4 Benefits of Integrating IoT In Factories
Wed, April 21, 2021

4 Benefits of Integrating IoT In Factories

Combined with data analytics, a fast network, and new technologies, manufacturers will be better at maintaining their assets and improve efficiency in production / Photo by: nd3000 via 123RF

 

Manufacturers digitize their factories though Industry 4.0 technologies, and one of these is IoT, according to David von Dorselaer of Manufacturing.net, a platform dedicated to the manufacturing landscape. IoT is powered by sensors and connectivity, generating actionable, near real-time data insights about the factory and throughout the supply chain. 

Combined with data analytics, a fast network, and new technologies, manufacturers will be better at maintaining their assets and improve efficiency in production. Nowadays, manufacturers are pressured to manage complex global supply chains and new logistics models. They also have to adopt new methods of working and dealing with the threat of cyberattacks. 

Moreover, customers are also demanding more customized products. As competition intensifies, the more difficult it is to maintain customer loyalty along with the growing shortage of skilled labor. Hence, manufacturers and factories are taking advantage of IoT, new technologies, and faster networks. 

IoT In Manufacturing Market Statistics

In 2018, the market size of IoT in manufacturing was valued at $187.33 billion, as found by market research provider Mordor Intelligence. It is projected to reach $487.30 billion by 2024 at a CAGR rate of 18.07% during the forecast period of 2019-2024. 

By 2020, IoT in logistics, manufacturing, and transportation is forecasted to rise to $40 billion. In the last two decades, there has been an increased demand for traceability and transparency. Given that, companies started to make the manufacturing process of their product transparent. Using IoT devices to collect and analyze data make the process transparent. 

By 2020, IoT in logistics, manufacturing, and transportation is forecasted to rise to $40 billion. In the last two decades, there has been an increased demand for traceability and transparency / Photo by: Pop Nukoonrat via 123RF

 

There has been an increase in the number of networked sensors that help increase supply chains, production, and products. Hence, manufacturers are exploring the prospects of new and emerging technologies that enable “automatic and real-time interactions” among assets, systems, and machines. Implementing IoT in manufacturing facilitates the production flow in a factory because IoT devices can automatically monitor development cycles and manage warehouses and inventories.

IoT market trends include the adoption of mobile devices and sensors, as well as RFID and GPS to monitor inventory and assets in warehouses. Collecting manufacturing information, manufacturing date, expiry date, after-sales, status, and warranty period using tracking devices such as RFID tags will bolster efficiency in supply chain monitoring. 

The Benefits of IoT In Factories 

1. Workforce Productivity and New Opportunities

Mike Hooper of IoT publication FutureIoT reported that increased digitization should not be seen as a way to reduce headcount. Instead, it should be used to change the responsibilities of workers to enable them to “focus on higher-valued roles.” 

For example, the digitization of manufacturing motivated the SkillsFuture Series for Advanced Manufacturing in Singapore to “develop digital confidence” among its workers. Hence, employees can effectively move between roles and acquire new skills.   

Manufacturers can use IoT to empower their employees. Since IoT solutions generate “near real-time factory floor insights," employees can locate and manage assets, improve worker safety, and monitor materials for quality at a faster rate. 

2. Predictive Maintenance

Remotely monitoring factory equipment using IoT helps ensure that the machines are optimized and properly calibrated for producing high-quality output. With predictive maintenance, manufacturers can save time and money by repairing or replacing the machine before it malfunctions. 

3. Digitization of the Supply Chain Management

Tracking the location of shipments in transit can help manufacturers predict when they will arrive. Fleet solutions can provide the manufacturer end-to-end visibility of goods across the supply chain if IoT is accompanied by near real-time analytics. 

Moreover, the digitization of the entire supply chain evolved from a “traditional linear and sequential operation” to an “interconnected, open, and multi-layered ecosystem of trading partners.” Smart factories have to be more “sizable and holistic,” going beyond the four walls of the factory to integrate with customers and suppliers. 

4. A More Holistic Approach to Digital Transformation

Smart factories rely on operations technology and information technology. The convergence of this transformation and IoT enable factory operations to be connected and monitored. This IoT data can be utilized to improve performance or “change how the entire factory and supply chain operates” by combining the date from other enterprise systems. 

The Future of Manufacturing Is Imminent

The future of manufacturing is a lot closer than we think. However, governance and compliance policies have to take into account the full connectivity of the smart factory. Updating these policies is “more evolutionary than revolutionary.” Considering that smart factories have the ability to self-optimize and self-adapt, this can change introduce drastic changes to existing governance, risk, and compliance models.

Moreover, automated systems minimize the need for human intervention, resulting in fewer errors and fewer risks. Then again, the aforementioned policies need to “establish how one can monitor and audit the machines.” On the other hand, the shift to industry 4.0 will transform how factories operate, as well as how products are designed, used, and serviced. 

Overall, integrating IoT will enable factories and manufacturers to streamline efficiency and productivity within their day-to-day operations. IoT should never be treated as a buzzword but as a long-term investment that welcomes technological innovation. There’s no need to wait for the “future” of manufacturing because it’s already here. 

Smart factories rely on operations technology and information technology. The convergence of this transformation and IoT enable factory operations to be connected and monitored / Photo by: Cathy Yeulet via 123RF