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Top Practical Applications of Industrial IoT in Manufacturing

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With the advent of the Internet of Things, the world has turned into a smarter place. The applications of IoT are not just limited to consumers but also businesses. At present, IoT has evolved into the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) that is changing the industrial world. IIoT is a part of the broader IoT concept and it primarily focuses on devices and objects used in industries and business environments. To begin with, let’s get a basic idea of what IIoT is, and then we will move to its applications. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), sometimes called Industry 4.0, is the technology of interconnected sensors, controllers, and other devices that are connected in an industrial setting. Connecting objects and devices helps in performing industrial activities more efficiently. 

Implementing IIoT helps businesses to take advantage of the data that “dumb machines” used to generate in industrial settings. With connected sensors and actuators, industries get access to smart machines and real-time analytics that enhance manufacturing and industrial processes. IIoT solution involves several factors that work together to achieve specific goals such as:

  • Industrial ‘things’ – The internet-enabled machines and devices in the industry
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi, 4G/cellular, Ethernet connections
  • Data – The data produced by connected devices is collected and processed
  • Cloud platform – A centralized cloud platform to host the data and enable remote monitoring
  • Analytics dashboard – For data analysis and making insightful decisions 

The interconnected instruments and devices are networked together to enable remote access and monitoring, as well as data acquisition and analysis. These functions help in increasing productivity by improving operational performance and providing insights for streamlining the processes. Emerson has a range of IIoT-ready technologies that are ready to be integrated into your operation to transform productivity and profitability. If you want to learn more you can check out their website.

Applications of IIoT in Manufacturing Industry 

Industrial IIoT is growing at a rapid pace as it has the potential to automate industrial processes. A typical IIoT system consists of industrial devices, smart sensors, software platforms, cloud servers, and applications. The IoT-enabled sensors transmit data to the IoT gateway and that send data to the cloud application server for processing and analysis. To understand IIoT better, let’s check out some major applications of IIoT in the manufacturing industry that help in improving productivity, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency.

Connected Factories

The manufacturing industry is adopting the concept of a connected factory to achieve efficiency in all areas of operation. The connected machines help in automating the process and enable operation managers to remotely manage the factory units. Connecting machines and tools to a network make management easier. Connected factories allow the manufacturing industry to keep a track of the production process, monitor downtime and schedule maintenance, check the status of inventory, shipment, and more. Besides manufacturing plants or factories, IIoT helps in creating a centralized system to control and monitor all business operations. The sensors transmit data that helps oversee production in real-time. Moreover, the historical data can be analyzed to prevent issues and make information-based decisions. 

Predictive Maintenance

The industrial machines equipped with smart sensors not only automate tasks but also help in monitoring conditions. Managers can monitor the status of each major component and fix faults before they turn into a critical issue. Without predictive maintenance, sudden equipment failure could disturb production and cause downtime that leads to loss. But with proactive data acquisition and analysis, timely action can be taken. The IoT-enabled machines send alerts when certain risk factors occur such as high temperatures or vibrations above normal parameters. Predictive maintenance also involves analyzing historical data and machine performance to schedule the next maintenance. 

Facility Management

The IoT sensors installed inside manufacturing devices and tools send data and alerts that allow production remote monitoring, as well as facility management. Facility management helps in preventing machine downtime, conserves energy, lowers cost, and boosts operational efficiency. This also helps in providing a safe workplace for employees. The IIoT system includes connected machines and smart wearable that monitors the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of health and safety. Also, automating manual tasks by using an intelligent robotics system ensures the smooth handling of tools and helps achieve accuracy and efficiency. From facility management and quality control to packaging optimization and supply chain management, IIoT is improving every aspect of the manufacturing and distribution process. A connected system enables tacking the inventory by providing real-time supply chain information to trace materials in transit and products as they move through the supply chain.