New-Age Manufacturing: Going the Industrial IoT way
Societies and civilizations are the outcome of communication among human circles. Sharing and exchange of information are also significant in machine-to-machine communication as it is among humans. The industrial revolution history has now evolved up to globalization and the technologically advanced world comprises a web that connects the devices and systems. More and more intelligent machines are being built that interact with other machines, with their environments as well as the data centers. Internet of things (IoT) has improved the ease of life with automated machines that range from households appliances to satellites. They are accurate and consistent in capturing and communicating data. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are a build-up on IoT that connects critical machines and sensors even in high stake industries such as aerospace, defense, healthcare and energy. The growth of the manufacturing sector and possibilities of IIoT in it promises revolutionary changes in the industrial world.
In the current scenario the significant benefit of IIoT in manufacturing arena is the connection to the Internet which allows access to data in different units from virtually any device, any time, and from anywhere in the world. This helps manufacturers to have access to their manufacturing units and enable check on specific machines, schedules and inventories in full details, irrespective of their location or time. Executives can analyze the situations and judge performance and results from a different location at real time and the units will be interconnected in such a way so as to share data and support each other in effective working, resulting in better productivity.
More importantly IIoT with Internet connectivity can provide better visibility and control capabilities for remote locations, subcontracted manufacturing plants or suppliers’ factories. IIoT in industrial realm helps controlling the manufacturing network, managing the manufacturing equipment, assessing the floor situation and also controlling the manufacturing process. This makes manufacturing a smart process.
Implementation of IIoT systems helps in the speedy production of new goods, faster response to product demands and real time improvement of the manufacturing and supply chain networks, by creating a network of machineries, sensors and control systems. The use of digital control systems to automate the control process, operator tools and service information systems in enhancing plant safety and security also comes within the domain of the IIoT. IIoT also proves helpful in asset management by allowing prognostic maintenance, statistical evaluation and adopting measurements to maximize reliability.
Advantages of IIoT
IIoT adds to the many advantages of running an up to date manufacturing plant. It provides companies the flexibility to handle their units from anywhere and at any time. Executives are now concentrating on plant-floor data initiatives for advanced and faster market deliverance which is made available by IIoT.
Implementation of IIoT reduces interruption time by letting remote access to systems. It also ensures precision in delivery and reliability of products from the plants to the markets. IIoT ensures a visual follow-up of the equipment performance, resource availability, as well as security concerns of multiple plant locations in a single and real time. Companies that are spread globally and have multiple manufacturing units are benefitted by IIoT. It helps in reducing lead times by connecting applications in enterprise to production floor devices in real time, ensures quicker information movements, dynamic decision making and prompt responses to the market.
Many a times, equipment show malfunctions in the production process. IIoT enables real time notifications on such malfunctions enabling instant attendance of the issue and saving on loss of productive time and resources.
Though industries today apply IIoT, it is still operated only in closed environments and restricted to internal communications. This practice arises from the various threats to security, like hacking, that the internet poses. Thus, before applying IIoT it is important to understand and analyze the risks that might come with it and if it is worth taking. However, IIoT is not just another technology making headlines. It is the formula for new change and development in the ways companies and individuals work. Companies spend lots of money in acquiring warranty for their machineries.
This can be made more cost effective if there is a system to check real time glitches and address it specifically. This can be effectively done by implementing IIoT. Likewise, the process of decision making is also decentralized with information being available at all levels of the plant thus in the process also adding value to the workers by giving them in-depth understanding of the plant working process.
IIoT can also be implemented without external connections in case one is apprehensive about the possible security threats. An upgrade to the already existent internal network would enable a company to install new devices in the internal IIoT platform. IIoT can prove to be beneficial to companies if it is in sync with their goals and concerns.
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