20.4 billion. Clearly, IoT is not a fad; it’s a trend that will completely revolutionise manufacturing.

As the number of connected devices grows, so too will the number of manufacturers harnesing the power of IoT. By the start of 2018, 60% of manufacturers will use connected products to capture and analyse data, delivering a 15% increase in productivity.

Likewise, research from Verizon suggests that IoT-enabled manufacturers will be 10% more profitable than those who aren’t. You can’t ignore these figures in a sector so heavily focused around productivity and performance.

While the growth of IIoT is undeniably positive, there are of course security concerns. Estimates predict that by 2020, IoT-connected devices will be the target of more than a quarter of all enterprise security attacks. To combat this, manufacturers will naturally have to increase their security spend to safeguard their IoT systems. Experts predict that the global security spend will reach $547.2m by 2018.

Initial hesitations surround all new technological developments. However, it’s clear that the positives fully outweigh the negatives. With the future of IoT looking bright, manufacturers are faced with a choice: to adopt and move forward or ignore and stand still. Which path will you choose?

Datawright will be hosting a free IoT Workshop for manufacturers on 18 October 2017. Find out how manufacturing companies are reaping the rewards of the Internet of Things.